It seems that 2017 isn’t going away with a whimper, headlined by some big Dota 2 news, including new additions to the Pro Circuit tournament such as the PGL Bucharest Major and DreamLeague Minor, as well as a couple of roster shuffles, from Evil Geniuses dropping one of their longest tenured players to the All-Greek lineup of mousesports disbanding and subsequently parting ways with the org.
With one more week to go, we’re sure to hear even more news. Until then, let’s try and recap some of the biggest stories of the last week.
PGL Bucharest Major Announced
— Wykrhm Reddy (@wykrhm) December 22, 2017
Held on march 9-11 2018 at the Polyvalent Hall in Bucharest, Romania, the PGL Bucharest Major will feature a total of 16 teams; 10 direct invites and 6 Regional Qualifier teams. All will compete for a $1,000,000 prize pool and 1,500 Qualifying Points.
Soon after, PGL announced their direct invites to the event. The list feature big names, all of which deserve a free pass to the main event. This includes Team Liquid, Newbee, Virtus Pro and Team Secret, among others. OG were a noteworthy exclusion to the list of direct invites. Although it shouldn’t come as that big of a surprise considering their rather lackluster performance throughout the first quarter of the season.
The PGL Major Closed Qualifiers will begin in February for Europe, CIS, SEA, North and South America. Albeit China will get a head start, with the Closed Qualifiers running from January 3 to 7.
Click here for our coverage of the official announcement.
Team Secret to Defend Title at the DreamLeague Minor
— Team Secret (@teamsecret) December 21, 2017
DreamLeague Season 8 champions Team Secret are now set to defend their title at the DreamLeague Minor on March 21-25. Unlike the previous DreamLeague tournament, Season 9 will only be a Minor; the prize pool is now down to only $300,000 with only 300 Qualifying Points up for grabs.
The scope and scale of the tournament isn’t the only thing different with the DreamLeague Minor. Instead of skipping direct invites, the defending champions have been invited this time around. Joining them are another team to be announced at a later date and 6 more Regional Qualifier teams.
Click here for the official announcement.
EG Bid Farewall to UNiVeRsE, Welcome Back Familiar Faces
End of an era: @UniverseDota leaves @EvilGeniuses as one of only 8 players to compete in 1000 pro #Dota2 games with a single franchise. His 63.05% win rate with the team (669-392) is surpassed only by s4 (556-322 with [A]) and Fenrir (566-317 with VG). https://t.co/bXUwUf4SV5
— Nahaz (@NahazDota) December 20, 2017
In a bid to improve their relatively weak start to the season, Evil Geniuses decided to make changes to both their roster (via a roster change and a role swap) and the supporting cast.
Gone now is Avery ‘SVG‘ Silverman, who coached Evil Geniuses to their most significant achievement of the season — a 3rd-place finish at the DreamLeague Major. Replacing him is Sam ‘BuLba‘ Sosale, who coached Evil Geniuses during their title run back at The International 5.
At the same time, Evil Geniuses also bid farewell to their world-class offlaner Saahil ‘UNiVeRsE‘ Arora. Taking up his place in the offlane is former teenage prodigy and TI5 winner, Syed Sumail ‘SumaiL‘ Hassan, who will be making the switch from midlane. Meanwhile, Rasmus ‘MISERY‘ Filipsen makes his return after leaving the team back in 2012.
MISERY comes into Evil Geniuses to take on the role of team captain with Clinton ‘Fear‘ Loomis moving back to a core role as the team’s midlaner.
Click here for our official coverage of the announcement.
OpTic Gaming Pick 33 to Fill Vacant 4 Spot
— Peter Dager (@Peterpandam) December 21, 2017
OpTic Gaming never ceases to surprise people. After a somewhat underwhelming start to the season, Peter ‘ppd‘ Dager and his band of misfits decided to make a couple of changes to their roster. The first bid goodbye to MISERY, who is now with Evil Geniuses, and temporarily replaced him with Martin ‘Saksa‘ Sazdo.
With the end of Saksa’s brief stint with the team, OpTic have found their unlikely replacement in Neta ‘33‘ Shapire.
The player choice is quite surprising, to say the least. For one, 33 isn’t exactly known for playing the position 4 support role. Instead, the professional Israeli Dota 2 player gained notoriety for his play in the offlane while with Planet Dog.
The new-look OpTic Gaming are set to make their debut at the Galaxy Battles Major on January 15-21.
Mouz All-Greek Roster Disband
We have disbanded our dota 2 team and are no longer part of @mousesports. I would like to thank mouz for their professionalism and support. Details coming soon!
— Verros Apostolos (@MNTdota) December 23, 2017
Verros ‘Maybe Next Time‘ Apostolos, position 4 support for mousesports, announced earlier this week via twitter that the All-Greek lineup have parted ways with the Germany-based organisation. The worst part? They won’t be reforming under another banner.
Maybe Next Time later took to Twitter to shed some light as to what led to the fallout of a roster that have stuck together for the past two years.
LGD Gaming Enter Try-Out Period
— Beyond the Summit (@BeyondTheSummit) December 12, 2017
LGD Gaming join the long list of teams who have officially called it quits. The MDL 2017 champions are now going through a try-out period and will reportedly not stop until satisfied. Their list of “tryouts” include the former OG offlaner David ‘MoonMeander Tan and Fnatic coach Adam Erwann Shah ‘343‘ Bin, among others.
LGD Gaming had a temporary roster set up for the Galaxy Battles Major Qualifiers. Their most recent roster featured Sea mew from CDEC Gaming and Yang ‘Chalice‘ Shenyi. However, after failing to qualify, LGD Gaming are likely to change things up again for the next set of qualifiers.
VGJ.Thunder Fill Out Galaxy Battles Major Lineup
Happy Birthday to Sylar! pic.twitter.com/DfXQDvuRnp
— ViCi Gaming (@ViCi_Gaming) December 20, 2017
VGJ.Thunder, a team of relatively unknowns from China headlined by Liu ‘Sylar‘ Jiajun, will now join 13 other teams at the Galaxy Battles Major in mid January. They secured their spot at the 1st Major of 2018 after beating EHOME 2-1 in the Grand Finals of China’s Regional Qualifier. They’re the last team to qualify for the 3rd major of the season.
With the Regional Qualifiers all wrapped up, only two spots for the Galaxy Battles Major remain. 4 teams will fight it out for the said two spots in a Wild Cards phase on January 19-21; Team Kinguin, Team Empire, Skyville and PG.Barracx will all do battle for a chance to complete the tournament’s 16-team lineup.
Which of the two newly announced tournaments, the PGL Major and the DreamLeague Minor, are you most excited about? Which of the roster changes personally shocked you the most? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.