The Dota 2 community has been lying in wait for the new hero 'Mars' for many months now. Valve gave us a glimpse of the hero during TI8 along with Grimstroke [ the latest hero in Dota 2]. Here is a short trailer introducing the new hero back during TI8 in Vancouver.
The 117th character in Dota2, Mars was scheduled for a release in Winter. However, with almost six months past the announcement, there were no signs of the hero or its release date. Valve has now announced that the hero will see its release sometime between mid-February and March.
We hardly have any information on the new hero. The name Mars suggests an inference from the Roman God of War. The teaser video shows Mars surrounded with his own army, which suggests some creep spawning ability. At first glance, the hero does seem to be a melee hero and one who can definitely change the current meta in Dota 2.
The next Dota Pro Circuit event is the Starladder & I-League Season 6. It starts on the 4th of March 2019. We will not see Mars ported immediately into Captains Mode and almost definitely won't be seen in tournaments till a few months later. However, teams will begin their practice with and familiarize themselves with its skill-set.
The hero has had a few leaks pertaining to his abilities. We have particularly seen two abilities namely the "Phalanx/Phalanx Cancel" and "Spear/Spear Wall". They might leave a suggestion to the abilities of the hero. The "Phalanx/Phalanx Cancel" seems to suggest an ability which can be toggled on and off. The Spear Wall, on the other hand, might be a type of shield or a damage ability which involves spears. We will know for sure once more details of the hero are revealed.
The new ranked season will start next week according to Dota 2's official Twitter handle.
The patch update 7.21 will see a lot of balance changes for the next update. The Chongqing Major is currently underway and we are down to the last few teams at the event. The developers are keeping a close eye on the gameplay and the strength of certain heroes.
We expect changes to come in for heroes such as IO, Earth Spirit, Tuskar as well as a few other cores. Medusa looks particularly strong with her talent list and has seen an increasing amount of play in the current patch.
The next Major is the DreamLeague Season 11. Online qualifiers will start from the first week of February. The new patch will hit just in time for the teams to get a few days of practice before the start of the qualifier.