Well, it’s happening…

Against all odds, The International 2021 is finally upon us. But you’re looking a little lost. Have you not been keeping up with the DPC? The teams, the patches, the meta, the drama? Has everything between March 2020 to October 2021 simply been a blur? Relax, you’re in the right place. I just need one quick favor from you to calibrate your Dota esports MMR.

Please answer the following question:

Who is the current offlaner for EG?

You stopped watching Dota:

The Invites

Remember the Dota Pro Circuit/DPC? It’s back. In league form.

There are plenty of resources out there that’ll explain the system in all its gory details, so I’m not gonna bother. All you really need to know is each team had four opportunities to earn DPC points this year: Their regional league season 1 (Jan-Mar 2021), the Singapore Major (Apr 2021), their regional league season 2 (Apr-May 2021), and the Kyiv AniMajor (May 2021). The top 12 teams with the most DPC points at the end of the year got directly invited to TI10.

These are their stories.


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Evil Geniuses

CanadaArteezy PhilippinesAbed Singaporeiceiceice DenmarkCr1t- IsraelFly   Coach   United StatesBuLba

How did this roster happen? Many of you reading the list above are gonna be like: Arteezy, of course, my boy. Abed? That’s cool. Wait, where’s Sumail? WHERE’S SUMAIL?! Sumail’s not on EG anymore. Wild, I know. Soon after TI9 ended, Sumail was benched and Abed was brought in. But don’t worry, this is a Chekhov’s Hassan. He’ll be back in the third act.

Iceiceice, meanwhile, finally got tired of floundering around in SEA and came to North America in November 2020 to replace Ramzes, who replaced s4 after TI9. Now you see why I chose that position to be your pro Dota familiarity barometer.

Fun fact, for all abuse Arteezy once endured for being a treacherous team hopping bastard, he is currently on the longest continuous tenure of any team+player pairing at TI10 besides Crit, Secret’s Puppey, and OG’s Notail. They grow up so fast.

How was their DPC year? 1700 points

  • NA DPC S1 - 1st, ONE Esports Singapore Major - 2nd, NA DPC S2 - 2nd, WePlay Kyiv AniMajor - 2nd

You may recall that EG were once notorious for always getting third place at events. Times have changed, though. That was a completely different roster, different meta, different era.

They’ve since moved up a digit.

Now for a normal person, 2nd place at two majors is pretty incredible. But Dota players, and fans, are not normal people. And in true Ricky Bobby fashion, if you ain’t first, you’re last. What a joke of a year. Abed Storm for five games? 1 position NP in grand finals? smh can we finally kick LULba please?

What would success look like? How funny would it be if, after eight years of competing in professional Dota, Arteezy’s first Valve LAN event win was TI10.

What to spam in Twitch chat when EG are winning? My streamer FeelsStrongMan


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PSG.LGD

ChinaAme MalaysiaNothingToSay ChinaFaith_bian ChinaXinQ Chinay` (Innocence)   Coach   Chinaxiao8

How did this roster happen? Just reading these names, how could you not get hype? Two of the Wings Gaming TI6 winning squad? Young hotshot 12k MMR midlaner? And xiao8 coaching? Jiayou!

In fact Ame, who may seem like the only connection to the TI9 LGD, traded spots with AhJit on CDEC for most of 2020 before this roster was announced in September. Was he being given a lesson in humility? If he was, it worked. There’s never been a better time to be an lgdamefan.

How was their DPC year? 1300 Points

  • CN DPC S1 - 4th, ONE Esports Singapore Major - 3rd, CN DPC S2 - 2nd, WePlay Kyiv AniMajor - 1st

As is tradition with LGDs past, they started the year off cold. Granted, the CN DPC is arguably the most competitive of all the six regional leagues, but they only narrowly won a 4/5th place tiebreaker against Elephant in the CN DPC S1 to even get the privilege of attending the Singapore Major. Since then, however, it’s been hot, hot, hot. They’ve been damn good at Dota and fun as hell to watch too.

What would success look like? Statistically, LGD has the highest probability of winning TI10. Also statistically, the team with the highest probability of winning TI rarely ever does. RIP LGD.

