Top 10 Indian Dota Players of 2017

Vignesh Raghuram

28th, Dec, 2017
With the last premier Indian tournament of 2017 coming to a close, it is time, once again to publish a top 10 players list.

If 2016 was a big year for Indian Esports, 2017 was a massive landmark year where the scene has been pushed to new limits. We finally had an Indian Team win the open qualifiers and take part in a Valve Minor’s regional qualifier. We also had an Indian team beat out the rest of South Asia not once but twice to move on to the APAC Finals.

A strong point of 2017’s Indian Pro Dota scene is that the sheer number of events the top teams play at means that there are so many opportunities to see the best in the country showcase their skills. This implies that it is not required that one rely upon a few key memories to decide who impressed the most over the calendar year.
   
This is a list of who I believe are the cream of the crop amongst thousands of Indian gamers. I believe that these guys have what it takes to compete against the best players in the world. They have the ability to take Indian Dota to the next level.
 

Although I will use various metrics to justify my rankings, the opinions expressed here represent my own personal views and thoughts. If you do not agree with me, feel free to spam me with hate messages at my social media accounts mentioned below, it makes me feel relevant.
 
 
Top 10 Indian Dota Players of 2017

10. Pede “Padling” Nagi

  


Padling spent most of 2016 in the "failed genius" category of player, where his raw skill was clearly immense but he failed to find a team that could best utilize his skill and potential. Stuck on Team Secret Joke, Padling's best days were yet to come.

In 2017, he became the star midlaner of Aggressive 5 after a brief stint in the safelane. But he still had the farm priority (evidenced by his GPM), which more often than not resulted in him taking control of the game and being the player the rest of the team played around.
 
He is currently teamless after the disband of Aggressive 5. But with his talents, I don’t expect him to stay as a free agent for long unless it's of his own volition.

Last Year's Ranking: 6
 

Notable Tournaments Result Team
ESL India Premiership 2017 – Fall Season Finale Runner up Aggressive 5
ROG Masters South Asian Finals Runner up Aggressive 5
Dew Arena 2.0 Winners Aggressive 5
 
 
Win Rate in 2017 KDA in 2017 Avg. GPM in 2017 Avg. XPM in 2017
66.12% 4.63 594 576
 
 

9. Khaled ‘ClownK’ Ansari

 

ClownK is one of the most experienced midlaners in India. He may not be the flashiest player in Dota 2, but he’s certainly proved himself to be one of the best. Consistency in the midlane is just as important as having the ability to go out and completely dominate a game. And he has that in spades.
 
He played a vital part in Team Buriza winning the Taiwan Excellence Cup 2017 as well as finishing as the runner-ups in Dew Arena 2.0 thanks to his spectacular performances on his Storm Spirit and his Tinker. He is now part of an all-star Team-Wipeout squad which has already convincingly beaten ROG Titans in the Acer Predator League 2017 on their road to their 2nd place finish at the South Asian finals.

Last Year's Ranking: NA
 
Notable Tournaments Result Team
Acer Predator League – South Asian Finals Runner Up Team Wipeout
Taiwan Excellence Cup 2017 Winners Team Buriza
Dew Arena 2.0 Runner up Team Buriza
 
 
Win Rate in 2017 KDA in 2017 Avg. GPM in 2017 Avg. XPM in 2017
56.82% 6.06 545 603
 

8. Jeet “Sw1fty” Kundra



The Dota 2 leaderboards indicate that Swifty is the most mechanically skilled player in the country. And it is hard to argue with it. He is an amazing midlaner who can go toe-to-toe against SEA’s best in his ranked games and hold his own.

So why is he so low on the list?

The problem is that he hasn't taken part in that many Indian tournaments and hence doesn’t have any tournament wins to back him up. With Entity Gaming disbanding in the middle of the year right before a plethora of tournaments rolled in. Sw1fty was forced to be a mere spectator in tournaments like The Dew Arena 2.0, Taiwan Excellence Cup 2017 and the ESL India Premiership 2017 – Fall Season Finale.
 
