November Dota Team Rankings: Virtus Pro Show Their Class

With three Minors and the first Major of the Pro Circuit now done and dusted, we finally have a clear idea of where each team should rank on our monthly Dota team rankings.

Read on more below to find out how your favourite squad stacks up against the rest of the competition.

10. SG e-sports

Dota Team Rankings

Image via SG e-sports

Previous Ranking: Honourable Mention

The entire last month was huge for SG e-sports. Including the recently concluded Dota Pit Minor, the Brazilians played in three LAN tournaments and had every bit of a chance to show that they’re not just a big fish in the proverbial small point that is the South American Dota 2 scene.

Unfortunately, while they started their run with a 2-0 drubbing of Vici Gaming at the Starladder Minor, the best Dota 2 team in South America, by far, have yet to post a noteworthy follow up performance. They finished in 5th-6th place in both the Minors they attended last month and was the second team to exit after Fnatic at the ESL One Hamburg Major.

Even so, though, their rather abysmal performance in LANs is still better compared to teams who haven’t qualified to anything at all, which is why they’ve earned the honorary bump from honourable mentions to the No. 10 spot in our monthly Dota team rankings.

9. Immortals

Dota Team Rankings

Image via Immortals

Previous Ranking: Honourable Mention

The former TI6 MVP.Phoenix squad and the so-called Korean Overlords have been quite the disruptive force in North America so far. They’ve qualified for two Pro Circuit LANs for the season and did relatively well in both appearances, even though they found themselves in the wrong end of a massive upset at the Dota Pit LAN Finals where they lost to SG e-sports and left the tournament with a last-place finish.

While they did indeed lose to the Brazilians, Immortals still deserve the nod over them by virtue of their Top 4 finish at the PGL Minor earlier in October where they lost to Mineski 2-1 in the semifinals.

As has always been the case with the Koreans, their tendency to beat themselves remains a bit of a problem. But, then again, that’s exactly what makes them one of the most entertaining Dota 2 teams to watch and why they’re always a threat to make a huge jump in our monthly Dota team rankings.

8. Evil Geniuses

Dota Team Rankings

Image via PGL

Previous Ranking: Honourable Mention

The boys in blue have spent the better part of the last three years as the runaway best Dota 2 team in North America and one of the top three teams in the entire world. However, ever since their latest shuffle, highlighted by Clinton ‘Fear’ Loomis returning to their lineup as the team captain, Evil Geniuses have been anything but the best in their region, let alone the world.

Lucky for them, their popularity still means something to sponsors and tournament organisers, because even after not winning anything significant since The Manila Masters back in May, they still continue to receive direct invites to tournaments — to date, they remain the only North American Dota 2 team to receive a direct invite to a Pro Circuit LAN.

It’s clear that Evil Geniuses are a totally different team without either one of Peter ‘ppd‘ Dager and Ludwig ‘zai‘ Wåhlberg in their lineup. Their execution has been lackluster at times and they have a tendency to lose games they should’ve won already. Still, where there’s bad, there’s good and Evil Geniuses have shown the occasional flashes of utmost brilliance.

Should Evil Geniuses ever find a way to piece it all together, they’ll definitely return to becoming the powerhouse team that everybody has come to love and hate.

7. LGD Gaming

Dota Team Rankings

Image via LGD Gaming

Previous Ranking: 6 (-1)

LGD Gaming have appeared in only one Pro Circuit LAN this season and yet, they somehow find themselves in 7th place in our monthly Dota team rankings. You may wonder, why is that?

Well, it’s easy when that lone Pro Circuit LAN appearance comes with beating both Immortals and Evil Geniuses en route to finishing as runner-ups at the PGL Minor with a stand-in in the lineup.

LGD Gaming fans should rejoice now that Chen ‘Victoria‘ Guanhong is back in the lineup after taking a break. Because, for all attention that the flashy plays that Wang ‘Ame‘ Chuny and Lu ‘Maybe‘ Yao pull off all the time, it’s Victoria — and unti recently, Ren ‘eLeVeN‘ Yangwei, who is now with Vici Gaming — that made them such a huge threat in the months leading up to The International 7 and at the event itself.

With Victoria in tow and the team having had more time to acclimate to Xu ‘fy‘ Linsen, look to LGD Gaming to make some noise at the Perfect World Masters Minor later this month.

6. Newbee

Dota Team Rankings

Image via Newbee

Previous Ranking: 2 (-4)

Newbee have appeared in three Pro Circuit LANs so far this season. Twice they finished in the Top 4, while they bowed out in last place at the Starladder Minor where they failed to win even a single game.

Had Newbee made at least one Grand Finals appearance, they would’ve found themselves a bit higher on our monthly Dota team rankings. But they didn’t, which is exactly why they’re right where they should be.

Make no mistake, though. Newbee are still the Kings of China until otherwise proven. It’s just that compared to the rest of the world, the TI7 runner-ups haven’t exactly been on par.

