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Long Form

ESL One Genting Tournament Preview

The first premiere tournament of 2017 for Dota 2 kicks off at Genting, Malaysia as ESL ONE turns to Southeast Asia for a battlefield of eight top teams this January 6-8. The hometown heroes Fnatic have been revamped, SEA stars Execration are coming into the tournament with new players, while teams such Wings Gaming and Team NP are looking for redemption in this USD 250,000 prize pooled event.

Participating Teams:

1. Fnatic (Direct Invite)

After a disappointing finish at the Boston Major Regional Qualifiers last year, Fnatic looked to revamp around the duo Mushi and Ohaiyo by releasing the Filipino players Raven and eyyou as well as the American legend DeMoN. As the first directly invited team for ESL One Genting and the hometown heroes of Malaysia, Fnatic introduces a touch of the old and the new with the addition of rookie InYourDream and veteran SEA stars YamateH and Febby.

Players:
Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung
Muhammad “inYourdreaM” Rizky
Chong Xin “Ohaiyo” Khoo
Ng “YamateH” Wei Poong
Kim “Febby” Yong-min

2. Digital Chaos (Direct Invite)

Digital Chaos have been consistent the whole of Fall season, ending it in a high note by placing 3rd-4th during the Boston Major. They have also kept their roster intact and as such will definitely be the favorites coming into this tournament.

Digital Chaos

Roman “Resolu1tion” Fominok
Aliwi “w33” Omar
David “MoonMeander” Tan
Rasmus “MiSeRy” Filipsen***
Martin “Saksa” Sazdov

3. Wings Gaming (Direct Invite)

Wings Gaming finished alright with the Boston Majors group stage, but the Single Elimination format for the Main Event wasn’t exactly favorable for the defending TI champions. They were paired against Evil Geniuses during the first round of the tournament, a team who ushered their first round exit as well. Now, they are looking for redemption with the new patch 7.00 to be played for ESL One Genting.

Chu “shadow” Zeyu
Zhou “bLink” Yang
Zhang “Faith_bian” Ruida
Zhang “y`” Yiping
Lee “iceice” Peng

4. Team NP (American Qualifier)

Team NP routed their NA rivals compLexity Gaming during the American Qualifier to punch their tickets to Malaysia. They are also heading to the Spring Season with their primary roster intact. Additionally, the team performed well during the Boston Major — finishing 5th-8th place — which makes them a legitimate threat in this tournament.

Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling
Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao
Arif “MSS” Anwar
Avery “SVG” Silverman
Theeban “1437” Siva

5. Newbee (Chinese Qualifier)

Newbee is another team that won’t fix that which isn’t broken: the top-tier squad will not change their roster, especially after a stellar Fall Season outing. They have been a dominant force in the region of China with many LAN wins against their fellow Chinese teams. They also still feature China’s top MMR players Sccc and kaka. 

Xu “uuu9” Han
Song “Sccc” Chun
Damien “kpii” Chok
Hu “kaka” Liangzhi
Zeng “Faith” Hongda

6. Virtus.Pro (European Qualifier)

The ESL ONE Genting regional qualifiers were done way before the Boston Major; but if the invites were drawn a month later than it did, surely Virtus.Pro would be directly invited in this event. Virtus.Pro were such a force to be reckoned with during the late part of the Fall Season, so much so that they were poised to take the Boston Major if not for the single elimination format. After their premature exit at teh tournament because of Evil Geniuses, the team kept their roster intact and could be the hungriest of the teams as the tournament sounds its horns.

Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev
Vladimir “No[o]ne” Minenko
Pavel “9pashaebashu” Khvastunov
Ilya “Lil” Ilyuk
Alexei “Solo” Berezin

7. Execration (Southeast Asian Qualifier)

Execration suffered a huge blow by losing its start player Abed “Abed” Yusop after the Fall Season to combo up with their inability to participate in the Boston Major (despite being directly invited) because of VISA Issues. Now, the team looks for redemption as Kim0 and DJ seeks to prove that they totally deserved that Boston Major invite by conquering the Southeast Asian region through the addition of two Filipino household names Nando and Owa.

Khim “Gabbi” Villafuerte
Fernando “Nando” Mendoza
Djardel Jicko B. “DJ” Mampusti
Joshua “Owa” Dela Serna
Kimuel “Kim0” Rodis

8. Warriors Gaming Unity (Malaysian Qualifier)

WG.Unity did nothing shabby at all during their Boston Major run: they eliminated Fnatic and Mineski.GGNetwork during the Regional Qualifiers, smashed through the Group Stage and finished 2nd place, then went on to defeat the experienced compLexity Gaming to etch a 5-8th place finish for the whole of Boston Major. They have shown that even as a new team, they are at par with the international favorites, and will definitely be a threat here in ESL One Genting.

