PGL Bucharest completes the trifecta of must-play and must-watch tournaments opening up the new season this October. And, as expected, rosters are now slowly rounding up into form, with inactive players returning to competitive play, former teammates reuniting and more.
Say Hello to PGL Bucharest
With StarLadder Season 3 (Oct 12 to 15 / Minor) announced a week earlier and ESL Hamburg (Oct 26 to 29 / Major) months ago, we finally have a complete list of tournaments to open up the 2017-18 season with details on PGL Bucharest (Oct 19 to 22 / Minor) being officially announced.
PGL Bucharest will see eight teams in the LAN finals fighting for a total prize pool of $300,000. NA powerhouse Evil Geniuses and TI7 4th-place finishers LGD Gaming each received direct invites to the event.
For more information, click here.
ESL One Hamburg Regional Qualifiers
Just a few days after the announcement of PGL Bucharest, ESL released details regarding the format for the regional qualifiers for the first Dota 2 Major of the season.
According to ESL’s announcement, the Regional Qualifiers will run from September to September 24. It will feature 12 teams in total (8 for China). 4 Open Qualifier teams will face off against 8 direct invites (4 for China).
The six teams from the Regional Qualifiers will then join 2 direct invites at the LAN finals of the main event on October 26 to October 29.
Click here for more details.
PPD & Zai Leave Evil Geniuses, Fear Returns as Captain
Following their third-place finish at The International 6, ppd stepped down as an active player and took over as the CEO of Evil Geniuses. Meanwhile, Clinton ‘Fear’ Loomis “retired” and became the coach of the team.
Despite losing two of their longest tenured players and biggest shot-callers, Evil Geniuses’ performance didn’t really experience a huge drop-off in performance post-TI6. Although they failed to win a Major, they made deep runs at both The Boston Major and The Kiev Major, while also securing 3 LAN titles throughout the season.
Unfortunately, despite being one of the more consistent Dota 2 teams of the year, Evil Geniuses bowed out early on in the main event of The International 7, courtesy of Team Empire. This marked the first time since TI4 that Evil Geniuses finished below 3rd place.
Fear will now rejoin Evil Geniuses as their captain as a position 5 support player; last season’s captain Andreas Franck ‘Cr1t-‘ Nielsen will move the position 4 to accommodate the change.
As of now, ppd and Ludwig ‘zai‘ Wåhlberg are currently teamless. However, rumors point out to zai joining ppd in a new team.
For more details, click here.
OG Find Themselves a Resolut1on
The hottest free agent of the shuffle Roman ‘Resolut1on’ Fominok joins the 4-time Major winners OG to round out their lineup for the upcoming season.
Resolut1on has arguably been Dota 2’s best hard carry player for the past two seasons. He was instrumental in Digital Chaos’ 2nd-place finish at TI6 and 1st-place finish at ESL One Genting in January 2017.
Resolut1on also played as a stand-in for Team Empire at The International 7 where he was a huge factor in helping the CIS organisation finish in the Top 8.
With OG, the Ukranian superstar will replace Anathan ‘ana’ Pham in the mid lane after the organisation parted ways with the 17-year-old from Australia weeks ago.
Click here for our official coverage of the announcement.
EX-MVP Phoenix Players Reunite
If this tweet from Kim ‘QO’ Seon-yeop is any indication, then we’ll likely see the former MVP.Phoenix squad get back together for the new season.
MVP.Phoenix was one of the most delightful surprises of The International 6 where they placed in the Top 6. Their “Caveman Dota” play style earned them many fans as they pummelled one team after another with their signature unrelenting aggression and unconventional picks.
After going their separate ways post-TI6, each member was still able to make it to TI7 with their respective teams. However, none of them experienced the same kind of success. QO and Kim ‘Febby’ Yong-min couldn’t even make it to the main event after Fnatic finished last in the group stages.
Loda Returns to Active Play
Long-time carry player Jonathan ‘Loda’ Berg recently announced his return as an active player after going on hiatus for the past few months. His announcement comes as no surprise after Alliance’s latest roster failed to qualify for The International 7 via the EU qualifiers.
With the qualifiers for StarLadder Season 3 and PGL Bucharest coming soon, expect Alliance to announce their newest lineup within the next two weeks.
Loda is currently the only active player on Alliance’s roster.
For our official coverage of the announcement, click here.
RodjER and Crystallize Join Natus Vincere
For the first time in history, Natus Vincere failed to qualify for a TI. As a result, the organisation decided to make some huge changes to their roster.
First, Natus Vincere decided to part ways with Per Andres Olsson ‘Pajkatt’ Lille and Malthe ‘Biver’ Winther late in July 2017. Then, a few weeks later, they announced the return of their former carry player Alexandar ‘XBOCT’ Dashkevich as the team’s coach.
Their latest addition, Vladimir ‘RodjER’ Nokogosyan, is an up-and-coming support player who last played with Team Empire at TI7. Meanwhile, Vladislav ‘Crystallize’ Krystanek is an unproven commodity.
For our official coverage of the roster change, click here.
China Joins the Post TI Shuffle
The new season: EHOME Dota 2. One goal, one dream. 👑Let's go!old chicken – Cty – Faith_bian – hym – y`innocence
Posted by EHOME on Friday, September 1, 2017
The past few days saw prominent Chinese teams officially field out their lineups for the 2017-18 season.
Vici Gaming headlines the handful of teams after gutting their previous season’s lineup. They will now field a total of three teams. Their main squad will welcome new faces in iG.Vitality’s Zhang ‘Paparazi灬‘; Ren ‘eLeVeN’ Yangwei of EHOME and LGD Gaming; Lu ‘Fenrir’ Chao and the return of Zhang ‘LaNm’ Zhicheng.
EHOME and LGD also made some notable changes to their Dota 2 rosters.
More Noteworthy News
- Professional Dota 2 players have actively begun participating in in-house leagues to fill the offseason gap. For those interested in watching the games, both the North American and European divisions are actively streaming on Twitch.
- LGD Gaming recently announced their Esports Arena, complete with a “movie theatre, food hall, gym & internet cafe”.
- MoonduckTV has teased the return of “The Midas Mode” tournament, which will feature the likes of Evil Geniuses and OG.
- As a lead up to The Summit 8, BeyondTheSummit has announced the “King’s Cup” tournament. The online tournament will feature Tier 2 and 3 teams from North and South America. The winner will earn a spot at the aforementioned Dota 2 Minor.
- Troels ‘syndereN‘ Nielsen teams up with former Alliance players plus MagE- in a currently unnamed stack.
- Double Dimension announces their latest roster with Roy ‘rajjix’ Rajje, a long time teammate of TI7 champ Maroun ‘GH’ Merhej, as their carry player.