The Winds of Change Are Blowing Over the SEA

During the first month of the 2017-2018 competitive season, Southeast Asia was dominated by one team. With one exception (ESL One Hamburg), Mineski qualified for every single tournament of the newly created Dota Pro Circuit. Furthermore, both of their LAN results were very impressive: second place finish at StarLadder i-League Invitational #3 and first place finish at PGL Open Bucharest.

For a while, it seemed that under the leadership of Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung, Mineski would have no real rival in the SEA region this season. But then three things happened.

Fnatic replaced their midlaner

After a series of poor results, Fnatic’s midlaner (Steve “Excalibur” Ye) became a substitute for the team and the organization brought in one of the best Dota 2 players in the world: Abed “Abed” Yusop.

abed yusop fnatic replacement midlaner

Best known for his performances at Digital Chaos and for being the first Dota 2 player to reach 10K solo MMR, Abed’s transfer was felt immediately. In the DOTA Summit 8 qualifiers for the SEA region, Fnatic emerged victorious, defeating Mineski in the Finals (score 3-2) and managing to finally secure a merit based qualification for a LAN event. Their previous two participations this season, at ESL One Hamburg and AMD Sapphire Dota Pit League, were caused by other teams’ misfortunes.

TnC started to click again

Last season, TnC looked like a very strong team that could stand up to any roster in the world. They took first place at World Electronic Sports Games 2016, 3rd-4th place at StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3, 2nd place at StarLadder i-League Invitational #2, 3rd place at Galaxy Battles and 9th-12th place at The International 2017.

But, after the departure of their coach and analyst Murielle “Kipspul” Huisman, TnC just didn’t look the same. They struggled a lot in regional qualifiers for Dota Pro Circuit tournaments, and were always left empty handed.

Now, TnC are showing signs of strength again. At the MDL Macau regional qualifier for the SEA region, TnC defeated Mineski in the Finals (score 2-1) and secured a spot at what will be their first LAN event of the new competitive season.

The Dueling Fates update (patch 7.07) was released

Every now and then, the almighty IceFrog and his development team at Valve decide to change the rules of the game. Some heroes are buffed and made very appealing to players all around the world, while others are nerfed into the ground. Subsequently, teams that rely on certain playstyles can often find out that their beloved strategies no longer work as planned.

dueling fates dota winds of change are blowing over the SEA

The latest Dota 2 patch brought massive changes to the game. New items have been introduced, a few old ones have been removed, the map has been modified and so on. All in all, hundreds of big changes have been made to the game, and those changes matter a lot. Especially at the professional level, where teams and players are so good at exploiting every tiny overpowered aspect of the Dota 2 universe.

With all of these events shaping the professional Dota 2 scene, it remains to be seen if Mineski can cement their position as the strongest team in the SEA region. Will they be able to ride the wave of change or will they drown beneath it, like so many other teams in the past?