For those looking forward to the upsets and excitement that will surely develop in the Ukraine, here are 7 burning questions that will be answered at The Kiev Major.
1. Will the SEA teams finally deliver or will they be left fighting for relevance?
Image Credits : https://dotablast.com/team-faceless-dac-2017-qualifiers/
SEA will be represented by two teams at the Kiev Major — Team Faceless and TNC Pro Team. Both teams qualified for the tournament, with no SEA teams receiving an invite to the Major. They are both talented teams with several world-class players but they just haven’t delivered when it matters the most.
Team Faceless have continually qualified for tournaments only to lose early, and bar one or two epic performances haven’t really shown any reason for them to receive an invite to TI. The Kiev Major might very well be the last chance for Faceless to secure an invite to TI7.
The same goes for TNC, they must put in some very strong performances in the major to persuade Valve to invite them to Seattle where the world’s best teams will battle it out for the Aegis of Champions.
2. How will EternalEnvy fare as a coach? Who will he Poach?
Team NP Fans were understandably shocked at Team NP’s decision to kick 1437 and SVG from their roster after their poor performance at the DAC 2017 where they finished last. Team NP, who have routinely been in the Top 3 teams in the NA region, are seemingly unhappy at the team’s lack of success in any LANs and have chosen to revamp their roster.
EE fans were also given another shock when they learnt that he will be working with Team Thunderbirds (The EX-DC squad) as their coach. Upon reflection, this seems to be a great move for both parties. EternalEnvy is well respected amongst pros and is believed to be one of the best theorycrafters in the Dota 2 scene.
He will also have the chance to be part of the Kiev Major where he can talk to players that are changing rosters about joining Team NP to fill the void that is left by SVG and 1437.
3. Can Team Random reclaim their lost glory?
Oh how far the mighty have fallen. TI7 champions Team random have had a rollercoaster 6 months. Following their post-TI fall from grace, the former Wings roster is currently embroiled in a dramatic split from the organization. Their performances in tournaments post TI7 have been lackluster with diminishing results each time they step into a LAN.
Their form has only been getting worse since 7.00, as their drafting has stubbornly clung to the style of picking five unique heroes every single game. The shift in the meta towards offlaners being the playmakers alongside the position 4 support has also added to Team Random’s misery. The team which had traditionally allowed Faith-Bian to be more of a farming core are now struggling to make this transition.
However, this situation isn’t uncharted territory for Wings. As a team, they are the epitome of a high-risk, high-reward playstyle and have flatlined in some tournaments even whilst dominating the meta *cough* Manila Major *cough*. The potential for this team to bounce back always exists, if only the team’s drafting could once again put its players in the right position to succeed.
4. Can Puppey redeem himself?
Team Secret after securing qualification to the Kiev majorPicture this: One of the most successful and storied captains in Dota 2, standing in the cinders of his old team, his reputation squandered and with the majority of his fans now against him. He brings together a group of like-minded individuals seeking greatness. This team trains hard and finds success in the high risk, high reward play style pioneered by their SEA players.
They qualify for Kiev by taking part in one of the toughest qualifiers the scene has to offer and win it. Team Secret who is one of the only two teams to ever win a Valve Major will look set their eyes on the coveted trophy and compete against the world’s finest in the biggest tournament of the Winter Season.
Will they achieve the glory they set out to reach, or will they be chewed up and spit out by their competitors onto the streets of Kiev?
5. Will Earth Spirit and Monkey King still reign supreme?
At the conclusion of DAC, two heroes stood out from the rest of the crowd. Namely, Earth Spirit and Monkey King. Both heroes function in similar roles, both are great gankers with great escapes and a stun that has the potential to hit multiple heroes. Perhaps more importantly, both have game-changing ultimate abilities.
However, Icefrog has nerfed both of them significantly; reducing Earth Spirit’s rolling boulder slow to a mere 0.8 seconds and Monkey King’s stun and slow to 1.6 and 20% respectively.
While these nerfs certainly hurt the heroes it will be interesting to see how broken these heroes can be in the hands of seasoned pros like Jerax, Cr1t and kaka.
6. Will Virtus Pro become the hometown heroes?
As heirs to the void left by Navi in the CIS region, Virtus Pro have been fighting not just for themselves, but for their community. This weekend will be no different. Veterans Solo and Lil have brought their squad to title contention once again, with the help of Russian superstars RAMZES666 and No[o]ne. The team were dominating the competition before the Boston Major, with their seamless combination of selflessness and classic Russian aggression. This wall of aggression was quick to break teams who didn't expect it, and wear away the few who try to prepare to endure it.
But alas, Virtus Pro haven’t performed very well in any tournaments post the 7.00 patch. However, VP have been building momentum of late, picking up 13 series wins in a row and qualifying for Kiev in the process, without losing a single series in the Kiev Major qualifiers.
VP find themselves squaring off against Faceless in the 1st round of the group stages tomorrow. With the hometown crowd behind them, there’s no telling what VP will be able to do on the main stage.
7. Who carries off the beard better, Arteezy or Fear?
This may very well be the most important question to be answered for us memers. Arteezy recently updated his twitter profile photo. The picture shows him sporting a beard similar to his mentor and coach Fear. Since both of them are attending the Kiev Major as part of the EG team, we’ll get the chance to see both of them and see who pulls off the rugged look better. (Hint: It’s not gonna be Arteezy.)