With delays due to the coronavirus outbreak, the pro-gaming scene has started to return. The ESL One Los Angeles reverts to online battle instead of regionals.
The ESL One Los Angeles is the third major competition of the 2019-2020 Dota Pro Circuit. It featured action across all six DOTA 2 regions. AS the ESL One L.A. wraps up, pro players name their best heroes. Here are some of them:
Timbersaw: The Dota 2 best hero
Timbersaw's rare blend of tankiness and elusiveness has long made him a popular pick in professional DOTA 2. This is why pro players are scared of him, making him the most-banned hero both in ESL One Los Angeles and the China DOTA 2 Professional League Season 1.
There is no specific reason for his increasing popularity. Timbersaw has always been the same: offering strong wave clear, sustainability throughout the game, and pure damage. His strengths conform well to the current meta, leaving many of his best counter heroes unpopular now.
And with DOTA 2's 7.25b and 7.25c updates, Timbersaw is likely to remain the best off-laner of the game.
Death Prophet: Ruler of ESL One L.A.
Despite her fluctuating popularity in DOTA 2's history, Death Prophet ruled the ESL One Los Angeles. She was a go-to pick in Europe and fairly popular in China, but wasn't nearly as common elsewhere.
Regardless, she was the most contested overall in being picked or banned across over 80% of games as well as the second most-banned hero across all leagues. She retains a regular presence throughout the tournament, although she was not that popular in the China DOTA 2 Professional League.
Though she was frequently seen in her traditional mid-lane position, she also got play as a safe lane carry and even as an off-laner. Interestingly, ESL One Los Angeles saw Death Prophet laned all over the map.
Phoenix: Top support hero
During the ESL One regional leagues, Phoenix emerged as a new premier support hero. Being picked or banned in around 75% of games, it was much higher than any other dedicated support hero.
While Treant Protector enjoyed a long run as the most powerful support hero in DOTA 2 after being reworked in patch 7.23c, he was picked only a handful of times during ESL One Los Angeles.
Phoenix's kit has not really changed at all recently. It has numerous damage options that scale well across the game as well as a versatile ultimate ability. Although it was nerfed in the 7.25c update, it was not enough to steer players away.
However, the question now is whether it could keep its status over time. Phoenix has already emerged in the past as an untouchable force. But as players figured out how to tackle its unique kit, it falls apart over time. For this summer, it seems Phoenix is one of the best heroes now.
The event started on Mar. 28 and will conclude on Apr. 19. Individual prize pools range from $40,000 (North America, South America, and Southeast Asia) to as much as $200,000 for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Winners from China will get $55,000.