Yeah, yeah, I’m late.

With the weird TI format this year I couldn’t decide when to finish this article. I was originally going to release it once my part of the broadcast began after group stage, but then I realized I’d be 4 teams lighter. Whatever the case, I’m here now, so let’s get started.


Welcome to another DPC season! After last year, a lot of people were expecting a big patch for how the DPC operates. You know like calendar changes? Economy reworks? Instead we just got some number buffs.

DPC Changelog 2021-2022 GENERAL UPDATES
• Increased number of Regional Leagues/Tours from 2 to 3
• Reworked DPC points formula. Leagues and Majors now scale the closer they are to TI. For example, 1st place in a Regional League now earns 300/400/500 points for Tour 1/2/3 instead of a flat 500 points each Tour

At least this is closer to Valve’s original vision of the DPC when they initially pitched the league format. 3 regional tours, 3 majors, 6 opportunities total to earn points. Still six weeks per tour, still the same prize pools, still the same number of major slots per region, but progress nonetheless.

The first regional tour for this season started near the end of November 2021 and things were going along swimmingly. “I wonder where the first major will be?” the Dota scene very openly wondered. Well on January 11th, we found out.

DPC Changelog 2021-2022.b PANIC UPDATES
• Due to escalating COVID concerns, the first major has been canceled
• DPC Points that would have been awarded during the first major will now be reallocated to Major 2 and Major 3

And that was… kind of it? As it is, players were not particularly enthused about burning six weeks of their time competing in a 2-Bo3-a-week league, but they had to grin and bear it to make it to the major. Well, now there’s no major. Thanks for playing. Literally.

People were piiiiiiissed.

So Valve went back to the drawing board.

DPC Changelog 2021-2022.c APPEASEMENT UPDATES
• An online Regional Finals will replace the Major and award DPC points and prize money
• This year's International will feature a Last Chance Qualifier. During the regional qualifiers, each first place team will be directly invited to TI. Each region's second and third place teams will play a tournament on LAN to determine two more invites to compete at TI

If you look back at the title of this article, you’ll see I mentioned 20 teams. In an effort to make sure that visas/COVID/war restrictions didn’t prohibit teams from reaching TI, a Last Chance Qualifier was implemented this year. 20 TEAM TI, BABY! Two groups of 10! 4 teams eliminated after groups!

This is just an abridged version of all the complications that occurred during the season, but no one reads these preambles anyway. China had a whole bunch of difficulties competing internationally this year, as did EEU, but we’ll get into that.

Also, looking back at that last Valve blog, I couldn’t help but notice.

We expect the rest of the year to go as planned

Honestly, I appreciate the optimism.


The Invites


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PSG.LGD

ChinaAme MalaysiaNothingToSay ChinaFaith_bian ChinaXinQ Chinay`   Coach   Chinaxiao8

How did this roster happen? It’s been happening. As of now, they are currently the 8th most played roster of all time (credit: datdota) with an insane 70% winrate together to boot.

Better pray TI grand finals isn’t the 30%.

How was their DPC year? 2240 points

  • CN DPC Tour 1 - 1st 🥇
  • CN DPC Tour 1 Regional Final - 1st 🥇
  • CN DPC Tour 2 - 2nd 🥈
  • CN DPC Tour 2 Regional Final - 1st 🥇
  • CN DPC Tour 3 - 4th
  • PGL Arlington Major - 2nd 🥈

Due to heavy COVID lockdowns, Chinese Dota was hidden away for most of this season. Even getting back to China after TI10 in Romania was a massive project for a lot of teams, which led to their Tour 1 being delayed, so CN Doto remained in its own little bubble for most of the year.

LGD only narrowly qualified to the Arlington Major after scraping through their Tour 3 tiebreaker, but came in to their second international LAN of the year with an axe to grind. Second LAN, because they had shown up to the non-DPC Riyadh Masters event a few weeks prior to Arlington and took that trophy after defeating Team Spirit.

But guess who beat them in Arlington?

What would success look like? They have to win. That’s it. Literally any placement that doesn’t involve them lifting the Aegis at the end of this tournament is a complete failure. I’m not being hyperbolic. This is legitimately where the bar has been set for this team.

What to spam in Twitch chat when LGD are winning? WASH YOUR FACE


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OG

UkraineYuragi Bulgariabzm JordanATF (Ammar) NorwayTaiga RussiaMisha   Coach   RussiaChuvash

How did this roster happen? After TI10 ended, OG, as we knew it, scattered to the four winds. No former members remained as active players*, so the brand had to start from scratch. How did they do it? Allow me to present this section in the same form that I myself learned this information.

Through a series of disjointed DMs I received from OG’s CEO JMR Luna.



Makes sense. Misha was OG’s coach last year, so that’s a reasonable foundation.



Pretty surprising, actually. Taiga was a part of the Insania crew for the longest time. However, those Liquid boys knew a change had to be made after they failed to qualify to TI last year and Taiga voluntarily fell on the sword. Guess he and OG saw mutual potential in one another.



