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Dota 2 patch 7.25 was an extremely fast deathball meta where a lot of professional games ended before the half hour mark. How many exactly is that? For that, we’d have to take a look at the distribution of games based on time, which the graph below shows. Of the 618 professional games that were played on Dota 2 patch 7.25, nearly 39% finished before the 30 minute mark and only 24% of the games went above 40 minutes. What this meant was, there was no place in the meta at all for heroes who require a decent bit of farm before coming online. Most games didn’t even last till tier 3 items were dropped, further reducing the comeback potential. Heroes like Lycan, Beastmaster, Dragon Knight, Pugna and Death Prophet, who are perfect for coming together early on in the game to fight and push, ran rampant. But then came Dota 2 patch 7.26…

Distribution of games based on duration for patch 7.25 for professional games (data taken from Datdota)

IceFrog realized the stomps occuring all over the place due to the deathball meta. While executing a deathball lineup in pubs can be exciting and lead to a build up of adrenaline, it does make for not-so-fun viewing. The most boring TI was propably TI4, thanks to games that ended without the buildup of any excitement. Owing to that, patch 7.26 was released, which has reduced gold gained from all sources, weakened talents and made seizing highground a lot tougher. As expected, the game time distribution has changed as can be seen from the graph below.

The biggest change is in the number of games ending before the 30 minute mark, which has gone down from 39% to 31%. More games are now ending between the 30-40 minute time frame, with nearly 29% games going beyond the 40 minute mark. Fast paced game are not totally out of the window, but attempting to go on that route is a significant risk. You need to get it right or there’s a good possibility of the tides turning.

Distribution of games based on duration for patch 7.26 for professional games (data taken from Datdota)

A comparison of the two patches can be done on a percentile basis. A cerain percentile arrives at an earlier minute for patch 7.25 than patch 7.26. The new Dota 2 patch has definitely slowed down the game.

With the structure of the game undergoing a change, heroes that were dominant in the previous patch are bound to suffer in this patch. Let’s take a look at the win percentages for heroes for the deathball based meta before and after the switch to Dota 2 patch 7.26.

Winrates from patch 7.25
Death Prophet – 56.49%
Dragon Knight – 65.62%
Lycan – 53.97%
Pugna – 53.70%

Winrates from patch 7.26
Death Prophet – 49.53%
Dragon Knight – 46.63%
Lycan – 51.25%
Pugna – 40.74%

Other than Lycan, who has also seen a drop in win percentage, the other heroes have seen a colossal drop in their win percentages. All heroes here have been picked more than 50 games in both patches, but it seems Dota 2 patch 7.25 is not working out for them for obvious reasons.

The patch is still young and we have a lot of online Dota 2 tournaments on the horizon. The OGA Dota Pit EU tournament is in process, as is Gamers without Borders while ESL One Birmingham is right around the corner. As more games are played, we will get a better idea of what heroes work best on the new patch and whether there is any place in the chaning meta for the old ones.

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