Following, the Valve-hosted, The International 2016 tournament, the DOTA scene is already deep into its “post-season.” This time of year always brings such turmoil, drama and excitement as players and teams begin the annual shuffle between rosters in preparation for the next big Fall Major.
Whether it was because of disappointing results, team chemistry, unknown circumstance, or even just a need for a change of scenery, there were many changes to take in this year from around the league. Rosters we’re officially locked on September 18th, for teams hoping to get into the Fall Major, and it seems most of the big teams are set to begin the next season. Here’s our 5 biggest surprises of this year’s annual roster shuffle.
1.) Clinton “Fear” Loomis decides to retire from competitive play
Following a tweet from Evil Geniuses, it was announced that Fear would be stepping down from competitive play and taking a coaching role in the team. Fear is a living legend among many in the DOTA 2 community. He was one of the first, and most successful, players to bring the North American scene into DOTA 2. In a time when the game was dominated by Chinese and CIS teams, Fear prevailed against all odds.
Fear was invited to nearly every International tournament and a multitude of Majors in his long tenured 11-year career. While being bounced around between North American teams, Fear would eventually call Evil Geniuses home. EG was always a competitive team but often found themselves falling short. After suffering an injury to his right elbow in 2014, Clinton had to go on leave from the team. There was uncertainty whether the veteran would ever return to play after this misfortune. A year later, however, Fear would make his comeback and help to push Evil Geniuses to a colossal TI5 Victory against the CDEC juggernaut. This would be the first time the big title would be won by a North American team.
At 28 years old, Fear retires as one of the best the game has ever seen. While the news is saddening to many in the community, Fear leaves behind a tremendous legacy and has been an inspiration and positive presence to many new and upcoming players and fans.
2.) OG drops MoonMeander while Cr1t and Miracle leave team
After being the first team to win back-to-back Majors, OG found themselves to be the favorite going into TI6. After a strong group stage in the tournament, the team received an upper bracket placement and seemed all but destined to win the big one. However, catastrophe struck as personalities began to clash and a rift was formed in the team. After the team fell to the lower bracket and then eventually got knocked out, OG fans feared the team would succumb to the turmoil of the shuffle.
Soon after TI6, it was announced that Moon would be removed and the Cr1t and Miracle would go with him. Fly and NoTail would eventually recruit S4, Jerax, and ana to replace the void now left in the team. Both S4, the prominent mid player and Jerax, the well known support, seemed like great fits to the team. Ana is still, relatively, unknown of but the team has high hopes for their newcomer. Moon, on the other hand, has reportedly moved on to DC gaming while Cr1t would get picked up by EG and Miracle would be signed on to Liquid. OG hopes to make a big comeback this year with their newly rebuilt team.
3.) Alliance’s collapse
As the reigning TI3 champs, Alliance have also been in the upper echelon of the DOTA pro scene. While always competitive, the Swedish team fell to mediocrity soon after their victory lap after TI3. Despite all their troubles and hardships, Alliance remained one of the most stable lineups of any of the major teams. In early 2016, Alliance resigned EGM and S4 to remake the TI3 winning roster. They had high hopes for TI6 but ultimately fell short and only made it to the second round.
Following their disappointing result, the once-stable team would feel the need to rebuild. AdmiralBulldog and Akke would both move to inactive to take a break from the pro-scene. Meanwhile, S4 would move on to help out the reformed OG roster. Alliance would move to pickup Limmp, jonassomfan and Handsken, all prominent Swedish players. The team is also in the middle of re-branding in the hopes to bring new excitement and fans back to the team. This new Alliance is hoping to restore their dominance from 2013 and take another TI championship home.
4.) Arteezy’s move back to EG, again
Arteezy is a fan favorite due to his natural talent, personality and the controversy that often surrounds him. Arteezy was claimed to be a prodigy when he first came into the DOTA scene. His talent was unmatched, in many regards, and he was extremely consistent and reliable. On top of this, his cockiness and occasional bursts of lashing out brought him even more fame or maybe infamy.
In recent years, however, the super-star has matured behaviorally. Despite this maturity though, Arteezy has a habit of jumping teams. While starting out as a core EG player, Arteezy would eventually jump ship to join the “super-team” Secret. After shortcomings in his new team, Arteezy would then jump back to EG and then shortly after that go back to Secret. During this back and forth, many questioned his teamwork, ethics and behavior through all this turmoil. However, Arteezy’s talent at DOTA is not something to overlook even despite his troubled past. After EG lost Fear to retirement, and ppd (the team captain) decided that he would be taking on an administrative position in the team, EG found themselves in a position of need. Arteezy, still hungering for a TI win to top his impressive pro-career, was more than happy to join on once again.
5.) Puppey rebuilds Secret while NaVi remains intact
NaVi, with Puppey as captain, would be the very first TI champions. Their rise to prominence in a time dominated by Chinese teams is one of the greatest underdog stories in DOTA. However, it would seem that NaVi would remain irrelevant past TI1 and never regain their dominant status. It was because of this that, then captain, Puppey decided it was time to leave and begin his own team. NaVi had always been a team that was built around the idea of friendship and a brotherly-like bond. The split of Puppey from NaVi was a heart breaker to the community.
Puppey’s new team, Secret would end up being extremely successful for their first year in 2015. Meanwhile, NaVi would continue to struggle and not make the next TI. However, it appeared Secret was having internal struggles and soon after fell apart. Puppey would then rebuild Secret (despite push back from the fans) and move forward while NaVi would hold on to its roots. Then in 2016 NaVi and Secret both were eliminated in the first day of the International. Many believed Puppey and Secret just had a bad year and that the team would stay intact while it was almost certain that NaVi would split. Despite all of this however, Secret decided on a rebuild and NaVi was left unchanged. The two rivals of Secret and NaVi are now both in the early stages of preparing for the Fall Majors and we will see what this rivalry holds after all these unexpected changes between the two. Only time will tell.
Source : https://medium.com/lab-work/the-5-biggest-surprises-of-the-post-ti6-western-dota-2-shuffle-d55525c5aa5a