SEA Dota 2 has come leaps and bounds in 2019. It has evolved into a region that can hold its own in the International scene, often going toe-to-toe with the best teams in Europe, China and the rest of the world.
We also saw an SEA team rapidly rise through the ranks and become a major force in the International Dota 2 circuit and even win a Major (the first since the Dota 2 Asia Championships 2018.)
Here are our picks for the top 10 Dota teams from the SEA region.
10. Neon Esports
Image Courtesy: Neon Esports
The kings of the tier 2 circuit, Neon Esports had a stellar year, by their standards, winning multiple online tournaments and securing close to $100,000 in prize winnings by the end of the year.
The team just seems to turn it up a notch when it comes to third-party online tournaments as they tend to dominate every other SEA team in these events. If only their skill translated to DPC tournaments, the team would have been one of the most successful in the region.
9. 496 Gaming
Copyright: ESL Asia
It has been a bittersweet year for 496 Gaming. Although the team was touted as Vietnam’s finest Dota 2 team, they kicked off the year with significantly poor results. The team would constantly make it through the open qualifiers but ultimately fail to deliver in the big leagues relegating them to a Tier 2 status.
The team dominated the Vietnamese Dota 2 circuit with two championship-winning runs at ESL Vietnam Championship Season 1 and 2 but failed to make it count in the SEA circuit until the end of the year.
To close out 2019, the team secured a 4th place finish at ESL Clash of Nations 2019, a 2nd place finish at the WESG 2019 SEA Finals as well as a Bronze Medal at the 2019 SEA Games. Perhaps this momentum will help them better their performance in 2020.
8. Cignal Ultra
This Filipino team recently made the headlines after their unfortunate disconnection incident at the DreamLeague Season 13: The Leipzig Major SEA Qualifiers cost them a spot at the Major.
The team has also had quite an impressive year, under the radar. They managed to win the first-ever edition of The Nationals and secured a 2nd place finish at the World Cyber Games 2019 proving their strength in the international stage.
The team has also managed to go toe-to-toe with teams like TNC Predator and Geek Fam in the SEA Qualifiers of DPC tournaments like the MDL Chengdu Major and the Leipzig Major. While they don’t really bring their A-game to smaller online tournaments, their performances when it counts the most, certainly bodes well for the future.
7. Geek Fam
Image Courtesy: Geek Fam
After a dismal start to the year, Geek Fam has undergone a radical transformation picking up some of the finest talents in SEA and putting up one heck of a roster, on paper. These signings are definitely beginning to prove their worth with their performances in DPC tournament qualifiers as well as other tournaments.
The new and refreshed team kicked off the season with a dominant showing in the ESL One Hamburg 2019 SEA Qualifiers booking a spot in the LAN. Unfortunately due to VISA issues, they had to forfeit their spot in it.
They then went on to compete in the Summit 11 Minor after winning the SEA Qualifiers. They were knocked out of the tournament after they ended up losing to the eventual 2nd & 3 Place teams in the Group Stages.
They closed out the year by qualifying to yet another Minor by winning the SEA Qualifiers. Although it is certainly not the most impressive resume, they’ve shown plenty of promise and potential to warrant this spot in this list.
6. Reality Rift
Image Courtesy: ESL Asia
After their inception in June 2019, Reality Rift has steadily become Singapore’s best hope in the upper echelons of SEA Dota 2.
Like almost every other team in this list, they had a rough start. But the team has grown stronger throughout the course of the season and eventually ended up becoming a Major calibre team.
The team have also dominated their local circuit, winning multiple tournaments including the ESL MY&SG Championship Season 2. They also managed to secure a Top 6 placing at ESL Clash of Nations Bangkok 2019.
However, the highlight of their season, as well as the primary reason for their team making it to 6th place in this list, is without a doubt their performance in the DreamLeague Season 13 SEA Closed Qualifier where they managed to secure a place in the Leipzig Major.
5. BOOM ID
Image Courtesy: Dota Pit
The definition of ‘close but no cigar’ this season, BOOM ID had a brilliant start to 2019 but has since then been relegated to mediocrity.
The team kicked off the year with an appearance in The Bucharest Minor 2019. They followed that up with appearances at the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 1 and OGA Dota PIT Minor 2019. However, they failed to make it count at these events and were eliminated from them with a mixture of last-place and second to last-place finishes. Since then, the team has failed to perform well in any of the other SEA Qualifiers in DPC tournaments.
