Dota 2 is renowned for its highly varied meta and viability within its vast hero pool. It’s rare to see heroes go completely unplayed, even on the international stage. Every cross-regional event brings a melding of metas that improve play across the board.

But when separated into their own regions, the differences in the valuations of some heroes can be stark. Today, we are taking a look at the Dota 2 hero diversity between China and North America—two regions that will participate in the Winter Regional Finals over the weekend.

We’ve taken data from the concluded Dota Pro Circuit 2021/2022 Division I Tour 1 for both regions, comparing which heroes have the largest gap in contests between them. Here are the heroes with the biggest differences in pick and ban rates between China and North America.

All stats courtesy of Dotabuff.

Dota 2 hero diversity: China and North America comparisons

More popular in NA

3. Luna

Dota 2 Luna Umbra Rider
Credit: Valve

CN: 9 picks, 12 bans
NA: 20 picks, 28 bans
5th most contested in NA, tied-33rd in China

Luna remains one of the most popular carry heroes, despite dominating the whole of 2021, and receiving several nerfs as a result. Even though NA likes the hero a lot more, it’s not unpopular in China as well.

She’s one of the faster farming carries in the game with Moon Glaives, and transitions into a tower pushing menace. Lunar Blessing’s nighttime vision bonus grants her team a bonus vision advantage, and Eclipse is a team fight-turning ultimate that few carries possess.

2. Invoker

Dota 2 Invoker cosmetic set
Credit: Valve

CN: 4 picks, 4 bans
NA: 10 picks, 34 bans
9th most contested in NA, tied-55th in China

4 Zoomers’ Nicolas “Gunnar” Lopez was in large part responsible for Invoker’s popularity in NA. In the 18 matches 4 Zoomers played in Tour 1, Gunnar played Invoker five times, while opponents banned the hero 11 times against him—respectfully, in the first phase.

Though on the weaker side during laning, the hero is viable with both its Wex and Exort builds, increasing his flexibility in the draft. Wex Invokers are more active, who help gank the lanes with Cold Snap and Urn of Shadows. Exort Invoker focus more on farming and quickly scaling into a spellcasting monster, but still offers a global Sunstrike to assist in skirmishes.

1. Timbersaw

Dota 2 Timbersaw Iceiceice set loading screen
Credit: Valve

CN: 2 picks, 1 ban
NA: 10 picks, 33 bans
10th most contested in NA, tied-72nd in China

Wildcard Gaming picked the hero five times for their offlaner Cedric “Davai Lama” Deckmyn. The hero was also banned 10 times against them.

Timbersaw is a self-sufficient laner with Reactive Armor, allowing his lane support to roam without dire consequences. He can park himself in the lane, and tank tower hits with impunity while slowly chipping away at buildings.

What he lacks in crowd control, he pumps out in damage with his array of pure damage skills, and physical tankiness, often bullying his way into the heart of the enemy team.

While he’s very unpopular in China, another hero takes over the Timber role in the top echelon of offlaners—Broodmother (10 picks, 30 bans in CN, 3 picks, 12 bans in NA).

Brood ticks a lot of the same boxes as Timber in different ways—Webs allow her to quickly cross the map, and Spiderlings allow her to take over areas the opponent’s jungle. She punishes teams that are ill-equipped to deal with her, such as those lacking AoE damage to deal with her Spiderlings, or stuns to lock down her free pathing.

More popular in CN

3. Grimstroke

Dota 2's Grimstroke splash
Credit: Valve

CN: 21 picks 15 bans
NA: 8 picks 2 bans
20th most contested in China, tied 55th in NA

Grimstroke remains a popular four and five in China, often picked in the first phase as a safe, reliable support. He pairs well with a slew of melee heroes, opening up kill threats with Ink Swell’s increased movement speed and stun.

The hero’s kit is very versatile—Stroke of Fate for wave defense, Phantom’s Embrace for some control, while his ultimate Soulbind is a BKB-piercing leash, synergizing well with strong single-target spells like Doom’s ultimate and Bane’s Fiend’s Grip.

2. Lina

Dota 2, Lina
Credit: Valve

CN: 11 picks, 28 bans
NA: 2 picks, 8 bans
17th most contested in China, tied 55th in NA

Perhaps in direct contrast to NA’s favored Invoker, Lina offers a strong laning stage, and transitions into a menacing powerful right-click carry with farm.

But she needs to survive the mid-game first. She’s rather fragile, with fast movement speed being her way to escape. It’s why Black King Bar tends to be her second item, so that she has a defensive tool, and can join fights as quickly as possible. If this fragile phase is not handled properly, her prospects as a late-game carry can quickly turn sour.

1. Death Prophet

Dota 2 Death Prophet loading screen
Credit: Valve

CN: 35 picks, 20 bans
NA: 8 picks, 6 bans
5th most contested hero in China, tied-40th in NA

Death Prophet still has high value as a flex pick in a China, often picked as positions 2, 3, and sometimes 5.

Her high base stats and movement speed gives her great laning prowess. Low mana Crypt Swarms can secure ranged creeps and Spirit Siphons, which makes her deceptively tanky, while Exorcism makes her one of the best pushers in the game, no matter what position she’s in.

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