DreamLeague Season 22 Group Stage meta: What is up with Chen? cover image

DreamLeague Season 22 Group Stage meta: What is up with Chen?

Chen has been the first phase ban in almost every match at DreamLeague Season 22.

If you've been keeping up with DreamLeague Season 22 matches, you'll likely notice that this one hero has been a default ban in almost EVERY SINGLE MATCH. That hero, ladies and gentlemen, is the notorious enigmatic Chen - the current bogeyman of Dota 2 meta. Let's take a look at his stats in this tournament.

*Stats from Spectral Stats.

Chen is the new villain of Dota 2 meta

It is quite rare to see a hero completely dominate the ban phase of multiple tournaments. But in recent times, Chen has taken the Dota 2 meta by storm, at least in the professional scene. Take a look at his stats in DreamLeague Season 22 below:

Stats for Chen
Contest rate
115 (100%)
2 (2%)
113 (98%)

The first phase of DreamLeague Season 22 had just concluded with a total of 115 matches. And Chen was present in all these games, flexing a 100% contest rate. This means he was either picked or banned in all games. But that's not the most baffling part.

Among the 115 matches, Chen was banned in 113. All teams seemingly fear Chen's presence as he was banned in 98% of the entire Group Stage 1 matches. And interestingly, he was the choice of the first phase ban in every single one.

He has continuously been imprisoned in the ban pool. Teams will not give the smallest window for this specific hero to shine. But there were a few instances where Chen escaped into a match. Aurora's Oli and 1win's RESPECT managed to pick the forbidden hero. While Aurora won, 1win suffered a loss.

Chen was also ostracized during BetBoom Dacha and ESL One KL

This isn't really the first time the pro scene casts out Chen from the game. He was already feared during the BetBoom Dacha Dubai, getting heavily banned in most matches as well. He was second behind Doom in most bans, gaining 84 bans over 93 total matches. In the LAN tournament, he was picked five times and won all five games.

But when did Chen really surged in the ban meta? During TI 2023, Chen was no more than a niche pick and rarely made appearances during drafting. But the hero quickly rose during ESL One Kuala Lumpur (Patch 7.34e), becoming the most banned hero of the tournament. He was banned in 68 over a total of 87 matches. But back then, he wasn't as condemned as there were a descent 13 picks for this hero.

Back to present, it seems like Chen just got even more intimidating following Patch 7.35c - which feels confusing because Chen was actually nerfed in this patch. But likely with the rise of Vladimir's Offering, and the buff on Kobolds, Chen remains as more than a relevant force.

Chen's changes in Patch 7.35c.
Chen's changes in Patch 7.35c.

How Chen is performing in pubs

Chen is a tough hero to track, mainly because he's complicated by nature and not many players actually want to play this micro-centric hero. But while Chen is a bogeyman in pro Dota 2, he is not as fearsome in pubs.

According to Dota Pro Tracker, Chen has a mild pick rate after Patch 7.35c, though he rocks a pretty good 52% winrate. Pro players are also opting for the exact same builds for Chen which comprises the Vladimir's Offering, Drums of Endurance (upgrade to Boots of Bearing), and Guardian Greaves.

We'll keep you updated with the significant impact of Chen in the Dota 2 meta. Until then, stay tuned to esports.gg for more Dota 2 news and updates!