CIS (Russian) players are considered to be among the worst players when it comes to public matchmaking. Rudeness, inability to communicate in English and comparatively lower skill are among the most frequent complaints. Whether it is true or not is up for debate, however it certainly did not stop the region from producing some very talented teams.
Today we will have a look at the trio of teams which are already guaranteed a spot in TI5 main event: Team Empire, Virtus Pro and Na'Vi. The Top 10 picks and bans for the teams can be seen in the spoilers.<!--END_PREVIEW-->
For many of us, Na'Vi was the first team which came to mind when someone said Dota 2. They were the first winners of the International and come second in the two consequent ones. In all of these events they would fall down, get up, fall once more and still emerge victorious - being even the second best team in the world, despite patches which favoured very different play styles is nothing to scoff at. Most importantly - they always fought until the very end, putting up a really good show. They used everything at their disposal to get a victory, and if anyone is still arguing about whether or not some of the victories were deserved, I suggest you read this article.
It all seemingly fell apart after TI4, where they did not manage to produce results which were expected of them. To top it, one of the strongest support duo has decided to leave the team, resulting in a long period of high roster volatility, extremely poor tournament performances and the disenchantment of many fans.
Despite all that, the team seems to get up once more, with a new roster and a desire for victory. The team currently consists of:
XBOCT - one of the most mocked carry players in the professional scene is also one the most underrated ones. XBOCT has this unique ability to create chaos in a teamfight only he and his team feel comfortable in. He is an all-out uber-aggressive carry player who can make any game flashy. It all comes with a price of frequent unintentional feeding, but if there is an equivalent of a high-roller in Dota 2 is has to be XBOCT.
Dendi - whether or not this player ever was the top mid in the world is still up for a debate, but his skill is unquestionable - he does not lose his ground against neither veterans nor the new age midders. Most importantly, however, he seems to always have his team as a priority - he creates space where it is needed and dictates the tempo if the situation allows for it, putting up a lot of pressure wherever he goes, regardless of what hero he plays.
Funn1k - this guy was the reason 박쥐기수 received a nerf after nerf. An extremely talented offlane player who is known for his beautiful initiation plays actually left Dota for quite some time in TI4 aftermath, but is now back and ready for duty.
ArtStyle - the original winner of TI and a new team captain. He is cold, calculated and probably one of the very few people who can tame XBOCT. Considering a decisive victory in the European TI5 Qualifiers, his strategies seem to work.
Sonneiko - there isn't really much to tell about the player - he hasn't been in the scene long enough. He is young, he is not afraid to experiments and according to his stats, he seems to be extremely good on aggressive supports. Something that fits Na'Vi perfectly.
This team has a history of building a lot of hype and gathering a lot of fans on their road to The International, and losing them after unexpectedly poor performance only to build it once again. In a sense, they are like Na'Vi only with a much longer cycle of high hopes and heartbreaking losses.
Despite all that, they are once again among the best teams coming into TI5 and one of the few teams who managed to squeeze a victory from Team Secret in the last several months. Oh, they also allegedly broke VC gaming
Silent - a very solid carry player who seems to be struggling a little bit with the current meta of early-game carries, generally preferring a midrange approach.
Resolution - a rather underrated player with a very high versatility. Typically playing mid, he can work with a lot of heroes, ranging from tempo controllers to hard carries. This comes with a hit to consistency of his plays, but it is still much smaller than one would expect.
yoky- - not a very well known player, but definitely has a lot of potential. He generally plays a "tanky initiator" role, frequently sacrificing himself for the greater good. Most of the time it works.
ALWAYSWANNAFLY - one of the oldest Team Empire players. He has been with the team through thick and thin. He is also one of the support players who does not follow the meta with frequent unconventional picks, which yield good results.
ALOHADANCE - a young and a rather new player on the scene. He has been in the professional scene for less than a year, so there is not really much to tell. Though he does seem to follow his veteran support teammate's footsteps.
One of the newest rosters with some very old players. Current Virtus.Pro has already proved themselves enough for the organisation to make them the A team. And they keep on proving.
Almost all players on the team have been rejected at least once by their organisations - DkPhobos and fng coming from Na'Vi and Illidan being kicked from Virtus.Pro itself. Twice.
Despite all that, the team is currently among the most successful teams in the region with unconventional drafts, great team synergy and a captain who is cuter than Zai himself.
Illidan - I had a chance to play with him in one of my pubs and he seems to be the kind of guy who will never surrender. He is aggressive, but very calculated in his aggression. And he can farm really fast.
God - a very old Dota player who for some reason went under the radar for far too long. He might not be the most individually skilled mid player, but he somehow always manages to find some space to get his items. Even if everything goes wrong for his team, he will still get his core items and become enough of a hindrance to the opponent for his team to catch up.
Lil - a very new player in the scene, he nonetheless proved himself to be a reliable and versatile support.
fng - one of the youngest captains in Dota 2. He was deemed not good enough to lead Na'Vi, but it certainly did not stop him. Interesting drafts, solid plays and a very mature personality makes him one of my personal favourite players - this player is here to stay.