The spring roster lock took effect two days ago, and now the Dota 2 world is ready to look forward to the Manila Major, taking place three months from now. While all the regions around the world needed some fresh looks here and there, there are some teams that undeniably got better deals than others. We’re here to break it down for you by region.
North America: Evil Geniuses
While the consequences of letting go of UNiVeRsE are debatable and have yet to really be seen (we’re leaning towards this being a negative, though), offloading Arteezy was necessary for Evil Geniuses. Out of all five very talented members of the winter EG roster, Arteezy was arguably the weakest link in the team and would often have the least impact in their games. Amazingly enough, they managed to still be consistent threats wherever they went despite not really winning any high-profile LANs, so if anything it was just a chemistry and teamwork issue rather than one that boiled down to individual skill.
In come Aui_2000 and BuLba. Aui was part of the TI5-winning EG lineup, but instead of being in the 4 support position we now find him back in the hard carry spot after three years of being away from it. It will be interesting to see how Ppd will play around Aui’s return to the carry position, but if there’s one thing they can count on in spite of his absence from it, it’s his farming efficiency. Aui was known as a very greedy 4 support who always managed to have significant amounts of gold, so we will likely see that sort of efficiency brought over to the greediest role in the game. BuLba, on the other hand, will have to prove himself once again after his stint with Digital Chaos, but at this point we still think that UNiVeRsE was almost irreplaceable.
Europe: Team Secret
Team Secret received Arteezy and UNiVeRsE from EG, which is definitely a positive for them especially considering the latter is coming in to replace MiSeRy. MiSeRy, while definitely a good player in his own right, did not seem to gel particularly well with the rest of Team Secret 3.0. Some of their losses prior to the Shanghai Major definitely could have been attributed to him, though not necessarily his “fault”. UNiVeRsE being the best offlaner in the west definitely makes up for it, though — as long as he can get the chemistry with his new teammates down.
Losing w33 might be a significant thing for Puppey and his squad, though. He was definitely worth every single one of his matchmaking points, and his absence will likely be felt for a while. At the very least, Arteezy had great success with Team Secret back when KuroKy was still a part of the lineup, so warming up to Puppey again likely won’t be an issue at all. Plus, we finally get to see him on the same team as EternaLEnVy; the last time that happened was when Speed Gaming took first place at MLG Columbus 2013. The dream is real!
China: The whole region
We’re not kidding on this one. After EHOME gave Chinese fans some hope by taking first place at MDL Winter, they proceeded to bomb out of the Shanghai Major like the rest of the Chinese teams in that tournament. None of them, including EHOME and even LGD, were able to get into the top 8 at Shanghai. From there it was clear that the Chinese scene desperately needed changes across the board, and community figures everywhere said that new blood needed to come into the region.
And so, the Great Chinese Shuffle™ happened. If we really had to pick one team that got the best deal out of it, we’d still have to give it to EHOME. iceiceice joined EHOME a few weeks ago and is expected to bring his aggressive brand of offlane play to the team. Although they lost Cty and KaKa, they managed to bag legendary ViCi Gaming support Fenrir, who will now be seen playing without his other half fy. LGD did get xiao8 back from his hiatus, but one look at their results after that will tell you all you need to know about how that went.
Southeast Asia: White Fries Gaming
Southeast Asia didn’t get any huge changes, but the region did see the birth of White Fries Gaming, the team with both ZSMJ and hyhy in it. Although this team has yet to be tested in an actual tournament, there is plenty to be excited about if you’re just a fan of Dota 2 as a sport. hyhy is finally back to playing professionally after three years of absence from the scene, and ZSMJ is once again on a team that is actually worthy of any attention whatsoever. This plus the fact that both Fnatic and MVP Phoenix have been performing well as of late might just reinvigorate the scene here.
Oh, and there’s also rumors of Cloud 9 picking up a Korean team, according to a news article posted on Inven. Skype messages between team owner Jack Etienne and the supposed manager of this Korean Cloud 9 squad (his handle is “Positive” according to the very same report) were posted on the Reddit as well. Thanks to MVP Phoenix’s recent results, there may be hope for a resurrection of the Korean servers yet.