You know it’s been a relatively quiet week in Dota 2 when the announcement of the Captains Draft Minor Groups gets everyone excited. Not that MoonDuckTV’s tournament is a small one — it is a Minor, after all — it’s just that Dota 2 fans are just so deprived of some LAN action that they’ll take any they can get. But, while it is the biggest thing that happened over the past 7 days, there have been a couple of noteworthy changes as well; some could have significant effect on the Dota Pro Circuit in the weeks ahead.
Having said that, below is a quick break down of everything that happened in the Dota 2 scene from the end of Christmas up until the turn of the New Year.
Captains Draft Minor Groups Announced
— moonduckTV (@moonduckTV) December 31, 2017
All eyes will be on the Captains Draft Minor later next week. Understandably so, it’s the first taste of competitive Dota 2 LAN action in a while for both audiences and players alike. Though the tournament is looking like Team Secret’s to lose, we’ll never know for sure what will happen until it happens; Evil Geniuses and OG are not to be underestimated; ViCi Gaming, with their two Grand Finals appearances so far this season, are legitimate threats as well.
There’s also the fact that the first Pro Circuit Minor of 2018 will be played in a different game mode, which only helps add to the excitement. So, you can only imagine just how popped up audiences are after the Captains Draft Minor Groups were announced: Group A consists of Team Secret, Mineski, ViCi Gaming and Team Empire while Evil Geniuses, OG, CompLexity Gaming and paIN Gaming will all fight it out in Group B.
Though somewhat imbalanced, the teams not named Team Secret can take solace in the fact that no one will be eliminated from the tournament after the group stages. Instead, placement in the groups will only help determine the seeding for the playoffs.
The Captains Draft Group Stages will only last for 1 day on January 4, followed by the playoffs from January 5 to 7.
Click here for our Captains Draft Minor Power Rankings.
Forev Leave Immortals
It was nice to work with Team @Immortals . I wish them luck in the future
— Forev (@ForevDoto) December 30, 2017
After a relatively uneventful start to the season that saw the former TI6 MVP.Phoenix squad appear in only two Pro Circuit LANs and reaching the playoffs only once, Lee ‘Forev‘ Sang-don have decided to leave the team. His departure leaves the All-Korean Immortals squad one man short. Even worse, there are no immediate replacements readily available. At least, as far as professional South Korean Dota 2 player goes.
Two offlaners currently stand out as possible replacements: Saahil ‘UNiVeRsE‘ Arora and Maurice ‘KheZu‘ Gutmannmp. The former is a hardened veteran with a TI under his belt and would make a great addition to the team. Meanwhile, the latter is a relatively young player with tons of potential; he played with Pyo ‘MP‘ No-a for much of last year with Team Secret.
How Immortals decide to fill their vacant spot will be a point of interest for the next couple of weeks.
Click here for our official coverage.
Director 8 Strikes Again
According to some hawk-eyed Dota 2 fans over at Reddit, it seems that Zhang ‘xiao8′ Ning is up to no good again. And by that, we mean that he’s busy leaking where he’s going to play again this season on Weibo.
Dota 2 fans in this Reddit thread managed to piece together where the TI4 winner is going to play next. Apparently, he’s going to team up with a couple of legendary Chinese Dota 2 players. Namely, TI2 winner and legendary midlaner Luo ‘Ferrari_430‘ Feichi; DotA legend Li ‘chisbug‘ Chen; the emperor himself, Xu ‘BurNIng‘ Zhilei; and last, but not the least, a “new player” that they plan on training, like they once did to former Wings Gaming player and TI6 winner, Li ‘iceice‘ Peng.
The talent-laden Dota 2 roster will reportedly play under the Big God banner and will only be an online team.
Click here for more information.
LGD Gaming Announce New Roster
After a 0-8 finish at the Dota Summit 8 Minor prompted LGD Gaming to make changes to their main squad’s Dota 2 roster, the Chinese organisation have officially announced their latest lineup.
LGD Gaming managed to retain the services of their hyper aggressive, greedy core duo of Wang ‘Ame’ Chunyu and Lu ‘Somnus`M‘ Yao. Their big offseason acquisition, Xu ‘fy‘ Linsen, is staying with the team as well; the former face of ViCi Gaming was named team captain following the roster change and will be moving back to his natural position at the 4 spot.
Yang ‘Chalice‘ Shenyi from Team MAX will join LGD Gaming as their newest offlaner. Meanwhile, Jian Wei ‘xNova-‘ Yap will make the trip from Malaysia to play as LGD Gaming’s newest hard support.
Yao ‘Yao‘ Zhengzheng, who switched between the offlane, roaming and hard support roles this season, will be inactive for the meantime.
Click here for LGD Gaming’s official announcement on Weibo.
paiN Gaming Turn to W33 for Help
I’ll be standing in for the brazilian squad paiN Gaming at the Galaxy Battles Major https://t.co/eyslx0UGPf
— Aliwi Omar (@w33haa) December 30, 2017
Omar ‘w33haa’ Aliwi announced on Twitter earlier last week that he will play as a sub for the Brazilian team paiN Gaming at the Galaxy Battles Major later this month.
w33 is currently teamless after his experimental team Midorfeed disbanded due to poor results.
Which team do you think will come out on top after the Captains Draft Minor Groups Stages? Do you think Team Secret will pace the competition from start to finish? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.