A look at the recent stats for Heroes Lounge Division 2+ since last balance patch (2.55.2)
As Season 20 of Heroes Lounge has been set into motion, we’ll take a trip down memory lane and have a look at what has worked out in the meta since our latest balance patch in the higher divisions. We’ve found a few interesting nuggets that your team might be able to use when strategizing for the wide map pool, as well as a bunch of both overrated and underrated hero picks that you might consider to bring – or banish – from your roster.
During the coming months, we will keep an eye on whether the meta changes, or if the meta kings will retain their crowns and dominate yet another season.
With 2 new maps in the pool and an extra map ban, picking your team’s favorite maps while banning your opponent’s might be more important than ever. Does your team have strong lategame heroes on the roster, you might want to favor the maps where games tend to last the longest – such as Volskaya, Garden, Infernal, and Tomb.
Although I usually see Alterac as the longest map in my competitive stats across the competitive landscape in EU and US, I was surprised to find, that in Heroes Lounge, teams have been able to end games quicker and also benefit marginally from the first objective with a 51% winrate – much lower than on most other maps. Across NGS, CCL, The International, and other tournaments, teams are usually punished hard by going for the first objective, and will end up seeing their chances of winning Alterac reduced to around 45% when successfully capturing the first objective. Maybe Gnoll camps are the real objective.
Which maps might you get an advantage from picking? Most teams have tons of experience on Infernal, Tomb, and Battlefield – the three most popular maps. If your opponents knows the basics on the map, you might not get much of an advantage when picking it – thus we see First Pick winrates very close to 50% on these maps. Maybe they haven’t gotten down the heavy rotations on Dragon Shire, or how to macro on Sky Temple. These are some of the maps where you can really catch your opponents off guard if they have skipped practicing, with First Pick winrates around 40-45%.
Playing for the first objective is often a winning strategy on most maps, but the objectives vary in strength, and some maps might offer better comeback opportunities for the teams that skip out. Do not only consider if your team composition is strong enough to win the first objective, but also what you might sacrifice to achieve it. Losing out on the Immortal on Battlefield sets the odds heavily in your opponents favor with a 68,5% winrate, but giving up a Punisher while your opponents lose 2 waves of soak – or a wall – might not set you too far behind.
Are you tired of seeing Blaze, Hanzo, Hogger and Sylvanas every game? Because if you’re lucky, this might help you convince your drafter not to pick the most boring of your meta-picks for you every game this season.
With no new patches in sight, it’s the drafter’s responsibility to counter the meta and separate wheat from chaff when deciding, which popular meta heroes that are truly putting meat on the table.
Looking at the most popular first picks, many familiar faces have not only been popular since the latest balance patch, but also for many patches before. Rehgar and Valla were both nerfed in some of the later patches but have remained popular. With a 46% winrate in Round 1, Rehgar is no longer the generalist first pick that he once was, but as a sturdy healer who brings both wave- and camp-clear, he might deter those aggressive divers, or fill out your team’s lack of macro in the later stages of the draft with a significantly higher winrate. Time has been less kind to Valla, who sits at a lackluster Round 1 winrate of just 41% by being countered by popular divers such as Genji, outranged by Hanzo, Ming, Chromie, and Hammer, or not getting stacks, cause a Sylvanas and Rehgar is splitpushing with a camp across the map.
Sylvanas and Hanzo are some of the most well-used heroes in the European meta, where they perform significantly better than in the hands of our American friends in the NGS, and I was surprised to see the power of a first pick Sylvanas on the European scene with a 57% winrate in Round 1 across 157 games. Although the catch-all generalist kit of Sylvanas might not be the best last-pick counter with a 34% Round 3 winrate, Hanzo shines much brighter in the later stages of the draft, where popular counters such as Genji and Muradin might not be able to catch him.
Blaze, Hogger, and Dehaka have long been the ruling meta bruisers, and although Hogger’s performance in the International was disappointing, he’s still doing very well as a 58% winrate first pick in Heroes Lounge with strong maps such as Garden, Dragon Shire, and Sky Temple, where he’s allowed to solo the early Knight camps in record speed. Dehaka and Blaze fall closer to mediocrity, and without many very strong maps, Blaze as a core first pick sits at a 47% winrate.
So, what are the spicy picks for Season 20?
Among the lesser picked heroes, we may hope to find a few diamonds in the rough to be polished during season 20 to spice up the meta. Deckard has been rising lately – not only in EU – and sits at a 64,5% winrate in 31 Lounge games with his anti-heal versus popular healers such as Rehgar and Brightwing. Both Alex and Whitemane were buffed in the latest patch and both have around 30 games with winrates of 55% and 53% - maybe worthy of further exploration.
From the international, Hammer and Malthael have carved out a strong niche, and appear severely underpicked as counters to meta-heroes like Diablo, where classics such as Tychus have been getting overrun by the Lord of Terror for a long time.
If you enjoyed the stats…
And want to see more. Stick around on the Heroes Lounge blog or visit my Discord filled to the brink with statistics from all corners of the competitive scene.
Razhag | Team Madness