A number of Dota 2 heroes have been dominating in the early stages of the Berlin Major, which kicked off on April 26. It’s the first event after the massive New Frontiers update dropped a week ago. Some have win rates as high as 80 percent with a sample size of 10 matches or more. But while they seem to be thriving in the hands of elite players and teams in the tournament so far, the same cannot be said for their performances in pubs.
There’s a huge discrepancy between win rates, whether it’s because regular Dota players aren’t playing them right, or they don’t work well in a less coordinated team.
Another possibility is that, since players are trying to figure out what works in the New Frontiers meta, they’re picking these heroes after seeing them in the Berlin Major, but don’t really know what they’re doing. It could come down to a lot of things.
But whatever the reason may be, there are 10 Dota heroes with win rate discrepancies that stand out the most—some of which are even as large as 30 percent, according to public match stats from Liquipedia and DotaBuff.
Storm Spirit has been the fourth most-picked hero in the Berlin Major so far. He’s been picked 25 times, and has a record of 14 wins and 11 losses, bringing his win rate to 56 percent. The mobility he offers has proven to be an asset in this patch, and mid laners like Sumail and Abed have been taking full advantage of it, especially when paired with a support Pugna for damage. He was also slightly buffed in terms of the damage he can deal.
His win rate in pubs is far less impressive. It’s sitting at 49.33 percent since the patch dropped, and while it’s not the worst, it’s a sign the coordination in pro teams is what makes him work—a quality that cannot be emulated by randoms or lesser-skilled stacks.
Pugna has been one of the surprise picks of the tournament. The menacing hero has been picked a total of 12 times so far, nine of which have resulted in wins, bringing his win rate to 75 percent. It’s worked particularly well with Storm Spirit. It’s much higher than his lowly 48.73 percent win rate in pubs, though.
The reason is likely he thrives when the team fights around his Nether Ward, especially after grabbing an Aghanim’s Shard. Pro teams factor that into how they approach team fights much better than pub players. They’re also more precise when using Decrepify to save allies and heal them with Life Drain, which has been buffed.
Phoenix is one of the few hard support heroes with a massive ultimate capable of turning the tide in a team fight.
Despite being nerfed, it’s been picked nine times so far in Berlin, with a record of five wins and four losses and a win rate of 55.56 percent. OG has picked it the most, pairing it with tanky frontliners like Doom and Alchemist, and it’s proven a solid formula.
But while it’s worked out pretty well for them and other teams, the same cannot be said for pub players. It has a 48.63 percent win rate across the board, and the reason likely comes down to how inefficiently its skills, particularly Supernova, are used in conjunction with the team. A misplaced egg could be the difference between winning and losing a fight, and in turn, the game.
Keeper of the Light
Keeper of the Light has been popping off in the Major, racking up a solid 76 percent win rate after 13 picks—10 of which have been wins. He’s been a staple pick for Tundra, who picked him five times and won them all. OG has also picked him twice and won both. The constant uptime, sustain, and utility he offers in lanes and fights suits the meta well. Blinding Light is also now a basic ability that does not require Spirit Form, and it’s proven to be useful.
Interestingly, he’s been far less imposing in pubs. His win rate in pubs is much lower at 46.96 percent, and the likeliest explanation is pub players are either being too static with him or not static enough, opting to flash farm the jungle instead at the expense of their team.
Beastmaster is another hero who has been thriving at the Berlin Major so far. He has a 69.23 percent win rate after being picked 13 times. What makes him so good is his ability to scout and provide extra vision, which is so important now the map has been expanded. Drums of Slom also makes him an even better pusher due to the extra healing and damage.
His far less impressive 46.36 percent win rate in pubs suggests lesser-skilled players aren’t using him as effectively as players in PSG.LGD and Tundra, which is to be expected given their quality. Call of the Wild Hawk is often neglected, particularly in lower ranks, but a well-placed one at the right time can change the course of the game.
Terrorblade has been one of the standout carry heroes of the tournament. He boasts a whopping 80 percent win rate after 10 picks, eight of which have resulted in emphatic wins. Everyone from Shopify Rebellion to Team Aster, Tundra Esports, and BetBoom have used him.
His ability to farm the map with illusions has always been excellent for efficiency, and it’s even better now that there are more camps available. Plus, when farmed, he is one of the hardest carries in the game and an excellent pusher to boot. Metamorphosis is no joke, and pro teams know that well. Reflection, Demon Zeal, and Terror Wave were also slightly buffed.
But while that might be the case, his win rate in pubs is a dismal 46 percent—one of the lowest in the patch so far. The likeliest explanation is pub players don’t get the time or space they need to come online with him, nor do they use Sunder as effectively as pro players, which can make or break a teamfight.
Doom has always been a safe pick of sorts. The tanky offlaner is easy to use, can farm well, and his ultimate, Doom, can cause heroes with escapes like Slark and Storm Spirit a lot of grief. Despite being slightly nerfed, he seems to be thriving at the moment because there are more jungle creeps to Devour.
But while he’s racked up a 55 percent win rate in the Berlin Major after being picked 20 times, it seems like pub players cannot emulate the success of teams like Gaimin Gladiators, Shopify Rebellion, and Liquid. His win rate in pubs is ten percent lower at 45.67 percent, probably due to suboptimal targeting and inefficient use of abilities.
Like Doom, Leshrac is sitting on a win rate of about 54.55 percent so far throughout the tournament. He’s been picked 11 times across an even spread of teams and has racked up six wins and five losses. The constant uptime he has makes him an excellent fit in the current meta. Despite that, pub players are struggling to use him. His win rate is much lower at 47.21 percent—probably because players are either being too aggressive or not aggressive enough—and as a result, are dying or not doing enough damage.
Timbersaw has been picked seven times in the Berlin Major so far, four of which have been wins. That brings his win rate in the tournament to a decent 57.14 percent. Team SMG has picked him twice and won both times, while OG and Shopify Rebellion picked him once each and won too. Yet, for whatever reason, his win rate in pubs is 45.48 percent.
The new Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade likely plays a part. Rather than upgrading Chakram, it now makes Reactive Armor an activatable skill. Players can use it to gain more stacks and a 200 health barrier, which gains 100 health per second and increases by 75 health per second for each enemy hero within 600 for eight seconds. It’s a big change, and it will likely take a bit of time for players to adapt.
Pangolier is, by far, the hero with the biggest difference in win rate between the tournament and pubs. The slippery swordsman has been picked 11 times, nine of which have been wins, bringing his win rate up to an incredible 81.82 percent. All sorts of teams have used him, too, including Shopify Rebellion, Team SMG, Beastcoast, Evil Geniuses, and Gaimin Gladiators.
In pubs, his win rate is a pathetic 45 percent. He was nerfed, so that could play a part. But since pros have still been able to use him well, it means there is likely a difference in execution. His ultimate, Rolling Thunder, has been an imposing force in team fights in Berlin, but that’s because it’s used in a calculated way with acute targeting priority. Pub players, on the other hand, are probably messing it all up, and in turn, losing the fights.