Dreamleague Season 12 ended with Alliance managing to reverse sweep Demon slayers. As the first tournament of the season, there were clear trends showcased in what to expect in the upcoming patch. We’re expecting patch 7.23 to be released with the Outlanders update - but it would be surprising to see that coming out until after ESL One Hamburg - if not after the Chengdu major itself.
Until then, all we can do is check out how the metagame has developed within teams to see what’s going to be happening in the upcoming patch, and what kind of heroes are you going to want to spam now before the eventual update turns everything upside down.
Photo via DreamHack
Nerf list: S-Tier Picks
The obvious heroes that come through are definitely Faceless Void and Abaddon. Void, which was picked or banned for a hundred percent of the games, was only picked twice with 28 bans coming through for the rest of the event. Although we didn’t get to see Void picked enough to make a conclusive statement - it’s obvious that teams are fearing the control and mid-game presence that he brings to the game.
The other factor to consider is the changing meta of the offlane - with slight indications of offlane going back to a situation where it’s becoming slightly harder to go aggressive. Part of that is probably why Abaddon has been seeing a rise in pick rate. Although it’s not one that enjoyed the highest winrate, it’s been particularly successful against picks without some sort of mobility in the safelane - allowing it to go more aggressive. Not just that, but it’s one of the deciding factors in ensuring that a push lineup can succeed effectively - being one of the few frontliners that you can have which also provides consistent sustain.
Nerf list: A-Tier Picks
Despite what the pick and ban rate would suggest - Kunkka, which was also picked or banned in every game of the series, is our first pick to enter the A list. Kunkka has gone back to being picked almost exclusively as a core - despite strong records in the past as a four position hero. One of the major points is how flexible it is, having seen it being played in every role. However, with it not quite winning as many games as we would have liked - it just showcases that a lot of people have become used to playing against the hero. We’d still recommend that you pick it up in your pubs and give it a spin though.
Joining him are the Rubick and Mirana - which each sported incredibly high pick and win rates. Rubick’s been one of the incredibly strong laning supports which allows for you to go for a highly offensive or highly defensive style lane. If you’re able to pair it up with something like a gyrocopter then you have yourself an excellent kill lane, or otherwise you can simmer down with a void. It’s definitely one of the big reasons why the offlane has become tougher recently - and scales incredibly well into the late game.
Mirana’s self-explanatory. The element of chaos she adds to a lineup along with the flexibility just makes her an all around incredible pick - as was showcased by the fact that she was picked or banned 26 out of 30 games at the event. Honorable mention goes out to team Demon Slayers, who managed to really make the most of her in most games by combining her with multiple heroes who had kill potential in their lanes.
Buff List: D-Tier PIcks
Although Dreamleague saw a lot of heroes going unpicked, there were a few classical mid heroes that we thought are definitely due for a buff. We’re not going to go over all of them, just the ones we’re really hoping for.
First of all, the Templar Assassin. She’s not quite given the attention in the draft where you’d even consider it a niche pick. For a hero who is supposed to be a lane dominator that can snowball effectively with high physical damage, she’s not been doing particularly well. Although most traditional mids have been seeing highs and lows, TA has largely been neglected even in matchmaking play. The only time we saw a TA picked was against the Invoker of Demon Slayers, with a lot of that coming down to the enemy supports’ inability to roam effectively.
Next, we want to see Outworld Devourer changed to make him a little more effective early on in the game - even if it comes at expense to his late-game ability. Unless the meta itself shifts to accommodate more mid-late game power spike heroes, OD just seems like a win-lane, lose-game sort of hero. When Iceberg picked it against Alliance in the one game that FlyToMoon had, even though he had a perfect matchup against a Lina, it still ended up being the enemy mid who dominated the game.
Finally, the one hero we really want to see shown some love, is the Bristleback. Outside of particular patches where he was incredibly excellent, he’s always been a niche pick that hovers in the periphery. However, in the current style of offlaners who are played, he just doesn’t seem to slot in effectively. It’s to the extent where his one pick was where NiP ended up sending him safelane. The game saw him unable to provide insufficient utility, and insufficient damage heading into the game itself.
We’ve got some serious biases when we’re mentioning these heroes to be picked or buffed for 7.23, but we’re hoping ESL One Hamburg gives us some more information when it comes around this weekend. What changes are you hoping will come with 7.23?
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