With the first post-International premier tournament completed we finally have a taste for what the current competitive Dota 2 landscape looks like. Secret’s roster has great potential, Europe is stronger than ever, and big name teams are going through some serious growing pains.
w33ha Is A Star
Team Secret’s new roster confused some of the more passionate Dota fans, but one thing is for certain: the decision to pick up Aliwi “w33” Omar was a good one. Omar’s Windranger play throughout the tournament was near flawless, landing game-winning shackleshots and even going 11/0/4 against CDEC in a game where EternaLEnVy’s Razor had little impact. Puppey drafted Meepo twice during the tournament and both games were absolute stomps with w33 having a combined KDA of 20/3/12. It has yet to be seen what other flex picks Secret have in store for us, but I’m certain Puppey will not disappoint his fans.
Feels A Bit Rusty
Just when popcorn and pitchfork sales were starting to falter, Evil Geniuses lose in spectacular fashion going 0-2 against Vega Squadron. Some fans prefer to point to PPD’s draft or to the acquisition of Arteezy over Aui_2000, but many believe this is because Evil Geniuses are rusty not having played a competitive match since TI5. On the other side Vega Squadron has played in every premier event qualifier with the same roster since TI5 ended, which would suggest that they are more in tune with the current meta than an out of practice EG.
Some argue that Vega is stronger because they maintained their roster throughout the shuffle, but this argument does not seem to apply to Virtus Pro who lost against Invictus Gaming in the first round of the tournament.
What This Says About Different Regions
This event has told us very little about regions as a whole. Invictus Gaming came in to replace EHOME after their visas were denied. To make things difficult, they were forced to sub in their coach KingJ to replace Super who also faced visa issues. EHOME is probably the strongest Chinese team at the moment, but iG may arguably be third behind Vici. A crippled iG roster is not the best representation of Chinese Dota on the international stage.
We also know very little about the American scene after this tournament. Team Archon’s win over Digital Chaos to qualify was an upset. Other recent qualifiers would suggest that the new Cloud 9 roster is the newest big challenger in the scene with Digital Chaos as a somewhat distant second. Archon’s sub-par performance at ESL One New York was expected.
Europe, however, is a different story. While Vega Squadron was the best team at the event, they may not even be the best team in Europe. Throughout the numerous qualifiers that have played out over the last month Vega Squadron, 5Jungz, and (monkey) Business are all tough contenders that are all capable of beating one another.
With MLG and NanYang happening later this month, we will start to get a better feel for the competition, but no tournament will have significant representation of every region until the Frankfurt Major.
Expect 5Jungz, (monkey) Business, Vega Squadron, Secret and EHOME to do well at the Major (assuming both 5Jungz and (monkey) manage to qualify). And it has yet to be seen if Evil Geniuses will make a large impact, but they’ll have two chances to prove themselves in the month and a half before the tournament begins.