So ATF, also known as AMMAR_THE_FUCKER, was on a WEU Div 2 team last year called Creepwave along with bzm, so that adds up.



You wouldn’t be faulted for not knowing Yuragi. He’s been playing semi-professionally since 2019, but no notable results. And Chuvash has actually been around for a while, but was also a player on Creepwave with ATF and bzm.

How was their DPC year? 1930 points

  • WEU DPC Tour 1 - 4th
  • WEU DPC Tour 1 Regional Final - 3rd 🥉
  • WEU DPC Tour 2 - 1st 🥇
  • ESL Stockholm Major - 1st 🥇*
  • WEU DPC Tour 3 - 3rd 🥉
  • PGL Arlington Major - 4th*

In theory, this is the kind of roster that grows into its own after a year or two. In execution? OG is BUILT DIFFERENT.

They didn’t set the world on fire immediately, but they definitely hit their stride waaay quicker than anyone expected. And while these DPC results may not be as decorated as LGD’s, this team* had strong showings at third party tournaments, including a recent 1st 🥇* place at ESL Malaysia near the end of August.

Say mister, what’s with all the asterisks? Well, our good friend Misha had quite a bit of difficulty getting visas this year. As a result, OG spent a lot of time this year playing musical chairs with substitutes when they traveled internationally for LANs.

Ceb came back for one last ride and stood in for Misha at Stockholm. Won. Came back for another one last ride in Arlington. Got fourth. And then coach Chuvash stood in for Misha at ESL Malaysia. Which they won.

What would success look like? A top 6 finish would be perfectly respectable for such a fresh, but accomplished, roster. For Misha, though? Oh boy. I don’t even know if he necessarily feels the pressure, but the public at large putting all the “Haha all your stand-ins won their tournaments” has gotta be something else.

What to spam in Twitch chat when OG are winning? ATF=ALWAYS TAKES FIRST


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Team Spirit

UkraineYatoro RussiaTORONTOTOKYO RussiaCollapse UkraineMira RussiaMiposhka   Coach   RussiaSilent

How did this roster happen? These guys collectively won a cool $18 milli this time last year and thought, “We might be pretty good at this Dota thing. Let’s keep playing together.”

How was their DPC year? 1810 points

  • EEU DPC Tour 1 - 1st 🥇
  • EEU DPC Tour 1 Regional Final - 1st 🥇
  • EEU DPC Tour 2 Playoff Tournament - 2nd 🥈
  • ESL Stockholm Major - 9-12th
  • WEU DPC Tour 3 - 3rd 🥉
  • PGL Arlington Major - 1st 🥇

If you take a peek at the flags next to each of these players’ names, you could probably surmise that last year’s TI champions haven’t had the smoothest year, geopolitically speaking. As the war began, Valve put the entire EEU DPC Tour 2 on hold and replaced it with a compressed playoff bracket that would award DPC points, determine relegation slots, and figure out who goes to the major.

Stockholm was a wash for Spirit, understandably so, but they got their bearings come Arlington. And what a time to do it, because their grand final opponent was eternal foe, PSG.LGD. If you didn’t catch this series, I highly recommend watching game 2. Instant hall of fame contender.

What would success look like? Two-timing à la OG would be pretty sweet. The problem: they’re still very good. Lest we forget, OG coming into TI9 were… well let’s just say there’s a reason why detractors branded both their wins as ‘flukes.’ Spirit, on the other hand, won the last major and TI10’s True Sight was just released so everyone just got a refresher on how sick they were/are/will be. Safe to say there will be a lot more eyeballs on Spirit’s drafts and gameplay this TI.

A lot more eyeballs in the crowd, too. Because there’s actually going to be one.

What to spam in Twitch chat when Spirit are winning? Has the Twitch meta really not evolved in the 12 months since I last wrote this? Well if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: COLLAPSE GIGACHAD


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beastcoast

PeruK1 (Hector) PeruChris Luck BoliviaWisper PeruGōjira (Scofield) PeruStinger   Coach   PeruValqui

How did this roster happen? Would you believe that the Anvorgesa stack from 2019 is still together? They’ve actually been a team for so long that they’ve also broken into the top 10 most played rosters of all time (credit: datdota) right after PSG.LGD. The next highest SA roster on that list is 2020’s Thunder Predator squad with a mere 208 games together.

How was their DPC year? 1810 points

  • SA DPC Tour 1 - 3rd 🥉
  • SA DPC Tour 1 Regional Final - 1st 🥇
  • SA DPC Tour 2 - 2nd 🥈
  • ESL Stockholm Major - 5-6th
  • SA DPC Tour 3 - 2nd 🥈
  • PGL Arlington Major - 5-6th

While intra-regionally they’re not as dominant in SA as they once were, inter-regionally this was their best year yet.

You just learned the difference between those prefixes.

What would success look like? Guess what the most represented country at this TI is? It’s not China. It’s not Philippines. It’s Peru with 13 players (tied with Russia). Last TI had two South American teams, Thunder Predator and SG esports, being eliminated in group stage. This year, four teams will be eliminated for groups. Making it to Suntec for playoffs would be a feat, but making it to the Singapore Indoor Stadium for top 4 would be new ground for SA.