What to spam in Twitch chat when LGD are winning? Translator winning mid Pog


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Virtus.pro

RussiaNightfall Russiagpk RussiaDM MoldovaSave- RussiaKingslayer   Coach   Russiaboolk

How did this roster happen? This ain’t your dad’s VP. No, actually, this is your little brother’s VP. This is a group of young players who had been wanting to form a team together for quite a while and were eventually assembled under the VP.Prodigy tag in April 2020. They had some stellar performances at a few online tournaments and were soon promoted to the main VP in November 2020.

How was their DPC year? 1200 Points

  • EEU DPC S1 - 1st, ONE Esports Singapore Major - 7-8th, EEU DPC S2 - 1st, WePlay Kyiv AniMajor - 9-12th

By their own admission, their DPC leagues were FREEEEE. They literally only dropped three out of the thirty-one total games they played during both seasons. Put ‘em on LAN though? Weelllll, then they don’t look so hot. I liken it to how I never had to study at all during high school. Physics? Simple. World History? Cram the night before.

Then I roll up to university and get punched in the mouth by Organic Chemistry. Still have nightmares of SN2 reaction mechanisms.

In VP’s defense, this is a young team (literally, their oldest player is DM at 21) with minimal LAN experience to begin with. Additionally, they were also operating with no coach until now for TI.

What would success look like? The EEU/CIS region hasn’t even had a team place top 4 at TI since TI3 Na`Vi, so anything near there would be impressive. No one is really doubting if this squad is good, but what we don’t know is if they can handle pressure. This roster hasn’t ever even played in front of a crowd before.

Which means that TI10 should feel natural.

What to spam in Twitch chat when VP are winning? I ALWAYS BELIEVED IN GPK STORM COPIUM


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Quincy Crew

PakistanYawaR United StatesQuinn (CCnC) BrazilLelis United StatesMSS United StatesLoA (SVG)   Coach   GermanyKheZu

How did this roster happen? Yawar, Quinn, and MSS have been together since 2019. It was as Forward Gaming, who got turned into TI9 Newbee, who got turned into Quincy Crew, who got turned into Chaos EC, who again turned into Quincy Crew and have remained so since early 2020. Along the way, they imported the Brazilian Lelis and brought LoA/SVG out of semi-retirement.

How was their DPC year? 1100 Points

  • NA DPC S1 - 2nd, ONE Esports Singapore Major* - 9-12th, NA DPC S2 - 1st, WePlay Kyiv AniMajor - 5-6th

For most of 2020, practically everyone had written off North America as a region beyond saving and it was basically just EG’s sandbox to stomp on kids.

In 2021, we learned that North America is indeed mostly beyond saving, but there are in fact two bullies at the playground with Quincy Crew too.

Quincy Crew not only gave EG a run for their money in both NA DPC seasons, but was also looking to be worthy competition at international LANs. Their Singapore Major result has an asterisk because QC had to use a stand-in of Poloson due to MSS contracting COVID.

What would success look like? Getting a sponsor.

Actually, wait, scratch that. Quincy Crew becoming an esports powerhouse brand would be the real success story. QC FTX when?

What to spam in Twitch chat when QC is winning? EZ 4 [insert player name here]AO


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Invictus Gaming

Chinaflyfly ChinaEmo MalaysiaJT- ChinaKaka MalaysiaOli   Coach   Chinasuper

How did this roster happen? Unlike most of the other Chinese teams at TI10, this roster was not frantically cobbled together in late 2020. Instead, it was a slow, methodical process that has had these five players together since September 2019.

How was their DPC year? 1100 Points

  • CN DPC S1 - 1st, ONE Esports Singapore Major - 1st, CN DPC S2 - 4th, WePlay Kyiv AniMajor* - 15th

This team’s story is probably best told through greentext.

>walks into the dpc
>decides to reverse sweep singapore grand finals
>gets enough points for TI
>refuses to elaborate further
>leaves

It’s like pottery.

Their coach did have to stand-in for Oli at the AniMajor, but I prefer my interpretation.

What would success look like? Kaka avenges Newbee’s TI7 silver medal and somewhere miles away Brother Sccc smiles.

