The Dota 2 Pro Circuit 2019-2020 season has begun. This means the roster shuffles from post-The International have settled with teams competing in the respective qualifiers for the tournaments.
This year’s post-TI roster shuffle is perhaps the most exciting in recent times with a number of big teams going through some form of roster change, from the total overhaul of Team Liquid to the departure of familiar names like SumaiL and RAMZES666 from Evil Geniuses and Virtus.pro respectively.
We put together five of the biggest roster changes that happened in the world of Dota 2 after The International 2019 had come to a close.
Virtus.pro has been one of the more consistent teams after securing second in the Dota Pro Circuit in 2017-2018 and first in 2018-2019. They did so with the same roster with no changes. The team failed to leave a mark on The International stage despite topping DPC points in both years.
Since their loss to Evil Geniuses at TI9, offlaner Pavel ‘9pasha‘ Khvastunov has left and joined Natus Vincere along with carry Roman ‘RAMZES666‘ Kushnarev leaving for Evil Geniuses. (we’ll get back to this later). Their 4 support Vladimir ‘RodjER‘ Nikogosyan has also since been benched by the squad.
Vitalie “Save-” Melnic will be the fifth player for Chengdu Major Сlosed Qualifiers! #GOGOVP
1. Egor “epileptick1d” Grigorenko (stand-in)
2. Vladimir “No[o]ne” Minenko
3. Roman “Resolut1ion” Fominok
4. Vitalie “Save-” Melnic (stand-in)
5. Alexey “Solo” Berezin pic.twitter.com/Mu4LaBQISl
— Virtus.pro (@virtuspro) October 2, 2019
The Russian team has since announced a roster that comprised of:
- Egor ‘Epileptick1d‘ Grigorenko (stand-in)
- Vladimir ‘No[o]ne‘ Minenko
- Roman ‘Resolut1on‘ Fominok
- Vitalie ‘Save-‘ Melnic (stand-in)
- Alexei ‘Solo‘ Berezin
The team failed to qualify for the MDL Chengdu Major but recovered after qualifying for the DOTA Summit 11. It also good to note that two of their announced players are merely stand-ins and will surely change once they find more permanent players.
As International 2015 champions, Evil Geniuses have remained one of the top teams after raising the Aegis in 2015. They’ve gone through quite a number of changes throughout the years and this year is no different. However this year, they’ve placed star mid-laner Sumail ‘SumaiL‘ Hassan and offlaner Gustav ‘s4‘ Magnusson under the inactive roster. The former is the bigger surprise because SumaiL began his career with the team and cemented his name in esports as the youngest ever player to surpass USD 1 million in winnings.
As we mentioned, RAMZES666 joined the North American squad, taking the place of s4. Former-Fnatic mid-player and Filipino Abed ‘Abed‘ Yusop was also signed to hold the middle lane.
We’re welcoming a new roster for the 2019-2020 DPC season. This includes some new faces.
— Evil Geniuses (@EvilGeniuses) September 16, 2019
The current Evil Geniuses roster includes:
- Artour ‘Arteezy‘ Babaev
- Abed ‘Abed‘ Yusop (from Fnatic)
- Roman ‘RAMZES666‘ Kushnarev (from Virtus.pro)
- Andreas ‘Cr1t-‘ Nielsen
- Tal ‘Fly‘ Aizik
The boys in blue are going to MDL Chengdu Major. Congratulations @EvilGeniuses !
— Beyond the Summit (@BeyondTheSummit) October 7, 2019
Evil Geniuses qualified for MDL Chengdu Major and seeing the revamped roster perform on an international stage is exciting.
SumaiL has since played and qualified for the Major with Quincy Crew but left the team shortly after qualifying.
Let’s go through the first of two Southeast Asian teams on this list. We could not do this without including the most successful Filipino Dota 2 team, TNC.Predator. After a beautiful underdog run at TI 6, TNC.Predator has kept a consistent streak and proven this time and time again.
Some of their departures after TI9 included former captain Carlo ‘Kuku‘ Palad and support Nico ‘eyyou‘ Barcelon along with their coach Lee ‘Heen‘ Seung-gon. Kuku has been with the team since the 2016 TI run and has been one of the pillars of the team since then. He has joined Southeast Asian team Geek Fam where he joins former teammate Marc ‘Raven‘ Fausto (we’ll get to that later).
Here is our lineup for the upcoming season:
🇵🇭 Kim “Gabbi” Villafuerte
🇵🇭 Armel Paul “Armel” Tabios
🇦🇺 Damien “kpii” Chok
🇵🇭 Timothy “Tims” Randrup
🇰🇷 Taewon “March” Park#StrongerTogether#SummonYourStrength pic.twitter.com/cutG7tvuTM
— TNC Predator (@TNCPredator) September 13, 2019
Damien ‘Kpii‘ Chok and Park ‘March‘ Tae-won has since joined the squad. Kpii spent the previous season with Mineski as an offlaner while March left his coaching position in Fnatic to join TNC.Predator.
