It seems that teams have had enough time off after TI5 to start taking a critical look at their roster and the coming months of tournaments. It seems almost a tradition that, every year, teams both big and small look to move players around after The International, and this week saw the start of, what looks to be, the biggest shake up of the Dota 2 scene in history.
I say this because the week kicked off with a bang. Barely two days ago Cloud9 announced that it had disbanded its Dota 2 team to later be reformed, though not with the same players. I’ve obviously been highly critical of Cloud9 for almost all the time that I have watched professional Dota 2, however, it would be stupid for me to say that they deserve this. EternalEnvy and Bone7 are almost synonymous with Cloud9 and I think they, most of all, have been screwed over the most by this news. In addition to this FATA, BigDaddy and Misery have also been playing since at least the beginning of this year, showing that Cloud9 had a surprisingly stable roster despite the pressure of being known as “The 2nd Place Team.”
Then, of course, we have the equally surprising news that Aui_2000 was kicked from Evil Geniuses, the team that won TI5. I really have no words for this because why on Earth, Mars or Venus would you want to change up your team having successfully won both of the biggest tournaments of the year with this roster? It makes no sense whatsoever to me, and nor to Aui_2000 who sent out the tweet “I have been kicked from EG after winning TI. I actually hate people” after he received the news. Of course this is accompanied by the news that Fear is taking a break from competitive Dota 2 for a while to undergo surgery on his arm, something which has long been troubling him and caused him to miss a year of playing already. While I hope Fear recovers, you would have to have cast a spell on me for me to understand if and how these two things are connected.
Also related to EG is their acquisition of Arteezy (RTZ). RTZ obviously used to play mid but will now be expected to fill Fear’s shoes while he’s out of action, but I wouldn’t be surprised if RTZ doesn’t get along too well with Sumail. After all, Sumail is everything RTZ was 2 years ago, but better and younger. I think RTZ, at least subconsciously during TI5, felt the need to prove himself as the better mid-player as it seemed that he fairly frequently took the mid rather than S4 in Secret’s games, which brings us to the next big shake-up; Team Secret.
It was no secret that the players of Team Secret had plans of their own after TI5. Zai had mentioned taking a year off of competitive Dota 2 to finish his last year of High School. RTZ, of course, has returned to EG, though I’m not sure how many people expected that, and S4, for a while, didn’t seem, to me at least, to have his heart or mind concentrated on Dota 2. We are of course talking about the person who envisioned,and formed, with L-God, the ultimate Swedish Dota 2 team. I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes back to playing on, if not Alliance, another Swedish team. It might be that he is burnt out though, and doesn’t want the pressure of performing in esports and instead might look to do what Admiral Bulldog has done and move to streaming games rather than competing, maybe for a while. It’s not confirmed, of course, but I think S4 will leave Secret, but Puppey and Kuroky will most likely stay together, probably working under the banner of Secret as well.
Another aside for my own views here; I’d really like to see Dendi team up with Puppey and Kuroky again. However, that combination would endanger my dream Virtus.Pro, as they would probably want players from there to form a completely CIS team again, and so I only half want it. But anyway, moving on.
Fnatinc, having only returned to Dota 2 a few months ago, have kicked everyone besides Mushi and Ohaiyo. I think they had an unlucky run at TI5. They had a strong team but the competition was simply too fierce for them to deal with. I think CDEC has taught the world a real lesson in how to play Dota 2, particularly this meta. You have big names like Mushi and Burning and Fear and Arteezy but, while individual skill is a part of Dota 2, being a team is what will take you far. They can carry their team to victory, but you can’t play 1v5 every game and expect them to come through. As far as what will happen with them I can’t really comment. I don’t know the SEA scene very well. However, with this act it does seem that SEA might have the same problem of stagnation that Chinese Dota does wherein you have established players who move team every 6 to 12 months and no one else. Every scene needs new blood and experienced players to play together, which is why ViCi Gaming Potential, Energy Pacemaker and NewBee Youth will never be as good as they could be; because the other teams under their organisations umbrella have the experienced players and they aren’t mixing with the youth except through coaching.
And finally, the other SEA team to make changes: MVP.Phoenix. Only Febby is left with the team after QO has left South Korea, March is being forced to spend the next two years doing national service in the military, Nutz has left Singapore and finally kphoenix is looking for a new team. I couldn’t find whether that last point was of his own accord or because he had been kicked from MVP but I wouldn’t be surprised if, fairly soon, we see Febby replace someone in MVP.Hot6 and do the same as Virtus.Pro a few months ago.
Next week, or at the very least the next month, we’ll probably start seeing the changes to the european scene and then, after another month off, the professional Dota 2 scene will kick back into life and the cogs of competition will once again move. One thing I want to predict, however, is the return of SingSing to the professional scene because, with Cloud9 looking for new players and the potential for completely new teams to be formed, I don’t think anyone will want to sit idly by if they have the chance to get back in.