Dota 2’s post-season roster shuffle may be the biggest one to date
‘Tis the Season of Dota 2 roster shuffles. The International 11 (TI11) has concluded with the deserving victory of Tundra Esports. With the top three at TI11, all hailing from Western Europe, the other regions’ teams have difficult conversations discussing the upcoming DPC 2023 rosters.
North American and Southeast Asian teams have been massive letdown at TI11, especially Evil Geniuses and BOOM Esports. These are teams that secured direct invites to TI11 and were best in class from their respective regions. Meanwhile, China was an absolute favorite in all metrics, yet all teams flopped heavily early on.
It didn’t take a day before team roster announcements flooded social media.
Evil Geniuses goes South American
EG offers among the highest paid salaries for Dota 2 players, as they are based in the US. Nevertheless, the expensive investment doesn’t justify the returns, considering EG was eliminated at a twelfth place and raked in only $378K.
According to Peter “ppd” Dager in a recent stream, EG has been looking for reasons to get rid of their NA roster. Even if EG did perform reasonably at TI11, perhaps securing top-six finish, the NA scene isn’t as grand as other regions.
Now that South American Dota gained traction, there are rumors of the NA powerhouse picking up Thunder Awaken’s roster. Additionally, even other regions’ powerhouses, such as Alliance, Nigma, and Cloud9, reportedly attempted to get the team too.
Storm brewing, trouble at SEA
BOOM Esports failed to deliver any commendable results besides elminating Team Spirit in a cheeky best-of-one. While there doesn’t seem to be a full-scale disband in BOOM, the pos4 support player, Timothy “TIMS” Randrup tweeted that he’s looking for new opportunities while his renewal in BOOM is still in discussion.
The highly anticipated T1 dubbed the return of OG, also flopped their TI11 Last Chance Qualifier run. This resulted in a resignation spree, which included the SEA players, Carlo “Kuku” Palad, Kenny “Xepher” Deo, and Matthew “Whitemon” Filemon. With the two remaining players’ unannounced status, we will likely see T1 pick up a Europe-based team.
This is in reference to Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen stating that he prefers playing in a European team during an interview. As for Anathan “ana” Pham, whose return to competitive play concluded prematurely, we are uncertain about his future whereabouts.
Even among these unfortunate players, the one who had it the worst is Daryl “iceiceice” Koh. The veteran player returned to SEA under team SMG but didn’t even make the cut for TI11 LCQ. The team’s management failed to register on time for the TI11 LCQ, eliminating any chance at qualifying for TI11.
Free Agents post-TI11
While Tundra Esports is struggling to find their lost Aegis of Champions in Singapore, many teams are struggling to find a roster to contest them. Some players are even offering to relocate, which is a common sentiment after South American and Western Europe scenes blew up.
Notably from SEA, besides the remnants of T1 (Kuku, Xepher, Whitemon), Ng “ChYuan” Kee Chyuan formerly Fnatic’s coach is also looking for opportunities. Nigma Galaxy SEA also dropped their roster after an underwhelming DPC season, while Neon Esports’ Michael “Enryu” Ladines and Prieme “PlayHard” Banquil are also out.
The former Alliance squad all went their different ways, and we haven’t heard much from any of the players yet. However, rumor has it that Nikolay “Nikobaby” Nikolov is retiring for good. The iconic carry-support duo of TI6 Virtus.pro, Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev, and Alexey “Solo” Berezin too left their respective teams. Perhaps a reunion, even for old-time sake, would be a wholesome announcement for Eastern European fans.
In general, the North American scene is expecting a massive revamp across the region. This, coming after many sponsors ventured into NA during the last season, is not a good look for investors. For instance, TeamSoloMid and Soniqs, which picked up Team Undying and Quincy Crew, secured last place at TI11.
What’s for certain, however, is that South American Dota is a force to be reckoned with, especially with EG’s interest in the new region.