What to spam in Twitch chat when iG is winning? ? That’s all. Just ?

You had to be there.


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T1

Thailand23savage PhilippinesKarl PhilippinesKuku IndonesiaXepher IndonesiaWhitemon   Coach   South KoreaMarch

How did this roster happen? Yes, this is that T1. The Faker T1. The… tyler1 T1. The T1 brand that’s a juggernaut in Korea. Originally announced in late 2019 with Forev at the center, T1 went through multiple iterations before finally putting together this impressively multinational SEA team right before the DPC started. Their last addition was 23savage who replaced JaCkky right before the Singapore Major.

How was their DPC year? 1070 Points

  • SEA DPC S1 - 3rd, ONE Esports Singapore Major* - 15th, SEA DPC S2 - 1st, WePlay Kyiv AniMajor - 3rd

SEA had an interesting conundrum this year. Since their leagues were so intra-regionally competitive, no single team was able to farm both seasons for enough DPC points to break the top 12 rank threshold. As a result, there was a very real possibility that only one SEA team would attend TI10.

But then halfway through the SEA DPC S2 it seems T1 decided, “You know it’d be pretty cool to go to TI directly,” and then proceeded to smash their way through the rest of the league and the AniMajor.

What would success look like? Placing higher than the T1 in Worlds 2021.

What to spam in Twitch chat when T1 is winning? MikeHogu MASTER KUKU TURUAN MO PA NG IBANG KANTA SI WHITEMON


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Vici Gaming

Chinapoyoyo (Erica) ChinaOri Chinaold eLeVeN ChinaPyw ChinaDy   Coach   ChinaFenrir

How did this roster happen? It’s probably easier to explain how the old roster un-happened. Ori has been on Vici since the dawn of time, but what about the rest of these names? You may remember Eurus (Paparazi灬) and Yang as being Vici boys for a while, but they were dropped in 2020 for 23savage and old eLeVeN. 23savage got kinda screwed by VG and COVID, didn’t play a single game with the team, and poyoyo joined the fray in his place.

You may also remember Fade. Fade ““““retired”””” from Dota after TI9, enjoyed a day at the beach, and then un-retired two weeks later to join Team Aster. Even by Chinese retirement standards, that’s pretty quick.

I'm not gonna make a Fade pun here, but he's not at TI10.

How was their DPC year? 950 Points

  • CN DPC S1 - 3rd, ONE Esports Singapore Major - 7-8th, CN DPC S2 - 3rd, WePlay Kyiv AniMajor - 4th

I could literally copy-paste what I wrote about Vici’s TI8 squad three years ago and you would not be able to tell the difference.

Just some real solid Dotes. You know, a real focus on the fundamentals. The guys are gonna give it their all. Show some real hustle out there.

And not win.

What is with Vici and signing teams that are always good but never TI championship material.

What would success look like? …being TI championship material. Alley-oop.

What to spam in Twitch chat when Vici is winning? NECC GOD


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Team Secret

FinlandMATUMBAMAN PolandNisha Swedenzai JordanYapzOr EstoniaPuppey   Coach   South KoreaHeen

How did this roster happen? Most of this team should look familiar to you aside from Matumbaman instead of MidOne. Funny enough, Matu was actually planning on taking a break from Dota after a disappointing TI9 on Chaos. But when the Estonian president calls, you answer.

How was their DPC year? 950 Points

  • WEU DPC S1 - 1st, ONE Esports Singapore Major - 4th, WEU DPC S2 - 4th, WePlay Kyiv AniMajor - 16th

In the world of 2020 online COVID Dota, Secret were kings. If there was a tournament, they e-attended it, obliterated everyone in it, and gave some surprisingly personable winners’ interviews afterwards. They were so insanely dominant, in fact, many English/Western-biased viewers extrapolated that European Dota as a whole had simply eclipsed all other regions in terms of game knowledge and mechanics. There wasn’t just going to be a skill gap, but rather a skill canyon once international competition with the DPC majors returned.

That ended up not happening and despite being given four slots at each major (many viewers argued there should be five), only two European teams qualified for TI through points. Lucky for Secret, they scooped up enough of those points in the first half of the season so they could finally be kinda bad before TI for once.

