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Dota 2

Valve Releases Dota 2 Patch In The Middle of DPC League

Michael Hassall

On the evening of Friday, February 19, Dota 2’s 7.28c Gameplay Update was released – right in the middle of Week 5 for much of the DPC season.

Nyx Assassin was just one of the meta picks which received nerfs in this surprise patch

Nyx Assassin was just one of the meta picks which received nerfs in this surprise patch (Image via Valve)

The bizarre decision to release a patch in the middle of the DPC season has caused confusion within the Dota 2 community, with fans, pros and coaches alike questioning developer Valve’s wisdom.

Not the First Time

Of course, this isn’t the first time Valve has chosen a confusing date or time to release their patch. In 2020, with official DPC competition canceled due to the ongoing pandemic, independent tournaments picked up the slack. However, this left them at the whims of Valve’s often unpredictable release schedule. In particular, OGA Dota PIT Season 4 EU/CIS saw its playoffs interrupted with a new patch.

In 2018, Valve had committed to not releasing patches and updates during major events. This followed outrage after an update was released in the midst of the Epicenter XL tournament, giving players only a morning to practice and adapt to the new patch.

Changing Meta Picks During League Play

With Valve’s new DPC format, it was expected that patches wouldn’t be released during league play, echoing this. Instead, 7.28c landed mid-week, schedule-wise. The patch is seemingly positioned to avoid disruption to as many pro players as possible (China’s DPC is on break until February 23). But the update does focus on some of the most meta picks right now.

Outworld Destroyer, Nyx Assassin, and Wraith King, all heroes which were seeing substantial play in both competitive and pug games, were all the subject of nerfs. Meanwhile, utility was shifted off of other heroes, including Batrider and Earthshaker, with the former seeing his impact to creeps reduced, and the latter seeing their stun nerfed.

However, not everyone was upset with the release of the patch. Team Liquid faced OG on February 20, just hours after the patch was released. After two quick victories, it’s safe to say they’re quite happy with the changes.

The DPC continues throughout next week, with most teams with at least a weekend to adapt to the new update. The first Major of the season, the ONE Esports Singapore Major 2021, is just over a month away. Squads will likely hope that this is the last big update before this crucial event.