Team Adroit gave us one hell of a fight at the #MDL Chengdu Major SEA Qualifier – but the boys prevailed and secured our slot! Check out our best plays from the series!
— TNC Predator (@TNCPredator) October 7, 2019
We will see TNC.Predator at MDL Chengdu Major after winning their qualifying match against Adroit. TNC.Predator will compete with this roster:
- Kim ‘Gabbi‘ Villafuerte
- Armel Paul ‘Armel‘ Tabios
- Damien ‘Kpii‘ Chok (from Mineski)
- Timothy ‘Tims‘ Randrup
- Park ‘March‘ Tae-won (coach from Fnatic)
Now on to the second Southeast Asian team, Geek Fam. While we could’ve gone for the more popular Fnatic, the roster change of Geek Fam is much more exciting.
The Malaysian-based team has made its name in the region but has yet to impress internationally. Three players has departed from the team since post-TI: Cheng ‘NothingToSay’ Jin Xiang, Kim ‘Velo’ Tae-sung, and the veteran Chai ‘Mushi’ Yee Fung.
Taking their place are Eric ‘Ryoya’ Dong, Carlo ‘Kuku’ Palad, and Kim ‘Dubu’ Doo-young.
As we’ve mentioned, the reunion between Raven and Kuku is quite exciting. The two players were a part of the TNC roster that beat OG at TI 6 and played with the team until 2018 and Raven left. This is the first time since 2018 that the two are playing alongside each other.
Officially, Geek Fam will be fielding this roster:
- Marc Polo Luis ‘Raven‘ Fausto
- Eric ‘Ryoya‘ Dong (VGJ.Storm and Immortals notable teams)
- Carlo ‘Kuku‘ Palad (from TNC)
- Kenny ‘Xepher‘ Deo
- Kim ‘DuBu‘ Doo-young – (from Fnatic)
Geek Fam may have struggled in the MDL Chengdu SEA Qualifiers, it will be interesting to see just how the team performs in Southeast Asian, an exciting region with many new upcoming teams.
Team Liquid and Alliance
Last, but definitely not the least is as big as they come. We couldn’t do this list without mentioning Team Liquid and Alliance.
Team Liquid, as a team, has already won one TI championship in 2017. To add to this, they also reached the Grand Finals of TI 9 but failed against the might of OG. Since then, the full roster departed from the team. Yes, full roster. We’re talking about Amer ‘Miracle-’ Al-Barkawi, Aliwi ‘W33’ Omar, Ivan ‘MinD_ContRoL’ Ivanov, Maroun ‘GH’ Merhej, and Kuro ‘KuroKy’ Salehi Takhasomi.
We are happy to announce our return to DotA 2 #LetsGoLiquid
Posted by Team Liquid on Tuesday, 1 October 2019
Since then the team has acquired the entire roster of Alliance, namely:
- Michael ‘miCKe‘ Vu
- Maximilian ‘qojqva’ Bröcker
- Samuel ‘Boxi’ Svahn
- Tommy ‘Taiga’ Le
- Aydin ‘iNSaNiA’ Sarkohi
While not quite as star-studded as the previous iteration of Team Liquid roster, it will be interesting to see how the former Alliance roster performs with the support of Team Liquid organization behind them.
Alliance, on the other hand, has put together a quite a roster that comprises of:
- Nikolay ‘Nikobaby’ Nikolov
- Linus ‘Limmp’ Blomdin
- Neta ‘33’ Shapira
- Simon ‘Handsken’ Haag
- Adrian ‘Fata’ Trinks
Nikobaby played with Mineski at TI9. While Limmp has been bouncing between compLexity Gaming and Alliance in the past four years. Both 33 and Fata came from Ninjas in Pyjamas. And lastly, Handsken is returning to Alliance after leaving in 2017 and playing for a variety of teams.
Both Team Liquid and Alliance qualified for the MDL Chengdu Major. They topped their respective groups in the European qualifiers and breezed through the Semi-finals. Alliance earned the first spot after beating Team Liquid in three games while Team Liquid qualified after sweeping Ninjas in Pyjamas.
There are plenty more roster changes after The International 2019 but these are some of the biggest. Most of these teams we will see at the MDL Chengdu Major, which will happen on November 16-24 in Chengdu, China. It will be interesting how the different teams perform and if they will be making more changes this early on in the Dota 2 Pro Circuit.