What would success look like?

Since Kuroky isn’t here to knock Secret out of TI for the fourth goddamn year in a row, it could very well happen.

What to spam in Twitch chat when Secret is winning? 𝘗𝘳𝘢𝘬𝘢𝘴𝘩 "𝘗𝘶𝘱𝘱𝘦𝘺" 𝘠𝘢𝘥𝘢𝘷 (𝘣𝘰𝘳𝘯 6 𝘔𝘢𝘳𝘤𝘩 1990) 𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘯 𝘐𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘢𝘯 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘧𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘋𝘰𝘵𝘢 2 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘺𝘦𝘳 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘱𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘛𝘦𝘢𝘮 𝘚𝘩𝘢𝘬𝘵𝘪. 𝘏𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘭𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘯 𝘐𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘢.


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Team Aster

ChinaMonet ChinaWhite丶Album_白学家 ChinaXxs ChinaBorax (BoBoKa) ChinaLaNm   Coach   ChinaMad

How did this roster happen? Borax and Xxs have been Aster fam for a long time, but the other three were brought in around, you guessed it, late 2020.

How was their DPC year? 800 Points

  • CN DPC S1 - 2nd, ONE Esports Singapore Major* - 9-12th, CN DPC S2 - 1st, WePlay Kyiv AniMajor - 9-12th

Aster is notorious in China for being civil war specialists. Playing against Chinese teams? Fantastic. International opponents? Sit tight and watch their performance! This has garnered them a pretty negative reputation in China since they effectively just keep wasting their slots at majors. It’s not even a recent development. Aster have been getting roasted like this since The Chongqing Major in 2019.

You may also notice that their Singapore Major result has an asterisk beside it. Did you ever hear the tragedy of Borax The Thirsty? I thought not. It’s not a story Liquipedia would tell you. How do I explain this? Basically one day our boy boboka was roaming the map looking for… that good Spirit Siphon… but didn’t realize he was in the cops’ ward vision. He got caught out of position and couldn’t buyback in time for the major, so their coach Mad had to stand-in.

Ironic. The jungle king could save others from ganks, but not himself.

What would success look like? I have been scouring the internet for a single positive Chinese meme about Aster and it’s literally just people shitting relentlessly on this team. If they can manage to change their public perception in the slightest, that’d be a massive dub for the Tea Masters.

What to spam in Twitch chat when Aster is winning? Winning from the hotel catJAM


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Alliance

BulgariaNikobaby SwedenLIMMP Swedens4 SwedenHandsken Belarusfng

How did this roster happen? After Mineski’s TI9 run, Nikobaby was a hot commodity in the post-TI shuffle period. He returned from his self-imposed European exile under Alliance’s brand and Fata’s captainship with LIMMP, 33, and Handsken. A few months later, s4 emerged from his post-EG purgatory and took the crown from Fata as well as rented fng for like six months from Gambit before finally signing him to lock this roster.

How was their DPC year? 800 Points

  • WEU DPC S1 - 2nd, ONE Esports Singapore Major - 13th, WEU DPC S2 - 1st, WePlay Kyiv AniMajor - 9-12th

Season 1 they played some pretty good Dota and got 2nd place in Western Europe, I guess? That’s great and all, but no one cares about season 1. It’s season 2 where things got spicy. It was there that Alliance was embroiled in an intense cheating scandal that set Twitter ablaze. Damn this headline writing shit is fun, I should be a journalist.

Basically, ESL inadvertently modified their WEU DPC S2 ruleset to allow coaches to participate during games, which is unheard of in Dota. Evidently, only Alliance, and their newly minted coach ppd, read the email informing all teams of the updated ruleset. It was only revealed halfway through the season that they were utilizing this weird rule when Alliance themselves uploaded a YouTube match recap where ppd could be clearly heard communicating information to the players in the middle of a game. Literally caught themselves in 4k.

Officially? Not cheating. Unofficially? Alliance became pariahs in the eyes of other European teams and many viewers who felt their 1st place finish that season was illegitimate.

Amusingly, the team seems to have taken the criticism to heart and, in the biggest flex possible, are the only team at TI10 without a coach.

