So uhm. Don't mind me. It's like when the world cup comes round soccer people get excited so the same thing is happening here xD.
But goodness gracious. TEN MILLION USD PRIZE POOL. MORE THAN FIVE MILLION FOR THE FIRST PLACE WINNER. That is insane. Who says you can't make a career out of playing computer games huh. Yea obviously it's hard but well, these guys are doing it.
I was out of touch of the scene for awhile, busying myself with other stuff. With TI4 rolling round the corner, I decided to check out what's been up lately. It's quite interesting to see how the meta has shifted and I found it amusing that the commentators were going 'you know, we're seeing Ancient Apparition again and that's one thing about this meta that is getting kind of boring'. I was like whuuuutt? I think a couple of months ago I watched some team pick AA and the commentators went 'Wow Ancient Apparition!'
How vastly different from one year ago, the reign of batriders and wisp. Now I'm seeing heroes that never got picked a single game during TI3 becoming relatively staple heroes heh. Faceless Void, Death Prophet and Centaur. It's a good thing for the game, especially since the old fellas still make their appearance now and then.
Also, team DK was absolutely dominant for a long time and now they still are one of the strongest if not the strongest team around, but there are teams that are putting up a serious fight against them. And oh how the mighty have fallen, the grand finalists of TI3 Na'vi and Alliance don't feel like they are going to go far this year. Alliance and their such confident easy wins in 2013, ripping people apart like nobody's business for much of 2013. Nowadays they feel like the ones being ripped up. As for Na'vi, well we'll see how it goes. They have pulled something out of their ass multiple times already I wouldn't be surprised if they suddenly gear up and go far.
For that matter, it feels like a reversal of last year. Last year the western teams showed the chinese teams they were out dated and just ripped them apart. This year, the chinese teams are doing it to their western counterparts. Except for EG. What happened to the useless EG team oh gosh this remade EG is a monster.
Predictions for TI4!
Most likely to win:
Team DK (my favourites to win, go Singapore whooo)
Potential grand finalists:
Teams likely to flop:
All four teams of the play-in series (Team Liquid, MVP Phoenix, CIS Game, Virtus.pro)
Then there's all those teams I don't know much about so I can only give a very rough gauge of their standings.
LGD Gaming and Vici Gaming seem to have been the losers of the chinese reshuffle, they just don't feel as dangerous as the other 3 top chinese teams, so I think they will flop
Titan is pretty much last year's Orange except with Mushi swapped out for YamateH, who I understand is also an excellent player. Orange caused a huge upset last year when no one expected them to go far but the Malaysian team gave top teams in the world a run for their money. I have not seen Titan in action before though so it's hard to say how far they'll go.
Arrow Gaming is made out of players I have never even heard of but from my understanding, they are a dominant force in the SEA scene and they totally destroyed all opposition to claim their position in the qualifiers, no one really stood a chance against them. That being said, the qualifiers is a different stage from competing against these big names that received direct invites. I suspect they'll do worse than Titan, but I don't know much and I don't even know how well Titan will do, so we'll see.
Na'Vi US, or what was previously known as North American Rejects, are a team of people with names well known but lost their teams after all the US disbands as well as the LGD.int disband. These guys banded together and formed a team that has put up a fight. US has been quite useless all these years though never producing top tier teams and players until now finally there is EG. So I'm not sure, but I don't think these guys can go far facing the other teams either, since US doesn't have many good players and when they do, they're probably in EG.
One more thing, I indicated fnatic would not go far. Well if you don't know, check out the drama regarding fnatic. They were never extremely strong, and this is just really going to kill any chance they had. I have yet to check out Xcalibur though, heard he's really good. Ranked 7 on Europe servers now.
Speaking of Xcalibur being ranked 7, I just discovered the existence of the mmr leaderboards today!
I think it's really interesting that quite a significant number of the top players of dota in solo mmr are actually not competitive players. There are good reasons for this of course, the main one being being really good in pub games doesn't mean you are good as a team competitively. Still, there's the success story of pubstars like Xcalibur and Admiral Bulldog. It means there's actually quite a significant untapped pool of potentials and I wonder as dota 2 grows, this pool will be tapped into and we might begin to see more and more new professional dota 2 players.
Also, its interesting to note that on a whole Europe seems to have significantly higher mmr. One might think that this means Europe players are more skilled, but think about how mmr works, when you win you go up when you lose you go down. This actually means that it is significantly harder to climb in mmr in SEA, where the highest mmr player is almost a good one thousand below that of Europe. A much more competitive environment. I wonder if that actually suggests that SEA players are better on a whole than European players.