Dota 2's Post TI6 Roster Shuffles: What Will The Lineup Changes Mean For Teams

Credit: Daniel Najarian, @missing_data

The International 2016 was a truly special event in every conceivable way. From the in-game action to the extracurricular fun to the simple fact that multiple storylines were born and realized within just two weeks, there was legitimate drama to be found each and every day.

Unfortunately, fans know that all the fun of The International will be offset by just as much heartache.

Post-TI roster shuffling is a full-on tradition, and this year is no different. The last week has seen an enormous upheaval across teams of all levels, with everyone from journeymen to longtime captains either giving their two weeks' notice or being handed a pink slip. Numerous teams from TI6, both successful and unsuccessful, have been completely retooled, and there is a strong chance that numerous squads disband entirely in the coming weeks. 

With so much going on, it's worth taking a look at who has stayed put, who has packed up and what the future may hold for those players and teams. 

Note: This reflects the Dota 2 roster changes as of Wednesday, August 31 at 4:36 PM Eastern Time. An up-to-date list of drops and departures can be found on the official Dota 2 website.


A number of Chinese teams, including LGD Gaming, suddenly disbanded on Tuesday.A number of Chinese teams, including LGD Gaming, suddenly disbanded on Tuesday.Credit: Valve Software

Disbanded Teams

Chinese Dota was absolutely rocked on Tuesday morning when news broke that nearly every top-level team was disbanded.

The list is long, with Invictus Gaming, Vici Gaming, Newbee, LGD Gaming and CDEC Gaming all being disbanded. And not only are those teams disbanding, but all teams under their umbrellas are gone as well, including Vici Gaming Reborn, iG.Vitality, Newbee.Young, CDEC Avenger and so on. 

According to Dota 2 insider Wykrhm Reddy, the move was possibly made through an agreement between the Chinese teams due to both their inability to ensure that players fulfill their contractual obligations and due to the hyperaggressive poaching of talent that was taking place. The mass release of players serves as a hard reset, and allows teams to consolidate their power, ensure greater control over their rosters going forward and guarantee their lineups are set ahead of the September 18 roster lock:

Wykrhm Reddy @wykrhm

Here's what happened w/ CN scene today. I cannot vouch for the authenticity of the motives behind the actions though

Outside of China, there is only one squad that competed at TI6 that has completely disbanded: TnC Gaming.

The Filipino squad led by Jimmy "DeMoN" Ho posted a solid seventh-place finish, most notably sending tournament favorites OG home in the second round of the losers bracket.

According to a statement by TnC, the team chose to leave, and the two parties split amicably: "Their decision of leaving the team was solely based upon their individual growth as professional Dota 2 players. May they be a great example for all aspiring Dota 2 players that wish to make a difference in the Philippine Dota scene."


Confirmed Departures by Team
Evil GeniusesAllianceFnaticMVP PhoenixcompLexity
Clinton "Fear" LoomisGustav "s4" MagnussonZheng "Miduan" Yeik NaiKim "Febby" Yong-minRasmus "Chessie" Blomdin
Syed Sumail "SumaiL" HassanHenrik "AdmiralBulldog" AhnbergDjardel Jicko B. "DJ" MampustiPyo "MP" No-aSimon "Handsken" Haag
Ludwig "zai" WahlbergJoakim "Akke" AkterhallAdam Erwann Shah "343" bin Akhtar HusseinLee "Forev" Sang-donLinus "Limmp" Blomdin

Teams with Major Roster Shakeups

Chinese Dota is working through some major issues, but the rest of the world isn't faring all that much better, with a number of Western and Southeast Asian squads going through major shakeups.

Evil Geniuses, Alliance, Fnatic and compLexity Gaming all face uncertain futures, as they look to recover from losing three players each. Korean standouts MVP Phoenix may be set to implode after losing two of its top players due to an ongoing contract dispute. Four of the five players have been released to this point, but Kim "QO" Seon-yeop may have teased a return to MVP on Twitter.

OG and Team Secret both went through similar shakeups but have already announced their new lineups.

You can check out the above table to see the major yet-to-be-filled vacancies.


Teams with Confirmed Lineups

The seemingly unstoppable OG lineup was dealt a harsh blow at TI6 when they entered as favorites and walked out on Day 2 of the main event. That led to the departure of numerous players, but the team was quick to announce that it filled the gaps, adding Jesse "JerAx" Vainikka from team Liquid, former Alliance captain Gustav "s4" Magnusson and, most surprisingly, former Invictus Gaming mid-player Anathan "ana" Pham.

The next biggest name to square away a largely new roster is Team Secret. The European squadron has been defined by high highs such as its first-place finish at the Shanghai Major and its crushingly low lows such as its last-place finish at TI6. That has resulted in some incredibly high turnover in Secret's short life, but the team has never struggled to recruit top-notch talent.

Na'Vi will bring back the exact same team that struggled at TI6.Na'Vi will bring back the exact same team that struggled at TI6.Credit: Daniel Najarian, @missing_data

On Saturday, Secret revealed its new roster, which loses all its players save Johan "pieliedie" Astrom and Clement "Puppey" Ivanov while bringing in MVP Phoenix defectors Pyo "MP" No-A and Lee "Forev" Sang-Don as well as Zheng "Miduan" Yeik Nai, formerly of Fnatic.

No other team has revealed such an impressive overhaul, but it's not the only one to welcome new blood.

Digital Chaos celebrated its amazing run at TI6 by immediately releasing offlaner David "Moo" Hull. While that move doesn't sit well with both DC fans, and Moo himself, they found a strong replacement in former OG player David "MoonMeander" Tan.

David Hull @MooDota2

@SirActionSlacks @DIGITALCHAOSgg I did not leave I was kicked.

There are a few teams, however, that look to keep their TI6 rosters intact.

While nothing is set in stone and things could change on a moment's notice, TI6 champions Wings Gaming seem to be keeping their current squad as-is. The hard-hitting Team Liquid lineup also remains largely intact, with Jerax being its sole departure. Finally, Ukraine's Natus Vincere, shockingly, remains completely intact despite the fact that it would greatly benefit from some modest tweaking.


What Will Happen Next?

At this point, it's tough to peg which teams will disband, which will stick around and what new teams could form. Some of the teams looking to rebuild may not be able to and may release their remaining players. Free-agent players could band together and form new squads of their own, which may be picked up by larger organizations a la Team Tinker, which eventually became the new mousesports.

In all likelihood, China will end up seeing most of its players shuffled but ultimately kept within the country. At least one "super group" in the same vein as 2014's Newbee lineup will likely form before the roster locks. But it's unclear if the Chinese organizations will look to form two or even three teams under the same umbrella again or if that was simply a precautionary measure due to the concerns over talent poaching.

That could lead to a slew of brand new teams and some radically changed lineups.

Credit: Daniel Najarian, @missing_data

Nation-based teams outside of China such as the all-Korean MVP.Phoenix or the all-Filipino TnC Gaming will likely look for pub players to plug into their teams. Unfortunately, that is unlikely to lead to the same kind of success they enjoyed in 2016. 

Of course, sticking together is no guarantee of success. No team has won back-to-back Internationals, and there has only ever been one true, legitimate, year in, year out dynasty in Dota 2 history. What's more, Digital Chaos showed that patchwork teams can indeed have success against top competition.

The only guarantees when it comes to the next 12 months is that the talent pool will be better than ever, and that should translate to some amazing games.

Source :

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