ESL One Stockholm: Eastern Europe's Arsenal of Heroes

Every region has its own play-style especially when it comes to the ever evolving meta of Dota 2. Amongst them, Eastern Europe is exhilarating to watch for its utter aggressive, methodic, yet chaotic and YOLO game play.

But the million dollar question, in this case $500,000, is whether or not WEU’s own arsenal of heroes will suffice to claim the glory?

Let’s find out by analysing three of Eastern Europe’s best heroes played in DPC EEU 2021-22 Division I Tour 2 in the current game patch.


The nightmarish Bane can’t be rid off so easily. Despite being nerfed, it still seems as if Bane is still extremely relevant in pro games.

One can still go two levels of Brain Sap into Nightmare and help set up fights in an extremely proficient manner. While at it, one can build into items that compliments Fiend’s Grip such as Aether Lens.

Building items such as Glimmer Cape and Force Staff on the hero is the perfect way to utilise the hero to such an effect that it creates chaos into the enemy camp.

As compared to SEA, Bane has a decent 50% pick rate and an astonishing 61% win-rate, making him one of the most preferred heroes to play as Pos.5. Perhaps, Eastern Europe just knows how to execute him better.


With a decent 56% win rate, Mars has been a staple in the meta across different regions on the globe. Perhaps the perfect Pos. 3 hero from the past two years, Mars has made his presence felt in every pro game – good or bad.

But what makes him so popular? The easy answer is; durability, frontline tank, initiator, damage dealer and stable laner.

Mars with the perfect itemisation can deal tonnes of damage as well as provide much utility to his allies by opting for Pipe of Insight or Crimson Guard.

The same itemisation provides Mars with incredible durability and can sustain quite a bit of incoming damage, thus proving to be the great wall for his allies and a nuisance for his opponents.

Simultaneously, he’s also a stable laner and can sustain himself in the lane against odds with relative ease.

Keeper of the Light

Perhaps the most interesting pick from all regions, Keeper of the Light, is once again seeing the light in the meta. Effectively utilised by Eastern European teams, KOTL is once again making his presence felt – something other regions have been unable to do so.

Extremely proficient at clearing creep waves, granting mana regeneration and enhanced reduction in spell cooldown, reducing the movement speed of the enemy as well as sucking enemy units within a radius into a limbo for a few seconds, thus disrupting the momentum – is what you get from the hero.

Although KOTL doesn’t have any nefarious disabling abilities such as stun or the likes, he more than makes up for the selfless playstyle evolving out of it.

KOTL has an amazing synergy with Aghanim's Sceptre and Aghanim’s Shard, where he provides heal as well as creep clearing damage, to allies and enemies, respectively, at the same time.

Despite being squishy, he can set himself up in the trees and sneakily push out lanes or harass enemy heroes, especially during the early game where majority of the heroes are low on HP whilst KOTL’s Illuminate ability has more than decent damage.

Picked only 39% of the time, KOTL has an astounding 64% win-rate.


Eastern Europe has its own acquired yet unique taste with a broad hero pool. They not only are adept at playing around new heroes, but also utilise old meta heroes to perfection.