5. Vici Gaming

Dota Team Rankings

Image via Dota Pit

Previous Ranking: 5 (-)

Yes, Newbee remain the best Dota 2 team in China. And yes, Vici Gaming also went 0-4 at the Starladder Minor and are a relatively new squad. But, it is also true that Vici Gaming took down OG, Virtus Pro and Newbee and were one win away from being the first team to beat Team Liquid in the Grand Finals of a LAN tournament before the reigning TI champions decided to flex their muscles and show the world who’s boss.

Although Vici Gaming still have a long way to go before you can consider them as the best Dota 2 team in China, they’re arguably the most talented already and are the closest in the region to dethroning Newbee.

Should Vici Gaming perform just as well as they did at Dota Pit at the Perfect World Masters later this month, expect to see them placing in a higher spot in our monthly Dota team rankings.

4. Mineski

Dota Team Rankings

Image via Mineski

Previous Ranking: 10 (+6)

Last month, we talked about how Mineski were just probably styling on a relatively weak competitive region. Fast forward a month and we now know that Southeast Asia isn’t a weak region, it’s just that Mineski are too strong.

Mineski have made a strong case as one of the best Dota 2 teams in the world by backing up every qualifier they’ve won with a solid outing in each of their LAN appearances. In fact, they played streak busters against the defending champions, Team Liquid, in the Grand Finals of the Starladder Minor before winning a title just over a week later at the PGL Minor at the expense of LGD Gaming. 

Had Mineski not backed out from the Dota Pit LAN Finals AND put on a good show, they’d definitely find themselves up a spot or two. But they didn’t, so they’ll just have to make do with the top 4 spot in our monthly Dota team rankings.

3. Team Secret

Dota Team Rankings

Image via Team Secret

Previous Ranking: 3 (-)

On paper, Mineski have achieved far more compared to Team Secret have this season. They’ve been in the Grand Finals of a Pro Circuit LAN tournament twice already, winning the whole thing in their second try. Meanwhile, Team Secret have appeared in three straight LAN tournaments and failed to make the playoffs once.

But, while Mineski have technically “achieved” more despite what the season standings say, the fact remains that Team Secret beat Team Liquid and Mineski didn’t.

Ultimately, that series win against the best Dota 2 team in the world — in the semifinals of a Pro Circuit Major at that — is what puts Team Secret ahead of Mineski. 

2. Virtus Pro

Previous Ranking: 4 (+2)

Dial back a week ago and Virtus Pro could easily have made the top spot in our monthly Dota team rankings. Everybody, us included, was riding on the high of Virtus Pro being the first to take a series off of Team Liquid, all the while capping it off with a series sweep of Team Secret in the Grand Finals of the ESL One Hamburg Major.

Had Virtus Pro been able to muster up anything higher than a Top 4 finish at the Dota Pit LAN Finals, they certainly would’ve made a stronger case for the No. 1 spot.

1. Team Liquid

Previous Ranking: 1 (-)

Virtus Pro were the closest thing to a threat that Team Liquid have faced over the past six months and had they lost to them again in a rematch, the CIS bears would’ve been the first Dota 2 team to earn our top spot other than Team Liquid since we started our monthly Dota team rankings.

Unfortunately, none of those things happened, while Team Liquid rebounded from their uncharacteristically sloppy performance at the ESL One Hamburg Major by ripping off 6 straight games to open up Dota Pit Season 6 before reverse sweeping Vici Gaming in the Grand Finals to earn their sixth LAN title in 7 tries.

Team Liquid are far and away the best Dota 2 team in the world right now and at this early on in the season, are already building a strong case for being the first Dota 2 team to go back-to-back TI champions.

Dota Team Rankings – Honourable Mentions

  • Infamous – The Peruvian Dota 2 team are the only other team in South America to have appeared in a Pro Circuit LAN this season. They’re also the only other team in the region to qualify for multiple Pro Circuit LANs as well. Although they had a relatively poor showing at the PGL Minor, there’s still some form of merit to their achievements this season.
  • OpTic Gaming – If there’s one team that can legitimately take over Evil Geniuses’ spot as the best Dota 2 team in North America it’s OpTic GamingThey have the talent on paper and the financial backing to do just that. As such, look to #thegreenwall to try to upset the status quo in the weeks ahead.
  • LGD.Forever Young – It’s a huge fall for LFY to go from legitimate TI contenders to failing to qualify for a Pro Circuit LAN despite playing with the same five-man lineup. Still, you can’t just count them out yet, and with LFY earning a free pass to the Perfect World Masters Minor, expect a rebound performance from Leong ‘DDC‘ Fat-meng and co.
  • CompLexity Gaming – Kyle ‘melonzz’ Freedman and the rest of CompLexity Gaming played well in their lone Pro Circuit appearance of the season at the Starladder Minor. But, that’s the thing, they’ve only appeared in one Pro Circuit LAN so far. They’ll need to do more to move up in our monthly Dota team rankings.

Our monthly Dota team rankings, while based off on recent performances and head-to-head matchups, are, by no means, definitive, and we gladly accept criticism. 

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