Dota 2 Roster Changes and Transfers Ahead of Dota Pro Circuit
With less than a month until the start of the new Dota Pro Circuit, professional Dota 2 teams are trying to get the best possible roster for the battles ahead. As a result, transfers are happening almost every day. In this article, I’ll take a close look at the key Dota 2 roster changes that have taken place since the start of September.
Team Liquid Roster Searches for Greener Pastures
After years of being one of the most successful teams in the world, we’ve been hit with one of the most surprising Dota 2 roster changes imaginable. Team Liquid’s entire roster has decided to strike out on their own and form their own team. The roster is leaving on good terms with Team Liquid as the org tweeted, “We are thankful for the titles and memories they made with us, and we wish them the best of luck in the creation of their new team.”
We don’t know what to expect from KuroKy and the rest of his new team but we hope to hear more soon as the pro hinted that he would “reveal more very soon”.
Kamma and Q Left Team Aster
After failing to make the team succeed last season, these two very accomplished Chinese players left Aster in pursuit of other adventures. Their place was taken by Sccc and Fade, arguably two of the biggest names in Chinese Dota.
It remains to be seen whether this series of Dota 2 roster changes will result in improved results from the trio that has remained, but my suspicion is that Kamma and Q had done a fairly good job for their former team and it was actually one of the other player’s fault for the team’s inability to do more than qualify for two of the five DPC Majors. In particular, Aster’s midlaner, ChYuan, is rather inexperienced and has achieved very little in his career. He’s also just 19, which constitutes a disadvantage in a game that involves a lot more than good mechanical skills.
Consider the fact that many of the great players are over 25 and have more than 10 years of Dota 2 experience behind them. Not to mention the mental development that you go through from 19 to 25-30 and the maturity that goes along with it.
Of course, from the outside, it is hard to put the blame on any specific player. But I do believe that if Fade and Sccc fail with this roster, then the blame can certainly not be placed on them. Because these guys are simply world-class players with a lot of experience and achievements at the pro level.
Iceberg Joined Winstrike
The famous CIS midlaner, who had already played for Winstrike back in 2018 and finished 9th – 12th at The International 2018 with the team, has rejoined them ahead of the new season after two brief experiments with FlyToMoon and The Pango.
Keep in mind that Winstrike came very close to qualifying for The International 2019 and failed to do so only because Na’Vi perfectly read their game and beat them in the Grand Final of the CIS Qualifiers, in what everyone regarded as a huge upset.
Winstrike’s chances in the CIS region look promising, as their rivals are not very strong right now. Both Virtus.pro and Natus Vincere have looked shaky over the last few months and both teams have gone through recent roster changes as a result. In terms of roster potential, Winstrike has some of the best CIS players in it. The list includes Lil, who is now a changed man (or at least, that’s what he’s claimed on Twitter at this point this year), and Nofear. It remains to be seen what they can do but I have high hopes for them. Out of the total of five DPC Majors, I wouldn’t be surprised if they ended up qualifying for two or even three.
The Final Tribe Merged With GODSENT
The Final Tribe, one of the stronger European teams (around 6th – 7th in the region) has decided to merge with GODSENT, the well-known CS:GO organization. Apparently, GODSENT has decided to try their luck at Dota 2 this season, with their first Dota 2 team ever. And since the organization is Swedish, bringing in an established Swedish roster seems to be a perfectly logical first step.
GODSENT’s main problem is the fact that they’re competing in the most stacked region in the world. No less than six European teams took part in The International 2019. Three of them were among the top four. Two of them played in the Grand Final. Given that Europe will only have three available spots for each DPC Major, the chance of GODSENT playing at a Major in the upcoming season is almost null.
ArsZeeqq and 9pasha Leave Virtus.pro
In ArsZeeqq’s case, the departure was predictable. Even though his role as VP’s coach helped the CIS team to reach three Major Grand Finals and win one of them during his one year contract, the second part of the season saw VP struggle and eventually fail miserably at The International 2019. And as a result, he definitely had to go. Overall, I wouldn’t say he did a bad job. But we have to keep in mind that he took a team of superstars that had already won a Dota Pro Circuit in the previous year. So it’s not clear whether his contribution really was that significant. He might have been insightful but it is also possible that he was mostly dead weight.
As for 9pasha, his case is harder to analyze. He did get married just prior to the 2018-2019 competitive season, so that might have had something to do with his dedication to the game. But I can’t really say that he played poorly. He was a key factor in VP’s successes and it’s not clear to me why VP’s management has decided to part ways with him. Maybe it was just a change for the sake of improving the team’s desire to win trophies again.
A similar thing happened with Team Liquid. KuroKy eventually decided to kick MATUMBAMAN, even though the player was doing his job. From the outside, decisions such as this one look like big mistakes. But time often proves that they were well thought through. Hopefully, Virtus.pro can play at the highest level in the next season and win at least one of the five Majors.
The upside is that 9pasha did not just get kicked. He got transferred to Natus Vincere, which gives the CIS team a better chance at doing well next season.
Mushi Joined Keen Gaming
One of the most decorated players in Dota 2 has decided to join a Chinese organization. Usually, he plays for SEA teams but in the upcoming season we will see him play for Keen Gaming. The Chinese team did qualify for The International 2019 but only managed to finish 13th – 16th.
Overall, Keen Gaming has a lot of good players, including a former member of Newbee (Kaka) and a former member of EHOME, LGD and Vici Gaming (eLeVeN). From what I can tell, the team lacked a strong leader and that’s why Mushi was probably brought in. He will likely replace dark, who is not even near Mushi’s level.
In terms of results, Mushi placed 3rd at The International 2013, 4th at The International 2014, 4th at The International 2016, 9th – 12th at The International 2018 and 1st at Dota 2 Asia Championships 2018. He is a very consistent and accomplished player and his leadership style is quite effective, even though it can get toxic at times. Mushi is known to be prone to anger when things go wrong but his emotions stem from his desire to do well and not let other people down. So he’s always had good teammates that respected him and he tends to bring the best out of players.
Thanks for joining us for a closer look at the wide array of Dota 2 roster changes ahead of the Dota Pro Circuit. Stay tuned for more Dota 2 news as the circuit continues.