What to spam in Twitch chat when bc are winning? I think at one point SA was trying to move on from it, but it’s just too good of a battle cry to abandon: GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA


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Team Aster

ChinaMonet ChinaOri ChinaXxs ChinaBoBoKa China皮球 (píqiú or Siamese.Cat)   Coach   ChinaLaNm

How did this roster happen? Monet, Xxs, and BoBoKa are the same as TI10 Aster, but this season they added longtime Vici Gaming midlaner Ori to the mix as well as Aster.Aries academy player 皮球. The direct translation is ‘rubber ball,’ but you’re more likely to hear him be referred to as píqiú (kinda sounds like the Pokémon Pichu) or Siamese Cat.

How was their DPC year? 1610 points

  • CN DPC Tour 1 - 2nd 🥈
  • CN DPC Tour 1 Regional Final - 3rd 🥉
  • CN DPC Tour 2 - 3rd 🥉
  • CN DPC Tour 2 Regional Final - 2nd 🥈
  • CN DPC Tour 3 - 2nd 🥈
  • PGL Arlington Major - 3rd 🥉

The moment I saw these placements I thought, “Wow, those are some pretty great performances. But does Aster ever win?” The answer is no, they don’t. But they always get really close. Heavily reminscent of some old Vici Gaming squads. Is Ori just allergic to gold?

What would success look like? Aster’s reputation within China has slowly been getting repaired after last year’s ‘civil war specialist’ stereotype. Unfortunately, they fumbled the bag at ESL Malaysia and lost to OG in grand finals. Cue the ridicule all over again.

As long as they eliminate non-Chinese teams, they should be fine. But it’ll be a dark day if they face LGD in bracket, eliminate them, and then don’t get the Aegis.

What to spam in Twitch chat when Aster are winning? Every year. Every year I struggle to find positive Chinese discourse surrounding this team. And every year I come up empty handed. I have plenty of ammo when they’re losing. But winning? I dunno, spam something about Lanm and his enormous… draft knowledge.


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Thunder Awaken

PeruPakazs PeruDarkMago- PeruSacred PeruMatthew PeruPandaboo   Coach   PeruVintage

How did this roster happen? The brand formerly known as Thunder Predator ported these guys over from 2021’s NoPing e-sports roster. After the Tour 1 Regional Final, Oscar was replaced with Sacred.

How was their DPC year? 1540 points

  • SA DPC Tour 1 - 1st 🥇
  • SA DPC Tour 1 Regional Final - 3rd 🥉
  • SA DPC Tour 2 - 1st 🥇
  • ESL Stockholm Major - 5-6th
  • SA DPC Tour 3 - 1st 🥇
  • PGL Arlington Major - 15-16th*

Move over beastcoast, there’s a new regional king in South America. In fact, out of the 21 series they played throughout 3 tours, Thunder only dropped 5 games. Stockholm is where the majority of English speaking Dota fans were exposed to the siknasty carry gameplay of Pakazs and the energetic charisma of Pandaboo.

Unfortunately, DarkMago had visa issues getting to Arlington and the team subsequently bombed out in Texas.

What would success look like? I was looking for a interview Slacks did with Pandaboo during Stockholm for research, but searching ‘slacks dota panda’ on YouTube only yielded this video.

What to spam in Twitch chat when Thunder are winning? DOCTOR GOTITO


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BOOM Esports

LaosJaCkky PhilippinesYopaj IndonesiaFbz PhilippinesTIMS Philippinesskem   Coach   MalaysiaMushi Analyst   MalaysiaOhaiyo

How did this roster happen? After failing to qualify for TI10, BOOM dropped their full-Indo squad, aside from Fbz, and brought in Pinoys Yopaj, Tims, skem, and Tino. Tino played Tour 1, but was replaced by JaCkky for the Regional Final onwards.

Test your geographical knowledge. What flag is next to Jackky’s name? It’s Laos. First ever Lao at TI!

How was their DPC year? 1482 points

  • SEA DPC Tour 1 - 1st 🥇
  • SEA DPC Tour 1 Regional Final - 1st 🥇
  • SEA DPC Tour 2 - 2nd 🥈
  • ESL Stockholm Major - 9-12th
  • SEA DPC Tour 3 - 1st 🥇
  • PGL Arlington Major - 7-8th

BOOM showed up on everyone’s radar pretty early on in the season when they won the non-DPC GAMERS GALAXY: Dubai tournament in March. They quietly eliminated Secret, Spirit, Nigma in playoffs and beat Tundra in grand finals. Perhaps they peaked a bit too soon, though, as their major performances were decidedly less impressive. Granted, skem literally showed up in Stockholm 3 hours before BOOM’s group stage matches started due to visa complications, so maybe that event gets a pass.

What would success look like? Southeast Asia has been struggling when it comes to TI. TI6’s Fnatic was the last time a team from this region even placed top 6.

