What is Dota 2 professional scene going to look like next season? Now that The International 2017 has concluded, many teams are trying to lock in new players and coaches to be best prepared for the upcoming tournaments.
Dota 2 scene stands out of most other sport games mostly due to The International and majors. In most other games/sports the players try to stick to big organizations because of stable salaries, material support and exposure.
Unlike CS:GO and LoL pros, Dota 2 players focus on joining a talented and capable roster so they can get to TI or and other premier tournaments. It doesn’t matter if you qualified for a tournament from your bedroom or from boot camp, now you are getting to play and possibly win an event with millions of dollars of prize money.
That is pretty much the story of Wings Gaming, who never stood out as the most professional and rich team, but managed to win TI 2016 nonetheless.
Natus Vincere: great org, lackluster results
Na’Vi CEO Evgeniy Zolotarev
Natus Vincere CEO Evgeniy Zolotarev recently gave an hour-long interview (in Russian) where he was very defensive about the situation inside his organization. He said that the last Dota 2 squad was much better equipped than any previous team on Na’Vi.
The last (Dota 2) roster had many times more than players would get before. I am not talking about money, I am talking about bootcamp, therapists, exercise stress, gyms, bicycles, basketball, football… We have a house like no other clubs have.
According to Mr. Zolotarev, intense work with therapists gave fantastic albeit short-term results. The team was unbitable for 2 weeks and won every competitive match they were playing. Unfortunately, later players became overwhelmed and stopped believing in themselves.
Na’Vi CEO said that despite devastating losses of every team on the organization (LoL and CS:GO rosters also failed this year), there were many areas in which everything worked smoothly. He also said that if his teams continue to show weak results, he would resign.
Na’Vi management is very hopeful about XBOCT as the new coach, their only concern is that former TI champion might lose his spirit after a series of failures. XBOCT will participate in choosing new players and will have power to impound penalties on players.
On an interesting point, Mr. Zolotarev touted an internally developed analytical software that parses “all data you can imagine” from the game.
Final announcement about new Na’Vi Dota squad will be made in September.
Team Secret: another side of the spectrum
During a “sit down” interview at TI 2017 Kaci Aitchison asked MidOne why he wanted to join Team Secret in the first place. The player immediately responded that he always wanted to play with Puppey. YapzOr also said he was very happy to play with Puppey because this captain is very strong minded and at the same time listens to the ideas of his teammates.
Team Secret officials never boast about having a fantastic boot camp facility or highly payed therapists, nevertheless the team is very successful and can choose pretty much any player not bound by a contract thanks to their captain.
At the end of the day the only important thing is how much money you won during a competitive season and not how comfortable your practice facility was. This is why you always look for the best captain and not the richest sponsor.
The New Major/Minor System Makes Dota 2 Chaos Less Painful
With the new Major/Minor system Valve introduced, there will be a rating system that capitalizes on the chaos created by The International. Each player gets points based on the number of wins in these third-party, Valve sponsored-competitions, and it’s fair in the sense that players are more valuable to the scene than organizations and sponsors.
Organizations have a simple way to evaluate their chances to get to The International based on the rating of their players. This makes midseason reshuffle period very fun and exciting as many contracts will be signed by teams who want that sweet TI spot. We’ve already seen how this plays out with Cloud 9, who signed Team NP after they qualified for the event.
Except now orgs don’t need to wait for the end of qualifiers, they can just buy a player from a team who won a couple of Majors and solidify their position in the overall rating. This year Valve locked team rosters in May (midseason) so players will probably have about 6 months to gain rating and become valuable for sponsors.
Most notable reshuffles
There is a special thread on r/dota2 where you can see all the confirmed and rumored changes on professional teams. We won’t repeat everything in this article, but let’s look at the most relevant changes:
WarriorsGaming.Unity have formed a solid multinational roster with 5 experienced players. None of them has extraordinary results, but the new team captain Khaled “sQreen” El-Khabbash is very competent and respected in CIS community.
Full roster of WarriorsGaming.Unity:
• Meracle – Carry
• Feero – Mid
• Velo – Offlane
• sQreen – Support (Captain)
• Flysolo – Support
New WarriorsGaming.Unity roster
The former OG mider ana leaves the team and will be taking a break this season, presumably, to finish school. The 17 years old Australian player has been active on professional scene for about a year and a half and managed to earn approximately $600 000 as prize money.
Popular sports clubs are gradually creating esports rosters and it’s good to know that PENTA took rmN- under their wing. We assume new announcements from PENTA about their Dota 2 roster are coming soon, because right now they lack offlaner.
Current official roster of PENTA Sports:
• Skiter- Carry
• Blazemon – mid
• Buugi – support
• Dnz – support
• rmN – support
Swedish esports powerhouse Alliance announced the departure of Handsken, Limmp and jonassomfan. New roster hasn’t been locked in yet and will most likely be announced in September.
There are widespread rumors that EG will drop Arteezy, but they are based solely on the Team Secret<->Arteezy<->EG meme.
Who do you think is going to thrive in 2017-2018 competitive season? Will we see the restoration of Dota 2 powerhouses like Na’Vi or Alliance? Let us know in the comments, or via the F2P social media pages.