Weekly Dota Recap: New Dota Update 7.09 Arrives, Merlini Retires

The past week in Dota 2 was the calm before the proverbial storm, with our biggest highlights of the week being the modest, new dota update 7.09 and the unfortunate news of one of the true veterans of the scene, Ben ‘Merlini‘ Wu and David ‘LD‘ Gorman, stepping down from casting Dota 2 games indefinitely.

New Dota Update Arrives

As promised by Icefrog, the second of the bi-weekly patches arrived last week. This time around, not a single Dota 2 hero got buffed or nerfed. However, the impact of the changes made with the new dota update is huge. This is especially true for players who usually play as a position 4 or position 5 support.

For starters, Tangoes now only have 3 charges. This is the lowest number of charges the item has had since 6.55, when Dota 2 was still DotA, a mod for Blizzard’s Warcraft 3. Changes were also made to the courier cost (it’s now cheaper), to the starting gold, as well as to the bounty runes (the first four bounty runes now give +40 to all members of the team who picked up the rune, instead of 80+ only to the player who picked it up).

Click here for our official coverage of the new dota update.

Merlini and LD End Casting Careers in Dota 2

Ben ‘Merlini‘ Wu and David ‘LD‘ Gorman announced unfortunate news to the Dota 2 community just hours apart from each other on Valentines, taking to Twitter to tell their fans that they no longer will be commentating Dota 2 professionally.

LD, the co-founder of BeyondTheSummit, which has become a full-fledged studio, plans to focus his attention to building and improving the BTS studio to become a sustainable business. To that end, BTS has since expanded to other games besides Dota 2, including Super Smash Bros’ and CS:GO, just to name a few.

Where LD will remain in Dota 2, albeit in a differente capacity, Merlini is stepping away from the game altogether. At least, as far as casting goes. He explained that he has lost confidence in the job security that the scene provides going forward.

LD and Merlini started casting Dota 2 professionally in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Both are considered by many as one of the best casters in the scene and worked on every iteration of TI and other Valve Majors prior to this season.

DreamLeague Season 9 Qualifiers Nearing End

Nearly a month away from DreamLeague Season 9, the list of participating Dota 2 teams is now almost complete.

Team Empire, Fnatic and paiN Gaming were the first of the Qualifiers to join the direct invites. Not long after, OG would follow suit. Immortals would then make it 7 out of 8 after ending their Pro Circuit LAN drought via the Regional Qualifiers for North America.

The only slot left now is for China. Newbee, ViCi Gaming, LGD.ForeverYoung and Keen Gaming will all fight on February 27-28 for a chance to represent China at the LAN Finals of DreamLeague Season 9 in Stockholm, Sweden on March 21-25.

ESL Adds Third-Place Match for Katowice

What the Dota 2 community wants, the Dota 2 community gets. Or at least, that’s the way things have gone over the past few months.

After fans complained about only 4 out of the 5 playoff matches being played in front of the live audience, ESL listened and made changes to the tournament format. Though the live audience will still only get to watch matches on the last two days of the event on February 24-25, they’ll get to watch 5 playoff matches now after ESL added a third-place decider match, scheduled just right before the Grand Finals.

Other than pleasing fans, the change is huge for the participating teams. Instead of being “okay” with just a 3rd-4th place finish, teams will now have more of an incentive to try hard and get a bronze. The different between the prize money may be modest, but it’s the Qualifying Points that matters. From 75 QP for 4th-place, the 3rd-place team will go home with 225 Qualifying Points, which is more than double, not to mention larger than what teams get from winning a Minor.

Click here for our official coverage of ESL’s announcement.

VGJ.Storm Returns

Formed in early September, VGJ.Storm have not had a good season; their lone Pro Circuit LAN appearance is at MDL Macau 2018 where they finished in last place with a 2-8 record. This prompted an eventual “reset” even when they had already registered their roster, and now, VGJ.Storm is back with an all-new lineup.

Jingjun ‘Sneyking‘ Wu returns as part of VGJ.Storm’s original Dota 2 roster. Joining him are Yawar ‘YawaR‘ Hassan, Enzo ‘Timado‘ Gianoli, Arif ‘MSS‘ Anwar and Avery ‘SVG‘ Silverman.

VGJ.Storm have already played in two Pro Circuit Qualifiers to mixed results. They got bounced early back Evil Geniuses and opTic Gaming at the DAC 2018 Qualifiers. However, they managed to bounce back at the DreamLeague Season 9 Qualifiers, finishing in 2nd-place after losing to Fnatic in the Grand Finals 2-1.

What other noteworthy things that happened in Dota 2 this past week did we miss out on? Do you think the new dota update will have a huge impact on the pro scene? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.

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