That being said, this is the first ever International in SEA. We’re about to learn just how strong a crowd buff can truly get.

What to spam in Twitch chat when BOOM are winning? JAPOY IS MY IDOL


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TSM

PeruTimado CanadaBryle CzechiaSabeRLight- CanadaMoonMeander South KoreaDuBu   Coach   DenmarkMISERY

How did this roster happen? TSM? In my Dota 2? It’s more likely than you think. Another one of League’s flagship brands came over to our humble little indie game and signed the Undying roster from TI10. After their 13-16th place finish in Romania, Moonmeander contemplated moving to a coach role this season, but decided to play for a little longer.

How was their DPC year? 1380 points

  • NA DPC Tour 1 - 1st 🥇
  • NA DPC Tour 1 Regional Final - 1st 🥇
  • NA DPC Tour 2 - 2nd 🥈
  • ESL Stockholm Major - 2nd 🥈
  • NA DPC Tour 3 - 4th
  • PGL Arlington Major - Did not qualify. Not on their team, at least.

A pretty consistent trend this year in North America has been getting a sponsor and then immediately popping off. Wildcard signed D2 Hustlers and then beat EG in Tour 1. Nouns signed 4Zoomers and they won a BTS Pro Series. And TSM signed Undying and they suddenly became the best team in North America.

For… half the year. Let’s ignore the second half.

What would success look like? DuBu’s YouTube channel hitting 100k subscribers. Show me another player that would vlog themselves during TI grand finals. You can’t.

What to spam in Twitch chat when TSM are winning? SABERCHAD BASED I think I’m noticing a trend that this is going to be one of those offlane-centric TIs.


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Tundra Esports

Slovakiaskiter GermanyNine Israel33 North MacedoniaSaksa United StatesSneyking   Coach   CanadaAui_2000

How did this roster happen? In a parallel universe, you know how this roster happened. You’d know, because they showed up to TI10, made history, and everyone in the world became Tundra fans aka Tundries. Instead, they lost in a 5 game series against OG in the TI10 WEU quals and were nearly forgotten to time. Thankfully, they persevered. Well most of them. Fata was a founding member of this team but was un-amicably removed after Tour 1 Regional Finals and replaced with Saksa.

How was their DPC year? 1212 points

  • WEU DPC Tour 1 - 3rd 🥉
  • WEU DPC Tour 1 Regional Final - 4th
  • WEU DPC Tour 2 - 4th
  • ESL Stockholm Major - 3rd 🥉
  • WEU DPC Tour 3 - 1st 🥇
  • PGL Arlington Major - 15-16th

Following a super dominant group stage in Stockholm, they were pretty much favorites to win the whole major. Then TSM rattled them something fierce in upper bracket finals and they’ve never been the same on LAN ever since.

What would success look like? There are a handful of TI veterans in this roster, including a winner, coach Aui_2000. Would you have the heart to eliminate him? Who could say no to a face that pure? Everything deserves to go Kurtis’s way.

What to spam in Twitch chat when Tundra are winning? TUNDRA IMMORTALS IN FRONT OF CROWD


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Gaimin Gladiators

RussiadyrachYO CzechiaBOOM DenmarkAce GermanytOfu NetherlandsSeleri   Coach   RomaniaImmortalFaith

How did this roster happen? BOOM and Seleri were veterans of tier 1.5-ish WEU team Vikin.gg for quite a while. Ace and tOfu were on another tier 1.5-ish WEU team Hellbear Smashers. dyrachYO came out of nowhere. Dude was an EEU player, but was eager to leave the region and joined these guys to form “Team Tickles” starting this season. Tough to say which name I prefer.

How was their DPC year? 1130 points

  • WEU DPC Tour 1 - 2nd 🥈
  • WEU DPC Tour 1 Regional Final - 1st 🥇
  • WEU DPC Tour 2 - 2nd 🥈
  • ESL Stockholm Major - 4th
  • WEU DPC Tour 3 - 6th
  • PGL Arlington Major - Did not qualify

Keen eyed viewers may take a look at this list and say, “HEY! How does a new stack immediately join Division 1? Shouldn’t they have to play through open qualifiers to join Division 2 and then place 1st or 2nd in Division 2 before being promoted to Division 1 in the following tour?” To which I say: pppbbbbbbtttttt.

It’s not my job to know RULES, man. That’s Liquipedia’s job. Except when Valve says that it’s not Liquipedia’s job. This’ll make more sense once you scroll down to Fnatic.

What would success look like? They’ve been off the grid for so long, we have no idea where they currently stand. Based off the trajectory from their last DPC Tour… probably not good? But then again, WEU is the most represented region at this TI, so how bad is 6th place really?

