Dota 2’s competitive landscape has changed a lot since Team Liquid took home the aegis at The International 7 a month ago, with most of the top Dota teams taking advantage of the recent shuffle to bolster their ranks for another shot at immortality at The International 8 next year.
With that said, we here at Esportsranks present to your our first power rankings for the 2017-18 season.
10. TNC Pro Team
- Marc Polo ‘Raven’ Fausto
- Carlo ‘Kuku’ Palad
- Sam ‘Sam_H’ Hidalgo
- Timothy ‘Tims’ Randrup
- Theeban ‘1437’ Siva
Previous Ranking: 8 (-2)
Yes, TNC Pro Team hasn’t exactly had a title to show for their latest roster — the closest they came was when they debuted at the StarLadder Invitational Season 2 in May where they gave Team Liquid a run for their money in the Grand Finals — and they looked vulnerable at the PGL SEA Qualifiers.
Still, they’re not a squad you can just sleep on and until proven otherwise, TNC Pro Team remain one of Southeast Asia’s top Dota teams.
9. Team Secret
- Marcus ‘Ace’ Hoelgaard
- Yeik Nai ‘MidOne’ Zheng
- Adrian ‘FATA-‘ Trinks
- Yazied ‘YapzOr’ Jaradat
- Clement ‘Puppey’ Ivanov
Previous Ranking: 6 (-3)
Team Secret plummets due to the uncertainty of their newest lineup and the fact that they only finished within the top 16 at The International 7.
Picking up Ace is definitely a good move for Team Secret. He’s long had a reputation for being one of the most stable hard carry players around and was often the lone bright spot in the teams he had previously played in, such as Cloud9, The Imperial and Danish Bears.
The big unknown here is FATA- and how well he will adjust to the transition from the mid lane to the offlane.
His playstyle and pool of heroes suggest that he could follow the same path as Gustav ‘s4’ Magnusson did. However, s4 was a far better midlaner than he was, with a TI to show for it.
In any case, Team Secret face a tall task ahead of them with one of the top Dota teams, OG, standing in their way at the EU qualifiers for this year’s Minors and Majors.
8. Invictus Gaming
- Yang ‘GazEoD’ Pu
- Ou ‘Op’ Peng
- Lin ‘Xxs’ Jing
- Ye ‘BoBoKa’ Zhibiao
- Fu ‘Q’ Bin
Previous Ranking: 10 (+2)
Similarly, it’s hard to rank Invictus Gaming, who finished in the Top 6 at The International 7 and were the only ones to ever beat Team Liquid in a series, any higher because Xu ‘BurNIng’ Zhilei is no longer part of the team.
In terms of skill, GaZEoD / END isn’t as big of a step down as most people would like to think. However, longevity as a team plays a huge factor in how we rank the top Dota teams, especially as we move up, and while the rest of the squad has played for more than a year, acclimating to GaZEoD may take quite some time.
Expect Invictus Gaming to stumble quite a bit before they regain their form.
7. Evil Geniuses
- Artour ‘Arteezy’ Babaev
- Sumail ‘Suma1L’ Hassan
- Saahil ‘UNiVeRsE’ Arora
- Andreas ‘Cr1t-‘ Nielsen
- Clinton ‘Fear’ Loomis
Previous Ranking: 7 (-2)
It was clear that Evil Geniuses’ drafting suffered without ppd at the helm, even if they managed to remain one of the top Dota teams all season long.
Likely as a result of their recent stumble at TI7, Fear has stepped down from coaching to right the ship as Evil Geniuses’ captain. Meanwhile, cr1t will go back to the position 4, where he initially made a name for himself with OG throughout the 2015-16 season.
zai leaving the team is a shame, but cr1t is just as capable at the position 4, especially if he recaptures the form he once showed with OG, while Fear, an incredibly versatile player, likely won’t have a problem transitioning from a hard carry to a hard support.
Still, it’s hard to rank Evil Geniuses any higher when other top Dota teams deserve it so much more.
- Jonathan ‘N0tail’ Sundstein
- Roman ‘Resolut1on’ Fominok
- Gustav ‘s4’ Magnusson
- Jesse ‘JerAx’ Vainikka
- Tal ‘Fly’ Aizik
Previous Ranking: 5 (-1)
Ever since OG won the Kiev Major in April, their performance has been on a downward spiral. Although they remained a formidable opponent that warranted respect, teams no longer feared them as the team went from one of the heavy favourites to win TI to a fringe candidate to finish in the top 4.
Ultimately, OG was able to exercise their past demons and finish in the top 8, which is respectable, but as s4 said in an earlier podcast, is definitely lower than they hoped for.
Bringing in resolut1on, Team Empire’s stand-in who came up big at TI7, could be the key to making them a top contender once again.
Known as one of the best hard carry players in the world, resolut1on was originally a midlaner, and in theory, his playstyle should fit OG more than Anathan ‘Ana’ Pham and Amer ‘Miracle-‘ Al-Barqawi ever did.
Only time can tell if OG have finally found themselves a resolut1on.
- Roman ‘Ramzes666’ Kushnarev
- Vladimir ‘No[o]ne’ Minenko
- Pavel ‘9Pasha’ Khvastunov
- Ilya ‘Lil’ Ilyuk
- Alexei ‘Solo’ Berezin
Previous Ranking: 3 (-2)
Virtus.Pro’s rise throughout the season from dark horses post TI6 to one of the top Dota teams in the world was a sight to behold. It certainly helped that they were cocky and borderline arrogant, which made them all the more entertaining to watch and cheer for.
