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Musical chairs - Dota 2 edition

A recap of the major post-International 9 player shuffles.

Campbell Smart
Freelance Esports Writer
29th Nov, 2019·☕️☕️ 10 min read
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August saw the conclusion of the 2018/19 Dota Pro Circuit season, with OG once again winning The International. Showing us all that lighting can strike twice.

This year the season is pretty much identical to the last, with the 5 major/minor setup.

There’s also been no changes to DPC point distributions. If we use last season as an example, a single 3rd place finish at a major, qualifies a team to TI. Any reasonably prevalent international team should have no issues drumming up a few strong performances.

Due to the absurd prize distribution of TI, skipping majors to recoup, refresh and potentially protect strategies has real value.

We’ve already seen this with the first major, where the only tier 1 teams from last season to compete were EG and VG. OG/Secret/LGD/VP/Enigma all passed on the Chengdu Major, instead opting to take an extended break after the TI crunch.

Players are also now much more likely to reshuffle within the season, as a single strong performance can qualify them for TI. With the initial International shuffle hype dying down and the first test for new teams recently finished, I think now’s a good time to recap what the regional shuffles have produced.

North America

There has been a lot of organisation activity in NA even after a weak season from the region.

Evil Geniuses

PositionPlayer
1Arteezy
2

+ Abed

- Sumail

3

+ Ramsez

- S4

4Cr1t
5Fly

Most significant changes come from Evil Genius, with S4 and Sumail being removed from the team, replaced by younger and greedier players. The shuffle is a gamble on whether they can work out resource allocation against stronger teams. While S4 and Sumail aren’t even listed as subs, they are still under contract and could make a return to the team if it doesn’t work out.

Fighting Pandas

PositionPlayer
1EternalEnvy
2Bryle
3MoonMeander
4Cr1t
5Fly

EE has formed the Fighting Pandas alongside TI 5 winner Aui_2000 and multiple major winner MoonMeander. This could be an interesting team so long as they don’t implode if they fail to qualify for a major.

Jstorm

PositionPlayer
1Moo
2Nine
3

+ Brax

- Resolution

4

+ Mo0z

- 1437

5Fear

Jstorm lose international star Resolution in the shuffle and now look like a more traditional NA stack.

Chaos Esports

Chaos Esports have left Europe and signed a not yet completed roster from the remnants of Forward Gaming

Europe

Team Liquid

PositionPlayer
1

+ MATUMBAMAN

- Midone

2Nisha
3Zai
4Yapz0r
5Puppey

Following TI9, the original Team Liquid roster captained by Kurkoy dropped Liquid as their organisation, forming their own play organisation named “Nigma”.

Liquid responded by snatching up the promising long-time Alliance roster, ruffling a few feathers within the European scene.

Alliance

PositionPlayer
1Nikobaby
2Limmp
333
4Handsken
5Fata

Alliance in return picked up a new stack of ex-NIP players, Nikkobaby and the Swedish duo Limmp and Handsken.

Ninjas in Pyjamas

PositionPlayer
1

+ Skiter

- Ace

2

+ Gunnar

- Fata

3

+ Universe

- 33

4

+ Biver

- Saska

5PPD

Ninjas in Pyjamas have rebuilt the team around PPD after a mediocre season, now fielding a predominantly North American team in the European region.

Team Secret

Secret have opted to trade Midone for MATUMBAMAN after being unable to convert their scene dominance at the end of last season.

OG

OG seem to be unchanged but are taking a much-deserved break after TI, identical to last year. They have however created a secondary team called OG Seed in a similar vein to Chinese youth teams. The exception being that the main roster is going to help develop this team during their post TI break, up until the 3rd major.

South-East Asia

Fnatic

PositionPlayer
1

+ 23savage

- Dubu

2

+ Moon

- Abed

3Iceiceice
4DJ
5Jabz

Fnatic has lost Abed to EG. In Addition, both Dubu and their coach March have left to other teams. Their 2 replacements are inexperienced and the others in Fnatic will need to guide them.

TNC Predator

PositionPlayer
1Gabbi
2Armel
3

+ Kpii 🇦🇺

- Kuku

4Tims
5

+ March

- Eyyou

TNC could take over as the premier team in the SEA region with March being a very good replacement for Eyyou. Additionally, Kpii now has a fair amount of international experience and may be able to further propel TNC’s talent. How well Fnatic’s newcomers can be tamed will determine regional superiority.

