The Rise of NA and SA Dota
The professional Dota 2 scene is dominated by European, Chinese and CIS teams. And that has been the case for quite some time now. However, as recent Dota Pro Circuit events have shown, North American and South American Dota are on the rise.
The state of the North American scene heavily relies on 3 teams: the former TI 5 champions, Evil Geniuses, Peter “ppd” Dager’s new team, OpTic Gaming, and compLexity Gaming.
Arguably, compLexity Gaming has had a rough season, participating in many important tournaments but almost always failing to get a top 4 finish.
All of these poor results led to the release of the team’s most loved member, Kyle “melonzz” Freedman. Following his release, compLexity was left without a leader and it will take a while for the team to recover from this loss.
But, while compLexity Gaming has been struggling, OpTic Gaming and Evil Geniuses have been improving and gaining momentum.
OpTic was created at the beginning of this season and already, they are taking part in high level events and are challenging the world’s best teams. In Bo3 series, they’re still struggling. But in Bo1s, ppd’s strategic brilliance often secures drafting and tactical advantages for his team, leading to surprising upsets. At the Bucharest Major, OpTic Gaming managed to beat Virtus.pro, the world’s best team, in such a Bo1 game during the Group Stage.
The third and strongest NA team at the moment is Evil Geniuses, who is sitting at number 7 in the Dota Pro Circuit rankings thanks in part to their latest tournament title at GESC: Indonesia Dota 2 Minor. It looks like the organization’s decision to make a series of radical staff and roster changes at the end of 2017 is starting to pay off.
With BuLba as coach, Misery as captain and Sumail as offlaner, EG’s performance has been gradually improving over the last 3 months and now EG is clearly in a position to challenge the world’s best teams.
Although GESC: Indonesia was only a Minor and many top teams did not take an interest in it, EG’s dominant victory over VGJ.Thunder (the Bucharest Major finalist) clearly proved that Arteezy and his squad can deliver even against the scariest teams in the circuit.
Because of the new professional scene structure and Valve’s decision to grant South America a spot at every event, SA Dota has had the opportunity to send teams to important competitions and grow as a region in terms of experience and skill. However, last place finish after last place finish for teams such as Infamous, SG e-sports, and PaiN Gaming ultimately made people question the region’s worthiness of being granted a spot at Dota Pro Circuit events, to the detriment of other strong teams from regions like China and Europe.
Recently, PaiN Gaming’s second place finish at World Electronic Sports Games and Infamous’ top 4 finish at GESC: Indonesia proved to the world that South American Dota is on the rise, and that the region has what it takes to compete with the world’s best.