What would success look like? Beating a non-European team for the first time this year would be a good start.

What to spam in Twitch chat when Alliance is winning? 🦈 SPAM 🦈 THIS 🦈 SHARK 🦈 TO 🦈 HELP 🦈 NIKOBABY 🦈 SLARK 🦈


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beastcoast

PeruK1 (Hector) PeruChris Luck BoliviaWisper PeruScofield PeruStingeR   Coach   ArgentinaPapita

How did this roster happen? Remember TI9 Infamous? It’s the same guys. Yes, a South American team stayed together as five for over two years.

How was their DPC year? 800 Points

  • SA DPC S1 - 1st, ONE Esports Singapore Major* - Did not attend, SA DPC S2 - 2nd, WePlay Kyiv AniMajor - 14th

‘1st place’ SA DPC S1 and a ‘Did not attend’ for Singapore? What’s that about? Well imagine missing TI because one of your teammates wan–. Nah, you know what, I’m not gonna go there. Honestly, it just makes it all the more impressive that these players have stuck together for as long as they have. All you need to know is the team tested positive for COVID before Singapore and had to sit the entire event out. As for 14th place at the AniMajor, that’s on them.

What would success look like? This roster’s top 8 finish at TI9 was the highest placement a South American team has ever gotten in the history of TI. Given the consistent upwards trajectory of the region overperforming at TI, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that they could break top 6 this year.

Me getting a beastcoast hoodie. Give me a beastcoast hoodie.

What to spam in Twitch chat when beastcoast is winning? No vales ni un sol, estudia loco


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Thunder Predator

PeruMnz (Minoz, Kotaro Hayama) PeruLeostyle- PeruFrank PeruMoOz PeruMjz   Coach   United StatesFear

How did this roster happen? Whoa, now. Two South American teams at TI? Hay talento, hay apoyo. This full Peruvian squad was put together pretty much right before the DPC started. Previously, MoOz had been beastcoast’s coach/stand-in for most of 2020, but returned to full time play on TP. Also, yes, that is the Fear you’re thinking of who’s coaching.

How was their DPC year? 800 Points

  • SA DPC S1 - 2nd, ONE Esports Singapore Major - 5-6th, SA DPC S2 - 3rd, WePlay Kyiv AniMajor - Did not qualify

After May 16, 2021, Thunder Predator’s TI invite fate was no longer in their own hands. They had quite a few points with their surprise top 6 finish at the Singapore Major, but it wasn’t enough to guarantee no other team could leapfrog them in Kyiv. Enter the Evil Genuises who punched TP’s ticket by assassinating NoPing, TNC, and Nigma uno a uno at the AniMajor.

What would success look like? The Peruvian teams not having to commit country-on-country elimination in the bracket.

What to spam in Twitch chat when TP is winning? TE QUIERO MUCHO ARTURITO FrankerZ


The Regional Qualifiers


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Team Undying - North America

PeruTimado CanadaBryle CzechiaSabeRLight- CanadaMoonMeander South KoreaDubu   Coach   South KoreaFebby

How did this roster happen? Honestly, I recommend reading MoonMeander’s heartfelt recap of the team’s journey.

How was their DPC year? 400 Points

  • NA DPC S1 - 3rd, ONE Esports Singapore Major - Did not qualify, NA DPC S2 - 3rd, WePlay Kyiv AniMajor - Did not qualify

North America is Schrödinger’s region. If you don’t observe it, the cat could very well be alive. But then you tune in to a few matches and think, “No wonder everyone’s moving to Valorant.” Shit wrong Valve esport.

While coming just barely short of qualifying to both majors, Undying plowed through the NA regional qualifier without dropping a single game. Does that actually mean anything? Your guess is as good as mine.

What would success look like? Acquiring enough practice and experience to maybe, just maybe



Take a game off Arkosh next year.

What to spam in Twitch chat when Undying is winning? SHINZO SASAGEYO CruW


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SG esports - South America

BrazilCostabile Brazil4dr BrazilTavo BrazilThiolicor BrazilKJ   Coach   RomaniaMangusu

How did this roster happen? THREE SA teams at TI?! Peru and Brazil represented? It’s a brave new world, amigos.

