The Dota Pro Circuit Southeast Asia 2021/2022 Division I Tour 1 ended with BOOM Esports—originally a Div II team, but was promoted after the Omega Esports scandal—as champions.

From top to bottom, the competition was tight. The three teams below BOOM—Fnatic, T1, and Team SMG—all ended with a 5-2 record. These top teams will play the Winter Regional Finals, so prep yourselves for some exciting games ahead.

If you need a quick refresher on what heroes might pop up for the Finals, here is a deep dive into the meta of DPC SEA 2021/2022 Division I Tour 1. All stats are courtesy of Dotabuff.

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

5. Kunkka: 17 picks and 36 bans out of 71 matches

Dota 2 Kunkka loading screen
Credit: Valve

10th most picked and third most banned hero in DPC SEA 2021/2022 Division I Tour 1

The Admiral has quickly become one of the region’s most feared midlaners, thanks to his Tidebringer ability.

It’s difficult to out-lane a Kunkka. His Tidebringer splashes and innate bulk means he’s likely to win any wars of attrition, and he always has X Marks the Spot to teleport back to base and back in a pinch. And if you somehow still beat him, he can easily retreat to the jungle to cleave down camps.

Kunkka’s team fighting prowess has always been an essential part of his kit. Ghost Ship can single-handedly turn team fights thanks to the Rum buff, which makes allied heroes much tankier. And a Torrent-X combo is still a great way to catch out heroes.

Kunkka has also gained popularity as a hard carry in the current meta. Armlet of Mordiggian’s strength as an item is one of the biggest reasons, giving 75 damage and 500 health to strength heroes at just 2,500 gold. Helm of Iron Will‘s five health regen and six armor for 975 gold remains one of the game’s best lane sustain items as well, making it a perfect build-up for strength heroes like Kunkka.

Also, Dota 2 has evolved. It isn’t regarded as bad practice to push in the safe lane or keep creep waves static. This makes Kunkka’s Tidebringer especially effective in harassment, and also translates into one of the best farming skills available for strength carries.

4. Monkey King: 8 picks and 48 bans out of 71 matches

Dota 2 Monkey King loading screen
Credit: Valve

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

Fresh from terrorizing The International 10, Monkey King remains one of the most flexible heroes in the meta despite a few nerfs.

Capable of playing positions one through five, the biggest reason for his enduring popularity is his elusiveness. Tree Dance’s cast time changing from 0.3 to 0.1 seconds made a huge difference. Monkey King is now able to reliably dance around team fights and creep waves, leaving opponents blue in the face just trying to touch him, preventing him from jumping again.

As an agility hero and three spells that scale with physical damage, Monkey King is a capable late game hero in the meta, slamming down Boundless Strikes and Wukong’s Command. As a support, the ability to stun and cast items like Orchid Malevolence and Eul’s Scepter of Divinity out of trees make him a pesky pest.

3. Bane: 25 picks and 31 bans out of 71 matches

Bane, Dota 2
Credit: Valve

Fourth most picked and fifth most banned hero in DPC SEA 2021/2022 Division I Tour 1

The only hero in the top five that’s shared with DPC CN 2021/2022 Division I Tour 1, Bane is one of Dota 2’s foremost supports in the meta.

His laning ability is near unparalleled, thanks to his high movement speed, great base stats, and Brain Sap, the great equalizer of health. Trading with Bane feels futile at times, but the alternative is to let your core suffer—so no matter what, at least one hero will be feeling the brunt of Bane.

Later on into the game, Bane’s Nightmare and Fiend’s Grip become some of the best spells to start fights. Nightmare’s long duration and cast range makes it an ideal setup for heroes to arrive, and also sets up combos like Mirana’s Sacred Arrow. Fiend’s Grip, as a spell immunity piercing stun, is always a threat, making opposing cores feel unsafe should they encroach on Bane’s territory.

Even the hero’s worst spell—Enfeeble—retains edge usage against healing lineups or hard-hitting physical carries.

2. Mars: 33 picks and 29 bans out of 71 matches

Dota 2 hero, Mars
Credit: Valve

Most picked hero and eighth most banned hero in DPC SEA 2021/2022 Division I Tour 1

Mars is the definition of solid. He’s a stable offlaner that shouldn’t lose even the worst lane too hard (with thanks to Helm of Iron Will) and is always dependable for team fights thanks to Arena of Blood’s low cooldown. It’s why he’s the most picked hero in the event, never feeling out of place in any draft.

Spear of Mars’ repositioning ability makes it a great catch and defensive tool. Getting pinned back into a tower or Mars’ entire team is a death sentence for even the most farmed of heroes. Mars is also a traditional counter against ranged carries like Lina and Medusa, with Bulwark helping to absorb arrows and bullets, while Arena blocks them entirely.

With all that goodness, Mars is still capable of becoming a monster later on. His innate bulk lets him be in the thick of things, and God’s Rebuke scaling and synergy with item effects have led many players to opt for a Satanic to keep him in fighting shape.

1. Weaver: 25 picks and 39 bans out of 71 matches

Dota 2 Weaver loadings creen
Credit: Valve

Third most picked and second most banned hero in DPC SEA 2021/2022 Division I Tour 1

Far from his traditional carry roots, Weaver’s strength in the current meta is almost exclusively as a support. Valued for his item versatility and slipperiness, Weaver is one of the most feared heroes in DPC SEA.

Weaver will slowly whittle his opponents down in lane. He trades well as a ranged hero with high base damage, and his invisibility from Shukuchi forces opponents to waste extra gold on sentries. Geminate Attack and The Swarm are both annoying to deal with, and opens up opportunities for kills. 

Moving into the mid-game, he’s much like Monkey King. Weaver is a difficult bug to squash, thanks to Shukuchi and Time Lapse, and is able to push out lanes and take dangerous farm even as a support.

Unlike Monkey King, who can initiate fights and ganks because of Boundless Strike, Weaver is not good at starting a fight. But his high damage even with little farm makes him a nightmare to deal with when the fight does start, where he can prey on supports. The Swarm also gains added value as a scouting tool and Roshan armor reducer, giving him yet another dimension.

If he wasn’t multifaceted enough, his Aghanim’s Upgrade makes Time Lapse one of the best defensive abilities in Dota 2. Now castable on allies, it will revert health and mana values, as well as stopping abilities like Fiend’s Grip and Batrider’s Flaming Lasso.

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