The Dota Pro Circuit China 2021/2022 Division I Tour 1 is wrapping up its season after a delayed start, with plenty of great games and innovative builds.

While it’s fun to watch offbeat heroes, we need to examine the tournament’s most common heroes to get a bead on what pro players are favoring, and what we can learn from them to replicate in our own matches.

Here is a deep dive into the meta of DPC CN 2021/2022 Division I Tour 1. All stats are courtesy of Dotabuff.

DPC CN 2021/2022 Division I Tour 1 most contested heroes

5. Death Prophet: 34 picks and 19 bans out of 70 matches

Dota 2 Death Prophet loading screen
Credit: Valve

Second most picked hero in DPC CN 2021/2022 Division I Tour 1

Death Prophet is one of the most flexible heroes in DPC CN 2021/2022 Division I Tour 1. She can be slotted into positions two to five, is a decent laner whether as a core or support, and provides teamfighting and pushing prowess with her ultimate, Exorcism.

Her versatility makes her a flexible first-phase pick, with teams able to adjust her priority on the fly. She’s no slouch in the later stages of the game, scaling well with items to provide a tanky frontline presence, making her a decent late pick as well.

Death Prophet’s most common position is still a core role in mid or offlane, but some teams have shifted the hero to support, which makes her more fragile. But even then, Exorcism and Spirit Siphon makes her impossible to ignore, which can be a good distraction from more farmed heroes.

Perhaps the only slight on her kit is the lack of a hard stun, which can be detrimental for teams looking for strong crowd control in their supports.

4. Bane: 37 picks and 20 bans out of 70 matches

Dota 2 Bane loading screen.
Credit: Valve

Most picked hero in DPC CN 2021/2022 Division I Tour 1

Bane was arguably the hero of the tournament at The International 10, and little has changed since then. Atropos remains one of the game’s premier supports because of his top-tier laning presence and crowd control skills.

With some of the best base stats in the game, any lane will find it difficult to zone out Bane. Brain Sap only swings harassment trades further into his favor, while Nightmare’s long duration can help set up kills and doubles as a save. Even Enfeeble, widely regarded as Bane’s worst skill, retains edge usage against lineups reliant on healing or a physical damage hyper-carry.

Ultimate Fiend’s Grip is one of Dota 2’s longest-lasting spell immunity piercing disable, great for locking down the enemy’s most farmed hero. Played exclusively as a support, Bane is excellent first-phase material that reveals little about a team’s lineup, while opening up heroes that can benefit from the long range set-up Bane can provide, like Mirana.

3. Io—14 picks and 46 bans out of 70 matches

Dota 2 Io loading screen
Credit: Valve

Most banned hero in DPC CN 2021/2022 Division I Tour 1

Io is the DPC CN Division I Tour 1’s most banned hero, and it’s little surprise. Since the Wisp’s inception, its skill set has broken the game apart.

The hero provides global presence for even the least mobile of carry heroes, which can swing a fight at any time. Relocate saves are also a staple for Io, all while providing one of the best steroids in the game.

Io’s Tether-Overcharge is every hard carry’s dream, but its combination with mana-reliant nukers like Storm Spirit and Leshrac is particularly deadly and popular. Overcharge’s spell amplification boosts these midlaners’ damage output, all while keeping them topped off on mana.

Wisp’s Aghanim’s Shard upgrade, giving a stun to Tether, can also be surprisingly good against initiators desperate to catch Io out. 

2. Spirit Breaker—19 picks and 45 bans out of 70 matches

Dota 2 Spirit Breaker loading screen
Credit: Valve

Second most banned in DPC CN 2021/2022 Division I Tour 1

Spirit Breaker has become one of the game’s premier offlaners, with teams even experimenting with him in mid. Some teams prefer to play him as position four, as well, allowing for even more flexibility in the draft.

Perhaps counter-intuitively, Spirit Breaker is now more of a spellcaster than a right-clicker. Now that his Greater Bash’s damage scales with movement speed, it allows him to clear creep waves and accrue items that lets him scale into the late game.

It’s also why Null Talisman has become the recent early game item choice for spell amplification and mana regeneration, allowing Spirit Breaker to go for his core Shadow Blade build.

His kit is almost entirely spell immunity piercing, especially with his ridiculously good Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade that makes his Charge of Darkness cast faster, move faster, and comes off cooldown faster. Speed is the name of the game for Barathrum, and he’s one of the most-feared heroes in DPC CN Division I Tour 1.

1. Queen of Pain—22 picks and 43 bans out of 70 matches

Dota 2 Queen of Pain Arcana loading screen
Credit: Valve

Third most picked and third most banned in DPC CN 2021/2022 Division I Tour 1

Queen of Pain is not shy about bringing the pain. Arguably the patch’s best mid hero, she’s been seen plying her trade in the safelane due to her ridiculous farming speed and damage potential.

The most common item build for Queen of Pain is two Null Talismans into Kaya and Sange, providing the perfect blend of damage amplification and tankiness. Coupled with her level 10 talent that gives 11 strength, Akasha can get surprisingly bulky, able to Blink in and out of fights with little punishment.

Her late game is no slouch either, mostly due to her level 20 talent, giving Scream of Pain an additional 120 damage. This allows her to keep up in terms of damage output during team fights, and lets her continue clearing waves with ease.

Her Aghanim’s Shard also adds a 175 damage nuke to her Blink and a 1.75 second silence, further increasing her damage output and increasing kill potential against heroes who rely on spells for survivability.

READ MORE: The 5 most experienced Chinese Dota 2 duos of all time