Top 5 Teams in Dota 2 Breakdown

Kicking off the Dota section of BigBad eSports with a top five team breakdown. The 2016 season is already in high gear with the addition of the three major tournaments (one for each season), with the Fall major aka the Frankfurt Major concluding in November. These rankings are based off of TI5 (The International 5), fall major, and leagues run through Valve such as Starladder. The top five teams I feel that are top of the table are: Evil Geniuses, Alliance, EHOME, LGD, and OG respectively.  I will analyze each team starting with OG.

5.

OG_Logo

Formed on October 31 2015, originally named Monkey Business, this team surprised many with the results they’ve had recently when claiming the title of the first ever Frankfurt Major by dropping notable teams such as Fnatic, Virtus.pro, TI5 runner-ups CDEC Gaming, China favorites EHOME, American powerhouses, and my number one team, Evil Geniuses in the semis.  And then beating Team Secret, who are European favorites, three to one in a best of five series.  Breaking down their roster starting with their #1 role, aka hard carry, Miracle recently came into the pro scene gaining a lot of recognition from becoming the #1 player by MMR in the world.  He was then invited to Monkey Business and has been climbing the rankings with his signature heroes in Shadow fiend, Invoker, and Anti Mage.

Moving onto the #2 role, aka semi carry, is MoonMeander. Known for Dark Seer and Nature Prophet, he gained a huge reputation for being a big name streamer. Known for his aggressive play-style, he is the kind of player to make plays with huge reward or wipe the team.  Cr1t takes the #3 role, with known hero picks of Io and Rubick, while the last two support roles go to BigDaddy who is known for his Chen and Io picks and Fly for his Dazzle and Rubick picks.

4.

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LGD Gaming, created in 2009, is one of Dota 2’s Chinese powerhouses.  First starting their team in 2012 and placing third in The International after an impressive 14-0 group stage record, and remained undefeated until the winner’s bracket final, where they fell to Natus Vincere aka NaVi and again in the loser’s bracket to TI2 champions Invictus Gaming.  A strong history within this team, but moving forward, I rate them high first of all for their surprising third place finish in The International 2015, as well as an impressive Starladder performance dropping top tier teams such as Evil Geniuses aka EG, and NaVi. A great start to their qualifiers in the Shanghai Major with strong wins over Invictus Gaming, iG Vitality, and NewBee is nothing short of quality play.  Their form, as of late, speaks for itself as serious contenders in China.

Breaking down their roster we start at the #1 position with Sylar.  Joined LGD at the start in 2011 then coming back after brief stints with RisingStars and Vici Gaming in 2014.  Notable heroes are Lone Druid, Morphling, and Anti Mage.  At the #2 we have a Dota veteran in Maybe.  Consistently playing at a high level with the some of the best Chinese teams in Vici Gaming, CDEC, and LGD, Maybe began making a name for himself playing alongside legendary player YaphetS, who was once considered to be the best Shadow Fiend player in the world on Greedy (later named Vici Gaming).  In 2013, Maybe then was invited to play in the prestigious Chinese Dota Elite Community, which at that point was an in-house league, later evolving into an organization. The following year he signed for LGD after xiao8 left to play for NewBee, who later returned as a sub.  Notable heroes are Shadow Fiend, Storm Spirit, and Dragon Knight.  At the #3 position is rOtk who is another experienced Chinese player. Formerly the captain for the Invictus Gaming team that placed second in The International 2014, rOtk retired for an extended period of time, with historical teammate BurNing to promote Dota in China through casting.

When the Great Chinese Reshuffle came about in 2015, where top players from every Chinese team changed teams, rOtk joined EHOME for The International 2015, where they ended at a disappointing 5th.  He then signed for LGD in August 2015. Notable heroes are Clockwerk, Batrider, and Tidehunter.  Moving unto the #4 role is MMY!.  A top player for EHOME when they were at their strongest back in 2010 with BurNing, he originally played the #2 role before switching when he signed with LGD. Notable heroes are Rubick, Lion, and Io. Finally at the #5 role is DDC.  Been with LGD since the beginning before having a brief changeup to EHOME, he quickly went back with rOtk.  Notable heroes are Visage, Ancient Apparition, and Shadow Demon.

3.

