The International 10 is almost here. 18 Teams from around the world will be competing in the biggest esport event in history. With more than USD$40 million dollars on the line, Dota 2’s biggest tournament is expected to deliver a jaw-dropping spectacle.

Rubick is the most picked hero in the game among all 121 heroes in Captain’s Mode, so yes, it takes a lot for a hero to be the most picked in all International. That crown goes to the Grand Magus.

Rubick has been picked 330 times so far, edging out Earthshaker’s 323 and Mirana’s 321 to claim the title as the most popular hero at Dota 2’s The International.

But what is it about the Grand Magus that makes the pros pick him?

3 reasons why pros consistently pick Rubick in The International

1. He has great basic abilities

Rubick Stargazer set
Credit: Valve

Because Rubick is balanced around his ultimate Spell Steal, his basic abilities are sometimes ignored because they aren’t as flashy. However, in reality, The Grand Magus has two of the best basic abilities in Dota 2 — Telekinesis and Fade Bolt.

Telekinesis allows Rubick to instantly lift an enemy into the air for two seconds, and he can move the enemy around while they are in the air. When enemies land, they also stun all nearby allies.

Telekinesis has a lot going for it. This ability has 0.1 cast-time, allowing it to almost instantly catch enemies. It provides forced movement for Rubick and can be positioned to stun multiple enemies. What’s more, it recently received a shard upgrade that allows it to be used to save allies as well.

Fade Bolt is one of the best abilities to nuke at all stages of the game. It deals reasonable damage to enemies while reducing their physical attacks. Fade Bolt allows Rubick to trade hits effectively during the laning stage and greatly reduce the enemy’s damage late game.

2. Rubick is a great counter to team fight heavy lineups

Rubick Dilemma set
Credit: Valve

What can a team do to counter strong ultimate lineups that have abilities like Black Hole and Ravage? Pick a hero who can burrow these abilities of course!

Rubick’s ultimate Spell Steal, allows the hero to fight fire with fire. Teams can take Rubick and abuse the enemy’s strongest abilities for themselves.

Does the enemy have a lot of heals? Rubick can heal this game. Does the enemy have an Enigma? Let the Grand Magus demonstrate how to use Black Hole.

And it doesn’t have to be ultimates either. Heroes like Earthshaker and Jakiro, who rely mostly on one spell for most of the game (Fissure and Ice path) are perfect victims for Rubick. He provides the value of these heroes while also throwing out Fade Bolts and Telekinesis in fights.

3. As a Dota 2 hero, the Grand Magus provides drafting flexibility

Rubick Wandering Harelquin
Credit: Valve

A long time ago when Rubick was first released in Dota 2, players considered him a staple hero for the midlane. The hero, as a position 2, was one of the standouts during The International 2012.

Fast forward nearly a decade, and Rubick is now more commonly picked as a support. The hero’s useful spells, combined with the ability to use multiple enemy ultimates effectively mean that he can function decently without much gold.

He still pops up in the midlane occasionally, and it is that flexibility that has contributed to the hero’s incredible pick rate at The International. The Grand Magus can fill three roles for a team, something Dota 2 captains value highly during drafts.

With The International 10 just around the corner, do you think The Grand Magus will remain the most picked hero of all Dota 2 Internationals? Or will his throne be taken by Mirana or Earthshaker?

READ MORE: Why Io is the most banned hero of all time at The International