The Major cancellation news hit hard, but at least we still have some DPC games until the end of the season to keep us company. Most regions are also at least partially decided when it comes to relegations and this is going to be the focus of this week’s overview.
Alliance was hit incredibly hard in the post-TI reshuffle. Losing several key players, their captain and their manager all in a span of a couple of weeks looked devastating from the outside, though it is not clear whether the decisions were made by the leaving players or by the organisation itself.
The squad rebuilt around Nikobaby did not manage to live up to the legendary tag. For the most part it looks like losing both fng and s4 in the same period left the team with no clear leadership: there is no lack of mechanical skill, especially on the sidelane core positions, but Dota is a strategy game first and foremost and raw individual talent can’t be the go to win condition for a Tier 1 team.
Team Empire’s DPC run was, in our opinion, a bit of a joke and perhaps even in violation of some DPC rules. They managed to go through three different mid laners in the five week period and the only two games the team actually managed to win was with their original one, Shisui. The games were against Na’Vi and PuckChamp and while the former is a solid middling team, taking a game off the latter should have bolstered the squad, not make it implode.
Overall, the relegation did not feel like it came out of nowhere. Most of the squad isn’t particularly young and while Ghostik might be one of the last remaining notable “old” captains in the region, it is clearly not enough.
TNC went with a risky roster this season and the bet didn’t pay off. The idea was relatively simple: you get three young and eager core players, back them up with tons of experience on a position five captain and perhaps you get a game-winning roster. Only the plan didn’t exactly work.
It is hard to find a single reason for why the team is failing. There are certainly execution problems, especially in the middle lane, but it feels like the patch mostly revolves around strong position one performances, so at least some of the damage should have been mitigated. It also sometimes feels like Febby is not on point, though it could be related to the amount of team coordination he has to do. Overall, this TNC roster doesn’t look too good and might even have troubles getting back into the Division One next season.
Black N Yellow seemingly came into the league with one simple goal: crush Evil Geniuses. They succeeded and despite being relegated to the lower division next season, it doesn’t feel like they would mind.
For the most part this roster feels like a bunch of friends having fun and perhaps not taking the games too seriously. Though, in our opinion, they might be underselling themselves and with a little more effort we won’t be surprised to see them back in Division one in no time.
SG esports can’t catch a break, it seems. A group stage elimination at the International, into a full roster reshuffle, into a Division Two relegation feels like a death spiral that is close to impossible to recover from.
We feel like the problem mostly comes down to having too many old players in the same team. Experience is great and it is necessary. Too much experience, though, and not only does the team usually miss out the mechanical prowess of the new Dota generation, but also might get into a leadership stalemate with multiple players capable of being the captain.
At this point the 7.30 is clearly overstaying its welcome. It’s been with us for over four months and while there are still occasional curveball picks, for the most part the meta hasn’t changed since the start of the DPC. It is definitely different from what we’ve seen at the International, but not different enough.
Going forward we hope to see some bigger changes to the game: with the Major cancellation there is no reason not to go for some massive game mechanic or map alterations and see what works and what doesn’t. The silver lining in this whole situation is that there is going to be plenty of time to fine-tune even the craziest of ideas, before the professional scene gets back to playing high-level LAN Dota.