As Division S has progressed, the amount of parity and equality between the majority of teams has been a theme. Although some of the competitors think this gap is a little deceiving, many of the contestants enjoy the closeness in the standings.
“It is great that there is so much competition in Division S,” said Keenan, captain of Close to Death. “I did think it would eventually be this close, but I thought it would take longer for the less experienced teams to catch up to the seasoned teams.”
The equality has also followed suit with the meta. Despite having a much smaller development team since December, many of the players believe that the game is more balanced now that it has been in the past.
“I think Hots is really in a spot where any heroes are viable right now,” said Noah, ranged player for Team Good Guys.
Noah added that while some heroes are sometimes called over-powered, it’s usually just because you can do a lot with them with little effort. But he doesn’t necessarily consider them the best heroes in the game hands-down.
As of June 9, there are 85 total heroes in the game (86 if you count Cho and Gall as separate heroes, but I don’t). Only four haven’t been selected for league play in Division S North America: Nazeebo, Orphea, The Butcher and Zagara.
The variety of options have allowed heroes like Nova and Murky to see multiple matches, and have some success. Nova currently is tied for the best win rate in the league (100 percent), albeit at only three matches played.
Due to the vastness of the hero selections, I had some questions: 1) Which heroes are played the most? 2) Which heroes won the most often?
To test the viability of each of the 81 heroes played, I gathered data from the HeroesLounge website, and added them to a spreadsheet.
*Here are the results from that research, which is current as of June 7.
This data had some interesting findings. For example, many of the “meta” heroes often chosen by teams have substandard win-rates.
When asked, a couple of players mentioned heroes like Hanzo and Raynor as being the best ranged assassins for top-tier play. These two heroes are tied together, both in the number of games they were picked to play in (39) and win rate (46 percent). Sylvanas is the most often picked ranged assassin at 46 games, but she too only has a 43 percent win rate.
In fact, if you want to find a ranged assassin that is better than 50 percent, you have to go down to Jaina, Genji and Li-Ming, the fourth, fifth and sixth picked options. They barely cross the line at 55, 52 and 52 respectively.
Likely, there are additional factors involved, including the skill level of the player using the hero. But the lack of consistent success raises questions about if the hero’s pick rate is justified by the results.
The pick rate stabilizes with the tanks and supports.
Ana is the highest pick rate in the game, and wins 55 percent of the time. She is followed by Tyrande, who also has a win rate near 60 percent.
Anub’arak, Johanna and Diablo, the most frequently picked tanks, also boast win rates better than 50 percent, while most of the alternative options (ETC, Garrosh and Muradin) haven’t performed as well.
Finally, in the offlane, there is a large discrepancy between a few different heroes. Statistically, the best pick would probably be Samuro, who holds a 66 percent win rate at 30 games played. Leoric and Rexxar also hold high numbers.
One frequently picked solo-laner is struggling: Imperius. He has the third-highest pick rate at that position, but only wins 38 percent of the time.
The meta continues to evolve as different strategies are attempted. Although some teams are simply experimenting at this point, we can expect the meta strategies to come out in time for playoffs. We’ll see hows the numbers hold up then.
*Some heroes aren’t shown, because they overlap with others. I don’t have the graphic design knowledge to put together an icon that shows each hero on a shared point, so I just left it as it is. I will link to the full table of data below.