Dota 2 Pro Circuit Recap
With the world’s best Dota 2 teams back in business and the Dota 2 Pro Circuit resuming, we thought it would be a good time to recap how our teams have been stacking up in the DPC rankings. There are still plenty of events left to go on the road to TI8 but we can already see some teams stand out amongst the others.
Tied for second place, Team Liquid has had an exceptional start to the Dota season, claiming three first place finishes and three other podium placements. In prior years, the fear of the “TI Curse” struck early, the weight of expectation sinking more than a few championship teams. So far, Team Liquid has proven immune to curses, and they have continued to gallop ahead of the competition. KuroKy has made sure that his team has not grown complacent, and every player has intimated that they intend on breaking more records. As they quickly head towards a direct invite to TI8, it looks like they’ll have every opportunity to do so.
Close behind Team Liquid on the ranking, we also have Vici Gaming, tied with Mineski for 5th place. Going into this season, VG were in the shadows of the other Chinese teams, thought of as underdogs or perhaps even less than that. However, we have seen a transformation within VG as LaNm has steadily guided the newcomers Paparazi and Ori into becoming one of the strongest core duos in the world. Along with the experience of eLeVeN and Fenrir, the team has hit their stride. While a first place finish has eluded them, three second place finishes including one at the recent Captains Draft 4.0 Minor tell us it’s only a matter of time.
Right below them, EG sits 7th on the rankings. Their 3rd place finish at the DreamLeague Major helped EG keep pace with the competition for a TI8 invite. The recent roster change and role changes EG has gone through were displayed for the first time at the Captains Draft Minor and while EG didn’t manage to gain any DPC points, the results were pretty good. EG put up a strong fight against Team Secret and Vici Gaming, both of whom were present in the grand finals. One of the more fascinating revelations of the tournament was Sumail’s offlane. His transition to the new position went well as he took over a game with his Clockwerk. Misery’s shotcalling was also on point, suggesting that the drastic lineup shift may truly change EG’s fortunes. As the season moves forward we can be sure that EG will continue to improve and secure more DPC points.
Monster’s newly sponsored team Na`Vi narrowly misses out on a top 8 spot in the rankings, at 9th with 315 points. They sit a stone’s throw away from 8th place where a win at the upcoming Jakarta Minor — which they recently qualified for — will give them the points needed. Before the new iteration of Na`Vi began this season, few would have given them any chance at all of being an invited team to TI8. The rejuvenated roster of Crystallize, Dendi, GeneRaL, RodjER, and SoNNeikO have brought Na`Vi back within striking distance of the top teams in the world. Given how many tournaments are left to play in the current season and how quickly Na`Vi has been improving, the odds are good that they break into the top 8 by the time TI8 rolls around.
Another team that’s on the rise is Fnatic. Currently, they is outside the top 8 at 11th, but their recent addition of Abed looks like a steal. Unfortunately, due to Abed’s arrival after the roster lock, Fnatic did not earn full points for their silver medal at The Summit 8. Had they earned full points, they would have been tied with TnC in 10th — only 45 points behind Na`Vi. Instead, they have a slightly higher wall to climb. That won’t discourage the SEA powerhouse, because the whole team has been playing fantastic Dota since Abed’s arrival. Fnatic has quickly climbed to the top of the SEA scene, and if they can replicate their form at The Summit on a consistent basis, they should become a threat on the world stage soon. As the season progresses, expect to see more of Fnatic deep in tournament brackets.
Lastly we have VGJ.Thunder. While they don’t have any points on the board yet, the recent performances by Sylar, Kamma (formerly known as Freeze), Yang, Fade, and Ayo have earned them qualification for Galaxy Battles, ESL One Genting and the Bucharest Major in a very short span of time. It shouldn’t take long before VGJ.Thunder makes their break onto the leaderboard for DPC points.
That brings everyone up to speed on how our teams are faring, but the season is still ongoing and many challenges still await each of them. There are still a lot of points on the line before the season ends, and anything can happen. We’ll make sure to keep everyone up to date as the year wears on.
Captains Draft 4.0 Minor
The Captains Draft Minor was the first tournament after the holidays and it was perhaps the perfect venue for EG to reveal their new roster for the first time. With limited heroes available to be drafted, Misery’s drafting abilities were put to the test. Not only did Misery prove to be a capable drafter for EG, but he also showed that he was a strong in-game captain who could make a drastically changed EG look as if they had been playing their roles for years. Sumail’s offlane Clock and Beast Master looked well practiced while Fear’s return to the carry role was extremely smooth. Even Arteezy looked as comfortable as he has ever been while playing the mid role for the team. While EG missed out on the podium, their first outing with their new roster impressed many, and it gives fans a lot to be excited about for the future.
EG and Vici Gaming both took 2nd place in their group which set them on opposite ends of the bracket. While EG was knocked out in a close 2-1 series against Team Secret, Vici Gaming played strong coordinated Dota. Paparazi and Ori outright demolished their opponents in most of their games, but it was Fenrir’s reliable supporting along with LaNm’s shot-calling that stole the show. Their displays at Captain’s Draft turned the two relatively unknown players into superstars nearly overnight, and it’s clear that Vici Gaming’s ability to outplay their opponents in team fights is rivaled only by the top teams in the world. Even though they lost 3-2 in the finals, they proved that they had what it takes to beat Team Secret if only a few small things had gone their way in two of the first four games.