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Dota 2 Stockholm Major: Four heroes who could make a comeback with patch 7.31c

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The ESL One Stockholm Dota 2 Major is almost here, and the 14 teams in attendance are gearing up for the start of the first LAN tournament of the 2021-2022 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) season.

With US$500,000 in prize money as well as 3,650 DPC points on the line, teams will have to bring their A-game if they want to walk away with the grand prize.

The Stockholm Major is notable for another reason, it's the first major tournament on the newly released Dota 2 patch 7.31c.

The latest gameplay update focused on rebalancing the meta, with nerfs towards the most picked heroes as well as some love being shown to the underutilized heroes in the meta.

With that in mind, let's look at the four heroes we believe will make a resurgence in the Stockholm Major.

Winter Wyvern

It's Winter Wyvern's time to shine at the Stockholm Major. (Photo: Valve Software)
It's Winter Wyvern's time to shine at the Stockholm Major. (Photo: Valve Software)

Winter Wyvern received sizable buffs in 7.31c, as the hero's two weakest abilities were significantly improved.

Arctic Burn now lasts an additional 2 seconds, giving the hero 10 seconds of flying vision, bonus attack range, and free pathing.

Since the current metagame places a lot of importance on the laning stage, this buff might be enough to put Auroth on the map.

Splinter Blast also received a buff, as the spell's secondary projectiles gained an extra 150 movement speed. Splinter Blast has always been the hero's most awkward spell to use and this is a much-needed buff.

Aside from the significant buffs the hero received, Winter Wyvern is well suited for the current patch's meta. Games in the Major are likely going to be longer than they were in the regional leagues.

Fortunately, Winter Wyvern is one of the best scaling supports in the game, providing teams with the ability to shrug off physical damage with Cold Embrace and lock down magic immune targets with Winter's Curse.


Earthshaker's team fight abilities could be just what teams are looking for at the Stockholm Major (Source: Valve)
Earthshaker's teamfight abilities could be just what teams are looking for at the Stockholm Major. (Photo: Valve Software)

Earthshaker tends to shine at LAN events, as teams usually prioritize supports with strong ultimates. The hero's relatively weak laning stage is less prevalent in longer patches that focus on late-game timings.

Besides a more favorable meta, Raigor Stonehoof also received a mana cost buff to Fissure. The spell now costs 20 less mana at max level, allowing the hero to experiment with other item builds.

The hero can be played in multiple roles as well, though the most common role for the hero is either as an offlaner or position 4 support.

Both roles allow him to farm a quick Blink Dagger and contribute to teamfights. Everything is looking up for Earthshaker and we expect the hero to be a slam dunk pick at the Major.


Slardar is a viable offlane pick after Sand King got nerfed. (Source: Valve)
Slardar is a viable offlane pick after Sand King got nerfed. (Photo: Valve Software)

With the nerfs to Sand King in 7.31c, teams might be looking for other offlaners they can pick in the Stockholm Major.

During the Spring Tour regional leagues, teams picked either Sand King, Tidehunter, or Mars whenever they needed a tanky offlaner who could provide solid teamfight capabilities.

Slardar is an alternative to these heroes, as the hero can dominate the lane, especially against melee matchups. Ranged cores such as Medusa, Huskar, and Templar Assassin all received nerfs, giving Slardar a window to sneak back into the meta.

It's unlikely that Slardar will be more contested than the current meta offlaners, but we still expect him to at least make a couple of appearances in Stockholm after a long absence.


Sven is here to buff you up
Sven is here to buff you up! (Photo: Valve Software)

Now that Medusa and Tiny received nerfs in 7.31c, it's a good time for one of Dota 2's oldest carries to step back into the limelight.

After being ignored for over a year, we foresee Sven making a comeback at the Stockholm Major.

Sven shares quite a few similarities with Medusa and Tiny. The hero is durable, can clear stacks quickly, and comes with a built-in disable.

Sven's differences come in the form of his Warcry ability, which buffs his allies with increased armor and movement speed — something the other two carries can't do.

Sven is also more cooldown reliant, as his effectiveness drastically drops without his God's Strength ultimate.

But Sven makes up for his reliance on his ultimate by dealing substantially more burst damage than Medusa and Tiny.

While Tiny peaks after buying an Echo Sabre, Black King Bar, and Silver Edge, Sven has superior scaling and works better in the late game. Sven also doesn't suffer from Medusa's reliance on mana either.

7.31c buffed Sven's early game with increased stun duration on Storm Hammer and more movement speed for Warcry.

The Rogue Knight is now more effective in midgame skirmishes and spends less time running from camp to camp to farm.

Sven is one of our biggest winners of the 7.31c update and the recent buffs might be what the hero needed to push him back into the competitive scene.

The Stockholm Major won't be won by heroes alone, teams still have to play them well and craft winning strategies around them. Check out our list of the teams you should watch in the Major.

The ESL One Stockholm Major will take place from 12 to 22 May and features 14 of the best Dota 2 teams in the world fighting for their slice of the US$500,000 prize pool and 3,650 DPC point pool.

For everything you need to know about the Stockholm Major, check here.

Otomo is a long-time gaming enthusiast and caster. He has been playing games since he was 10 and is the biggest Dota 2 fan.

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