With the lull period born by the cancellation of what was supposed to be the first Major of 2018, it’s a great time to reflect on what has been another unforgettable year in Dota 2 last year by picking the best Dota player in each of their respective positions.
Mind you, our list is by no means definitive; you’re free to criticize us all you want. In fact, we want you to send us your thoughts. However, we did do our due diligence and will stand by our decisions, no matter how much you may disagree with them.
Having said that, below you’ll find our picks for the best dota player who stood out the most from their respective position throughout the entire 2017.
Best Dota Player — Hard Support
Kuro ‘KuroKy‘ Salehi Takhasomi (Team Liquid)
Honorable Mentions: Clement ‘Puppey‘ Ivanov (Team Secret); Alexei ‘Solo‘ Berezin (Virtus Pro); Zeng ‘Faith‘ Hongda (Newbee); Tal ‘Fly‘ Aizik (OG)
If winning at the highest level of the sport is to be used as the main measure of success, then KuroKy has this by the mile. But, he further widens the gap by not only guiding Team Liquid to a win at The International 2017 — a run that saw them win it all after dropping to the lower brackets in Day 1 of the main event — but also leading Team Liquid to 5 straight LAN titles, while winning 7 out of the 10 LAN tournaments they participated in all throughout the year.
While KuroKy may be surrounded by all-star talent, he acts as more of a catalyst than the beneficiary; save for Amer ‘Miracle-‘Al-Barqawi, who had won two Valve Majors with OG as a rookie, all three other members of Team Liquid were relative unknowns when KuroKy put his trust in them and helped them achieve heights that most Dota 2 professionals could only ever dream of.
A stalwart Dota 2 veteran with a keen eye for unorthodox and experimental, yet highly effective, ideas, KuroKy is the only one in the world who could claim that he’s the best dota player and the captain of the best Dota 2 team in the world.
Best Dota Player — Roaming Support
Maroun ‘GH‘ Merhej (Team Liquid)
Honourable Mentions: Ilya ‘Lil‘ Ilyuk (Virtus Pro); Jesse ‘JerAx‘ Vainikka (OG); Tue Soon ‘Ahfu‘ Chuan (LGD.ForeverYoung); Hu ‘Kaka‘ Liangzhi.
Though it seems unfair to include two members of a single team, it’s only fitting that GH take this spot here. The brash and ever so confident Lil makes for a very strong case, as his play for Virtus Pro, where he would often win games for the CIS organisation before the ten-minute mark, helped restore CIS Dota back to its former glory. But, GH takes the spot simply because of how he changes games on his own.
A known pubstar before being picked up by Team Liquid, GH quickly proved himself as a world-class player with a pool of must-ban heroes that include the likes of Io, Earthshaker and Keeper of the Light, just to name a few.
GH is probably the most successful rookie Dota 2 has ever seen, and we can’t wait to see what the Lebanese Dota 2 player has in store for us in his sophomore season.
Best Dota Player — Offlaner
Damien ‘kpii‘ Chok (Newbee)
Honourable Mentions: Gustav ‘s4‘ Magnusson (OG); Saahil ‘UNiVeRsE‘ Arora (Evil Geniuses); Ren ‘eLeVeN‘ Yangwei (LGD Gaming & ViCi Gaming); Ivan ‘MinD_ContRoL‘ Borislavov (Team Liquid); Pavel ‘9pasha‘ Khvastunov (Virtus Pro).
Had Evil Geniuses had a more successful year, UNiVeRsE would’ve had this spot. But it’s not like kpii is a bad choice either, because he’s just as perfect of an example of the quintessential offlaner: a consistent Dota 2 player who rarely has a bad game and is always there when the team needs him.
Kpii may have received the brunt of the criticism after Newbee lost 3-0 to Team Liquid in the Grand Finals of The International 7, but much of that is unjustified. Though kpii found his shortcomings amplified in the largest stage of them all, it’s not like he played worse than usual. Besides, Newbee would not be close to being the best Dota 2 team in China if not for kpii.
Best Dota Player — Midlaner
Amer ‘Miracle-‘ al-Barqawi (Team Liquid)
Honourable Mentions: Vladimir ‘No[o]ne‘ Minenko (Virtus Pro); Song ‘Sccc‘ Chun (Newbee); Syed ‘SumaiL‘ Hassan (Evil Geniuses); Yeik ‘MidOne‘ Nai Zheng (Team Secret).
For as long as he’s been a professional Dota 2 player, Miracle has established himself as one of the best in the world, regardless of position. Moving to Team Liquid after a successful rookie year with OG that saw him win two Valve Majors, Miracle followed it up in his sophomore year with even more LAN titles, capped off with a win at The International 7.
It’s not easy to stand out in a team full of superstars, but Miracle does it because he is just that good; ask anyone in the world who they think is the best in the world is and more often than not, they’ll tell you it’s the former pubstar manning the middle lane for Team Liquid.
Miracle-‘s laning prowess, versatile hero pool, the fact that he rarely if at all has a bad game and his willingness to move out of the middle lane if necessary makes him one of the most unique pros in the world and the foundation in which Team Liquid’s most recent success is built on.
Best Dota Player — Hard Carry
Roman ‘RAMZES666‘ Kushnarev (Virtus Pro)
Honourable Mentions: Artour ‘Arteezy‘ Babaev (Evil Geniuses); Roman ‘Resolut1on‘ Fominok (Digital Chaos, Team Empire & OG); Xu ‘BurNIng‘ Zhilei (Invictus Gaming).
While Marcus ‘Ace‘ Hoelgaard and his versatile hero pool, as well as meta-setting item builds, are getting the much-deserved love these days, it’s RAMZES666 who remains the creme of the crop of the hard carries of the Dota 2 world.
The argument exists that RAMZES666 succeeds as a position one because of how Virtus Pro plays around him. But, that’s just unfair. If RAMZES666 wasn’t that good enough to play around, why then would a world-class Dota 2 team bother planning around him then?
No[o]ne often gets all the praise for dominating against even some of the best mid laners in the world, but make no mistake, Virtus Pro wouldn’t be where they are right now if not for their young prodigy, who has single-handedly brought them back from seemingly impossible to win games countless times before.
Do you agree with our picks? Who do you think is the best Dota player in the world right now? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.