Jay Son “Ahjit” Lai
Boon Seng “NaNa” Kam
Soon Khong “KaNG” Chua
Soon Chuan “Ahfu” Tue ***
Ee Wooi “Wenn” Neng

Long Form

Spring Shuffle Final Rosters

The final registrations for the Kiev Major have been officially closed by Valve, and the top teams around the world have already finalized their rosters ahead of the Spring Shuffle. While it hasn’t been as chaotic as the Fall Shuffle, Spring Shuffle still brought about a few surprises, like how the past members of MVP.Phoenix have been distributed amongst other teams and the Filipino wonder Abed “Abed” Yusop resigned from Execration to join Jimmy “DeMoN” Ho in forming Team Onyx. Here are the final Spring Shuffle rosters and some of GG Network’s news coverage around them:


 

SOUTHEAST ASIA REGION

Execration

Khim “Gabbi” Villafuerte
Fernando “Nando” Mendoza
Djardel “DJ” Mampusti
Joshua “Owa” Dela Serna
Kimuel “Kim0” Rodis

TEAM FACELESS (No Changes)

Dominik “Black^” Reitmeier
Anucha “Jabz” Jirawong
Daryl “iceiceice” Koh
Toh “Xy-“ Wai Hong
Wong “NutZ” Jeng Yih

Mineski.GGNetwork (No Changes)

Ryan “Raging-_-Potato” Jay Qui
Galvin “Meracle” Kang Jian Wen
Ralph Richard “RR” Peñano
Julius “Julz” De Leon
Michael “ninjaboogie” Ross Jr.

TNC Pro Team

Marc Polo “Raven” Luis  Fausto
Carlo “Kuku” Palad
Samson Solomon “Sam_H” Enojosa Hidalgo
Timothy “Tims” Randrup
Ryo “ryOyr” Hasegawa

Tims to complete TNC roster

Warriors Gaming Unity (No Changes)

Jay Son “Ahjit” Lai
Boon Seng “NaNa” Kam
Soon Khong “KaNG” Chua
Soon Chuan “Ahfu” Tue
Ee Wooi “Wenn” Neng


 

AMERICAS REGION

Digital Chaos (No Changes)

Roman “Resolu1tion” Fominok
Aliwi “w33” Omar
David “MoonMeander” Tan
Rasmus “MiSeRy” Filipsen
Martin “Saksa” Sazdov
William “Blitz” Lee

Evil Geniuses (No Changes)

Artour “Arteezy” Babaev
Syed Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan
Saahil UNiVeRsE Arora
Ludwig “zai” Wahlberg
Andreas Franck “Cr1t” Nielsen

Team NP

Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling
Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao
Arif “MSS” Anwar
Avery “SVG” Silverman
Theeban “1437” Siva

Team Onyx

Mason “mason” Venne
Abed Azel “Abed” Yusop
Kanishka ‘Sam’ “BuLba” Sosale
Kim “DuBu” Doo-youn
Jimmy “DeMoN” Ho

Abed joins DeMoN to form NA-based Team Onyx


 

EUROPE

Ad Finem (No Changes)

Omar “Madara” Dabasas
Dimitris “ThuG” Plivouris
Xaris “SkyLark” Zafirou
Verros “Maybe Next Time” Apostolos
Giorgos “SsaSpartan” Giannakopoulos

Alliance (No Changes)

Jonathan “Loda” Berg
Linus “Limmp” Blomdin
Jonas “jonassomfan” Lindholm
Simon “Handsken” Haag
Jerry “EGM” Lundkvist

Cloud9 (Formerly Team Imperial)

Marcus “Ace” Hoelgaard
Jon “13abyKnight” Andersen
Mikki “HesteJoe-Rotten” Junget
Danny “Noia” Junget
Christopher “Ryze” Winther

Cloud9 signs All-Danish team Imperial

Team Liquid

Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen
Amer “Miracle-“ Al-Barkawi
Ivan “MinD_ContRoL” Borislavov
Maroun “GH” Merhej
Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi

Team Liquid signs GH

Natus Vincere

Per Anders Olsson “Pajkatt” Lille
Danil “Dendi” Ishutin
Victor “GeneRaL” Nigrini
Roman “rmN-“ Paley
Malthe “Biver” Winther