With a year and a number of LAN titles under their belt, Virtus.Pro should only improve this season.
4. LGD Gaming
- Wang ‘Ame’ Chunyu
- Lu ‘Maybe’ Yao
- Xu ‘fy’ Linsen
- Yao ‘Yao’ Zhengzheng
- Chen ‘Victoria’ Guanhong
Previous Ranking: 9 (+5)
It seems only fitting that the MDL 2017 champs, LGD Gaming, land themselves the 4th spot in our Dota 2 rankings after finishing in fourth place at TI7. Because even if Ren ‘eLeVeN’ Yangwei has since left the team, LGD‘s main squad remains very scary with fy serving as his replacement.
The former face of Vici Gaming is just every bit as prolific as eLeVeN was and was a huge part of what made the TI4 runner-ups one of the top Dota teams from 2012 to 2016.
fy is arguably an upgrade over eLeVeN and should only make LGD Gaming an even bigger threat this season.
3. LGD.Forever Young
- Du ‘Monet’ Peng
- Xie ‘Super’ Junhao
- He ‘Inflame’ Yongzheng
- Tue ‘Ah fu’ Soon Chuan
- Leong ‘ddc’ Fat-meng
Previous Ranking: 12 (+9)
LGD.Forever Young has been one of the most entertaining Dota 2 teams to watch since they first made an appearance at EPICENTER 2017.
LFY made The International 7 their playground and had they won the whole thing, most people probably wouldn’t have minded, especially with Ah fu pulling one ballsy player after another and Monet taking over games, with the occasional flashes of brilliance from ever-so-stable Super.
Make no mistake, however, LFY’s third-place finish at TI7 after going undefeated during the group stages was a full team effort as they gave birth to the annoying Lich meta that continue to prevail to this day.
LFY has chosen to stay together for the new season, which easily makes them one of the top Dota teams and all but ensures ddc’s eight-straight TI appearance.
- Xu ‘Moogy’ Han
- Song ‘Sccc’ Chun
- Damien ‘kpii’ Chok
- Hu ‘Kaka’ Liangzhi
- Zeng ‘Faith’ Hongda
Previous Ranking: 3 (+1)
It’s easy to make the argument that LFY deserves to rank ahead of Newbee. After all, up until their winner’s bracket finals matchup, LFY was undoubtedly the better team overall and had looked primed to break the west-east cycle and take home the Aegis.
Even during their aforementioned matchup where LFY lost 2-1, Newbee pretty much had their backs against the wall. However, Newbee ultimately won and went home as runner-ups while LFY finished in 3rd place after losing to the eventual champions in their lower-brackets finals matchup.
That’s pretty much the end of the argument right there.
Besides, Newbee remained one of the top Dota teams throughout the whole year, with a couple of high-placed finishes and LAN titles to show for it.
Now that Newbee has played and experienced together the highs and lows of professional Dota 2 for a whole year, Newbee look to be one of the early candidates to take home the Aegis for China in 2018.
1. Team Liquid
- Lasse ‘MATUMBAMAN’ Urpalainen
- Amer ‘Miracle-‘ Al-Barqawi
- Ivan Borislavov ‘MinD-ContRoL’ Ivanov
- Maroun ‘GH’ Merhej
- Kuro Salehi ‘KuroKy’ Takhasomi
Previous Ranking: 1 (-)
Of course, speaking of early candidates to win TI8, Team Liquid is at the top of the totem pole.
Where LFY and Newbee gave birth to the Lich and Bloodseeker meta respectively at The International 7, Team Liquid is largely responsible for why you’ve been seeing a lot of Earthshaker, Broodmother, Necrophos, and Keeper of the Light picks lately.
More than their effect on the hero meta, however, Team Liquid just outplayed everybody at TI7, using the map’s layout so much to their advantage to the point that someone complained that it was not balanced.
With the 9k stack and the rest of the squad intact, Team Liquid isn’t just one of the top Dota teams in the world, but they also have a legitimate shot at making history as the first-ever team to win TI twice.
- Mineski – Mineski’s current lineup has only lost one official game EVER with a chance to extend that streak and secure their third straight qualifier slot at the StarLadder Season 3 SEA Qualifiers. At this point, it won’t be far-fetched to claim that Mineski has a chance to be much more dominant than Team Faceless was last year.
- Vici Gaming – Composed of three veterans (eLeVeN, Fenrir, and LaNm) and two young talents (Paparazi and Ori), Vici Gaming’s latest roster looks stacked on paper. Now, all that remains is for them to prove that they can translate all that talent into qualifier spots and deep runs at LANs.
- CompLexity Gaming – In between Immortals picking up the TI6 MVP squad, MSS and MoonMeander going to Digital Chaos and news of ppd’s stack, it’s hard to keep track who’s second to Evil Geniuses in NA. Although compLexity Gaming is slowly building a case to be that team after going 10-0 at the King’s Cup: America online tournament. If they secure this qualifier and a couple more, NA might just have two of the top Dota teams in the world.
Our Dota 2 rankings, while based off on recent performances and head-to-head matchups, are, by no means, definitive, and we gladly accept criticism. Be sure to let us know what you think by leaving a comment down below.