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One of the founding fathers of Dota eSports in China and around the world, EHOME will always be highly rated and never taken lightly throughout tournaments.  The only team to not be a part of the Association of China E-Sports, they were always weighed down with trading limits and player rights because of this.  Coming unto the global charts in 2008 with a convincing title run at the Asian Championship Games in Singapore, EHOME slowly after, went into a period of struggle with constant roster changes and management issues.  It took the signings of two of the greatest Chinese players in Dota at the time in KingJ and BurNIng, to bring them to “The Golden Era’ of dominance in 2010, that had the world of Dota fearing them.  Going undefeated through ten straight tournaments throughout the globe, including ESWC in Paris, EHOME ended the year with the 2011 World Gamemaster Tournament in Beijing.

After the Great Chinese Reshuffle and the departure of BurNing and KingJ to DK, EHOME again went through a drop in form, dealing with building new synergy in the pickup of pubstar PLT and former player LongDD.  LongDD was then replaced with Crystal to finalize their roster for The International 2011.  Most people weren’t expecting too much from them after facing many early exits in previous tournaments that year due to their constant roster change.  EHOME defied all odds with an impressive 2nd place finish losing to Ukrainian powerhouses NaVi.  Shortly after, Crystal departs after 820 retires and another drop in performance finally causes EHOME to disband their Dota division for the rest of 2011. Coming back in 2012, they formed a familiar team in KingJ and PLT once again with 357, Dai, and PCT for the International 2012.  Placing 5th, they broke up once again until January 2015 when they brought in yet another fresh squad comprised of Cty, old chicken, eLeVen, PLT now known as LaNm, and KaKa.

Starting with the #1 role is Cty, a known “pubstar” who went through numerous top teams such as Vici Gaming, RisingStars, and Team DK before finally signing with EHOME in 2015. Notable heroes are Queen of Pain, Storm Spirit, and Juggernaut. At the #2 role is old chicken, who is a fairly new player to the Dota pro scene.  Notable heroes are Dragon Knight, Viper, and Brewmaster. Another new player to the pro scene is EleVen. Playing with bottom tier teams from 2013 onward he wasn’t recognized for his skill until playing in the offlane for Immortal Magneto Gaming. EHOME spotted his talent and signed him in March 2015 after the departure of rOtk to LGD.  Notable heroes are Tusk, Tidehunter, and Clockwerk.  At the #4 role is captain and longtime EHOME player LaNm formerly known as PLT. Rising to fame as another pubstar most known for his Sand King play, LaNm has been back and forth with EHOME since the beginning. Notable heroes are Lion, Rubick, and Earthshaker. At the #5 role we have KaKa who is another new pro player.  A pubstar who only played for HyperGlory, he left after they didn’t qualify for The International 2015.  Notable heroes are Io, Vengeful Spirit, and Rubick.

2.

600px-Alliance

Founded in 2013 by Evil Geniuses owner and CEO Alex Garfield, formerly known as No Tidehunters, Alliance is a Scandinavian team who has hit the Dota scene quick and hard. Along with Team Secret they represent the European Dota pro scene and have been in top form as of recently.  The formation of this team started with Swedish Dota veteran Loda being approached by a sponsor aka Alex after leaving Team Zenith from a disappointing exit to The International 2012.  Alex asked if he was interested in putting a team together.  He originally wanted to create a full Swedish team, as his first and most successful team SK Gaming was back in 2008. He followed up with Akke, also Swedish, to join s4, AdmiralBulldog, and Canadian support EternaLEnVy at No Tidehunter.

Loda finally got what he was looking for after dropping the promising EternaLEnVy for his dream all-Swedish team and putting EGM in his place in February 2013.  In April 2013, the sponsor was officially announced and Alliance finally came to be as a new organization with the focus of promoting Scandinavian eSports. The rest of 2013 looked good for them winning two LAN tournaments and going undefeated in Starladder Season 6 with a 22-0 record.  As The International 3 came about, Alliance finally had a chance to prove themselves on the global stage.  They answered all the hype and pressure with a seemingly effortless group stage clean sweep and remaining dominant through the tournament up until the Grand Finals, where they took NaVi to a game five and winning 3-2. Earning a prize pool of $1,437,910 and showing one of the greatest performances in Dota 2 history.  Unfortunately, right after a huge swing in roster changes hit Alliance hard with the forming of Team Secret.  Players leaving and coming back in 2014 caused elimination from TI5.  This is the first time ever the previous TI winner did not attend the following one.  Their original roster has finally returned and Alliance has begun to build their form already taking 1st in both the World Cyber Arena 2015 as well as Starladder Season 13.