Na`Vi announces new roster, adds Pajkatt, rmn-, Biver

Feras “Feero” Hroob
Adrian “FATA-“ Trinks
Lee “Forev” Sang-don
Yazied “YapzOr” Jaradat
Adam “343” Shah

FATA- forms new team alongside Forev, 343, YapzOr

Long Form

Top 10 Esports Players of 2016

2016 has been a great year for esports, and there’s an extremely long list of the best performances for many esports players. Nevertheless, we’re giving you a shortlist of the top 10 players of 2016 (in no particular order) based on their achievements in their respective esports discipline:

1. Pavel “Pavel” Beltukov (Hearthstone)

2015 was gloomy for Pavel — being only one game away from entering Blizzcon of that year — but 2016 was definitely his year after winning the Hearthstone World Championship against Artem “DrHippi” Kravets. He also showed incredible comeback victories in his Blizzcon run, such as trailing 0-3 against OmegaZero to win the series 4-3 at the end of the day.

2. Byun “ByuN” Hyun Woo (Starcraft II)

Legacy of the Void, a lot of updates, definitely a lot more competition: all these made the WCS 2016 for Starcraft a really huge tournament. After a grueling grind throughout 2016, it was the Terran player ByuN who was able to retain the fortitude and take the Starcraft 2 World Championship out of Blizzcon 2016.

3. Wolfe Glick (Pokemon VGC)

In the meta bombarded by usage of restricted primal legendary Pokemon that of Groudon and Kyogre, Wolfe Glick redeemed himself by introducing something new: in his World Championship run for the Pokemon Video Game Competition (VGC), he introduced the idea of having Fakeout pressure every round by cycling around Hitmontop and Raichu.

4. Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev (Counter Strike: Global Offensive)

s1mple showed 2016 a ton of highlight plays and also joined Natus Vincere to consequently win ESL One New York in the middle of the year. Oh, he also introduced throwing AWPs in the air as decoy.

5. Marcelo “coldzera” David (Counter Strike: Global Offensive)

coldzera was extremely instrumental in SK Gaming‘s ESL ONE Cologne championship last July, and all of SK Gaming‘s Finals appearances in other CS:GO tournaments this year. With his top-tier performance in 2016, The Game Awards inevitably awarded him as Best Player of 2016

6. Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho (League of Legends)

There were many dominant players for League of Legends, but when it comes to determining the best top laner, it’s definitely Smeb. The way he performed for ROX Tigers was nothing short of phenomenal throughout 2016.

7. Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok

If there’s just one household name you want for professional League of Legends, there wouldn’t be a question at all. Faker has been the best player for LoL for a long time now, and most especially around 2016 where his team SK Telecom T1 finished as the World Champions of League of Legends.

8. Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka (Dota 2)

JerAx, throughout the year, has been the best and most electric support in all of Dota 2. He then joined the handicapped OG (who lost three core players) and still managed to win the Boston Major this December.

9. Tal “Fly” Aizik and Johan “N0tail” Sundstein (Dota 2)

Fly and N0tail — the duo that brought to life the legendary Dota 2 team, OG — may not be the most mechanically skilled players, but they do know how to run a team. In their first iteration, they won two Valve-sponsored events. Unfortunately, they lost three of their core members after their TI6 run, but they went on to scout and draft other players to take their third Major championship. No one has ever done that in the history of Dota 2.

10. Amer “Miracle-“ Al-Barkawi (Dota 2)

Arguably the best player of 2016, Miracle- was the first to have ever reached 9000 Matchmaking Rating points and already clinched two Valve-sponsored tournament championships in his first year of competitive play. He also received the “Rookie of the Year” recognition from the Esports Industry Awards.

 

Who are your top 10 players of 2016?


 

Follow this writer through @caisamyvez

 

 

Long Form

Top 10 Dota 2 Stories of 2016

2016 has been a great year for Dota 2, with huge stories that of OG clinching three of the four Valve Majors so far, the New Journey update, and even the scandal of EternaLEnVy vs Puppey. Even Filipinos had their fair share of the international limelight, especially after the history made by TNC and Execration. Read on as we celebrate 2016’s Greatest Dota 2 Moments.

1. Wings Gaming wins the biggest esports tournament, The International 2016

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The young guns of China, Wings Gaming, took the scene by storm with their unpredictable drafts. They finished the tournament with the most heroes played, even to a point where they won a series without one player repeating a hero. The whole world bowed down to the strategic genius and the high-risk-high-reward approach of Wings Gaming.

