With the conclusion of the third Minor-Major cycle of the 2018-19 Dota Pro Circuit, we took a look at the Dota 2 team rankings to see where the best Dota 2 teams stand with only two Minor-Major cycles to go.
Three Minors and Majors in, the 2018-19 Dota Pro Circuit is finally settling into place. Most of the teams that we thought would be good at the start of the season have met expectations if not exceeded them. Meanwhile, those who most thought had potential are finally starting to realize it. But, of course, things always don’t work out quite positively, as while there are teams that are on the up-and-up, there are also teams that haven’t exactly looked contender-worthy as of late, despite their name warranting that kind of status.
Already, four out of the twelve spots reserved for the direct invites to The International 2019 have already been filled. That means only eight are left, while the presumed six remaining slots will be given to the six qualifier teams (one for each region).
If there’s any good to come out of this, it’s that teams, as per Liquipedia, will only need to secure 3,821 DPC points to get one of the eight remaining spots. Also, that number should only go lower as more and more teams rack up the points. But, then again, this means that competition will be tighter, both because of the lower minimum points required and the fact that there are only two Minors and Majors remaining in the tournament.
With that being said, we’ve organized our Dota 2 team rankings to rank the ten best Dota 2 teams following the conclusion of the CORSAIR DreamLeague Season 11. We based this on their recent tournament showings, and threw up a bit of subjective eye test considerations to help spice things up.
Keeping up with EHOME’s latest roster moves can be dizzying.
Just months after winning the Bucharest Minor and placing in the Top 6 at the Chongqing Major, EHOME now only have three players confirmed on their roster, and unlike Vici Gaming, who went from trying out members on their squad to winning a Major after making the decision to retain their original lineup, EHOME’s roster woes doesn’t look like it’s going to end soon.
Losing Zhang ‘Faith_bian‘ Ruida to injury hurts, and Yang ‘END‘ Pu isn’t nearly good enough on his own to carry the team.
But, who are we kidding? This is EHOME with Zhang ‘xiao8‘ Ning we’re talking about. We can bet that, right now, xiao8 is concocting some sort of lineup that will have EHOME ready for the next Major.
Until the said move comes, however, EHOME will have to settle for tenth place in our Dota 2 team rankings.
You know, it was quite tempting to but Chaos Esports Club here. The South American team did beat Team Liquid at DreamLeague Season 11, after all. However, one big win isn’t enough to vault you over others in our Dota 2 team rankings. They’ll have to do far more to warrant a bump. Meanwhile, for J.Storm, their showing at the Stockholm Major was excellent, as they showed that, while they’re not good enough to be considered as title contenders, they separated themselves from other Dota 2 teams who ways away from contending.
With a roster filled with veterans and young superstar in the making in Jonathan Bryle ‘Bryle‘ Santos De Guia, J.Storm might be a lot closer to upending Evil Geniuses in North America than most people think, especially with Forward Gaming’s latest roster likely going to take some time to mesh.
8. Keen Gaming
The regional qualifiers in China are so close that Keen Gaming, who would probably be a shoo-in outside of Europe and China, only qualified for a Major for the first time at the DreamLeague Major.
Even though this was their first Major showing this season , Keen Gaming took no time introducing themselves. Hu ‘Kaka‘ Liangzhi, in particular, looked like his old Newbee self in Stockholm as the team, filled with a mix of old veterans, established talent, and up-and-coming players, swept Team Liquid to secure top seed in Group A en route to finishing within the Top 6, all the while beating Evil Geniuses.
While Keen Gaming definitely looked like they were outclassed against Fnatic, there’s very little reason not to hold such high hopes for this team.
Considering how stable they’ve been all season, don’t be surprised if Keen Gaming ends up climbing up a few spots in the next edition of our Dota 2 team rankings.
7. Team Liquid
Team Liquid’s placement in our Dota 2 team rankings depends on how much you value their wins outside of the 2018-19 Dota Pro Circuit.
If you’re all-in on the DPC train and think nothing of any tournament outside of it, then Team Liquid definitely do not belong here. But, if you think otherwise, then Team Liquid’s placement here feels just right, and we can chalk up their last-place finish at the CORSAIR DreamLeague Season 11 as a much-needed wake-up call.
For the better part of the past three years, Team Liquid have gone to set and redefine the meta for other Dota 2 teams to follow. Unfortunately, their last-place showing at Stockholm — their first since Kuro ‘KuroKy‘ Salehi Takhasomi became captain in 2015 — suggests that their current understanding of how Dota 2 should be played isn’t enough anymore, even when they have some of the most skilled players on their roster.
