Johan n0tail Sundstein the second time won The International, in Virtus.pro era ended Novel RAMZEs Kushnaryova, and Dota 2 switched to a new patch and, it seems, will never be the same. It is no exaggeration to say that 2019 was a turning point in the history of discipline. During this year, Dota 2 has noticeably changed both in e-sports and in the game plan. About how this happened – in our material!
OG passed Dotu – again
In 2018, we wrote many times that Ogaccomplished the impossible. During the season, the team failed most tournaments and lost a mid-person Romana Resolut1on Fominka, and then lost the captain and star offlainer just before the start of The International. Then it seemed that the story of OG could end there. But then it became clear that at that moment we saw only a dramatic setup for the story – soon the club won TI8.
The season before TI9 for OG looked a little better. Now the team did not lose in tournaments – instead, it completely missed them. In the first eight months of the DPC season 2018/2019, the team performed in just two minors, showing an openly faded game and as if confirming the speculation of critics that the victory at TI8 was accidental.
Certain progress was outlined only in May, when ana Kerry returned to the team. After that, OG began to play noticeably more energetically – immediately went to the MDL Disneyland Paris Major and even took 5-6th place there, losing only to future finalists, but this result was unlikely to be indicative.
The team received a slot in the next major, but there was no captain and therefore in each match acted from the position of underdog. As a result, up to the launch of The International it was difficult to objectively judge the form of OG. This is also confirmed by the forecasts of cybersportsmen of other clubs, which we collected on the TI9 media platform. The championship of the n0tail team was then predicted by only one player – Ninjaboogie. But OG managed to do the same trick a second time and defeat The International, contrary to logic and common sense.
Having missed a whole season, OG not only did not lose shape, but was also able to catch opponents by surprise in this way. Crazy aggression, Kerry Io and adventures Topias Topson Taavitsainen across the map – neither Virtus.pro nor Evil Geniuses were ready for what the team showed at the start of the tournament. The only card the club gave away in the final was lost to the cheesi strategy with Meepo – but even OG almost managed to turn over that meeting.
Immediately after the final, everyone turned their attention to the girl who ran onto the stage with the team – she turned out to be sports psychologist Mia Stelberg, who had previously worked with Astralis on CS: GO. Then everyone started talking about how important the mental aspect is in preparing for big events. Allegedly, thanks to the specialist, OG players gained faith in each other and approached The International “on relaxation” – charged with success and self-confidence.
In September, n0tail denied this information. It turned out that everything happened exactly the opposite: before the start of TI, the atmosphere in the team reached a critically low point. No one believed in the prospects of the squad, all training and scrimm ended in disappointing defeats, and OG approached the opening match in poor shape and without hope of success.
How OG managed to recover from problems and again become the best team in the world is not very clear. Already after the final, n0tail admitted: “Now we are an unstoppable element in“ DotA ”. It seems to me that it’s impossible to defeat us at all. ” And it seems that this is indeed so. OG became the first team to win two The Internationals – in a row and in the same roster, both times playing in a completely different Dota.
Today, all five participants of the roster top the ranking of the richest e-sportsmen in history and now, it seems, are not inclined to return to the professional scene before the end of the season. N0tail and Sebastian Ceb Debs found a new entertainment: they opened the squads for Dota 2 and CS: GO and are engaged in their development, while the rest of the players spend time on well-deserved holidays.
Other teams are desperately trying to repeat the path of OG: Nigma, Team Secret, and PSG.LGD refused to play in the first major of the 2019/2020 season. Perhaps this will force Valve to consider how to somehow change the Dota Pro Circuit system – now The International prize pool is so large that all other tournaments of the season for top clubs simply lose their meaning.
Virtus.pro ends the Ramses era
If it were not for the victory of OG, the most striking story with The International 2019 would be not the battle for the championship, but the dramatic collapse of Virtus.pro. The Russian team approached the tournament in Shanghai fully equipped – with lengthy bootcamps, first in Kiev and then in Shanghai, with two coaches and in the status of one of the favorites. But in the main tournament of the year at VP everything went wrong again.
Problems began in the group stage: there the team lost three of the first five matches and risked not getting into the top bracket until the last round. On the last day of the preliminary stage, VP still got the necessary points, but this was not enough for the roster to wake up and again become the team that played three times in a season in the major finals. In the first round of the playoffs Virtus.pro lost to PSG.LGD, and then sensationally gave away two cards to one of the championship outsiders – Royal Never Give Up. So the story of the collective ended prosaically, which for three seasons returned all fans the faith in domestic e-sports.
After the tournament, there were changes in VP: first 9pasha left the team, then RAMZEs completed the transfer to Evil geniuses, and in September it became known that Vladimir RodjER Nikoghosyanalso left the roster. They were replaced by young pubers Egor epileptick1d Grigorenko and Vitaliy Save- Miller, and the place on the offline suddenly took Resolut1on.
