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Quite a few months have passed since the release of the recent 7.07 meta for which the Dota community had been eagerly waiting. The 7.07 meta brought with it sundry features such as the renovated talent tree, new items along with all the ‘buffs’ and ‘nerfs’ that the almighty IceFrog is revered for. It was a well designed meta that I myself enjoyed to the brim. But the saying that Valve likes to add a touch of suspense to everything did not end with the abrupt halt of the development of the Half-Life series for, an enigma has recently erupted amidst the updates that are hitherto implemented.

Lately, rumours of the arrival of a new hero in Dota 2 has surfaced and the news has spread like a wildfire in the community. Yes, you heard it right. There is a big chance that we are going to get a new hero in the next big update. This unexpected discovery was made when the Dota community received a new update just after the ‘Frostivus Festival’ came to a finale. While most of the players thought that the update was added just to supply codes for minor gameplay improvements and remove the Frostivus features, one small modification grasped our attention. It was a little inconspicuous alteration in the source files. Browsing through the same, we came across a new file named ‘Mars’ with two ability icons in it, namely ‘spear’ and ‘phalanx cancel’ along with some spell data. The present speculations suggest that these are the source file of an upcoming hero, code-named ‘Mars’. Observing the hype surrounding this new potential character, we took the research a step further and what we found is pretty interesting.

Firstly, the spear ability seems to be directly pointing to the base weapon of the hero(a spear) which will be brought to the fight, while on the other hand the phalanx cancel seems to point towards a toggle ability. The report we developed thereafter was only covering the very rudimentary and fell short on information. So, to overcome the deficiency, we ventured even deeper. ‘Phalanx’ itself is the name of a classical Greek battle formation involving shields and raised spears. If you have watched the movie 300 then chances are, you already know what it looks like. Taking this into account, we conjecture that this ability will be a crowd control damage dealing AOE(Area of Effect) spell which can be toggled ‘on’ or ‘off’ as per the player’s wish. But then again, it is just a hypothesis as there are not many sources to confirm it. Secondly, the name of the rumoured hero: ‘Mars’ also hinted quite a few things. Mars is, as you would have imagined, the name of the Roman God of War or the Roman version of the classical Greek God of War, Aries, who happens to be the son of Zeus (would be fun to watch the father-son reunion, if it were to be him that is).

Anyway, while this hero totally seemed to be mythology-oriented like Zeus with a focus on strength as primary attribute and tanking and dealing AOE damage as main play style, we decided to carry on with the research, with one common objective, that being the identity of this mysterious hero. To our great satisfaction, we came across some more findings of  rather, greater magnitude.

How many of you looked into the voice files of Pangolier and Dark Willow when they were released along with the 7.07 updates? In case you are not one of the curious type, then here is the thing. Both of the heroes in their voice files seemed to mention a new name; ‘Sorla Khan’. What we know till now about this seemingly mysterious woman is that she was a part of the Red Mist Army, the army to which Axe belongs and that they are in-fact, related. Sorla was a subordinate to Axe but after he left she took charge of the Red Mist Army. With very less information about Sorla Khan, we looked into some of the concept artworks of Dota 2 that were uploaded in the portfolio of an ex-Valve employee who happened to be a part of the Dota 2 team as a concept artist. Luckily, we hit the jackpot. We managed to chip out a painting from the concept art section. It was the painting of a female Axe. She held a spear, had the red skin and looked as if of the same race as that of her male counterpart, Axe. It was obvious, so without any hesitation we went on and surmised that it was Sorla Khan. ‘Mars’ has the same weapon that Sorla seems to be using. Then there is also the fact that both Axe and Sorla come from a military background. Hence, there remains no doubt regarding the origin and the background of the hero code-named ‘Mars’, for she is none other than the Sorla Khan herself, whose name was mentioned back to back in the voice files of Pangolier, Dark Willow and the masked man himself, the Juggernaut.

Tell us what you think about our article. Do you agree with the hypothesis we put fourth? Do you think Sorla Khan is the new hero to arrive in the next big update? Or will it be someone else? Let us know in the comment section below.

About Souhit Dey:
Souhit “ReignX2” Dey is a 17 year old school student currently residing in Kolkata, India. He is a competitive Dota 2 Player and has participated in big leagues like the IGL and ESL Indian Premiership. He hopes to secure a place for himself in the game and to popularize the Dota 2 scene in India. His area expertise covers the Dota 2 public and pro-scene.

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