What to spam in Twitch chat when GG are winning? VEGAN POWER


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Evil Geniuses

CanadaArteezy PhilippinesAbed RussiaNightfall DenmarkCr1t- IsraelFly   Coach   United StatesBuLba

How did this roster happen? If you haven’t watched Dota since TI10, you may look at this roster and think, “Oh they kicked iceiceice and got VP’s carry to play offlane? That’s weird.” It is weird. But you know what’s even weirder? Jerax being on this team at one point. You know what’s even weirder than that? Jerax being on this team at one point and not playing his signature role. That’s right, ole’ two-time TI winning 4 position Jer-Bear came out of retirement at the beginning of this season, shipped off to North America, and took… Fly’s hard support spot.

How was their DPC year? 1052 points

  • NA DPC Tour 1 - 3rd 🥉
  • NA DPC Tour 1 Regional Final - 2nd 🥈
  • NA DPC Tour 2 - 1st 🥇
  • ESL Stockholm Major - 13th
  • NA DPC Tour 3 - 1st 🥇
  • PGL Arlington Major - 9-12th

I’m not gonna sugarcoat it, the Jerax 5 experiment was not pleasant. It was like watching a roster generated through Dall-E mini. At first glance, “Whoa, this is so cool!” But the longer you stare at it and look at the details, the more horrifying it gets. EG got away with it for a while because Jerax is still incredibly gifted and… well because it’s the NA DPC, but it wasn’t pretty.

After a disappointing Stockholm Major finish, Jerax left and the hatchet was buried with Fly. He came back for Tour 3 and the team gelled pretty much immediately. Yet somehow they got destroyed all over again in Arlington? EG’s TI invitation fate wasn’t even in their hands near the end, but beastcoast repaid their TI10 debt and eliminated the next closest point teams, Fnatic and Outsiders/VP, in Arlington. Te quiero mucho Arturito goes both ways.

What would success look like? I don’t even know anymore. As brutal as it sounds, I think Arteezy fans would almost prefer him to become a full time streamer at this point. Given these LAN performances, they’d probably see more of him.

Since I’m releasing this article after day 1 group stage where EG just 2-0’d LGD, OG, and Soniqs, I’m now changing my answer. ANOTHER NA TI, BABY. THIS IS OUR YEAR. ONE BULBILLION DOLLAR PRIZE POOL. #BULBASWEEP.

What to spam in Twitch chat when EG are winning? Whatever you want, but under no circumstances are you allowed to praise Bulba. Doesn’t matter if it’s the world’s greatest Storm Spirit game or if he masterminded a strategy that somehow forced the enemy team into only picking 4 heroes. The first rule and only rule of EG twitch/reddit discourse is: everything is Bulba’s fault.

Ugh, this whole section feel unnecessarily hostile. I’m sorry. I’m a product of my environment and North American Dota… we… we’ve had a rough couple of years.


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Fnatic

PhilippinesRaven PhilippinesArmel ThailandJabz PhilippinesDJ PhilippinesJaunuel   Coach   South KoreaSunBhie

How did this roster happen? Raven, Jabz, and DJ were on the TI10 Fnatic, but the team had been struggling to fulfill their offlane and mid roles for quite a while. Armel left TNC after they failed to qualify to TI last year and Jaunuel was made available from Neon. Perfect fit.

How was their DPC year? 1020 points

  • SEA DPC Tour 1 - 2nd 🥈
  • SEA DPC Tour 1 Regional Final - 4th
  • SEA DPC Tour 2 - 1st 🥇
  • ESL Stockholm Major - 7-8th
  • SEA DPC Tour 3 - 3rd 🥉
  • PGL Arlington Major - 9-12th*

They played some Dota and got some placements. Doesn’t matter. The only part that does matter is that 9-12th you see at the bottom of that list.

Before the Arlington Major started, Fnatic were 0.05 DPC points behind Outsiders/VP to qualify for the last spot at TI. Exciting! Massive visa issues happen and only Jabz and DJ can make it. Not good! It’s fine, they’re allowed to get 3 of TSM’s players to stand-in. Great! Wait, what? Who cares, they can play! Fnatic lose to Team Aster in upper bracket. Uh oh! But Outsiders also lose to Team Spirit. Then Outsiders beat RNG in lower bracket! Oh man! Fnatic then lose to beastcoast, thus eliminating them from TI contention. Oh nooo!

Congrats to Outsiders, though, they’re going to TI!

[EXTREMELY LOUD INCORRECT BUZZER]

Or as the community saw it.

Ye Olde Unoffical Source

It turns out Valve uses a different metric for calculating partial points that Liquipedia was not privy to. Now obviously the official source should be the most trusted one, but Dota fans haven’t exactly been able to count on Valve for regularly maintained documentation. In fact, at the time of the ruling, there were still some errors calculating other teams’ point values on the official Valve ranking site.

Anyway, long story short, Fnatic qualified to TI, Outsiders/VP didn’t, and Liquipedia was branded as an ‘unofficial source.’ Crazy stuff.

What would success look like? Jaunuel’s mullet being added to the list of “greatest TI winning haircuts.”

