The period after the The International is the unofficial offseason for Dota 2 team, which is why there’s been so much reshuffling of lineups lately. Last week, we introduced you to the new Dota 2 teams in Asia. Now, we're crossing the Pacific Ocean to North America, to get you caught up in time for the upcoming Major League Gaming Dota 2 league.
Returning: Tyler “TC” Cook, Sam “BuLBa” Sosale, Brian “FLUFFNSTUFF” Lee
Out: Steven “Korok” Ashworth, Mike “ixmike88” Ghannam
In: Max “qojqva” Broecker, Peter “Waytosexy” Nguyen
Outside of possibly three-time International finalists Na'Vi, no team at The International 3 received the same level of passionate support shown to Team Liquid, the first all-North American team to make it to the Top 8 in International history. Unfortunately, the team didn’t last long after that - a clash in style between Korok's aggressive, bombastic play and the calculated approach of FLUFF and TC led to the former's departure. Shortly afterwards, ixmike88 announced he had lost his passion for playing the game competitively and also left the roster. Replacing them are qojqva, Mousesports' former offlaner and “the most improved player in competitive play...” according to BuLBa, and waytosexy, a strategic playmaker who fits well in the support role alongside FLUFF. They are already showing excellent form by taking out TI3 champions Alliance in the WePlay Dota 2 League and Team Liquid is a strong contender for top team in North America as the new season kicks off.
Returning: Jio “Jeyo” Madayag, Clinton “Fear” Loomis
Out: Jimmy “DeMoN” Ho, Alaan “Bamboe” Faraj, Robert “Bdiz” Tinnes
In: Arif “MSS” Anwar, Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora, Ioannis “Fogged” Loucas
A team that used to stand atop the NA scene, Evil Geniuses had fallen on increasingly hard times as TI3 approached. Some have rumored that the team lacks dedication to practice, but EG nonetheless looked strong on the first day of the TI3 Western qualifier. Something changed the next day, as the team self-destructed and fell first to RoX and second to Mousesports and were eliminated from contention before even reaching Seattle. It’s no surprise, then, that EG would shake up their roster.
Fear was reportedly given full control of selecting the new roster, and the team that emerged had replaced three of its five members: producing a team that, according to Fear, was willing to put in the time and effort to reach the top. Fear's former teammate on both Nirvana and EG.2012, UNiVeRsE, rejoins Evil Geniuses in the offlane, the young NA DotA pubstar MSS makes his full-time competitive debut as the solo mid, and Fogged, support player on Dignitas, brings his top-class Jakiro to EG as their 5-position hard support. Their form has looked up and down so far, but there's no denying the potential of this new squad.
Returning: No one
Out: Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling, JingJun “Sneyking” Wu, UNiVeRsE, Fogged, Waytosexy
In (tentative): Korok, Frankie “Inphinity” Pravo, Scott “Bleek” Jensen, Theeban “1437” Siva, Bdiz
Despite showing promising form at TI3, Dignitas nonetheless underwent a total overhaul as their players each left for their own reasons. For a while Korok, received from Liquid in exchange for Waytosexy, was the only “official” member of Dignitas, but after playing in online leagues such as WePlay and MLG with a few tentative rosters, it was finally confirmed recently. They added veteran supports 1437 and Bdiz to relative unknowns Inphinity and Bleek. The new Dignitas has, like EG, has had a rough start, but shows a lot of potential. In particular, Inphinity's aggressive dives go well alongside Korok's style, and Bdiz' experience with babying aggressive players will be key in keeping things together.
In: Mason, Artour “Arteezy” Babaev, DarKfalco, DeMoN, Jared “Pandaego” Fletcher
A self-described “NADotA pub-stack” created with the express goal of qualifying for MLG Columbus, this squad brings together some of the best from the NA in-house scene. Headlining the roster is DeMoN, former EG player known for his #YOLO plays and unpredictable style. Removed from the team due to concerns over his dedication to practice, DeMoN immediately joined forces with Arteezy, a former Kaipi member and one of the strongest laners in the West, and three relative unknowns from the North American pub scene.
They made their debut in the RaidCall EMS One American qualifier, defeating DeMoN's old team in the finals to qualify for their first LAN. Unfortunately, when MLG's qualifier rolled around, Take5 competed with players that weren't officially part of their roster, causing them to be disqualified. This leaves the team's future up in the air, but we should still be seeing them at EMS One.
Returning: Jacky “EternalEnvy” Mao, Pittner “bOne7” Armand, Johan “pieliedie” Åström
Out: Arteezy, Alexandru “ComeWithMe” Craciunescu
In: WehSing “SingSing” Yuen, Aui_2000
The saga of EternalEnvy is one of the most interesting stories of Dota 2, and it's for this reason that RS.int is placed in North America rather than Europe. A former HoN player, Canadian EternalEnvy first entered the Dota 2 scene with a now-legendary declaration on Team Liquid. He then went on to found the team that would become Alliance, only to be removed from it just before it received its sponsorship. He later captained the European team Kaipi and helped bring it from a squad that farmed talent for the top teams into a real competitor. When KP failed to be invited to the TI3 Western Qualifier, rather than lose heart (or worse, disband), he went on a tear that culminated in second-place in The Defense Season 4.
After TI3 concluded, Arteezy returned to high school and was replaced by SingSing, popular streamer and former QPAD Red Pandas player, and fellow Canadian Aui_2000 took the place of ComeWithMe, moving from carry to support. With these new players, the playmaking skill of Pieliedie, the inventive mind of bOne7, and the unwavering try-hard spirit of “EE-sama,” Kaipi finally earned a sponsorship from Chinese organization RattleSnake and an invitation to compete at MLG Columbus and changed their name to Speed Gaming.
The Joikernaught, Shadowfiend Eats Cake, and Typical Mistakes (NEW)
The Joikernaught: ToXiN, DK, SnA, ApAtHy, joik.
Shadowfiend Eats Cake: Nave, Relic, BRICKS, Moshi, Nodamon
Typical Mistakes: Jason "Sleisel" Kim, Donal "ima_sheep(sux)" Cheung, Clay "Cak3z" Winkler, Alan "RyuuboruZ-" Andersen, Andrew "Jubei" Evelyn
They may have existed in some form before now, but these three teams made their competitive debut last month in the Major League Gaming NA Dota 2 League. After making it through the online qualifiers, the eight surviving teams duked it out in a round-robin online tournament throughout the month of September. Alongside the new Team Dignitas, these three teams – some of the best that North American Dota 2 has to offer – also survived to advance to the next stage of competition: the MLG Fall Invitational. With MLG planning to invest even more into North American Dota 2 in the coming months, it'll be teams like these that stand the most to gain. Be sure to watch them closely, because it may not be too long before you see their names in lights.
Where to Watch
EG, Team Liquid, and Speed are all currently competing in the second round of the WePlay Dota 2 League, which kicked off this week. Dignitas,TM, Shadowfiend, and Joikernaught will all be duking it out at the MLG Fall Invitational on the 18th. Take5 just finished participating in the RaidCall EMS One qualifier, but thanks to their elimination from MLG, they may not have another official match until the main EMS Fall Championship.