That said, change is already underway as he is now part of one of the best Indian teams, ROG Titans, who are beginning to look like a strong and dominant force. Their recently incepted rivalry with Signify could push Sw1fty to greater heights.

Last Year's Ranking: 4
 
Notable Tournaments Result Team
ESL India Premiership 2017 – Summer Season Finale Runner up Entity Gaming
ESL India Premiership 2017 – Winter Season Finale Runner up ROG Titans
 
 
Win Rate in 2017 KDA in 2017 Avg. GPM in 2017 Avg. XPM in 2017
62.96% 7.17 583 587
 

7. Shahbaz “Pinkman” Hussain

   
Pinkman has been in the Pro DotA scene for a while now. It was partially his support skills that lead Roar Esports to win the IESC 2016 last year. That win probably played a big part in him getting noticed and eventually being picked up by Aggressive 5, whom he helped make one of the most successful teams in the country.

Before Aggressive 5's disbanding, He became one of the best supports out there thanks to his perfected Nyx Assassin and Slardar play, with whom he has never lost a ticketed game.

He is now one of the Team Wipeout leaders and has successfully made a transition to the offlane role where he has surpassed all expectations. He maintains an incredible 10.81 KDA record (in ticketed games) since his transition to the offlane.
Last Year's Ranking: NA
 
Notable Tournaments Result Team
ESL India Premiership 2017 – Fall Season Finale Runner up Aggressive 5
ROG Masters South Asian Finals Runner up Aggressive 5
Dew Arena 2.0 Winners Aggressive 5
Acer Predator League South Asian Finals Runner up Team Wipeout
 
 
Win Rate in 2017 KDA in 2017 Avg. GPM in 2017 Avg. XPM in 2017
73.49% 4.40 405 432
 

 6. Darshan “A35” Bata

One of the best players on the Aggressive 5 squad that had some spectacular showings in the Dew Arena 2.0 and the ESL India Premiership: Fall Season Finale. A35 left to join ROG Titans in late October. However, the transfer had very little impact on his overall performance as he continued to deliver his A-Game finishing 2nd in the Taiwan Excellence Cup 2017 and the ESL India Premiership: Winter Season Finale.
 
He is one of the few Indian offlaners in the Dota 2 Leaderboards, a position he has held for well over a year. He has also become the Captain and drafter of one of India's premier teams, ROG Titans.

Last Year's Ranking: 8
 

Notable Tournaments Result Team
ESL India Premiership 2017 – Fall Season Finale Runner up Aggressive 5
ROG Masters South Asian Finals Runner up Aggressive 5
Dew Arena 2.0 Winners Aggressive 5
Taiwan Excellence Cup 2017 Runner up ROG Titans
ESL India Premiership 2017 – Winter Season Finale Runner up ROG Titans
 
 
Win Rate in 2017 KDA in 2017 Avg. GPM in 2017 Avg. XPM in 2017
67.89% 4.33 489 545
 

5. Omkar “PasoLL” Urunkar

 

PasoLL’s known for his clever drafting and his movements in the early part of the game. He is also one of the finest in-game shotcallers in Indian Dota and probably the best Rubick player in India. PasoLL’s command and captaincy got noticed due to Aggressive 5’s steady placings in several tournaments. His biggest achievement came when he lead his team to a championship finish at the Dew Arena 2.0.

He usually plays the position-5 role, designated to do the most work with the least available resources. PasoLL is a player who finds space, finds opportunity, and can make any hero work with a strikingly low amount of resources.

He found an immense amount of success with Aggressive 5 earlier this year and his recent transfer to Signify has pushed them to a higher level securing them berths in two international LANs, the WESG: APAC Finals in China and Acer Predator League: Grand Finals in Indonesia.

