The Most Surprising Pre-TI7 Roster Shuffle Changes

A lot can still happen in the weeks leading up to the biggest eSports event ever, but now that the Pre-TI7 roster shuffle is over and rosters are locked, we at least know which squads are going to be competing from here on out.

As is the nature of the Pre-TI roster shuffle, changes are expected.

From former TI champions switching teams at the last minute, to powerhouses bringing in unknown talent, all these have happened before.

Still, while we’ve come to expect the transfer period before TI to get crazy, there are quite a few transfers that blindsided us all.

TI6 Champions Wings Gaming / Team Random Disband

Pre-TI7 Roster Shuffle

Image via Twitch

Traditionally, Valve has handed out direct invites to every TI winner to the following year’s event. The same holds true for Majors. Valve seems to like the idea of letting champions defend their titles. So, it’s not unusual for TI champions to stick together, or only make minimal changes as they’re already assured a spot and a share of the crowd-funded prize pool.

Wings Gaming is no exception.

Assured of their direct TI7 invitation, the TI6 champs chose to stick to their roster. This, even after internal issues led them to leave the Wings organization to compete as Team Random. 

So, imagine the shock when the team completely disbanded and scattered all across the Chinese Dota 2 scene.

Their carry, Chu ‘shadow’ Zeyu, is now with Eclipse. While Zhou ‘BLink’ Yang and Li iceice Peng have reportedly retired and will likely not be at TI. Finally, Zhang ‘Faith_bian’ Ruida and Zhang ‘y’ Yiping have both jumped ship to EHOME and will likely get a chance to be at TI via the China qualifier.

The Return of Cloud9

After achieving relatively little success with their roster since the team’s inception, Team NP decided to make some changes. Although, they did so not by taking in fresh talent, but by bringing in familiar faces.

With Adrian FATA-Trinks and Johan “pieliedie” Åström now in Team NP and Pittner “bOne7” Armand as their coach, Team NP is now officially composed of members of pre-TI5 Cloud9.

So far, Team NP’s choice of bringing in former comrades seem to have worked for them.

The team placed 3rd at the Manila Masters, losing out to Evil Geniuses in the winner’s bracket finals. Then, they placed 2nd at the Zotac Cup Masters, losing to Newbee in the Grand Finals.

Jokes about Cloud9’s 2nd-place curse aside, Team NP is looking really strong heading into the TI qualifiers.

1437 and Mag Heads To The Philippines

NA and CIS veterans Theeban ‘1437‘ Siva and Andrew ‘Mag’ Chipenko have decided to take a page out of Jimmy ‘DeMoN’ Ho’s book and moved to SEA. The former joined forces with the TNC Pro Team, while the latter went with Mineski.

The resulting move hasn’t been kind with the CIS veteran, as Mineski has yet to experience to win much with their new roster. Meanwhile, 1437’s move to TNC Pro Team seems to have done them well.

The TNC Pro Team had a strong showing at the StarLadder i-League Invitational Season 2, losing out to Team Liquid in the Grand Finals 3-2.

Our Pre-TI7 Roster Shuffle bet is on 1437 doing a DeMoN and taking TNC Pro Team deep into TI7.

Digital Chaos Lets Go Of DeMoN

Speaking of DeMoN, he’s been in and out of rosters following his success with TNC Pro Team since TI6. And, even when he decided to create his own team, the former Team Onyx turned Digital Chaos, he was eventually let go in order to make way for Korean offlaner, Lee ‘Forev’ Sang-Don.

Jimmy now joins Complexity Gaming along with Feero.

Here’s to hoping this time he finally sticks.

Crescendo Forms

With a lot of EU’s best players without teams, a few of them decided to band together to form their own team.

Spear-headed by Troels ‘syndereN’ Nielsen, team Crescendo features former TI winners Jerry “EGM” Lundkvis and Joakim ‘Akke’ Akterhall. Steve ‘Excalibur’ Ye and Jon ’13ababyKnight’ Andersen also joined the team.

While filled with big names, it’s hard to see Crescendo making some noise in the EU qualifiers.

Pre-TI7 Roster Shuffle Implications

Although the Pre-TI7 roster shuffle featured some big names moving around, looking at the big picture, the teams who didn’t make any changes are the ones most likely to make some noise heading into TI7.

OG and Evil Geniuses officially receiving direct invites to TI7 will be a formality at this point. Both are likely to head into the tournament as heavy favorites. Meanwhile, look to Chinese powerhouse Newbee to receive an invite as well.

Be that as it may, there’s still a whole lot of Dota 2 to play, and TI7 and the road leading up to it will likely see its fair share of surprising runs and disappointing losses as previous Internationals did.