What was the reason for the collapse of the team, which for almost three years has been at a high level? When it became known that we won’t see the previous VP line-up, the team published a film about their performance at The International 2019. In it, fans could see how the atmosphere in the team grew tense over these seasons.
Solo openly admitted: there were conflicts in Virtus.pro, and the reshuffle could have happened already in a major in Kuala Lumpur. Then it was possible to smooth out the situation by making the captain of the RAMZEs team. But at The International, this decision led to new problems, and the old ones again made themselves felt.
In October, already cooling off after the events in Shanghai, Solo noted: there was simply no other way for the team. Roster has exhausted all the resources that he had and could not move on without changes. Reshafl turned out to be large-scale: three newcomers came to VP right away, and at first the results of the team made fans worry.
However, having missed the first pair of rating tournaments of the season, VP nevertheless went to DreamLeague Leipzig Major, taking first place in the qualifiers for the CIS. Perhaps it is premature to wait for the victory in the major from the team – at the moment, the roster is more likely to be an outsider of the championship. However, the progress of Virtus.pro is obvious, which means that the Solo plan is still working.
Dota 2 has changed – and not everyone liked it
At the end of MDL Chengdu Major, developers released patch 7.23. Everyone was waiting for him, because he had to add two new heroes to the game at once – Void Spirit and Snapfire. The characters did come out, but this turned out to be far from the most discussed item in the update changelog – all outposts and neutral items took all the fame, and then the meta itself, which, according to popular opinion, turned Dota into a straightforward 5v5 fight game.
Immediately after the release of the patch, the problems did not seem so deep. The first matches looked messy – e-sportsmen and pabers tested new heroes, got used to the new map and mastered the mechanics of working with outposts. All the flaws of the update could be attributed to the fact that it was simply not studied. However, it was still possible to draw certain conclusions about the new version of “Dota” – the most eloquent thing was the fact that Valve had to release four more large “letter” patches in just a fortnight to bring the game to some semblance of balance.
In the process of these changes, the developers removed several new items, corrected dozens of heroes, and removed one shrine from each side of the map. But even this turned out to be not enough to return variability to Dota: if we had previously seen a confrontation between different strategies in the game, now we are witnessing rather a competition “who is better to fight”.
Now it’s more profitable for teams to stay together five times and every five minutes to fight for key points on the map – outposts and river runes, which give their owners serious bonuses. Strategies with split push, pulling opponents on the map and trying to reach the late disappeared – now they can always answer with the usual “snowball” in the center line. Because of this, NS even compared Dota 2 to Heroes of the Storm – the controversial MOBA from Blizzard, whose esports scene was officially closed in 2018.
Published with spelling and punctuation source
Everything could be attributed to the fact that the teams have not yet mastered the new meta – the experience of 2018 showed us that sometimes teams need many months to find truly “broken” heroes. But this time it is not only a professional scene, which is confirmed by dry statistics. The patch was not able to attract new players to Dota 2. Moreover, it even reduced its audience: over the past 30 days, the average number of users in the game was 392 thousand people – this figure was so low only in 2013.
The thesis that Dota 2 is dying has existed in the community since about 2014 – at least even then I thought about it Clinton Fear Loomies. But since then, for the first time, we have had an objective argument to prove that this is really happening. Valve is gradually transforming its product from an accessible game for everyone into an e-sports discipline: with all the variety of mechanics, it still does not have a training mode, and you can only learn about what is happening in the Dota world when viewing tournaments – Valve has no thematic site with interesting materials, but the company seems to have simply forgotten about the special DPC application.
The International still keeps Dota 2 afloat and attracts more and more spectators every year, some of which are left to watch other tournaments of the Dota Pro Circuit season. But will it be able to continue this way if the newcomers remain just spectators of the discipline? Valve needs to give an answer in the near future and change the strategy accordingly, otherwise in 2023 Dota 2 will complete the full cycle and return to the audience indicators that were at the start of the game.
Could get on our list, but could not stand the competition
- Carlo Kuku Palad missed MDL Chongqing Major and WESG due to a racist scandal, and Ceb insulted Russian-speaking players, but still came to EPICENTER.
- Kuro KuroKy Salehi Tahasomi left Team Liquid after four years at the club and founded his own organization, the name of which caused a lot of controversy.
- Role-playing matchmaking was added to the game, but then it was removed from high-level pubs. Between these events Jackie EternaLEnVy Mao managed to arrange a protest against the system.
- The Fortnite World Cup briefly outstripped The International in prize pool size, but then TI9 regained Dota leadership.
- Now the biggest prize in eSports history is $ 34,330,068.
- Dendi left NAVI and played first in Southeast Asia and then in the CIS. So far without major victories!
- Esports appeared on TV – Solo played Dota 2 with Urgant on Channel One.
- The International was first held outside of North America and, apparently, will continue to travel the world.
Other 2019 results in e-sports and games:
- Key events in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
- Dendi steals cheese, Arteezy guards the mountain. The most fun moments of 2019 in Dota 2.
- Russophobia and politics. The main esports scandals in 2019.
- The best games of the year according to Cybersport.ru.