Once The International 2018 starts in August, players who aren’t even old enough to order an alcohol drink and as old as 29 will center stage, as more than a decade separate the youngest and oldest dota pros among the sixteen teams playing in TI8.
The International 2018 will feature a pair of 17-year-olds and three 18-year-olds and a couple of other 19-year-olds. On the other end of the age spectrum, we have four 29-year-olds and a pair of 30-year-olds whow ill be playing for yet another record prize pool.
Additionally, here is a quick rundown of average age of each position of TI8 players, courtesy of u/fireattack:
Having said that, we took the time to rundown the youngest and oldest dota pros playing in The International 2018.
Heitor ‘Duster‘ Pereira – August 8, 2000
Easily one of the least heralded players in the game, Duster is part of a rare breed of youngsters who choose to play as a position five — a role mostly reserved for captains and veterans of the game. However, despite playing in what’s supposed to be a low-impact role, Duster has done well enough to carve his own niche in a paiN Gaming squad that’s become one of the teams to watch ever since adding Aliwi ‘w33‘ Omar to their roster.
Perhaps the next in a long line of great supports in the mold of Peter ‘ppd‘ Dager and Johan ‘pieliedie‘ Åström, Duster will have his hands full rallying his aggressive and often over-eager squad as they try to avoid an early exit at this year’s The International.
Abed Azel ‘Abed‘ Yusop – August 2, 2000
Abed is currently the position two or mid laner for Fnatic in Southeast Asia and is widely considered one of the most mechanically skilled players in the world after making history as the first-ever Dota 2 player to reach 10K MMR.
For someone who officially only turned pro in 2015, Abed has achieved quite a lot. At 17-years-old, he currently has a total career earnings of $180,000. He has appeared at every TI since making debut during the wild cards at The International 2016 with Execration where he ushered the micro-intensive hero Meepo into the meta and turned the hero into a must-ban against him since.
While his arrival in Fnatic did not meet expectations — many believed that he would propel Fnatic into the top eight of the DPC — they remained legitimate threats nevertheless and look to set have a fantastic showing at TI8 in August.
Armel Paul ‘Armel‘ Tabios – January 20, 2000
Brought in to make way for Carlo ‘Kuku‘ Palad’s transition to the position five role and replace him in the middle lane as TNC Pro Team sought to field an All-Filipino lineup, Armel has done nothing but impress since coming aboard. But, TI8 will be Armel’s biggest test yet as he has some pretty big shoes to fill in his TI debut.
After serving as underdogs for the past two years and pulling off arguably the biggest upset in TI history at TI6, TNC Pro Team will now enter The International 2018 as a team expected to make a deep run. Anything less will be considered as a disappointment and you best expect Armel to take the brunt of the criticism in case the All-Filipino squad fails to meet expectations.
Zhang ‘LaNm‘ Zhicheng – December 25, 1989
The man. The myth. The legend.
LaNm is a legendary figure both in and out of the Chinese Dota 2 community. The west, in particular, has affectionally come to refer to him as “Big Dick LaNm”. This, as a result of an interview with his former teammate, Daryl Koh ‘iceiceice‘ Pei Xiang.
Nicknames aside, LaNm is one of the oldest dota pros who has also played in all but one of the TIs — he only missed The International 2017 after stepping down as a player to coach ViCi Gaming, who fell well short of a spot via the Chinese Qualifiers. And now that he’s back in the biggest stage in all of Dota 2, there’s no doubt that he’s looking to finally winning the Aegis of Champions after failing so many times.
Lu ‘Fenrir‘ Chao — January 18, 1989
Fenrir isn’t just one of the oldest dota pros playing in The International 2018, he is the oldest.
At 29-years-old, he beats out the other two players on our list LaNm and UniVeRsE by a couple of months. But, don’t let his age fool you, because what he lacks in mechanical skill compared to the other younger, flashier support players, he makes up for in veteran savvy and experience.
As one of the two veterans anchoring a relatively young ViCi Gaming squad, Fenrir has seen it all. He has missed a TI and even come close to winning it all, coming in second place at The International 2014 with ViCi Gaming.
After missing out on last year’s festivities, Fenrir will be looking to make some noise in his return, and we’re all excited for it.
Saahil ‘UNiVeRsE‘ Arora — October 11, 1989
If it feels like UNiVeRsE has been around forever, it’s because he has.
UNiVeRsE isn’t just one of the oldest dota pros in the scene, he’s also one of the few Dota 2 pros to have ever been to every TI and the only one to have made an appearance at every Valve-sponsored event, UNiVeRsEis a tried and tested veteran who can always be counted on to make the game-turning plays when it counts the most. Case in point, his $6 million dollar echo slam that all but sealed Evil Geniuses’ win at The International 2015.
Donning a different jersey for the first time in a while, it’ll feel weird looking at UNiVeRsE playing at a TI for a different team. But, even though he’s now playing for Fnatic, there’s very little doubt that UNiVeRsE will once again find himself in the thick of things, turning the tides of battle and doing everything in his power to give his team a win.
Which of the youngest and oldest dota pros are you looking forward to seeing in The International 2018 the most? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.