Dota 2 updates hero leg counts, reignites fan controversy

Kenneth Williams • August 15, 14:55

Dota 2 players are obsessed with weird stats. The number of legs each Dota 2 hero officially has is one of them, strangely enough. 

In a recent Dota 2 update, Valve has once again made adjustments to the canonical number of legs each hero has. Players expecting balance patch 7.30 were understandably disappointed. Instead, the update reignited the community discussion around how many legs Dota 2 heroes have.

To clarify, “legs” doesn’t refer to some kind of gameplay mechanic or cosmetic. It’s referring to the body part. Dota 2’s heroes vary from regular humans sporting the standard pair to insects with six or more. Many heroes have no legs at all. OpenDota even measures pick and win rates for heroes based on their number of legs. The statistic is really only used for battle pass challenges but the community is divided on the number of legs some heroes have. 

In the most recent update, Ancient Apparition and Oracle both had their leg counts dropped to zero. The most recent Captain’s Mode addition Hoodwink was updated from two legs to four to reflect her squirrelly design. The most controversial change is to Underlord, who was swapped to two legs and four arms. The front pair do have knuckles but it’s difficult to imagine Underlord walking around on just his hind legs.

Valve has an official number of legs for every hero but the discussion is still live among Dota 2 fans. Do mounted heroes like Chaos Knight have six legs or just two? Does Arc Warden’s clone feet count? What about Lone Druid and his Spirit Bear? Does Broodmother or Meepo have the most legs? The corner cases are too many to name.

Why are legs a stat in Dota 2?

Dota 2’s leg controversy originated from a humorous panel moment from The International 2012. TongFu had just knocked Evil Geniuses out of the playoffs to advance to the top eight. Commentator Bruno Carlucci commented that TongFu won because their hero picks had zero legs. Evil Geniuses, by contrast, drafted 18 legs among five heroes. Lina was the first notable Dota 2 legs edge case. Bruno argues that since she floats to move around, Lina technically doesn’t have legs. 

The number of legs a hero has doesn’t affect gameplay in any way. The statistic is only used for certain battle pass challenges. Weekly missions and cavern crawl can both require picking heroes with a certain amount of legs. Mounted or four-legged heroes do generally have faster base movement speed but that decision is purely coincidental.

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