WPC ACE Groupstage statistics
The WPC-ACE League groupstages are over and as we head into the playoff stages of the competition tomorrow this is a good time to take a look back at which heroes have seen play, which heroes have been banned, which heroes have been snubbed and perhaps try to delve a bit into the reasoning and trends underlying these choices.
The following stats were provided to us by Jason Xu of WPC E-Sports. The stats account only for games played during patch 6.79.
1. Most Banned Heroes
The most banned heroes tell a clear story, with the top 3 most banned heroes all being strength utility heroes which can be run either as offlane or mid. Overall strength and intelligence heroes make up 8 out of 10 of the most banned heroes, with the only two agility heroes listed being two more utility orientated picks. This is indicative of the focus on early game dominance, outlasting the opponent and generally moving towards a more active playstyle which we saw during WPC ACE, which in particular has meant a lot of early grouping up and pushing as well as teamfighting. Notably underrated in the bans was Pugna and Alchemist. Pugna in particular being a hero that caught on towards the latter portion of the competition.
Underperformers here include the Batrider with a staggeringly low 22.22% winrate, the Lich at 31.25% and Clockwerk on 37.50%. In the case of the Batrider and Clockwerk both are initiation heroes which may suffer as teams are unable to utilize them as effectively as previously in order to gain a numerical advantage prior to teamfights, especially with the nerfs both heroes have received. As for the Lich, we've talked about it before but the group up and push style which has been popular through-out much of the WPC-ACE League has likely served to counter this hero to a great extent.
2. Least Banned Heroes
Among the least banned heroes we find a few highly popular picks including the Crystal Maiden, Nature's Prophet and Luna all of which are among the most picked heroes. No less than five of the heroes listed are mid heroes, although with an interesting split. The two intelligence heroes Outworld Devourer and Invoker are stitting at sub 30% winrates. Meanwhile the two tanky strength heroes are looking like some of the most underrated, with Night Stalker and Dragon knight clocking in at 54.55% and 76.19% winrates respectively. Interestingly Lifestealer and Dark Seer join Clockwerk among the tanky strength heroes which are bucking the trends, both posting low winrates at 33.33% and 30% respectively.
Among the middling cast we also see the Chen and Weaver posting high winrates at 65.22% and 57.14% even though they're not being banned out nor quite reaching top picked status. Of these the Weaver is perhaps the more interesting case, as it's another nod to a more split pushing style which has only been evident in the success of the Nature's Prophet. Weaver also stands out as being one of only two straight agility carries which have made a significant splash during the WPC-ACE, as Gyrocopter hasn't quite had the popularity in this league as it has in some others recently.
3. Most Picked Heroes
Rubick is a prominent hero in the East although he has fallen off quite a bit in the west. He currently holds near first pick status among many Chinese teams, along with the ever popular and versatile Alchemist. In general the most picked heroes, at no less than six, have seen play as supports, with only one hero being a straight up agility carry, e.g. the Luna. The popularity of Luna is easily explained by her potential as a mid hero as well as an early pusher. She has also received an unexpected buff with the change to the night time cycle, as her 1800 range night vision means she is one of the few heroes who will see the ever more common ganks coming from a mile away, which is also reflected in her high win percentage at 62.50%.
There has been a preference for heroes which can remain relevant throughout drawn out engagements recently, especially as the Chinese teams have a tendency to value tanking up early on. This can also be seen in these picks as most heroes, which see a lot of play, have either spammable abilities like Soul Assumption or can remain in the fight for a long period of time like the Alchemist. Even though certain heroes are to some extent defined by their ultimates, they still contribute outside of them as well. The Crystal Maiden, which we've come to expect seeing swinging fights on the back end in recent times, also usually has to patiently wait for her opening to use Freezing Field, instead relying on her Frost Bite and Crystal Nova for her damage output through much fo the fight as well as buffing the ability of all of her teammates to keep up the constant barrage of magical damage.
In this sense it is quite surprising to see the Windranger dropping off to a 37.93% winrate, as Power Shot and Shackleshot have traditionally been exceptional spammable spells, and her ability to turn into a lategame semi-carry should have gone well with the Hand of Midas craze we've been seeing. In fact she even had her ultimate slightly buffed as Focus Fire was made a sticky spell allowing for the buff to remain on the target even if Windranger swaps targets. We can simply conclude that the nerf to her name was too much, and she has fallen out of favour because of it.
Headline pictures courtesy of Reddit user pensicui.