The International is one of the most exciting esports events of the year, with players around the world flocking to Seattle. As you sit in your comfy seat at home or in the stadium full of cheering Dota fans, you may need help remembering what has changed over the past year. Well, 7.00 (often dubbed “Dota 3”) came out late last year, months after the TI festivities were over. With that patch came some of the biggest changes that Dota 2 has ever seen.
Take a second and refresh your memory on how things have changed since TI6.
A whole new cast of heroes
Back during TI6 last year, the meta was actually fairly similar to today. In the main event, TI6 focused on an Illusion push method, with Shadow Fiend being the primary offender. In the TI7 group stages and qualification tournament, we have seen a similar focus on Illusions but with less commitment to that playstyle. The matches seem to bounce between hectic team fights and long, drawn-out split-pushes.
The meta has yet to truly solidify, something that we likely wont see until the main event is in full swing. Despite the meta still heavily incorporating Illusions, the hero landscape looks very different than it did last year.
Take a look:
TI6 main event, top 5 heroes played
- Shadow Demon
- Faceless Void
- Elder Titan
TI7 groups and qualifier, top 5 heroes played
- Sand King
- Queen of Pain
Without a single repeat in the top appearances so far, we could be entering into a International with a far different cast than last year, even if the Illusion push playstyle is returning.
All TI6 and TI7 stats courtesy of Dotabuff.
Talents change the way we build
Patch 7.00 brought more changes than we could possibly highlight here. One of the most notable changes in that patch was the addition of the Talent system. Starting at level 10 and every five levels after, each hero can choose one of two permanent buffs.
At level 10, Clockwerk can choose from +200 Mana OR +4 Armor
At level 15, Clockwerk can choose from +75 Rocket Flare Damage OR +50 Damage
At level 20, Clockwerk can choose from +12% Magic Resistance or +40 Battery Assault Damage
At level 25, Clockwerk can choose from +10s Battery Assault Duration or +400 Health
These kind of choices offer a rigid customization that pairs nicely with items. This system offers some increased depth to individual character builds.
Shrines are here
Shrines were yet another 7.00 change. These small buildings are located by the river on each side of the map. Two on the north side and two on the south. There are also three Shrines in each lane of either team’s base. Every five minutes, these Shrines become active, gaining an ability that players can activate. When Shrines are clicked on, they radiate an aura of health and mana regeneration around them, affecting all players in a 500 unit radius.
This new system has some serious implementations in professional play. Shrines can help a team recover from a massive teamfight very quickly. Fighting around the Shrine of an enemy is dangerous, where positioning a fight around your own Shrine can be incredibly beneficial. It forces another consideration from players before diving in to do battle.
Roshan has moved
In previous years, Dire players have had an advantage when it comes to taking Roshan. But since last TI, Rosh has moved out from the Dire side of the river and into his own bachelor pad on the left side of the map. Located in the middle of the river, Rosh’s pit is now in a centralized location with no distinct advantage. Taking a sneaky Roshan isn’t as easy as it was, and the more central location combined with the proximity to Shrines promises a far more active pit for our favorite rock-bird-lizard.
Runes have expanded
Patch 7.00 brought some interesting rune changes to Dota 2. Instead of the more RNG focused system of last TI, runes are a little more stable. Power runes still spawn in the river, with one in either the top or bottom part of the map. However, once the game clock hits 40 minutes, power runes begin spawning on both ends simultaneously.
The truly impactful rune changes come in the shape of the new bounty rune locations. Located in four corners of the jungle, bounty runes now spawn on pedestals. They still offer gold and XP, but there are now four of them guaranteed to spawn every two minutes. This changes the meta game inherently, allowing support players and roamers to move around the map without fear of falling behind. Similarly, players can venture into enemy territory and steal the oppositions runes, gaining a gold and XP advantage for themselves.