Geek Fam

PositionPlayer
1Raven
2Ryoya
3Kuku
4Xepher
5DuBu

Im most excited about the forming of Geek Fam, who now possess a lot of amalgamated talent. The team could underperform and disintegrate or, come together and rain terror at minors.

The Others

After leaving secret, Midone has come home and formed the stack SEAMonkeys.

Mineski don’t currently have a team.

South America

Beastcoast

PositionPlayer
1K1
2Chris Luck
3Wisper
4Scofield
5Stinger

The current Beastcoast roster is the TI9 Infamous roster, who were picked up solely to play in TI9.

Infamous

PositionPlayer
1Timado
2Robo-Z
3n/a (unfilled)
4Sl4d1n
5Papita

After dropping their original team for not qualifying for TI9, Infamous is attempting to finalise a new team under the captainship of Papita.

PaiN Gaming

Mainstays PaiN Gaming have recently disbanded post-shuffle and have yet to pick up another team.

I’d expect the SA organisations to reorganise and pick up teams once the post-TI shuffle settles down.

We’ve previously seen internationally experienced players try to tame a team at the beginning of the DPC season. SA’s less than stellar performance throughout the past year might be contributing to a lack of interest.

China

China has lot more long-term player contracts, trades and loans. It’s a stable region for the most part, and we don’t normally see many impromptu stacks forming,

Newbee

SCCC leaves Newbee after a long stint. They’ve re-aquired their Chinese roster that was dropped for the duration of TI.

Aster

PositionPlayer
1

+ SCCC

- Kamma

2ChYuan
3Xxs
4BoBoKa
5

+ Fade

- Q

Aster pick up two major upgrades with SCCC and VG’s captain Fade.

ViCi Gaming

PositionPlayer
1Paparazi
2Ori
3Yang
4

+ Pyw

- Fade

5Dy

Pyw replaces Fade on ViCi, while Paparazi has changed his in-game alias to Eurus. It will be interesting to see how important Fades captaincy was to Vici’s dominance last season.

Royal Never Give Up

PositionPlayer
1Monet
2Setsu
3Flyvy
4

+ dogf1ghts

- LaNm

5

+ Fenrir

- ah fu

Royal Never Give Up’s supports have both been replaced. Fenrir and dogf1ghts seem like side-grades to the original roster and they may just be trying to mix it up after a weak season.

Ehome

Ehome traded one veteran for another with Sylar and NothingToSay replacing NeverEnd and Ferrari_430.

Invictus Gaming

Kaka joins Invictus Gaming as their position 4 due to dogf1ghts leaving to Royals. All other members of IG remain.

Keen Gaming

Keen Gaming has reformed around captain Dark. After TI, old chicken and eLeVeN’s loan expired and the others left as well. The majority of players are old faces for Keen, but new faces for International fans.

PSG.LGD

PSG.LGD seems to be resting with Fy taking an official break due to health concerns. Apart for the break, the roster is unchanged in the shuffle, ready for another strong season.

CIS

Virtus.Pro

PositionPlayer
1

+ Epileptick1d

- Ramzes

2No(o)ne
3

+ Resolution

- 9pasha

4

+ Save-

- RodjER

5Solo

After being together for some time Virtus.Pro have inevitably decided to mix it up. Rodjer is benched while Ramzes, 9pasha and their coach part ways form the organisation. Resolution returns to the CIS region and is joined by the fresh faces of Save- and Epileptick1d.

NaVi

PositionPlayer
1Crystallize
2MagicaL
3

+ 9Pasha

- Blizzy

4Zayac
5

+ Illias

- SoNNekiO

SoNNekiO has taken a step back from NaVi after being their backbone for the last few years. Blizzy has also been replaced by VP’s 9pasha.

Spirit

PositionPlayer
1iLTW
2Ergon
3Ghostik
4Immersion
5Misha

Spirit has formed hosting a lot of CIS talent.

Gambit

Gambit has reformed around FNG with a lot of new faces.

Empire

Empire isn’t currently fielding a team, but you can bet they’ll strike back.