READ:  Wings Gaming ascend past Digital Chaos to bag TI6 championship

2. The Post-TI6 Shuffle

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Team Secret taking the talents from Southeast Asia by taking MidOneMP and Forev? How about Miracle- leaving OG to form a super team through Team Liquid? JerAx joining OG, who not only lost to TNC during TI6 but also lost three of their core players during the Fall season? Or maybe trying to go through the fact that Evil Geniuses lost Fear and ppd by trusting Cr1t- and Arteezy? In so many ways, the Post-TI6 shuffle has been the biggest and most chaotic roster shuffle yet, and surely a top story of 2016.

RELATED: Dota2 Fall Shuffle Final Rosters

3. The Case of EternalEnVy vs Puppey

Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao wrote a lengthy blog post on his organization Team NP‘s website, accusing his former squad Team Secret — particularly its founder, Clement “Puppey” Ivanov — of taking 10% pay cuts out of initial agreements, delayed issuing of payments, and even using sponsorship revenue for the leisure of certain players/organization owners. Meanwhile, Rasmus “MiSeRy” Filipsen (EternaLEnVy‘s former teammate for Team Secret) released a blog post of his own, confirming a big part of Jacky Mao’s allegations toward Team Secret – being teammates from the Shanghai Major winning lineup of Team Secret, both players are now playing for different teams and have shared a big part about Team Secret‘s tardiness in terms of payments. This is the biggest drama of 2016, revealing a lot of conspiracies happening around the professional scene.

READ: EternalEnvy writes ‘A Secret Story’; spills Team Secret financial misconducts, says Puppey was egotistical, aggresive

4. MiSeRy on his way to becoming a living legend

MiSeRy discreetly made his mark in the Dota 2 history books forever, after being the longest running player to have ever competed in all valve tournaments. He was particularly instrumental during Team Secret‘s championship run during the Shanghai Major. Not only that, on his debut as a captain for Digital Chaos, he brought the one-year-old team all the way up to the 2nd place of The International 2016, eliminating teams that of TNCEHOME, Fnatic, and even Evil Geniuses. He might not be the best mechanically skilled player out there, but he surely has been phenomenal in terms of achievements this 2016.

5. Fear, PPD, and Player-owned Esports Teams

Clinton “Fear” Loomis won’t be playing as Evil Geniuses’ long-time carry anymore, while Peter “ppd” Dager joined his co-champion of TI5 in the sidelines — both retired from competitive gaming, and assumed some administrative roles for the franchise. Fear is now the official coach of Evil Geniuses, while ppd created a huge buzz before 2016 ended as the new Chief Executive Officer of Evil Geniuses. Similarly, Jonathan “Loda” Berg is now co-owning the Alliance team.

READ: EG.Fear Retires

6. OG, the three-time Major Champion.

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OG notched their third Major championship in the recently concluded Boston Major — including their Frankfurt and Manila Major championships, they have won three out of four Valve-sponsored Majors so far. They may have lost three of their players after TI6, but they still got the end goal with three new players of the playmaking s4, the high-octane support JerAx, and the electric youngster Ana.

READ: OG close out the series 3-1 to win Boston Major against Ad Finem

7. TNC with the biggest Dota 2 professional upset — ever.

Mighty as they were, there is something that Filipinos will always be able to brag about: TNC, the absolute tournament underdogs, eliminate the TI6 tournament favorites OG (that time, they were two-time Major champions and definitely the crowd favorite). Oh, and it’s just wonderful to see the Pinoy cast of that game:

8. Execration, the Boston Hype and the Boston Disappointment

Execration was the first Filipino team to have ever been invited in a Valve-sponsored Major, let alone a Valve-sponsored event. Sadly, the dream wouldn’t be a reality for the Filipino community, as Execration would have to be sidelined because of VISA issues deterring them from competing in the Boston Major. Still, one thing should be noted: the whole world is now looking at Pinoy talents.

READ: Execration to step out of Boston Major due to delayed VISA; LGD to replace them

9. Monkey King Introduced

For the first time, Dota 2 will have a new hero that’s entirely new — meaning, this hero is just introduced in the new client instead of adapting it from the WC3-era Dota — and it’s none other than the trickster Monkey King.

READ: The Monkey King has arrived

10. Dota2 Version 7:00 a New Journey

Of course, the birth of Monkey King was conceived from the ashes of Dota2’s biggest patch yet: version 7.00. With the introduction of Talent Trees, Backpacks, Shrines, new map layout, gameplay changes, mechanic changes, item changes, hero changes, and a lot more changes, Dota 2 7.00 surely can make any veteran player seem like a newbie due to the amount of modifications that 7.00 brought.

READ: Valve introduces Talent Tree, Hero Level Changes, Backpack

Follow this writer through @caisamyvez