The International 12 meta

Now that The International 12 is over, one of the more interesting questions about the event is related to... Radu M. | 31. October 2023

Now that The International 12 is over, one of the more interesting questions about the event is related to its meta: which heroes got picked and banned the most? And which were the most successful?

At this TI edition, some heroes did not get picked at all. This should give IceFrog something to think about while working on the next patch. Another thing he’ll have to think about is the high win rate of certain heroes and their unreasonable effectiveness against a wide range of lineups.

Most picked heroes of TI12

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Unsurprisingly, the most picked hero of The International 12 was Muerta. She was picked in 56 games and got banned in another 55. This hero had a perfectly balanced win rate: 50%. But many teams knew exactly what to do with this pick, so they were much more successful than the average competitor.

Muerta does look a bit broken at the moment, even in pubs. But certainly not as broken as she becomes in professional matches. Valve might nerf her a bit, but she could easily go unchanged in patch 7.35 (or 7.34e).

More than a dozen heroes were picked in 30-50 games. This suggests that the meta was not as flexible as it might have seemed. After a while, everyone wanted heroes like Spirit Breaker, Chaos Knight, Dark Willow, Spectre, Dazzle, Weaver, and Ancient Apparition, whose ease of execution and natural strength make them a safe pick.

Invoker, despite his many nerfs, got picked 34 times and had a success rate of nearly 53%. Almost everyone played him the same way, maximizing Quas and Wex first.

The objective of many teams was to ensure that their carry hero would farm quickly and relatively independently, which is why we saw a lot of Chaos Knight, Luna, Terrorblade, and other heroes who are self-reliant after the first 5-10 minutes of the game.

Here are the 10 most picked heroes of The International 12:

  • Muerta: 56
  • Grimstroke: 48
  • Dark Willow: 46
  • Phoenix: 42
  • Kunkka: 42
  • Chaos Knight: 40
  • Bristleback: 40
  • Pangolier: 39
  • Treant Protector: 38
  • Vengeful Spirit: 37

Most banned heroes of TI12



The most banned hero of The International 12 was Dazzle. He received no less than 102 bans, and it’s understandable why. In the 18 games he got picked, his win rate was 72.2%. This hero is completely broken at the moment and will ruin many pub games until he gets nerfed. It’s simply too easy to farm with Dazzle and then contribute substantially to every team fight.

Two other heroes that got banned a lot were Treant Protector and Primal Beast. Each of them received 90 bans, which shows how much teams feared playing against them. In Primal Beast’s case, the 29 games in which he was picked showed us just how powerful he can be. His win rate was 62%.

The big surprise when it comes to TI12 bans was that a few heroes with a very low win rate got banned numerous times. Templar Assassin for instance, received 87 bans despite the fact that her win rate was just 29.4% in the 17 games she got picked. Another hero that received numerous bans despite not being too successful was Shadow Demon.

Here are the top 10 most banned heroes at TI12:

  • Dazzle: 102
  • Treant Protector: 90
  • Primal Beast: 90
  • Kunkka: 80
  • Invoker: 78
  • Brewmaster: 76
  • Spirit Breaker: 74
  • Phoenix: 72
  • Pangolier: 72
  • Bristleback: 70

Most successful heroes of TI12

storm spirit


When it comes to high win rate heroes, Storm Spirit had a perfect score (100%), but he was only picked in six games. Something similar can be said about Night Stalker (85.7% win rate in 7 games), Undying (75% win rate in 8 games), and Chen (75% win rate in 8 games).

If we’re talking about heroes that got picked at least 10 times, here is the top 10 list:

  • Dazzle: 72.2% in 18 games
  • Necrophos: 70% in 10 games
  • Chaos Knight: 67.5% in 40 games
  • Pugna: 65% in 20 games
  • Ancient Apparition: 64.3% in 28 games
  • Tiny: 63.6% in 11 games
  • Primal Beast: 62% in 29 games
  • Spectre: 61% in 23 games
  • Weaver: 61% in 23 games
  • Naga Siren: 59% in 17 games

Ignored heroes



Among the ignored heroes, we had Mars, Anti-Mage, Drow Ranger, and Ursa. All of them used to be very popular, which means that IceFrog nerfed them a bit too much in the last patch. No doubt, these heroes will get significantly buffed in the next patch to ensure that they return to the meta.

Around a dozen other heroes were picked just one time in the entire tournament:

  • Lycan
  • Bounty Hunter
  • Broodmother
  • Huskar
  • Leshrac
  • Dragon Knight
  • Nyx Assassin
  • Tinker
  • Ember Spirit
  • Lich
  • Venomancer
  • Juggernaut

It feels very strange to see so many heroes that used to be spammed completely ignored by the best 20 teams in the world.

Header: Valve