The Most Iconic Heroes of the International – DOTABUFF

The International: Examining the Top TI Heroes in the Current Patch

As The International approaches, it’s crucial to analyze the most iconic TI heroes and their performance in the current patch. Traditionally, TI has its own unique metagame, with emphasis on reliable and potent lockdown abilities. However, this year’s tournament might deviate from the norm as several iconic TI heroes are currently out of favor.

The Timeless Utility of Rubick

Rubick has always been a reliable pick in the professional scene. Although he may not be as effective in pubs, his unmatched ability to turn the tide of battles and steal crucial enemy abilities make him a valuable support hero.

However, Rubick’s popularity might decline this TI due to the unfavorable state of Enigma, another iconic TI hero. With Enigma’s laning phase struggles, Rubick’s role as a counterpick against Enigma diminishes.

While there are still other meta heroes with powerful ultimates, such as Bane, Rubick is likely to become a situational pick rather than a staple.

The Decline and Potential Rise of Mirana

Surprisingly, Mirana is the second most frequently picked hero in the history of TI. Her long hard disable is hard to argue against, despite the difficulty of consistently landing it. However, Mirana hasn’t performed well in recent big tournaments.

Fortunately, her main strength in Moonlight Shadow has received multiple utility buffs, making her more relevant in the professional scene. With the ability to provide a movement speed bonus and +20% Evasion at level 15, Mirana is unlikely to be completely ignored.

Nevertheless, Mirana is unlikely to be a popular choice like Rubick. She lacks the hard counters to specific heroes, making her more suitable as an opening flexible pick. However, there are better heroes in the current patch for this role.

The Contested Nature of Io

Io may not be the most popular hero in TI history, but it is undoubtedly the most contested. Many teams prefer to ban Io due to its ability to enhance the mobility and resource pool of core heroes, as well as its exceptional farming potential.

Considering the current patch, Io will once again be highly contested. While the presence of Twin Gates and Outposts offers additional teleport options, nothing beats the continuous farming ability of Io, especially in a meta that greatly rewards kills.

Io’s common pairing with Gyrocopter, as well as other potent combinations like Storm Spirit, further solidifies its status as a contested pick. However, it remains uncertain how frequently Io will slip through the banning phase.

Challenges to Batrider’s Domination

Batrider, the 11th most picked hero in TI history, is second only to Io in being contested. This is justified by the fact that displacement is an extremely powerful mechanic in professional Dota, and Batrider is the most reliable hero for disrupting enemy cores.

However, we may witness a decrease in Batrider’s presence at this TI due to players’ increasing proficiency with other displacement abilities with lower cooldowns, such as Magnus or Tiny. While these alternatives may be harder to execute, failing to achieve a favorable engagement is less detrimental.

Considering the abundance of excellent support heroes available, including off-meta options, it is unlikely that Batrider will retain its position as one of the premier TI heroes, even if it is occasionally played in a support role.

The Potential Return of Sand King

Sand King ranks among the top five most contested and picked heroes in TI history, although most of its popularity stems from earlier iterations of the tournament. However, this year might mark the resurgence of Sand King.

This belief is primarily supported by the recent buffs to Sandstorm, providing mobility, and Burrowstrike, granting a default cast range of 750. Although Sand King may encounter challenges during the laning stage, it can quickly catch up by utilizing available jungle stacks.

Considering its ability to create chaos and provide immense teamfight potential, Sand King, in combination with Aghanim’s Scepter, is unparalleled. While luck is required for devastating results, some teams may rely on this factor to secure victory.


While this article primarily focused on the five most contested TI heroes, many other iconic heroes have been left undiscussed due to space limitations. We invite readers to share their thoughts on which heroes they are most excited to see on the tournament stage and how they anticipate their performance in the comments below.