Dota 2’s metagame changed drastically after the New Frontiers update on April 20, 2023. Patch 7.33 was loaded with balance tweaks and a revamped map, meaning pro players had to develop new strategies before the Bali Major.
With DreamLeague Season 20 taking place before the Bali Major, the top Dota 2 teams worldwide got to practice their new tricks, sharpening them for the last big battle before The International 2023. There have been clear favorites in the Bali Major’s group stages so far, and the meta is likely to stay the same during the playoffs unless teams discover new picks and techniques.
Best-performing heroes at Dota 2’s Bali Major
The Bali Major is located right next to a beautiful beach, the perfect environment for Morphling to shine. Jokes aside, Morphling has been the go-to carry hero.
Morphling’s ultimate evolved into an excellent tool to use against Universal heroes in Dota 2 while allowing the hero to become a threat vs. spellcasters with game-changing abilities. Since Valve also decided to nerf stuns, it has become a harder task to lock down Morphling, and the Bali Major has been a testament to that.
Timbersaw’s dominant run started before the Bali Major at DreamLeague Season 20. The notorious tree hater rose to popularity as a counter to Universal heroes who were wreaking havoc as cores after 7.33.
In addition to countering Universal heroes, Timbersaw’s tanky nature also allows him to act as a frontliner. He can also farm relatively fast, so Timbersaw can farm some of the more teamfight-centric items before his enemies.
Techies was on top of the Dota 2 world in 2015 when the hero was picked at The International finals. He’s largely been at the bottom of the barrel since then, but IceFrog threw a lifeline to Dota 2 explosion specialist after 7.31.
Techies’ rework was backed with multiple buffs, and the hero is now battle-ready. Now as a Universal hero, Techies’ long range is combined with high base damage, and he can now instantly stun enemies for a short time with “Blast Off!” The hero’s kit is also equipped with a Disarm, making Techies quite a versatile support pick.
Enchantress is a natural lane winner. The hero is equipped with heavy-hitting early-game tools like Impetus that allow her to dominate the laning stage. Though there can be heroes that provide more utility than Enchantress, the ability to turn an enemy hero’s game into a struggle is a valuable trait to have in professional Dota 2 matches.
Regardless of the meta, Pugna always finds a way to find himself a spot. The hero generally owes his timelessness trait to his pushing tools. The team drafting Pugna opens up the map much faster compared to their opponents. Life Drain’s both aggressive and defensive capabilities allow Pugna to stay relevant in a match in pro play too, but the hero still favors closing out matches as early as possible.
Worst-performing heroes at Dota 2’s Bali Major
Keeper of the Light
Keeper of the Light had a spotlight moment during the Dota 2 group stages in a match between BetBoom Team and 9Pandas. However, KotL has been struggling to find a spot in the current meta besides that epic fight.
The classic support has been having an identity crisis as there are simply heroes that outclass him in his dedicated role. At the Bali Major, supports that provide a certain degree of lockdown have been more favored.
Lina fell from grace and faded away after patch 7.33. In the months leading up to the Berlin Major, Lina was the ultimate carry hero in Dota 2, but IceFrog turned her down heavily into irrelevancy. The fire mage isn’t even favored in the middle lane anymore. Despite getting a few chances to shine, the new Lina isn’t powerful enough, and she can’t outscale any of the most picked heroes.
Queen of Pain
Queen of Pain has been receiving nerf after nerf since 7.33. All the small nerfs she received started adding up and negatively affected the hero’s overall performance. At the Bali Major, Queen of Pain has been struggling to keep up with the popular heroes of the tournament, making her a suboptimal pick in most situations.
When Muerta first hit the ground running after patch 7.32e, the hero was considered too weak to become a carry. She then received plenty of buffs and became too strong, meaning the post-7.33 changelists have been filled with Muerta nerfs.
Like Queen of Pain, Muerta has also been the victim of over-nerfing, and she hasn’t been able to keep up with most cores in the meta.
Venomancer has been one of the more difficult picks to implement into a strategy in Dota 2. The hero’s slow nature makes him easy prey. Most Venomancers suffer from early game ganks, and dying one too many times can prevent a Venomancer from ever farming the items he seeds.