What to spam in Twitch chat when Fnatic are winning? lol bro


The Regional Qualifiers


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Soniqs - North America

United StatesYawaR United StatesQuinn BrazilLESLÃO United StatesMSS GermanyFata   Coach   CanadaClairvoyance

How did this roster happen? This is basically the same as their TI10 roster except with SVG’s retirement void being filled with Fata. ‘They’ being Quincy Crew. This is Quincy Crew. This was not always Quincy Crew, however. During Tour 1 and 2 the Quinn and Yawar crew had Khezu, Milan, and ponlo by their side. They did not #StayCrew for long. Starting Tour 3, MSS and Lelis returned from hiatus and Fata needed somewhere to go after getting the boot from Tundra.

How was their DPC year? 582 points

  • NA DPC Tour 1 - 1st 🥇
  • NA DPC Tour 1 Regional Final - 3rd 🥉
  • NA DPC Tour 2 - 3rd 🥉
  • ESL Stockholm Major - Did not qualify
  • NA DPC Tour 3 - 2nd 🥈
  • PGL Arlington Major - 17th

When the first major was unceremoniously canceled, Quinn was one of the first players to vocalize his dissatisfaction. And rightfully so. This first tour that QC fought to get a top placement in would ultimately be a footnote in the grand scheme of DPC points. Additionally, it also removed the possibility of making more prize money at a major. Which, for an unsponsored team, is pretty important.

The band-aid Regional Final was applied, but TSM was now turning NA Dota into an even more competitive three-horse-race than last year. With NA only getting 2 slots per major, QC fell short in Tour 2, but bounced back in Tour 3.

No idea what happened in Arlington, though, they got slaughtered. Which is weird because I just talked about how NA teams usually got a power-up after being signed. I hope for their sake the Soniqs buff is time delayed.

What would success look like? Well, they finally got a sponsor. So that’s progress. I’d say the next success would be Jack being at ease with the state and future of the Dota Pro Circuit.

What to spam in Twitch chat when Soniqs are winning? HATERS SUCK MY NUTS ccncBayed


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Hokori - South America

PeruLumière Brazil4nalog PeruVitaly BrazilThiolicor PeruGardick

How did this roster happen? Vitaly and Gardick have been Hokori fam since early 2020. Lumière and Thiolicor were added after Tour 3 ended. Meanwhile, 4nalog uses this team like a goddamn revolving door.

How was their DPC year? 97 points

  • SA DPC Tour 1 - 6th
  • SA DPC Tour 1 Regional Final - Did not qualify
  • SA DPC Tour 2 - 3rd 🥉
  • ESL Stockholm Major - Did not qualify
  • SA DPC Tour 3 - 8th
  • PGL Arlington Major - Did not qualify

Not a very standout performance during the year and was among the darkest of horses to qualify through the SA regionals. Lucky for them, a lot things went their way. In lower bracket finals, Tempest had massive internet issues and basically had to forfeit the entire series. And for grand finals, Infamous’s Leostyle answered who was in Paris.

Despite all that, Hokori still did play well throughout the SA qualifier and actually recently beat Fnatic in the BTS Pro Series S12 while bootcamping in SEA.

What would success look like? Imagine the memes if they win TI and then have to play in Divison 2 DPC next year.

What to spam in Twitch chat when Hokori are winning? lumiere es mi pastor nada me faltarar


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Entity - Western Europe

RussiaPure GermanyStormstormer AustriaTobi RussiaKataomi` BelarusFishman   Coach   RussiaMeTTpuM

How did this roster happen? Fishman and Crystallis were a part of the same Creepwave roster as ATF, bzm, and Chuvash. After those three left for OG, the remaining members joined up with Stormstormer, Tobi, and Kataomi. They dominated Div 2 Tour 1, got promoted, and did well enough to not get relegated after Tour 2. They did so well, in fact, Puppey was like, “Hey nice carry. Mind if I yoink him?” It was probably more complicated than that, but the end result is Entity were looking to be carryless without Crystallis coming into Tour 3.

A replacement happened to present itself in the form of 18 year old Russian core player, Pure. The reason he suddenly became a free agent is a sore spot for many people wanting to root for this team. Formerly playing for VP in EEU during Tour 2, Pure drew a Russian militarist ‘Z’ symbol on the minimap during a pause. VP promptly released him a day later. He later apologized after joining Entity, but many people either doubted his sincerity or considered the bridge to already be burned beyond repair.

An edgy teenager mistake or an actual war advocate? Up for you to decide. He is quite good at Dota, though.

How was their DPC year? 615 points

  • WEU DPC Tour 1 - Division 2 - 1st 🥇
  • WEU DPC Tour 1 Regional Final - Did not qualify
  • WEU DPC Tour 2 - 6th
  • ESL Stockholm Major - Did not qualify
  • WEU DPC Tour 3 - 4th
  • PGL Arlington Major - 5-6th*

Fun fact: Even if they won the Arlington Major, they still wouldn’t have had enough DPC points to get directly invited to TI. Flaw in the system or working as intended? Pure wasn’t able to attend Arlington so TSM’s offlaner Saberlight actually stood in on his behalf and had a grand old time playing carry.

What would success look like? Another fun fact: Entity is the only team this TI in which every player on the roster is participating at an International for the very first time. Expectations are low, but sky’s the limit.

