The Dota Pro Scene in November 2017 and Looking Forward

by Mark Ryan
on November 13, 2017

AMD Sapphire Dota Pit League was the first tournament of the new patch, and what a wild tournament!

If you didn’t get a chance to watch this tournament, don’t worry, you’ll find the most important facts in this article. Let’s look at some key takeaway points from this tournament.

China Is Back

After disastrous performances from Chinese teams in the first few tournaments, China is finally back to kicking international butt. Now that the new patch is out, new metas are evolving in real time, new strategies are being thought of, and upsets aren’t really upsets right now. It seems like this is China’s meta, which makes sense because TI8’s destiny is to be won by a Chinese team.

I think I figured out the real reason why China wins in even number years and Western teams win in odd years; it’s because IceFrog designs it! This is the first tournament of the new meta and it’s clearly working out for Chinese teams over Western teams.

The top 3 teams at Dota Pit were Newbee, Vici Gaming, and Team Liquid. Vici Gaming entered this tournament as heavy underdogs at +1400. On their unexpected and explosive run, VG defeated OG 2-1 and Virtus.pro 2-0, lost to Team Liquid 2-0 in the upper bracket finals, beat Newbee 2-1 in the lower bracket finals, and then went up 2-0 against Team Liquid before Liquid came back to win the grand finals 3-2.

Newbee is the other Chinese team that played well at Dota Pit. They beat OG and Virtus Pro, two top Western teams, in the lower bracket, before losing to their Chinese brethren Vici Gaming in the lower bracket finals.

Chinese teams struggled at the end of the last meta, which was the meta during the first few tournaments of the season. Now that the new patch is out, China is back to their dominant ways.

Will their dominance continue? According to history, yes. But it’s tough to predict because it’s only the first week of the new patch.

Team Liquid Is Back

After a short one-tournament break, Team Liquid is back to total domination. After losing two series at ESL One Hamburg to Team Secret and Virtus Pro, Team Liquid came to the AMD Sapphire Dota Pit tournament pissed off and looking for blood.

They went undefeated in the upper bracket and then lost the first two games of the grand finals. They then won 3 games in a row, all under 27 minutes, to claim the Dota Pit tournament.

I guess even Team Liquid got tired of the old meta at ESL One Hamburg. That, and Virtus Pro and Team Secret finally outplayed the champs.

Now that the new patch is out, Team Liquid looks just as strong as ever. They won 6 of their last 7 tournaments, and it doesn’t look like anyone will be stopping the champs anytime soon.

If Team Liquid is ever an underdog, like their #2 rank at Dota Pit, bet on them.

Team Liquid is the strongest dynasty Dota has ever seen. Their current dominance of the Dota world, when talent is at an all-time high, is history in the making. I am awaiting the team that takes down Team Liquid in a grand final, but until then, I’ll be appreciating their greatness.

Upsets Will Happen More Often

At Dota Pit, the first tournament of the new patch, there were a few upsets.

  • Vici Gaming beat OG.
  • SG e-sports beat Immortals.
  • Vici Gaming beat Virtus.pro.
  • Vici Gaming beat Newbee.

It was mostly Vici Gaming playing to their maximum potential, but SG e-sports also eliminated their American brethren.

Look for more upsets to happen. Dota is a scene where talent is at an all-time high and favorites aren’t really favorites.

At +1400, Vici Gaming was given no chance. This is a team with arguably the best carry player (Paparazi) in the world. They would go on to beat OG, Virtus.pro, Newbee, and then win two games against Team Liquid. Paparazi was a huge reason for Vici Gaming’s success. In a few games, he looked totally unstoppable as he ran over the enemies on the way to victory.

Vici Gaming is not an exception. There are teams with tier 1 talents spread throughout the world.

At Perfect World Masters, the upcoming minor tournament in Shanghai, there are teams like Vici Gaming with amazing carries that can explode to win games they have no business winning.

These are teams like Vega Squadron with players like G and ALOHADANCE, LGD Gaming with Ame and Maybe, and LFY with Monet and Super. These core players can compete against the best, and with the right draft, they can beat anyone.

We also see tier 1 teams underperform all the time. Virtus.pro came off a Major tournament victory and then placed 4th at Dota Pit. OG is another tier 1 team that gets tournament invites, and they only managed to beat Fnatic at Dota pit.

A perfect storm for an upset in Dota is not rare. It usually happens at every tournament; you just have to know what to look for. A favored team that can predictably under-perform, and a team that is undervalued is something you should look out for.

The Meta Will Continue To Evolve

It’s been only one week since the new patch has been live. There will be an evolving meta as the months go on. Teams will rise and fall with the ways of the meta, so it’s important to keep up to date with who is doing well and who is doing poorly.

Based on Dota Pit, the teams that are doing well are:

  • Vici Gaming
  • Team Liquid
  • Newbee

The teams that are doing poorly are:

  • Virtus Pro
  • OG
  • Immortals

Of course, this is just one tournament, so VP or OG could win their next tournament or do well. The point is that some teams benefit more from the changes of a patch, and some teams suffer. Evil Geniuses is a good example of a team that was affected negatively by changes to the game meta. And Team Liquid is a good example of a team that was affected positively by changes to the game meta.

Which teams will rise and which teams will fall? Stay tuned for more Dota 2!
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