The sentinel archer Windrunner who was the hero most players selected in professional Dota2 tournaments in 2012. The Windrunner was picked 1,197 times, followed by Leshrac at 1007 times and then by the support Venomancer with 950 times.
So why was the Windrunner such a popular pick among professional Dota2 teams? The key factor is probably due to the Windrunner’s versatility and ability to assume different roles. She can go off-lane against the enemy’s safe-lane without the worry of being ganked and harassed because of the help of her ‘wind run’ skill, which allows her to escape easily. At the same time, she can still farm sufficiently due to the fact that she is a range hero coupled with the use of her area of effect (AOE) skill ‘power shot’. Her ‘shackle shot’ ability also gives her not only an increased chance to escape her enemies, but also serves as a great skill in team fights especially if she can properly shackle two enemy heroes at one go.
Since the Windrunner is such a flexible hero, why is it that few teams bother to ban her during the draft? Is it really because of the presence of bigger threats from the list of possible heroes? Or is it because she can be easily countered and is not an effective late game hero? The Windrunner’s flexibility is beyond doubt and can play all lanes and even jungle. This probably makes her a popular pick among competitive players especially when you add items like the force staff that compliment her skill set well. However, when pitted against disabling heroes with stuns like burrowstrike, impale and fissure among others, the Windrunner can be taken out easily. Heroes can also negate the shackle ability in team fights with the Black King Bar which would then render the Windrunner ineffective.
Notable Windrunner players are YYF of Invictus Gaming, Brax and Misery of LGD International, Scandal of Team Empire and of course Dendi of Natus Vincere
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