The majority of this roster came from a much older NoPing e-sports that had been playing together since early 2020. NoPing, like many orgs in COVID times, had to drop their Dota 2 team due to a severe lack of “The International.” The boys continued playing together as Team Brasil before finally signing to SG esports, an org that quit all of their operations 2019, in December 2020.

How was their DPC year? 170 Points

  • SA DPC S1 - 3rd, ONE Esports Singapore Major - Did not qualify, SA DPC S2 - 6th, WePlay Kyiv AniMajor - Did not qualify

The SA regional qual was wacky as hell. Upsets left and right. SG must’ve gotten some kinda Festa Junina vinho quente power-up because they took the whole thing with ease.

What would success look like? So South America’s highest TI placement was TI9’s Infamous top 8, but Brazil’s highest TI placement is… last. 18th with TI8’s paiN Gaming. That’s also Brazil’s only TI placement, so SG can really only impress.

What to spam in Twitch chat when SG is winning? 4dr meu deus


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OG - Western Europe

PakistanSumaiL FinlandTopson FranceCeb North MacedoniaSaksa DenmarkN0tail   Coach   RussiaMisha

How did this roster happen? As intimidating as this roster looks, it hasn’t been all sunflowers and rainbows for the two time reigning TI champs. After TI9, ana peaced out for another season and Jerax just straight up retired. Even Ceb intended to step down from active play and OG signed MidOne, Saksa, and Sumail to fill the empty shoes.

Then COVID happened and Sumail vanished from competitive Dota for nearly an entire year. But see, I told you he’d be back in the third act.

How was their DPC year? 36.13 Points

  • WEU DPC S1 - 5th, ONE Esports Singapore Major - Did not qualify, WEU DPC S2 - 6th, WePlay Kyiv AniMajor - Did not qualify

Dude, it was so exciting. Notail called Alliance a bunch of cheaters during the coaching scandal and never formally apologized. Ceb DM’d Secret’s social media manager and cursed him out in French for being mean. The brand appears to be slowly pivoting from esports teams to NFT manufacturers. It’s been a ride.

Oh the Dota? The Dota wasn’t that great. After a sluggish season 1, MidOne got the boot and ana came back for season 2 under the tag humblegod. He proceeded to get so humbled he didn’t even finish the season, probably said, “Yeah, I don’t need this shit,” and retired for realsies this time. OG then had to call up Madara to temporarily be their fifth in the three-way-hell-in-a-cell tiebreaker just to not get bumped down to lower division.

We in the business simply refer to this as OG getting into “TI form.”

What would success look like? Should be obvious.

What to spam in Twitch chat when OG is winning? THREE FUCKING FLUKES IN A ROW MAN SwiftRage


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Team Spirit - Eastern Europe (CIS)

UkraineYatoro RussiaTORONTOTOKYO (mio) RussiaCollapse UkraineMiroslaw RussiaMiposhka   Coach   RussiaSilent

How did this roster happen? You know how EEU/CIS always has those Empire-ass, Gambit-ass, Winstrike-ass, HellRaisers-ass, Yellow Submarine-ass teams that are always around? Around, like, playing some random ass tournament at some random ass time on some random ass channel? I love those teams. You just know that each one of them are a ticking timebomb of contempt with five different fingers on the disband trigger. But every once in a while, an EEU roster manages to not hate each other for juuuust long enough to make it to TI. Shine on you crazy Yellow Submarine boys.

How was their DPC year? 585 Points

  • EEU DPC S1 - 4th, ONE Esports Singapore Major - Did not qualify, EEU DPC S2 - 2nd, WePlay Kyiv AniMajor - 7-8th

VP have been going sicko mode on the region, so it’s really hard to gauge how good EEU really is. Top 8 at the AniMajor is nothing to scoff at and Spirit also went to grand finals against PSG.LGD at the non-DPC OGA Dota PIT Invitational in September. Thas p gud.

What would success look like? Naruto running their way to the Aegis.

