Red Bull eSports
Most teams have announced their rosters for the upcoming season and there’s been role and player swaps aplenty, but who looks best on paper?
The two at the top would dodge roster swaps in what is often a turbulent time for many, but in the hours after TI, whilst many players would like to kick back, relax and take a well earned holiday after a gruelling season, the fact of the matter is that most teams are being formed for the new season.
Announcements are staggered, but murmurs continuously emerge about who’s set to forge an alliance for the up and coming season. With 11 majors and 11 minors this year, there’s a huge shake-up in the Dota 2 competitive scene. Whereas previously those that sat outside the top 16 found it difficult to break through, the new system should encourage up and coming teams to join the professional fray.
With shuffles aplenty, we picked the four teams we’re most excited to watch ahead of the new season.
The Los Angeles-based eSports organization is huge across multiple titles. With a slot secured in the Overwatch League, a successful Counter-Strike team and a League of Legends team qualified for Worlds, it’s safe to say that Immortals are somewhat an eSports juggernaut.
The organisation has entered Dota in emphatic fashion. In recent weeks, the community has learned that the once great MVP.Phoenix are reuniting. After all seeking new ventures last season, the all-Korean squad are now back together. Once famed for an amazingly aggressive playstyle, the team are reuniting under the Immortals banner. Interestingly, the five players have all remained in North America. They’re another team in an ever more competitive region. Should the squad recapture form of old, they could most definitely be one of the best and most exciting teams in this meta.
When Peter ‘ppd’ Dager stepped down from his CEO role at Evil Geniuses, it was clear that he wanted to compete again – The International-winning captain is first and foremost a staunch competitor. Whilst he attended this year’s tournament as an analyst, it wasn’t hard to tell from his panel appearances that he yearns to play again.
Dager took pride in his ability to outthink and outwit other teams, but with the current meta being so diverse, it may not quite play into his hands. He’s joined by the likes of Ludwig ‘zai’ Wahlberg, who switches to the off lane role, as well as two TI colleagues. Quinn ‘CCnC’ Callahan and Per ‘Pajkatt’ Olsson Lille join Danger and Rasmus ‘MiSeRy’ Fiilipsen in a roster stacked with talent.
It’s safe to say there’s many egos in the team, and several leaders, so their success will ultimately come down to how the team dynamic works. With three players who’ve all previously captained teams, striking the right balance may well be tough. Should they get it spot on though, they’ll most definitely be a force to be reckoned with.
The record-breaking, Major-winning squad have again made gentle tweaks for the upcoming season. Young Australian player Anathan ‘ana’ Pham will take a break for this season. Normally we’d expect Tal ‘Fly’ Aizik to pluck another newcomer out of nowhere and help develop them into a world beater, but this time we’ve seen a different approach.
Roman ‘Resolut1on’ Fominok is the new mid player and the excitement is palpable. He’s no stranger to anyone in the Dota community. Although he didn’t qualify for The International with Planet Odd this time around, he was set to work as broadcast talent on the Russian stream. Alas, with passport issues for Team Empire’s carry, he was thrust into a squad at the last minute to compete at the biggest eSports tournament in history. He helped dispatch the likes of Evil Geniuses as Empire glided to a top eight finish and over $600,000. He showcased his talent yet again on the global stage and OG fans will be relishing the chance to see him in action in the coming months.
Whilst there’s not yet a name assigned to this team, it’s certainly exciting on paper, as the roster features some of the best up and coming talent. Whilst the jury is out on Mihai ‘canceL’ Antonio, there’s little doubt that the young Romanian has talent. He will be occupying the mid lane, with Enzo ‘Timado’ Gianoli the 16-year-old Peruvian set to carry, while Planet Odd alumnus Martin ‘Saksa’ Sazdov is also on the unnamed squad list.
Interestingly, we’re seeing a big lane switch-up for pubstar prodigy Omar ‘w33’ Aliwi, as he moves from his renowned mid lane to a support role. Only the best in the world have made successful transitions previously, so the pressure is on. The squad is rounded off by Maurice ‘Khezzu’ Gutmann, after the off laner’s previous stint at Team Secret. Whilst everyone’s unsure of what to expect from this squad, they definitely have the ability to upset even the best teams out there. Only time will tell if w33’s move from the middle lane to a support role pays dividends.