No biggie, Team Liquid still have the talent, experience, and championship pedigree to be able to turn things around with two Majors to go, but time is definitely not on their side.
6. Evil Geniuses
Earlier in one of our previews for the DreamLeague Major 2019, we had Evil Geniuses pegged as a team that needed to answer a lot of questions regarding the ceiling of their lineup.
After all, nearly a year after joining together, Evil Geniuses have nay a title to show for the talent on their roster. Of course, third-place finishes at The International 2018, as well as the Kuala Lumpur Major and the Chongqing Major, aren’t bad at all, but when you consider just how much and how often each individual player in the lineup have won in the past, you can’t help but cast some serious doubt on this team’s chances of ever realizing their potential.
Virtus.Pro coach Arresiny ‘ArsZeeqq‘ Usov said it best when he said that Evil Geniuses’ drafts are “straight-up, default-ish, dry”.
With two Majors still left and their spot at The International 2019 all but guaranteed already, Evil Geniuses might want to start looking into making a roster change or two to spice things up before it’s too late.
For a team playing with a stand-in and forced to go all-in on one particular play style, PSG.LGD did well.
Xu ‘fy‘ Linsen was his usual other-worldly self and Wang ‘Ame‘ Chunyu was a beast of a carry, more often than not. More importantly, PSG.LGD showcased some draft versatility and willingness to experiment. This should bode well for the team’s understanding of the meta, especially if they’re looking at the big picture, which is The International 2019 in Shanghai in August.
Had it not been for a couple of costly, forgivable mistakes, PSG.LGD would’ve made a deeper run at the DreamLeague Major 2019 and thus, been ranked higher in our Dota 2 team rankings. But, they didn’t, and so, they’ll have to settle for fifth place, which isn’t half-bad considering the strength of the teams above them.
When you take the best players that Southeast Asia has to offer and house them together in one team, you’re going to have a lot of expectations, and so far, Fnatic have met if not exceeded all of them.
Sure, Fnatic didn’t win the CORSAIR DreamLeague Season 11. That’s okay. After all, they did only lose to the two teams who made it to the grand finals. In both cases, they gave everything they could in a tightly-contested series. Never in their losses would you have ever said that Fnatic stood no chance, because they did, and in fact, at certain points, they were even ahead.
Fnatic’s overeagerness and aggression will have to be tempered a bit, but those are solvable issues and given how they’ve consistently improved this season, there’s a huge chance that we’re going to see Fnatic do even better going forward.
3. Team Secret
Had they at least made it to the grand finals, Team Secret would still have been the top team in our latest Dota 2 team rankings. However, because all they could muster up was a fourth-place finish, which, by the standards they set for themselves, is quite low, we’ve no choice but to put them here.
We’re not going to punish them too much for losing though.
It still took all three games for both Vici Gaming and Virtus.Pro to take out Team Secret, and even then, all of those games could’ve easily gone either way.
Team Secret dropping to the said teams only serves as a testament to just how much parity there is in Dota 2 right now, which is good, because teams will now have a reason to give it their all other than to rack up some much-needed DPC points.
You’d be forgiven for having already counted Virtus.Pro out after they lost to Fnatic in such a decisive fashion early on in the tournament. Or, when they lost the first game in most of the series they played in since. But, as it turns out, Virtus.Pro are just slow starters, hibernating like the bears that they are before waking up hungry as they voraciously chomp down anything that stands in their way.
Unfortunately, at the end of the CORSAIR DreamLeague Season 11, Virtus.Pro just couldn’t muster up enough strength to rack up half a dozen Major titles.
But, that’s okay. They’ll have two more chances later on this season, and with the rest of the competitive field having stepped up their game since, Virtus.Pro, the competitors that they are, will now have every reason try hard in every game.
1. Vici Gaming
Winning a Major usually isn’t enough to make it to the top of our Dota 2 team rankings. We care about caveats here. You can’t just win a Major. You have to beat the best Dota 2 teams en route as well.
That’s exactly what Vici Gaming did.
They didn’t just best Team Secret, they also took out PSG.LGD, as well as Virtus.Pro, and while they weren’t perfect nor flawless all throughout, what’s important is that they won. However, that’s not the most impressive part about Vici Gaming’s win. Instead, it’s how much they improved from game to game and series to series.
Considering the fact that they’ll have weeks to prepare for the MDL Paris Major — or months if they choose to qualify only for the EPICENTER Major — we can only imagine just how much better this team is going to get.
Feature Image: DreamHack /Adela Sznajder
What do you think of our Dota 2 team rankings? Which team do you think we ranked too high or too low? Do you think Vici Gaming deserves the top spot? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.