Riyadh Masters 2023 is well on its way and teams have been experimenting. Join us as we highlight some of the most interesting picks so far!
Riyadh Masters 2023 is well on its way into Playoffs and a new champion will be crowned soon enough. Throughout the tournament there have been a lot of experimentation with drafts, as 7.33e was a patch full of nerfs for meta heroes. As a result, teams have been trying old (but not forgotten) heroes to play against the emerging meta.
Surprise picks at Riyadh Masters 2023
Bounty Hunter and his gold-stealing ways
The infamous gold-stealing goblin (cat? just what on earth is BH, anyway?) Bounty Hunter has appeared out of his shadow walk at Riyadh Masters 2023. However he's just as quickly vanished back into the shadows. Bounty Hunter has been picked only three times, but each time he's been pivotal to the success of teams. With his 100% win rate, Tundra Esports, Team Secret and Evil Geniuses have made great usage out of the hero by punishing greedier drafts of opposing teams, especially those that utilize heroes like Doom, Arc Warden and Templar Assassin. As a result, the Bounty Hunter can steal gold and handicap the late scaling of those drafts!
Legion Commander arrives at Riyadh
Emerging from the jungle is Legion Commander. With a surprising total of 24 total matches at Riyadh, Legion sits at a shockingly high win rate with 75%. With only six losses to her name, several teams, from all regions have all been utilizing her. Special shout out to Betboom and EG, who have picked her five times each, as both teams have LC specialists in Ivan "Pure" Moskalenko and Adrián "Wisper" Dobles. With strong laning, even stronger lockdown as well, LC is perfect in the current meta. Add in a dispel to save teammates when they are caught off-guard, and this pick is invaluable.
Most games become reliant on the carry holding the game on their back. One wrong move or a good gank can end the game. So, any hero that can offer some sort of protection on top of a already strong kit can be incredibly beneficial to the draft. And Legion Commander fits that bill perfectly.
Pudge at Riyadh Masters 2023
Jenkins must be thrilled: His favorite pile of flesh has been doing exceptionally well at Riyadh. With seven total matches and only two of them are loses, Pudge sits at a comfortable 71.5% win rate. Pudge has been mainly an offlaner for various teams. However, 9Panda's Antares, who has the "most annoying hero pool for the enemy mid" according to the Gamers8 Welcome Letter, played Pudge as a Position 4.
Lycan keeps his momentum
It seems like teams have been channeling their inner Matumbaman at Riyadh. Although rather than being played as a Safelaner, Lycan has been excelling at the Offlane. Lycan sits at 27 games with a 70% win rate at Riyadh. What's interesting is that Lycan is more successful on Dire-side with 17 games as opposed to the Radiant's 10 games. Additionally, Lycan isn't locked to a specific region, as teams from all over have been finding out what the dog doin.
Surprising one-off picks at Riyadh
There have been a couple surprising one-off appearances at Riyadh Masters 2023. Heroes that have been picked a just a few times that have shocked the crowd at Riyadh. Here are some of the of these surprising one-off picks:
Offlane Meepo is a true terror
Although there's been quite a few Meepo picks at Riyadh Masters 2023, one Meepo pick stands out. Rather than the standard Mid-lane Meepo that we are used to, an Offlane variant is made an appearance. And to the detriment of pub games everywhere, Offlane Meepo has been gaining tons of popularity and might be ban worthy soon enough.
It feels like the Dota 2 community hasn't seen Sand King in ages. But out of nowhere Team Spirit's offlaner, Magomed "Collapse" Khalilov, picked it in their series against 9Pandas. The game felt pretty specific for Sand King pick, as there was booth a Broodmother and Meepo on 9Pandas. Regardless, it seems like Collapse has been the only one to figure out how to utilize the scorpion King of the Sands.
Thanks to Liquipedia's statistic page for Riyadh, as they've provided a lot of the statistics for Riyadh Masters 2023.
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