What to spam in Twitch chat when Entity are winning? ENTITY INDIAN PRIDE


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BetBoom Team - Eastern Europe

RussiaDaxak RussiaLarl RussiaNoticed RussiaRodjER RussiaSoNNeikO   Coach   UkraineMag

How did this roster happen? IT’S TIME TO PLAY GUESS. THAT. TEAAAAAAM.

Reader, for $0... Name the EEU brand this roster played under before being acquired by BetBoom

The majority of this team was assembled before the season began. The last addition was Rodjer who replaced Forcemajor after Tour 3 ended.

How was their DPC year? 629 points

  • EEU DPC Tour 1 - Division 2 - 2nd 🥈
  • EEU DPC Tour 1 Regional Final - Did not qualify
  • EEU DPC Tour 2 Playoff Tournament - 1st 🥇
  • ESL Stockholm Major - 7-8th
  • EEU DPC Tour 3 - 4th
  • PGL Arlington Major - Did not qualify

What would success look like? Spirit winning TI10 lit a fire in the EEU region. The fire being fueled by, “Wait, those scrubs won? I’m definitely better than them.” BetBoom was the strongest product of this initiative. And not just because Daxak could probably bench 90% of the players at TI.

Remember that Outsiders/VP team I talked about during the Fnatic points fiasco? Well BetBoom beat them 3-0 in the EEU TI11 quals to take this slot.

What to spam in Twitch chat when BB are winning? Punch them Daxao💪🏻😈🤙🏻Fight them Daxao💪🏻😈🤙🏻Break them Daxao👿🤜🏻💀🤛🏻🤬Bully them Daxao👊🏻😼👊🏻Stomp them Daxao👊🏻🤬Crush them Daxao👊🏻😾🤜🏻🐷🤛🏻😤Incinerate them Daxao💪🏻🦍


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Royal Never Give Up - China

MalaysiaGhost ChinaSomnus ChinaChalice Chinakaka MalaysiaxNova   Coach   ChinaSuper

How did this roster happen? Somnus, Chalice, and xNova were brought on to RNG as the season began. After Tour 2, God King and FelixCiaoBa were replaced with relatively unknown SEA player Ghost and extremely well known Chinese player kaka.

How was their DPC year? 738 points

  • CN DPC Tour 1 - 3rd 🥉
  • CN DPC Tour 1 Regional Final - 2nd 🥈
  • CN DPC Tour 2 - 4th
  • CN DPC Tour 2 Regional Final - 4th
  • CN DPC Tour 3 - 1st 🥇
  • PGL Arlington Major - 9-12th*

Nothing too special. This year’s top 4 in the CN DPC was consistently some shuffling of LGD, Aster, RNG and then either EHOME or Xtreme. And RNG bopped Xtreme 3-0 in the CN regional qual to make it to TI.

Anything else worth mentioning? Oh yeah, Ghost was unable to make it to Arlington and ana, yes that ana, stood in. That was pretty neat. They didn’t do well, but it was still neat.

What would success look like? It may be hard to believe, but this is the third and final Chinese team left to talk about. Three Chinese teams at a TI! Unprecedented. Here’s the comparison to previous TIs.

Now if I cross reference that with my schematics…

My god. By these calculations… We should be a dead game 14 years ago.

What to spam in Twitch chat when RNG are winning? natural


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Talon Esports - Southeast Asia

Thailand23savage IndonesiaMikoto Australiakpii ThailandQ IndonesiaHyde   Coach   UkraineALWAYSWANNAFLY

How did this roster happen? Mikoto, kpii, and Hyde were brought together at the start of the season. 23savage and Q were added before Tour 2 began to replace Gabbi and Fly. Yeah, Fly. Remember how I mentioned Jerax took his spot on EG? Homie hopped regions and divisions just to keep busy.

How was their DPC year? 300 points

  • SEA DPC Tour 1 - Division 2 - 5th
  • SEA DPC Tour 1 Regional Final - Did not qualify
  • SEA DPC Tour 2 - Division 2 - 2nd 🥈
  • ESL Stockholm Major - Did not qualify
  • SEA DPC Tour 3 - 2nd 🥈
  • PGL Arlington Major - 13-14th*

Going from 2nd place Div 2 to 2nd place Div 1 has to be the biggest DPC glow up of the year. Does that mean SEA is unpredictable or is Talon strong? Based on this team’s underwhelming Arlington, GAMERS GALAXY: Thailand, and ESL Malaysia performances, probably the former.

They had a nail-biter 5 game series against Polaris Esports to take this regional TI slot. In fact, SEA was the only regional grand final to not be a 3-0. Does that mean SEA is strong or is Talon unpredictable?

What would success look like? I’m just happy to see my boy kpii back at a TI. After his SMG struggles last year, he deserves it.

What to spam in Twitch chat when Talon are winning? Doesn’t matter what you spam, it’s going to get drowned out with multiple variations of KUKU FAULT, I guarantee it.


