MDL 2016: First Glimpse at Post-Roster Shuffle Teams
After the thrilling conclusion of the Post-TI Roster Shuffle that ended on the 18th September 2016, many new teams have yet to debut their new lineups. Expectations are high for veteran teams like Evil Geniuses and Vici Gaming, but newly-created teams such as LGD.FY can enter the tournament with very little pressure.
European/North American Teams
The North American team Evil Geniuses is arguably the the least-changed team in this tournament. Arteezy is returning from Team Secret with several stints in EG already: with Zai, Sumail and Universe containing quite a bit of experience within the team. Cr1t is the only new member but will undoubtedly provide a wealth of experience and skill to the team. He has won two major titles with OG. Plus with PPD now captain of the team EG haven’t really lost that major source of support and organisation. All signs point to EG having a successful run during this tournament.
Team Secret and OG, however, are yet to prove they can compete at this level with their new lineups. Secret secured the three talents of MP, Miduan, and Forev from South-East Asia. However, we have yet to see whether they will connect favourably with the personality of Puppey. OG is also a wildcard in this scene, with young 16-year old Australian Ana taking on the high-pressure mid role. In addition, veteran mid-player S4 will be switching to the offlane role. With the capable captain Fly at the helm, however, and aggressive support player JerAx creating space, they look to exceed expectations.
Chinese/South-East Asian Teams
The Chinese scene after the Roster Shuffle ended with a host of talented players being spread throughout the array of Chinese teams in the Dota scene. Of the 8 teams squaring off in the MDL Group Stages, 4 Chinese teams will attempt to show their worth. Recently-created LGD.FY’s chances in this tournament look to be slightly less favourable than the other more accomplished teams. But with the experience shared between veteran mid-laner Super and esteemed captain Xiao8, they will certainly be able to guide their younger players into a well-placed finish.
Interestingly, the addition of Australian player Kim Seon-yeob, “Velo”, to MVP Phoenix signifies a rise in Australian players in the Dota 2 professional scene, with Velo signifying the third Australian professional Dota 2 player playing for a Tier 1 team; along with Kpii and Ana.
The kickoff of the MarsTV Dota 2 League 2016 will undoubtedly showcase extremely high level Dota. Fans will undoubtedly be enjoying the debut of these teams for the first time since the Roster Shuffle. This tournament will prove whether these new lineups have what it takes to continue to play at the highest level; but it will also set the tone for the rest of the Fall season.
Matthew Taket wrote this article for Daily eSports.