There was many changes in hero popularity for May. Compared to April there was many big events. 6.81 was released, the TI4 Qualifiers took place, the 10 hero challenge was implemented, and Immortals were released at the very end. All these factors as well as general month to month changes are likely to influence hero popularity.
The biggest winners were predominantly heroes that saw noticeable or novel buffs in 6.81, with Phantom Assassin being the biggest winner in terms of raw percentage gains. Mirana also continues to rise, and at this rate will take 3rd place from Sniper in the coming months. Bounty Hunter is the oddity, he shot up with no significant change in 6.81. The Cast Range of Track no longer scales per level, but it would appear that people just started to flow to him. While Wraith King was rebalanced in 6.81, he has been proven to be a very popular pick in the Pro Scene, and has a solid winrate on a fairly simple yet mostly enjoyable hero.
Statistically the above table shows the actual popularity change by percentage. In the first table, Brewmaster has a 1.49 increase, where he goes from being in 3% of April pubs, to 4.49% of May pubs. This change is only a 1.49 raw percentage change, but is actually a massive 50% increase in Brewmaster picks. For every 2 Brewmasters in April, there was 3 in May. Brewmaster and Earth Spirit are among the least picks heroes overall, but from an actual percentage point they shot up a fair amount. Both Raw Percentage, and Actual Percentage are useful in seeing the trends of popularity shifts.
Ember Spirit and Terrorblade got annihilated off the back of 6.81 nerfs. Ember Spirit was the 9th most Popular hero in April in 16% of all games. He plummeted to 44th most popular hero with a massive decrease. Legion Commander, Drow Ranger, and Riki dropped, despite no nerfs. It seems that a few heroes are merely being displaced by the new and shiny carry heroes. Meanwhile Tusk’s rework has started a decline and I can breathe the shortest sigh of relief as Invoker slowly falls away.
Most Notable here is probably the Naga Siren drops. Although only falling about 0.8 raw percentage points, it now puts her in the bottom 10 heroes. Axe took a beating in both tables as although he is still a very popular hero, his switch to PRD Helix is proving unpopular.