BOOM and Polaris make a bid for SEA Dota 2 leadership with fresh rosters

Southeast Asia boasts one of the largest Dota 2 player bases, with debuting pro players as young as sixteen-years-old every season. Yet, the SEA representatives at the International 11 (TI11) have been underwhelming, to say the least.

To recap, BOOM Esports placed twelfth place, followed by sixteenth place by Fnatic. Talon Esports, the emerging SEA team at TI11 didn’t even make it past group stage! Needless to say, SEA teams weren’t the highlight of TI11, which is upsetting, considering team T1 won seventh place at TI10, raking a million dollars.

BOOM and Polaris attempt at a leadership mantle

Like many regions, SEA teams also take a long hiatus in-between TI11 and the next Dota Pro Circuit 2023 (DPC 2023) season, to evaluate their rosters. There are already new notable debutante teams emerging, such as Blacklist International and Geek Fam.

BOOM Esports and Polaris Esports particularly piqued fans’ interest because they are staples during the last DPC season. Meanwhile, T1 was rumored to rock a non-SEA team instead, so BOOM and Polaris are our best bets for a strong SEA contestant going into the first DPC Major.

BOOM Esports has undergone a massive revamp in its roster, replacing its hard carry player and duo support players. John “Natsumi-” Vargas and Kenny “Xepher” Deo formerly hailed from Polaris and T1 respectively. Whereas, BOOM has a very special recruit to spice things up in SEA competition, who goes by Yap “xNova” Jian Wei.

Yap “xNova” Jian Wei

For the uninitiated, xNova is the former PSG.LGD support player, who played in the TI8 Grand Finals. He’s arguably one of SEA’s most accomplished players in terms of net worth, so having him in BOOM is definitely a big deal.

I’m the captain now!

While xNova’s seasoned experience will surely come in handy, he has never taken up the role as captain/drafter in his past teams. Xepher also took the backseat in drafts, leaving it to his teammate, Carlo “Kuku” Palad at T1.

Therefore, BOOM Esports’ new captain is still very much undisclosed yet, but they do have a reliable coach, Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung. Mushi is renowned for planning out drafts that could rival TI Champions in a slippery best-of-one series. For instance, BOOM was responsible for eliminating Team Spirit at TI11 with their disruptive Marci support pick and an unexpected Mars mid-pick.

Polaris’ brand-new team

On the other hand, Polaris revamped their entire roster, except Mc “Mac” Villanueva, formerly known as Lelouch-. This season, Polaris decides to work with all-star players from various teams, such as Neon Esports and TNC Predator.

Polaris Esports’ new roster for DPC 2023

And, that’s already bad news from the start, considering how poorly the two teams performed last DPC season. Jun “Bok” Kanehara and Bryle “mavis” Alvizo are from TNC Predator while John “Jing” Duyan is from Neon Esports.

The only potentially saving grace from this stack of randoms is Eljohn “Akashi” Canonigo Andales, who doesn’t have any professional background yet. Nevertheless, they will be debuting in Division 2 of DPC 2023, so there will be plenty of time to practice.

State of Southeast Asia ahead of next Dota Pro Circuit

Frankly, it’s not looking great for SEA, which was once dubbed the dark horse of TI Championships. This DPC season’s competitors just seem lackluster across the board because of the unrefined rosters yet to be announced. It is a tell-tale sign of stale competition, as teams are re-shuffled and rebranded under an alternate name.

As such, we don’t have high hopes for any noteworthy teams to emerge, at least until the first DPC Tour.