Welcome to the first instalment of ‘Time Lapse’ — A monthly feature article where I discuss the latest news, results, and rumors from Dota 2. This article will probably end up like my MMR- Terrible, but at least I’ll have fun doing it… right?
This month I take a look at recent ESL One Hamburg 2019 results, Na’Vi benching their captain, Geek Fam’s Visa issues, KuroKy talks business, Team Spirit’s return to professional Dota and a sneaky clip from a game I recently played. So, let’s begin!
TNC Predator win ESL One Hamburg
Despite previously taking care of Gambit Esports in both the group stage and upper bracket, TNC Predator needed 5 games to defeat Gambit and create history as the first SEA based team to win an ESL One Tournament. TNC Predator looked dominant throughout the tournament, only dropping one game to Wind and Rain on their way to the Grand Final. While the new look Gambit roster surprised most people, including myself, as they not only took down Alliance in the lower bracket final, but were also one game away from the biggest upset of the tournament.
The grand final series littery went back and forward, with TNC Preadator comfortablely winning game 1, then Gambit anhilniating TNC in game 2, TNC slowly grinding out a win in game 3, Gambit again dominating game 4, then a final showdown to finally determine a winner. Game 5 saw TNC Predator continue this bizzare pattern of win-loss and become your ESL One Hambury 2019 champions, pocketing a nice $125,000USD.
Sure, Gambit earnt their spot in the grand final by defeating Alliance in their BO3, but am I the only one who wanted to see Alliance vs TNC Predator in the grand final? I think not!
Na’Vi bench SoNNeikO
It didn’t take long, but Na’Vi have again proved that their roster is as reliable as a 2K Support player. Following their early depature from TI9, Na’Vi were able to pick up ex-Virtus.Pro offlaner 9pasha (Blizzy moved to inactive), a good move for the iconic CIS team. Results however, have been disapointing, so disapointing in fact that SoNNeikO has been benched. Na’Vi CEO Yevhen Zolotarov stated that “Right after TI has concluded, the problems in interactions between the captain and some players became clear. We have discussed it and made a joint decision to keep the backbone of the team and work on those problems. It seemed that after Pasha’s arrival everything has settled, and pre-qualifier bootcamp was going rather productively”.
There’s been no official replacement for SoNNeiKo yet, however Zolotarov further elaborated that “we are starting to test position 5 players, and we will approach the next qualifiers fully prepared to fight”.
Na’Vi have underperformed for too long. First it was Dendi, now SoNNeiko, it’s clear that Na’Vi are taking a stand and will no longer accept mediocre results, hopefully this is the beginning on Na’Vi reclaiming their status as one of the powerhouses of Dota.
Geek Fam Visa issues resolved
There’s more good news coming out of SEA region with GeekFam confirming that they’ve resolved their VISA issues that saw them forced to withdraw from ESL One Hamburg. In a recent Tweet, GeekFam confirmed that they’re all set for the upcoming Summit 11 Minor and will be looking to make up for ESL One. There’s been no official reason behind Geef Fam’s Visa issues, but it may have something to do with KuKu.
It will be interesting to see how the Fam perform since rebuilding their roster around Raven. Aside from TNC Predator, this roster genuinely excites me, in fact SEA Dota genuinely excites me. The region continues to impress and build their representation on the world stage and position themselves as a genuine contender for TI10.
Kuroky and his ex-Liquid team have been quiet since announcing their departure from Team Liquid. There’s been recent rumors circulating that perhaps SumaiL could find his way to EU and replace w33-haa, but thankfully Kuro put these rumors to rest as he today confirmed on Twitter that his team will remain the same (Miracle, w33, MinD_ControL, Gh, Kuroky). Kuro also confirmed that his org will officially be revealed before the next major/minor qualifiers.
People quickly forget that this roster finished runner up to OG at TI9, this is despite w33 only joining the team two months prior to TI9. I have no doubt that SumaiL would excel with the calibre of this roster, but I’m actually more excited to see how w33 performs with a strong roster around him.
Blade mail vs Tinker
Over the weekend I encountered an interesting moment, to say the least. I was playing as an offlane Wraith King, pushing out a lane when I noticed a wild Tinker appear. Obviously, this Tinker player was stupid (they all are), but he also failed check my items before he spammed out his abilities. The results? Well, have a look for yourself!
Team Spirit are back
Team Spirit have announced that they’re back in the Dota 2 scene by signing the CIS roster formerly known as Positive Guys. This team was effectively made up of outcasters from other teams and showcased their potential by qualifying for the MDL Chengdu Major over their more fancied opponents, such NaVi and Virtus.Pro.
Team Spirit’s new roster features plenty of talent that we’ve all seen before- iLTW, Ergon, Ghostik, Immersion, Misha (position 1 to 5). Team Spirit will be hoping that their return into the Dota scene will finally provide the org with more consistent results, something Team Spirit aren’t too familiar with.