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Team Secret - Last Chance Qualifier #1

NetherlandsCrystallis PolandNisha UkraineResolut1on KyrgyzstanZayac EstoniaPuppey   Coach   South KoreaHeen

How did this roster happen? Strap in, this one’s complicated. Despite a pretty stellar TI10 3rd place finish, Matu and Zai were ready to move on from Secret and Puppey had to find replacements. How about Sumail and iceiceice? Those sound pretty good, yeah? You’d think so, but no.

Tour 1 and Tour 2 were worthy attempts at getting the roster to work, but it just wasn’t happening. Sumail was so unconvinced, he jumped ship to Division 2 Nigma Galaxy for Tour 3 and Puppey poached Entity player Crystallis as a replacement. At the same time, Yapzor was mysteriously missing every week and Zayac was plucked by Puppey from pubs to stand-in. All those gyrations netted them… another 5th place in Tour 3. Zero possibility of getting to TI through points.

No need to panic. Zayac knows a guy. He’ll make the call.

Zayac - Roman, it's Zayac.

Resolution - Baqyt, you old hare, how the hell are you?

Zayac - I've got an opening for you.

Resolution - Only one man could make me end my Bali vacation. And it's you. I'm in.

Zayac - Excellent. We'll meet you in Riyadh.

Resolution - What about iceiceice?

Zayac - He'll be fine. He's going deep undercover to make the ultimate sacrifice. Ninjaboogie sends his regards.

*Resolution dons a pair of sunglasses and smiles. Fortunate Son starts playing.*

I like to imagine that’s how it went down.

How was their DPC year? 78 points

  • WEU DPC Tour 1 - 5th
  • WEU DPC Tour 1 Regional Final - Did not qualify
  • WEU DPC Tour 2 - 5th
  • ESL Stockholm Major - Did not qualify
  • WEU DPC Tour 3 - 5th
  • PGL Arlington Major - Did not qualify

After 2020, Secret realized they love online Dota so much they decided to not go to a single major this year.

They got revenged 3-0 by Entity in the WEU Regional Qualifiers and had to go through the cutthroat Last Chance Qualifier to make it to TI. But ain’t no way Puppey was breaking his all-TI-attendance streak. Not this year.

Remember that Outsiders/VP team I talked about during the Fnatic points fiasco? And then again when BetBoom beat them? Secret also beat them to take the first LCQ slot.

What would success look like? Given the state of this team all year long, just making it to TI was a success in and of itself. The Zayac + Reso honeymoon period does seem strong, though.

What to spam in Twitch chat when Secret are winning? For the past 3-4 years, almost every time i watch secret i heard this, "Nisha is having an outstanding game", this guy has been overperforming for so long, even this season when secret was not playing well, Nisha was still performing, that guy is unbelivable, and for some reason, people don't talk that much about him. He’s just very unassuming, he tends to disappear whenever he’s not at LANs, doesn’t have a real presence if you get me. He comes in, smokes everyone, then leaves.


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Team Liquid - Last Chance Qualifier #2

FinlandMATUMBAMAN SwedenmiCKe Swedenzai SwedenBoxi SwedeniNSaNiA   Coach   United StatesBlitz Other Coach   FinlandJerAx Third Coach   GermanyJabbz

How did this roster happen? If you recall five thousand paragraphs ago, I spoke about Taiga being a former fixture of this roster. He and qojqva were swapped out for Zai and Matumbaman this year. Along the way, the Blitz Cinematic Universe expanded to give Jerax a forever home as a coach after leaving EG.

How was their DPC year? 890 points

  • WEU DPC Tour 1 - 1st 🥇
  • WEU DPC Tour 1 Regional Final - 2nd 🥈
  • WEU DPC Tour 2 - 3rd 🥉
  • ESL Stockholm Major - 9-12th
  • WEU DPC Tour 3 - 2nd 🥈
  • PGL Arlington Major - 9-12th

It’s kind of wild how good this team can be online and how comically bad they are on LAN. It’s not just this roster, either. Last season, they got 4th and 2nd during the leagues. And during the majors? 9-12th in Singapore and 13th and the AniMajor. Like, how? And I’m not even listing their non-DPC LAN placements this year. Those were also bad.

Remember that Outsiders/VP team I talked about during the Fnatic points fiasco? And then again when BetBoom beat them? And then again again when Secret beat them? Liquid also also beat them to take the final LCQ slot.

That makes 4 times that VP were one series away from qualifying to TI. Pain.

What would success look like? Matumbaman has made it quite clear that this will be his last year of competitive Dota. So I hope for his sake any Gyrocopter picks at this event are premeditated.

What to spam in Twitch chat when Liquid are winning? zaiJ


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Congratulations! More and more people have told me they actually use these blogs as legitimate primers to catch up on the latest year of Dota esports, so I actually tried to give more real information this time rather than vomiting 70000 characters of unfiltered memes and inside jokes.

As always, my sincerest thanks to the many volunteers who keep Liquipedia up to date. You may be an unofficial source in Valve’s eyes, but this is one wiki that’s vandalized my heart.

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