ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023 Meta Analaysis – The Most and Least Popular Heroes

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ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023 Meta Analaysis – The Most and Least Popular Heroes

This ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023 meta analysis will reveal some of the least and most popular heroes. There are many surprises.

ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023 was an exceptional tournament for many reasons. Besides being the first big competition after The International 12, it also became the last big event for 2023. Furthermore, we saw a lot of funny moments, and on top of that, Valve decided to release Dota 2 Frostivus 2023 in the middle of it. Needless to say, this made this tournament even more interesting.

Naturally, the hero changes in the 7.35 Dota 2 patch had an effect on the meta. However, most of the games took place on the previous patch, so don’t be surprised when you see some of the most and least popular heroes right now.

Grimstroke is leading with the most picks

ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023 Meta Analaysis - The Most and Least Popular Heroes

If we analyze all of the picks and bans at ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023, we can see that Grimstome is leading the chart. The hero appeared in a total of 24 matches and has a 66.67% win rate, which is impressive.

The fact that Grimstroke was so popular is not surprising because the hero was really good in the previous patch. In fact, he is among the Dota 2 patch 7.35 losers because the hero received several big nerfs. Ink Swell’s Aghs shard now gives +30% instead of +40 damage and heal, whereas Soulbind has 5s more CD on level 2 and 10 more on level 3. His talents also got some changes.

Considering these nerfs, we do not expect the hero to be the go-to option on the current meta. He is definitely strong in some situations, but the nerfs will force the best Dota 2 players in the world to use other options.


The next name on the list with the most picks is Tusk. With around 22 appearances, the hero has a 54% win rate, which is pretty good if you compare him to some of the other top picks. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Tusk in the meta, so fans were excited to see him in action at ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023.

In terms of the changes, the Dota 2 7.35 patch nerfed his Walrus Punch a little bit. The maximum critical damage is 200/275/350% instead of 250/325/400%. The good news is that Walrus Punch! Now deals 50 bonus damage, and it is affected by the crit multiplier, which makes up for the slight nerf. Overall, we think that the new patch won’t have that much of an impact on the hero. He may not appear in as many games as before, but Tusk will continue to be a solid pick in many situations.


With more than a 66% win rate, Pangolier is one of the most picked and most successful Dota 2 heroes at ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023. There are many reasons for these stats, one of which is Gaimin Gladiators and the way they are playing. As we know, Quinn is one of the best Pango players in the world, and he had the chance to use the hero several times throughout the competition.

In terms of the changes, the Dota 2 patch 7.35 introduces a couple of important things. For example, the hero’s base HP regen is now slightly up than before, and Shield Crash deals physical damage instead of magical damage. Also, the ability’s cooldown is now always decreased to 9/6/3s.

Pango also got a few talent changes, but overall, it’s safe to say he feels like a solid pick. That said, the hero still has mana issues following the nerfs from the previous patch.

Tiny – One of the worst win rates

ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023 Meta Analaysis - The Most and Least Popular Heroes


There are loads of heroes at ESL One Kuala Lumpur who failed to impress us with their results, one of which is Tiny. He appeared in 9 games in total but only won one, meaning his win rate is around 11%. These stats are really disappointing because Tiny has always been one of the top picks in professional matches.

Considering the hero’s poor performance in PUB and pro matches, it’s no surprise Valve decided to buff it in the Dota 2 patch 7.35. After the latest update, the hero’s Tree Grab now gives + 20/25/30/35 instead of +20 damage, and its CD is down to 16/15/15/13 from 22/19/16/13s. Also, Aghanim’s Shard now increases the damage of the thrown three by 100.

As for his ult, Tiny’s Grow gives +400 bonus damage to toss instead of +300.

Heroes that did not get any playtime

ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023 Meta Analaysis - The Most and Least Popular Heroes
via Dota 2

Most big Dota 2 tournaments always have at least 4 ot 5 heroes that do not appear at all. ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023 is no exception, but what’s different here is that the number of unpicked heroes is 17. While some names, such as Pudge and Techies, didn’t surprise us because these heroes haven’t been in the pro meta in a while, others caught us off guard.

Starting with Anti-Mage, the hero keeps getting buffs, but it seems like the best Dota 2 teams in the world don’t want to use him. Drow Ranger and Legion Command also did not get any picks despite the fact that they got buffed.

Other interesting heroes that fall in this list include Arc Warden, Broodmother, Riki, Sand King, Sven, Tinker, Warlock, Witch Doctor, Disruptor, Keeper of the Light, Outworld Destroyer, and Oracle. Most of these names got some sort of buffs in the 7.35 Dota 2 patch, which is why we think it’s just a matter of time before they become popular picks. After all, let’s not forget that the new meta arrived in the middle of ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023.

ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023 Meta Analaysis – The Most and Least Popular Heroes
Zlosterr has been a fan of esports for many years and mainly focuses on Dota 2. He has more than five years of experience writing Dota 2 content for numerous platforms. Besides being a passionate fan of the game, he's also played for various amateur teams.