The last week for Dota 2 was pretty normal, with Team Liquid dropping just one map en route to winning the Starladder Season 4 Minor and reestablishing themselves as the top dog — as if their status was ever in question. But, then again, normal probably wouldn’t what we’d call what happened in the days leading up to the final roster lock for the entire season.
From IceFrog announcing changes to the patch schedule of Dota 2 to the Natus Vincere-Virtus Pro roster swap and the ensuing drama that unfolded, we bring to you all the latest news in our latest Dota 2 recap.
Team Liquid Win Starladder Season 4 Minor
— Team Liquid (@TeamLiquid) February 4, 2018
Team Liquid just proved that the TI curse is definitely not real, defeating LGD Gaming 3-1 at the Starladder Season 4 Minor in Shanghai for their third LAN title since winning TI7. Though it didn’t turn out the way most expected, with Newbee falling to LGD Gaming earlier in the playoffs, it was a spectacle nonetheless. Team Liquid proved once again that they remain the standard by which every Dota 2 should compare themselves to with a balanced effort against LGD Gaming in the Grand Finals. Not a single player stood out throughout the entire series. In fact, the defending champions took turns taking over each game, showing off not just their excellence as individuals, but also their next-level team chemistry.
By winning the Starladder Season 4 Minor, Team Liquid took home $135,000 and 150 Qualifying Points. The win helps close the gap between them and Team Secret. The latter currently lead all teams on the season leaderboards with 4,260 Qualifying Points. Also, after defending their title at the Starladder Season 4 Minor, Team Liquid will have a chance to win their first Major in a few weeks. The Katowice Major and Bucharest Major are both scheduled to happen back-to-back in late February and early March.
Click here for our official coverage of Team Liquid’s huge win.
Dota Patch to Arrive Every Two Weeks
Last week, we saw a very rare tweet from IceFrog himself. In it, the mysterious Dota 2 lead developer announced that they will change their approach when it comes to patches. Instead of seeing a big patch every few months or so, Dota 2 will receive patches every two weeks.
We want to try taking a different approach to how gameplay patches are released. Instead of big patches a couple of times a year, we'll be releasing small patches every 2 weeks on Thursdays. We'll be trying this out for about six months and then reevaluating.
— IceFrog (@IceFrog) February 1, 2018
We already saw this take effect in the middle of the Starladder Season 4 Minor tournament. Albeit we didn’t exactly see any major changes to the way teams played. Although, it could just be due to teams sticking to what worked for them in the past, and not wanting to experiment when the stakes are high.
If things are right on schedule, the next Dota 2 patch should come sometime on February 15 (Thursday).
Click here for our official coverage of Icefrog and Valve’s official announcement.
KuroKy First to Reach 1000 Wins
— Team Liquid (@TeamLiquid) February 4, 2018
When it rains, it pours, and the achievements definitely have been raining for the reigning TI champions. After winning Game 2 of their series against LGD Gaming in the Grand Finals of the Starladder Season 4 Minor, Team Liquid’s captain Kuro ‘KuroKy‘ Salehi Takhasomi became the first professional Dota 2 players to ever reach 1,000 wins throughout his career.
He now sits alone in the elite club, with 1,001 wins to his name. The closest players to reaching the milestone next are Gustav ‘s4‘ Magnusson, Johan ‘N0tail‘ Sundstein, and Tal ‘Fly‘ Aizik, who are all playing for OG, as well as Clement ‘Puppey‘ Ivanov, who all have more than 900 wins to their names.
The Spring Cleaning Update Arrives
The Spring Cleaning update is here https://t.co/h9JKE6Jb4G
— DOTA 2 (@DOTA2) February 1, 2018
Along with the new Dota 2 patch schedule, Valve also released patch 7.08, named as the “Spring Cleaning” update. Though there were plenty of heroes that got buffed and nerfed, the latest update mostly revolves around bug fixes and quality of life changes. The latter includes a 6-month ban system and a revamped UI for the player profile found in the in-game client.
Click here for a complete overview of the Spring Cleaning update.