Last Year's Ranking: NA

Notable Tournaments Result Team
ESL India Premiership 2017 – Fall Season Finale Runner up Aggressive 5
ROG Masters South Asian Finals Runner up Aggressive 5
Dew Arena 2.0 Winners Aggressive 5
Acer Predator League South Asian Finals Winners Signify
ESL India Premiership 2017 – Fall Season Finale Winners Signify
 
 
 
Win Rate in 2017 KDA in 2017 Avg. GPM in 2017 Avg. XPM in 2017
53.73% 3.22 280 380
 

 4. Raunak “Crowley ” Sen

 

Possibly the most popular player in India thanks to his antics on social media and his quirky personality, many believe that Crowley is the best midlaner in India. Crowley regularly dominates his lane. And against weaker players, if left in a one-on-one situation, he can beat them to a point where they have so little farm that they are no longer relevant to the game.

His phenomenal performances in the midlane have played a huge part in pushing Signify to win four straight Indian LAN titles in a row.

Occassionally, overconfidence has been known to get the best of him, but that gets easier with international experience. Coupled with Pasoll's discipline, Crowley has the potential to lead his team to become one of the best teams in SEA.

Last Year's Ranking: 3
 
Notable Tournaments Result Team
ESL India Premiership 2017 – Fall Season Finale Winners Signify
ROG Masters South Asian Finals Winners Signify
Acer Predator League South Asian Finals Winners Signify
ESL India Premiership 2017 – Fall Season Finale Winners Signify
 
 
Win Rate in 2017 KDA in 2017 Avg. GPM in 2017 Avg. XPM in 2017
72.37% 5.59 576 597
 

3. Dhvanit “Negi” Negi

 
 
I’ve lost count of the number of times that I thought Negi wouldn’t be able to get anything from his lane, but he ended up either winning or breaking even without much assistance from his teammates. He used to play like an offlaner in the Aggressive 5 safelane which probably played some part in the easy transition he has had to the position 3 for Signify.
 
This self-sufficient playstyle has played a huge part in the successes of both Aggressive 5 and Signify across multiple events. His preposterous 77.24% winrate stands testament to that fact. He is also the 6th  highest rated Indian in the Valve leaderboards. While his Death average is slightly on the higher side, thanks to his sacrificial playstyle. His Damage Done stat, as well as his Net Worth, are almost always as high as the rest of the cores in the games.

Last Year's Ranking: Honourable Mention
 
Notable Tournaments Result Team
ESL India Premiership 2017 – Fall Season Finale Runner up Aggressive 5
ROG Masters South Asian Finals Runner up Aggressive 5
Dew Arena 2.0 Winners Aggressive 5
Acer Predator League South Asian Finals Winners Signify
ESL India Premiership 2017 – Fall Season Finale Winners Signify
 
 
Win Rate in 2017 KDA in 2017 Avg. GPM in 2017 Avg. XPM in 2017
77.24% 5.24 411 430
 

2. Moin “No_Chanc3” Ejaz



The MVP of the previous year’s list has slipped a place. But it is through no fault of his own, he has, in fact, built on his previous year’s achievements and has pushed through to become the best support player in all of the subcontinent.
 
The Kolkata born star left Entity Gaming at the start of the year and was one of the founding members of Signify. He has since then not looked back, winning tournament after tournament, Signify are yet to lose a single Indian Dota2 tournament that they’ve entered.
 
While his support play has always been stellar, the level of participation and pressure No_Chanc3 has brought to the table after stepping down from drafting and captain responsibilities have been overwhelming for opponents. His almost 400 Avg. GPM is almost unheard for supports. His Tusk play is truly world class but he’s shown he’s equally adept on whatever his now support counterpart PasoLL will pick for him.

Last Year's Ranking: 1
 
Notable Tournaments Result Team
ESL India Premiership 2017 – Fall Season Finale Winners Signify
ROG Masters South Asian Finals Winners Signify
Acer Predator League South Asian Finals Winners Signify
ESL India Premiership 2017 – Fall Season Finale Winners Signify
 
 
Win Rate in 2017 KDA in 2017 Avg. GPM in 2017 Avg. XPM in 2017
64.84% 3.29 396 559
 

 

1. Balaji “BlizzarD” Ramnarayan

 

The hard carry needs to be someone you can fall back on, a pillar of consistency who can routinely find farm, avoid ganks and get the items they need to ensure their team's success.

