Patch 7.27 has been out for roughly a month and a half now, in which time each region has had ample time to interpret the patch. Due to the quarantine, regions are even more locked than usual. With the very new exception of Evil Geniuses
, teams are playing exclusively in pubs and tournaments within their own region.
If, for example, China develops a meta based around elusive split-pushing heroes and has an increased prominence of Nature’s Prophet and Disruptor, this may never have any effect on how North American Dota is played and vice versa.
In ESL One Thailand, we see North and South America valuing Ember Spirit extremely highly, picking him early in the draft with the option of running him as a position 1, 2, or 4.
The hero provides excellent mobility and catch, with a powerful disable in Searing Chains, and endless outplay potential. He is able to set the tempo in the early game by getting pick offs on the map, or controlling one part of the map while farming.
Void Spirit and Nature’s Prophet serve similar purposes, being able to move around the map and apply pressure early on in the game.
In Europe, OMEGA League is showing the European meta revolves around Doom, Phoenix, Batrider, and Venomancer. Each of these heroes has a strong laning phase, the ability to jungle effectively, and most importantly is able to control an area of the map very effectively.
With 7.27 came the change to outposts, saying that an enemy’s outpost cannot be taken until your team has destroyed one of their tier 2 towers. The goal of these early lane winning heroes with a strong power spike around 15 minutes is to create a push forcing the enemy to either take an unfavorable fight, or lose a tier 2 tower along with their outpost, and the exp that it gives at 20 minutes.
While not nearly as oppressive as the deathball metas of the previous patch, the ability to control the enemy’s outpost and safelane jungle early on in the game creates a huge inherent advantage. For example, if Dire controls both outposts, Radiant is put in a very difficult situation. They can choose to invade their own jungle, walking up ramps with no vision into an enemy team that is typically ahead, which is a recipe for a lost team fight. They can choose to farm the Dire jungle, where there is still an outpost the Dire can teleport to, potentially turning a fight. They can split off and push lanes, risking getting picked off one by one. They can farm their offlane jungle, as inefficient as it is. And lastly, they can try to all push a tower. Each one of these plays is risky, and causes a losing game to spiral out of control. By taking Radiant outpost, Dire is able to limit the places that Radiant can play, and force them into making a bad decision.
Both ESL One Thailand and OMEGA League are still underway, there is much more pro Dota to be played. Currently the meta revolves around magic damage snowball heroes with strong disables. This meta is fast-paced, revolves around constant engagements, and is very focused on choking the losing team out of as many parts of the map as possible. While this meta seems relatively defined, we expect that teams like OG
and Team Secret
, infamous for their unorthodox strategies, will shake up the meta greatly on a global level in their upcoming matches.