Virtus Pro Caught in Roster Shuffle Drama
We want to thank @LilJke for an incredible time. Our team with him has become what it is now and we sure that we will meet again at the tournaments. Thank you for everything! pic.twitter.com/aojcDRGRTs
— Virtus.pro (@virtuspro) February 1, 2018
In a span of less than one week, Natus Vincere lost two of their key players, while Virtus Pro found themselves in the middle of a roster shuffle drama. The former initially bid farewell to Vladimir ‘RodjER‘ Nikogosyan, trading him to Virtus Pro for Ilya ‘Lil‘ Ilyuk, before losing their captain Akbar ‘SoNNeikO‘ Butaev just a few days later. Though Natus Vincere have since found a replacement for SoNNeikO in the form of Nikola ‘LeBronDota‘ Popović, the highlight of the entire roster shuffle has probably been the back-and-forth words thrown between Virtus Pro and their former member, Lil.
Lil was the first to drag the drama out to the public in a recent interview, but Virtus Pro’s manager didn’t exactly help their cause by sending out a rather threatening tweet. However, seems to have cleared up since, with Lil taking the high road (to the shock of many) after Virtus Pro’s captain Alexei ‘Solo‘ Berezin gave his own take regarding the whole ordeal live on stream.
Click here for our official coverage of the roster swap.
Immortals Pick Up Ryoya and Velo
It seems that their latest addition, Arif ‘MSS‘ Anwar, wasn’t working out for the team as Immortals was forced to say goodbye to the standout offlaner. Replacing him and Kim ‘QO‘ Seon-yeop, who also recently took a break from Dota 2, will be Eric ‘Ryoya‘ Dong and Kim ‘Velo‘ Tae-sung.
— Immortals (@Immortals) January 30, 2018
Fans of MVP.Phoenix might recognize Velo as he spent time with the organization a couple of years back. However, Ryoya is a little-known commodity; a Boston-born mid player who most recently played in VGJ.Storm.
Expected by many to shake up the status quo in North America, Immortals have underwhelmed so far. Hopefully, with their latest roster, Immortals can jumpstart their season and perform better.
Ohaiyo Finds a New Home in LFY
DOTA | @ohyohyohy departs for LGD.Forever Young.
— FNATIC (@FNATIC) February 5, 2018
After a recent trial exchange that saw Xie ‘Super‘ Junhao go to Invictus Gaming for Ou ‘Op‘ Peng failed to produce good results, LFY will be taking back their mid laner. However, that is not all. The return of Super also saw the departure of Leong ‘DDC‘ Fat-meng, who will join up with his former teammate Liu ‘Sylar‘ Jiajun in VGJ.Thunder. Taking his place will be Yao ‘Yao‘ Zhengzheng, who has spent most of the past few months as an inactive player for the main LGD Gaming squad.
Perhaps the biggest surprise acquisition for LFY, however, was them picking up Chong Xin ‘Ohaiyo‘ Khoo. This comes off a huge surprise. Not because Ohaiyo is not Chinese, but because there were rumors of him returning to play under Royal Never Give Up, a Chinese organization known for their League of Legends team.
The failed exchange between LFY and Invictus Gaming also cost the latter their mid player. As a result, Ou ‘Op‘ Peng is no longer with the organization. Yang ‘GazEoD‘ soon followed Op out the door. Replacing them is Sun ‘Aggressif‘ Zheng, who will reunite with his former teammate with TI5 runner-ups CDEC Gaming, Fu ‘Q‘ Bin. Invictus Gaming’s offlaner, Lin ‘Xxs‘ Jing, will be moving to the middle lane to accommodate the team’s latest acquisitions.
Aui_2000 and Animal Planet Find an Org
— joinDOTA (@joinDOTA) January 30, 2018
Just a little less than a month after they started playing together in the North American Regional Qualifiers, Kurtis ‘Aui_2000‘ Ling and the rest of the Animal Planet squad have found themselves a sponsor in Iceberg Esports.
Iceberg Esports is a Canadian multi-game, multi-platform organization founded on August of 2017. They tried their hands in Dota 2 earlier this year with a largely unknown stack. However, they would fail to achieve anything significant in their short time together.
Iceberg Esports will make their first official LAN debut at the GESC Minor in Jakarta, Indonesia on March 15-18.
Click here for our official coverage of the acquisition.
What do you think was the biggest thing that happened in the Dota 2 scene this past week? Did we miss anything? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.