With TI12 at the horizon, let's take at a look at the meta Heroes that are likely to be picked and banned in Seattle
We’re almost into October, the most coveted time of the year for the Dota 2 pros and fans alike. This year, get ready to embark on a journey back to where it all began as The International 2023 returns to its home in Seattle after six long years. Teams have begun their final preparation before traveling to Seattle. Diving into the depths of the current meta, teams are searching for their keys to play around and counter the Heroes likely to show up in the drafts. Let's take a look at our predictions for the most picked and banned Heroes for TI12.
- 1 Meta Predictions: Heroes Most Likely to be Picked and Banned
- 2 Closing Thoughts: Heroes To Shape TI12
Meta Predictions: Heroes Most Likely to be Picked and Banned
Let’s look at 10 Heroes that are poised to be the most contested picks and bans at The International 2023 –
1. Earth Spirit (ES)
Ever since Blade Mail became the meta-defining item, mid Earth Spirit has immensely risen in popularity. Earth Spirit has been a staple mid laner in recent tournaments, most notable in DreamLeague Season 21. The Hero has been extremely impactful, dominating many games. And with ES being good at position 4 as well, teams are sure to pull it out very often in their drafts. As the teams try to eke out an advantage abusing ES’s flex potential, it is very likely to be a contested Hero at TI.
Sven is unarguably one of the strongest carry on paper heading into The International 12. He has an amazing winrate in recent tournaments as well as pro-level pubs. Sven is one of the Heroes that shone with the map expansions and slowed paced games. It is hard to keep the Hero from hitting his timings, and Sven always has a chance at carrying the game even when his team is behind. The Hero is sure to be banned or picked in most drafts.
3. Shadow Demon (SD)
Shadow Demon has looked disgustingly overpowered in many games of late. His Aghanim’s Scepter and Aghanim’s Shard upgrades have made the Hero look busted. SD has looked to be of the best if not the best saving support. And when the stakes are high, saves are something a lot of teams fall back to in hopes of saving their key Heroes. All of these factors are sure to make Shadow Demon a common feature in the banning and picking phases of The International.
The drunken brawler has been highly talked up by pros, and the likes of 33 and Chalice have shown the immense power of the Hero. A lot of the items that Brewmaster likes to buy; such as Radiance, Blade Mail and Spirit Vessel are very potent in the current meta. The Hero also received further buffs in recent updates. Brewmaster has looked to be one of the best off laners in this patch, and has the potential to go out of control and single handedly carry games for his team. With teams being willing to first pick it, the Hero will inevitably be banned a lot at TI.
Pangolier is the most versatile mid laner in the patch. This Hero has been first picked in many cases, and it somehow manages to have an impact no matter how hard it was countered in lane. The teams that have been doing well recently are regularly picking Pangolier first phase, causing it to be banned a lot. Pango provides the option of being put in the off lane and even position 4 if in dire need. The versatility and sheer potency of the Hero will likely mean the Hero will be contested a lot. Pangolier is sure to show up consistently in the drafts of TI12.
6. Treant Protector
Treant Protector has also been on the rise recently. With physical damage Heroes making up most of the meta, Treant Protector was sure to make an appearance sooner or later. Treant also has a history of being potent at TI. His Living Armor is the only mechanism in the game that heals towers and helps to delay the game. Teams that want to push the game into later stages inevitably put a high priority on this Hero. Treant has been picked quite a lot in recent tournaments and immortal ranked pubs, and chances are that this will continue throughout The International as well.
7. Vengeful Spirit (VS)
Vengeful Spirit has rapidly risen in popularity in the current patch. Most pro players rate it as the best saving support in the game because of Nether Swap. In the recently concluded DreamLeague Season 21, Vengeful Spirit was highly contested in almost every game. In a high stakes scenario, VS’s reposition mechanic is something teams are likely to fall back on. And as there is no Dota 2 tournament where the stakes get any higher than TI, Vengeful Spirit is sure to be banned or picked very regularly.
8. Phantom Assassin (PA)
TI10 winner Yatoro thinks that Phantom Assassin is the most broken Hero in the current patch. The Hero has always been a low-mmr dominator, but has rapidly grown in popularity in the competitive scene recently. PA has ridiculous scaling, and with her in the game, you are not out of it till your throne falls. This characteristic will likely be sought after at a tournament such as The International. And teams are going to pull it out frequently to have the highest late game security.
Beastmaster was a meta-defining Hero in the previous TI, with Tundra Esports abusing its prowess to the fullest in their run to lift the Aegis. The Hero was so broken, that even after quite a few nerfs to his abilities as well as items such as Helm of the Overlord and Wraith Pact, the Hero still makes it to this list. Beastmaster has been banned on a regular basis in recent tournaments, and always seems to do well when certain players get their hands on it. Teams are likely to keep this Hero in their wheelhouse, and bring it out at the biggest stage in Seattle.
Fans of flair will be happy with Invoker being a meta mid laner heading into The International 2023. After being changed into a Universal Hero, Invoker’s already versatile kit has risen in popularity even more. Invoker is the Hero that was banned the most in the recently concluded DreamLeague Season 21, which speaks volumes about the power of the arsenal magus. Teams seem to be more than happy to first-pick Invoker for their mids, and the Hero still looks incredibly strong. Invoker will surely continue to appear in the bans and picks section in the coming TI.
Closing Thoughts: Heroes To Shape TI12
The International has always developed a meta of its own in every edition. This year promises to be no different, with teams around the globe bringing their own brand of Dota to where it all started. However, these Heroes have looked potent in recent times, and will probably be featuring in the drafts at TI. Stay tuned for more enthralling content!