At the #1 position is Loda, who along with Akke, are the most successful Swedish players in Dota 2 history. One of the original Dota players all the way back to 2006 during the DotA: Allstars days, Loda back then was considered one of the best players in the world and it still plays at a top level.  Notable heroes are Juggernaut, Lifestealer, and Gyrocopter.  At the #2 role is s4, who was one of the players that left for Team Secret that threw Alliance off for a bit.  S4 won all silverware with them still as well as champion of The International solo 1v1 tournament.  Notable heroes are Puck, Magnus, and Batrider.  At the #3 role we have another pubstar in Admiral Bulldog.  Known for his Lone Druid and Nature’s prophet, he first broke into the pro scene as a sub for NaVi.  Looking to be a starter is when he came about No Tidehunter.  After their International win Bulldog retired for a moment to focus on streaming but has rejoined in May 2015 replacing Niqua.  At the #4 role is EGM, who was the other that left Alliance after TI4 to join Team Tinker, later known as Team Secret.  Notable heroes are Io, Rubick, and Shadow Demon. At the #5 role and Loda’s longtime teammate and close friend is Akke. Notable heroes are Keeper of the Light, Chen, and Enchantress.

1.

200px-Team_icon_Evil_Geniuses

At the top of table and my personal favorites is the North American powerhouse Evil Geniuses aka EG.  Founded in 1999, they are one of the oldest NA gaming organizations to date.  They carry a high reputation always sponsoring big name players that are capable of being the best at the game they play.  They have teams in countless games but Dota 2 is by far their most dominant.  The last two years have been nothing but additions to the trophy case starting with a 3rd place finish in TI4 and going to win the next six major tournaments including Dota 2 Asia Championships, DreamLeague S2, Starladder S10, World E-sport Championships 2014, and TI5. A 3rd place finish in the Frankfurt Major was a little disappointing but I have no doubt they will come out strong and ready for the Shanghai Major come March.  Their roster has a great mix of experience and young promising talent, which gives them the perfect balance that makes the best team in Dota eSports at the moment.

Starting at the #1 role is recent pickup twitch sensation Arteezy.  A widely known pubstar before he came unto the pro scene, Arteezy was considered one of the world’s best mid players, playing alongside BuLba and s4.  At the time he started becoming known he was very young and school forced him to postpone any plans of joining a team.  After constantly joining teams and going inactive due to this he finally joined up with Universe, Fear, ppd, and zai to create S A D B O Y S which later became EG. After placing 3rd in The International 2014, Arteezy joined Team Secret along with zai.  They proved dominant up until The International 2015 where they placed 7th and had Arteezy rejoin EG.

At the #2 role newly found top tier talent Suma1L.  At the age of 16 he won the Dota 2 Asia Championship and TI5 with EG.  Suma1L started playing Dota when he was eight, when he came to North America he joined the North American Elite League.  His debut was at Dota 2 League Season 5 finals in Las Vegas in January 2015.  He actually performed poorly which had people question whether he deserved to play for EG.  In February, he was given another chance at the Dota 2 Asia Championships where he played superb. Known for having the game of his career against Vici Gaming in the finals, where he started 0-3-0 before the three minute mark in game three.  He went on to finish 17-7-11 making countless plays.  This game gave him worldwide recognition as an upcoming prodigy in the Dota pro scene.  He is also known as one of the best Storm Spirit players in the world because of that game. Notable heroes are Storm Spirit, Shadow Fiend, and Ember Spirit.

At the #3 role is UNiVeRsE who is a veteran in the NA Dota community. One of the best offlaners in NA, he is most known for his Dark Seer.  Having played with Fear since 2011, they have great chemistry and understand each very well.  These two players are exactly what Arteezy and Suma1L can look too for advice to improving their game as well as composure in a tournament setting.  Notable heroes are again Dark Seer, Clockwerk, and Faceless Void.  At the #4 role is legendary North American player Fear.  Highly regarded as a versatile player that can play any role at a high level,  Fear has been on the radar since the beginning of Dota eSports and he plays a huge part in Valve’s Documentary “Free to Play’ which covers his career as well as many other top players.  Respected throughout the world, he has the most experience on EG and calmly leads them through each game.  At the #5 role is ppd who is known for strategic influence on the team.  Skilled in out drafting and breaking down opponents weaknesses, ppd is also one of the more outspoken players on the team.  He is often referred as the Salt King because of this.  Notable heroes are Treant Protector, Crystal Maiden, and Vengeful Spirit.

Anticipation is booming as the Shanghai Major draws ever so closely.  Be sure to check it out from March 2nd-6th in Shanghai, China at the Mercedes Benz Arena.  You can also catch the action at Twitch.tv/DotaMajor.  Be sure to follow our twitter @bigbadesports to keep up with all of our content.