What to spam in Twitch chat when Spirit is winning? COLLAPSE GIGACHAD


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Elephant - China

ChinaEurus (Paparazi灬) ChinaSomnus丶M (Maybe) ChinaYang Chinafy ChinaSuper   Coach   ChinarOtK

How did this roster happen? It’s a tale as old as time. What if. We took. Five SUPERSTAR players. And made a team with them? It has to work.

It never works.

Okay, but what if we also brought in a SUPERSTAR coach for season 2?

Still doesn’t work.

Although, five superstar players isn’t quite accurate. For both CN DPC seasons they had the relatively unknown RedPanda on support. Most everyone assumed he was just there to be the scapegoat and eventually got replaced by capital “S” Super for regional quals.

How was their DPC year? 85 Points

  • CN DPC S1 - 5th, ONE Esports Singapore Major - Did not qualify, CN DPC S2 - 5th, WePlay Kyiv AniMajor - Did not qualify

Lucky for Elephant, four Chinese teams directly qualified for TI through points. And would you look at that, guess who was always 5th.

What would success look like? For the viewers? TI10 being a Rubick meta.

What to spam in Twitch chat when Elephant is winning? pregnant me fy Kreygasm


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Fnatic - SEA

PhilippinesRaven MalaysiaChYuan SingaporeDeth ThailandJabz PhilippinesDJ   Coach   South KoreaSunBhie

How did this roster happen? Painfully. I could write an essay on Fnatic’s adventures this year, but it’s more efficient to give the bullet point version:

  • Fnatic yoinks Thai rising star, Masaros, from Motivate.Trust at the end of 2020. Trust ends up winning a tournament while everybody knows that Masaros is about to leave. Kinda awkward.
  • Masaros leaves after Fnatic’s disappointing Singapore Major finish and they bring in ChYuan (a mid player) to play offlane.
  • Fnatic bumbles their way through S2 to make this new roster work. It’s not pretty.
  • Moon is kicked fired from Fnatic for underperforming in a hostile corporate takeover. Deth (an offlaner) is brought in to play offlane and ChYuan assumes mid duties.

How was their DPC year? 446.25 Points

SEA DPC S1 - 1st, ONE Esports Singapore Major - 9-12th, SEA DPC S2 - 4th, WePlay Kyiv AniMajor - Did not qualify

You got the gist of it. The Fnatic organization is a TI mainstay and has attended every single International since TI3. That streak got dangerously close to ending in the SEA regional qual grand finals, but they managed to reverse sweep TNC.

What would success look like? iceiceice bumps Deth up a tier or two, or six, in his SEA offlaner power rankings.

What to spam in Twitch chat when Fnatic is winning? CEO MOON MADE A GREAT BUSINESS DECISION


What about…?

Here are some fan favorites not playing at this TI whose current whereabouts you might be curious of.

North America

The rest of TI5 EG (ppd, Universe, Aui_2000)

  • After TI9, ppd and Universe reunited on NiP. They qualified for the March 2020 ESL Los Angeles major right before COVID hit. The tournament got canceled and they both promptly retired. Peter then un-retired, competed in the NA DPC S1, stopped doing that, became Alliance’s coach for the EU DPC S2, stopped doing that, was invited to cast TI10, but also stopped doing that.

    Universe actually retired and recently got married!

    Aui seems content with his current coach/caster trajectory and will also be joining the TI10 English broadcast.

EternaLEnVy

  • I think they caught up with manga this year so instead we got some weird filler arc where Envy doesn’t read the DPC rules and then acts surprised at the end of the season.

    After floating around in the NA lower and upper divisions, Jacky Mao slapped together a team for the TI10 qualifier with Ryoya, Kingrd/Mr. Kingão, Zfreek, and Moo. Idk feels like the writers just ran out of ideas, not sure if I’ll watch next season…

Mason

  • Now a professional speech writer on twitch dot tv.

South America

hFn

  • Got 1st on NoPing e-sports (w/ Darkmago, Oscar, Matthew, Panda) in the SA DPC S2, but got 4th in the SA TI10 regional qualifier.