BlizzarD lives and breaths those words, never struggling for farm and making the most of space whenever possible. He is also flexible, able to play a variety of different heroes with the same level of consistency, which is why adapting to changing metas doesn't bother him. He is someone who you can count on to lead the team to victory from unwinnable positions while he is also someone who can close out a game without any 322 shenanigans.

His stats speak for themselves, he maintains a high KDA of 5.79 while also maintaining quite a high GPM of 663 in ticketed games. All of this while playing significantly tougher opponents than the other Indian teams thanks to Signify's participation in the #JDL Season 11 and several SEA Regional qualifiers amongst other tournaments.
 
This is why BlizzarD is my top Indian player of 2017. While his pure individual skill also played quite a big part, it is his 4 successive tournament wins with Signify that cemented his place as the best player in Indian Dota in 2017.

Last Year's Ranking: 2
 
Notable Tournaments Result Team
ESL India Premiership 2017 – Summer Season Finale Runner Up Entity Gaming
ESL India Premiership 2017 – Fall Season Finale Winners Signify
ROG Masters South Asian Finals Winners Signify
Acer Predator League South Asian Finals Winners Signify
ESL India Premiership 2017 – Fall Season Finale Winners Signify
 
 
Win Rate in 2017 KDA in 2017 Avg. GPM in 2017 Avg. XPM in 2017
66.67% 5.79 663 630
 
 
 
Honorable Mentions
 
These players would have made it on to the rankings if it weren’t for some very minor flaws in their performances in 2017.

Akshay “Ramzes” Dhodi 
 

Just watching Ramzes play makes your heart pump, you never know when he is going to throw the game or snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. He is the player who is most likely to buy a Divine Rapier which will flat out win the game or lose the game in one swoop instead of a BKB which would take them one step closer to victory.

He is slowly being recognized as the ‘EternalEnvy’ of the Indian scene.
 

Harsh “Archmage” Shah 


It really wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that Archmage carried his team to a championship win at the COBX Indian Esports Championship 2017. Some might argue that his Invoker play is second only to Jeet “Swifty” Kundra in the Indian scene.

While his playstyle has evolved into a much more stable one after he transitioned to the safelane with his new team, ROG Titans allowing Sw1fty to be the true 1-position. He has shown that he can still turn up his play when required.
 


Discussions over who the best player is and will likely always be a hot topic of discussion amongst fans every team sport. We have all been sucked into the constant ‘Ronaldo vs Messi’ and ‘Kobe Bryant vs James Lebron’ discussions, Dota is no different.

The problem with Dota is that unlike other sports, where titles won at the end of a season accrued can provide a fairly simple framework for who stands atop his peers at any given time, gauging which players have performed better than his peers is a little more complicated as multiple tournaments and patches change the face of competitive Dota multiple times in a calendar year.

Hence it requires a deeper consideration of many different criteria which would be different for everyone. But the important thing is opening up the discussion. To that end, those were my top 10 Indian Dota players of 2017. 
 
Overall, I feel that Indian Dota has evolved into a much more competitive environment and hence is producing better players. Last year at this point, we had a clear numero uno team, Entity Gaming. All other teams were far behind. But this year we have three teams at the top; Signify, ROG Titans and Team Wipeout. While Signify might hold the edge right now, both ROG Titans and Team Wipeout hold the tools to close the gap between these teams. 2018 will be quite an intriguing year where we may finally see one of these Indian teams make it to a Valve tournament. Here's to them and all of you who have to keep up with the Indian Dota community. I wish you all a Happy New Year 2018 on behalf of AFK Gaming!

 

Veewake and I will be discussing this and more on a podcast tomorrow with Padling and PasoLL. Tune in to https://www.youtube.com/c/AFKGamingEsports/live at 4:00 PM IST and join us as we run through Indian Dota 2 in 2017.



About the author: Gfreak is a Professional Dota analyst an upcoming Esports journalist who loves Dota 2, Harry Potter and Chelsea FC too much for his own good. You can flame him on Facebook or Twitter, it'll be great for his self-esteem.
 
Match Data and stats were sourced from Dotabuff and DatDota.

Player Pictures were sourced from ESL India.


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