Duster

Western Europe

Miracle-, w33, MinD_ContRoL, GH, KuroKy, iLTW

  • Ah, you mean Team Nigma? Yes, that’s their name. Well, actually, it’s Nigma Galaxy now. After TI9, Kuro took the path of Secret/OG and decided to create his own organization. There were a few exciting victories for Nigma in 2020, but 2021 was mostly rocky. They attended the Singapore Major with a stand-in, bombed out, benched w33 for iLTW in season 2, got 5-6th at the AniMajor after being eliminated by EG, and landed 13th place in the DPC rankings. One slot away from being directly invited to TI through points. In the WEU regional qualifier, they got 3rd after narrowly losing to longtime rivals OG and bowed out of TI contention.

    Their fans have not been coping with the loss particularly well. Rather than graciously accept defeat, some vocal Nigma diehards have been channeling their frustrations by: belittling the competitive integrity of other regions, condemning the DPC structure, trying to convince everyone this TI will suck because their favorite players aren’t there, and eagerly licking their chops to sub-in when news broke that some Chinese teams in Bucharest have COVID. Some real BERNIE CAN STILL WIN vibes out in the Nigma camp.

Team Liquid in general

  • After Kuro splintered off to form Nigma, Liquid signed TI9’s Alliance of miCKe, qojqva, Boxi, Taiga, and iNSaNiA. The team did well enough to show up to both majors, but they only “showed up” and not much more than that. Ultimately, they got 4th in the WEU regional qualifier after losing to Nigma.

Hmmm… if Nigma got 3rd and Liquid got 4th, who got 2nd?

  • A team by the name of Tundra Esports with Skiter, Nine, 33, Sneyking, and Fata. Tundra never got to attend any majors, but they got nail-bitingly close to beating OG in the WEU TI10 qualifiers. Incidentally, this is the first International that Fata has missed since he started competing at TI3.

Team Bald

  • Literally the only reason I’m including this is to preempt the sea of reddit comments that would inevitably say, “YOU FORGOT TEAM BALD OMEGALUL gorgcBald gorgcBald gorgcBald”

AdmiralBulldog

  • This one too. I’m one step ahead of you scrubs.

Eastern Europe (CIS)

Old VP (RAMZES666, No[o]ne, 9pasha, RodjER, Solo)

  • After TI9, the team imploded and everyone went their separate ways. I could get into the aftermath, but this stupid guide has gotten way too goddamn long already so go do the research yourself. Amusingly, Na`Vi is currently the most recent team on every one of those players’ Liquipedia team history.

Dendi

  • God bless this man. He absolutely refuses to give up on playing the game that he loves and I respect him for it. After formally leaving the Na`Vi organization in 2019, Dondo formed his own team, B8, in early 2020. They had two underwhelming runs in the EEU/CIS S1/S2 lower division with a mishmash of players. But don’t worry, he’s still ever the ball of light blazing out across a dark sea of toxicity. Tune into the Russian TI10 broadcast if you wanna see his antics with 4 out of 5 players from TI1 Na`Vi.

China

Sccc

  • Highly successful streamer in China. Completely MIA from the competitive scene this year.

EHOME

BurNIng

Southeast Asia

TNC Predator (Gabbi, Armel, Bok, Tims, Boomy, Coach: Mushi)

  • Did well, but just barely not well enough. 4th in SEA DPC S1, 2nd in SEA DPC S2, and top 8 at the AniMajor. Getting reverse sweeped by Fnatic in the grand finals of the regional quals has gotta be one of those losses that’ll haunt them forever.

Team SMG (MidOne, Moon, kpii, ah fu, Roddgeee)

  • Dropped out of TI10 SEA quals pretty early in the mix. Poor kpii even flew out to their bootcamp and they got eliminated while he was mandatory quarantining.

That’s it.

There’s no way you read this entire thing, but hopefully whatever bits you glanced over helped you gain a deeper appreciation for the art form that is professional Dota 2 esports and the exhibition that is The International. Say hi if you see me in the Arena Naţională! Oh…

Shucks. I mean I guess you could always buy my voice line with your ticket refund money.


My sincerest thanks to the many volunteers who keep Liquipedia up to date. Without resources like this, the lore behind all these players and teams would be lost to time.

If you enjoyed this article and want to keep up with me, check my Twitter, or Twitch, or Instagram, or my dead YouTube.

Discussion for this article on /r/dota2.