Closer to home, in SEA and Indonesian LANs, the team has been much more consistent. They kicked off the year with a 2nd place finish at the Asia Pacific Predator League 2019 and winning the ESL Indonesia Championship Season 1. They followed it up with another victory at the ESL Indonesia Championship Season 2 and then eventually closed out the season with a runner-up finish at the ESL Clash of Nations Bangkok 2019.
The team has definitely shown glimpses of their potential, but they’ve simply not performed up to the lofty expectations set by their fans. Perhaps the new year will see them push themselves to glory.
4. Team Adroit
Image Courtesy: ESL Asia
Since rebranding in May 2019, Team Adroit has had a fantastic year. They’ve amassed over $100,000 in prize winnings by winning multiple online tournaments and two premier LAN events.
They were also one of the four SEA teams who managed to compete in a DPC Major in 2019. They saved their best for their last LAN of the season, bringing glory to the Philippines and etching their names in history books by becoming the first-ever Dota 2 team to win the SEA Games.
With a mix of seasoned veterans and young-guns firing on all cylinders, the future looks bright for the Filipino team who just might become a massive force vying for places in DPC Majors in 2020 if they continue on their upward trajectory.
Image Courtesy: Fnatic
The only SEA team to have competed in all 5 DPC Majors this season, Fnatic has had a topsy-turvy season.
The team kicked off the year looking like one of the best teams in the world, showcasing brilliant teamwork and impressive strategic play, to showcase their potential as world-beaters. They secured a Top 6 finish at The Chongqing Major and a Top 4 finish at ESL One Katowice 2019 before peaking with an impressive Top 3 finish at The DreamLeague Season 11 Major.
Unfortunately, their performances fell off a cliff after that showing. They had a disastrous showing in the DPC following their 3rd place finish as they ended up crashing out of the MDL Disneyland Paris Major, the EPICENTER Major and The International 2019 in the last place.
Their final showing of this season at the MDL Chengdu Major also saw them only secure a 9th-12th place finish despite a weak playing field. However, it looks like they’ve set their sights high in 2020.
Some of you might be surprised to see a team, which doesn’t even have an active roster on this list. But Mineski had done enough prior to the new season, to warrant a place on this list.
The team kicked off the year on a good note with a 5th-6th Place finish at ESL One Katowice 2019 before following it up with a 9th-12th place finish at the DreamLeague Season 11 Major. They then dazzled the crowds at ESL One Mumbai 2019 with a 2nd Place finish and then followed it up with another 9th-12th place finish at the MDL Disneyland Paris Major.
However, their performances weren’t enough to book a place at The International 9. So the team had to battle through the SEA Qualifiers to make it to the biggest tournament of the year. At TI9, they managed to secure the highest placing amongst all SEA teams with a 9th-12th place finish.
Their final series of the year against Team Secret at TI9 was perhaps 2019’s best series with some dazzling highlights which even made the casters wet.
They went toe-to-toe against one of the best teams in the world, Team Secret (who eventually finished in 4th place at TI9) and almost knocked them out of the tournament. That alone secures them the runner-up spot on this list.
Copyright: ESL | Helena Kristiansson
No one can deny that the Filipino Juggernauts have been the best SEA Dota 2 team in 2019. It has been a landmark year with multiple trophies and achievements that make the rest of the SEA teams’ pale in comparison.
The team has had a steady rise to the top in 2019. They kicked off things with a 9th-12th place finish at The Chongqing Major. But they followed it up by returning to triumph at the World Electronic Sports Games 2018 in the same city. They also won the Asia Pacific Predator League 2019 and secured a 4th place finish at ESL One Mumbai 2019.
Then they picked up South Korean coach Heen to transform into one of the most feared teams in the world. They put up a fine showing at ESL One Hamburg 2019 and the Epicenter Major 2019 to come into The International 2019 as Dark Horses.
Unfortunately, the negativity at Shanghai got to them, relegating them to a 9th-12th Place Finish at TI9. They underwent a roster shuffle and completely transformed into an unbeatable juggernaut.
They won 4 consecutive LANs in a row, including SEA’s first-ever ESL One victory at Hamburg, culminating with a scintillating triumph at The MDL Chengdu Major.
Although the year ended in a disappointing 7th-8th finish at the ONE Esports Dota 2 World Pro Invitational Singapore. SEA fans can take solace in the fact that they were only eliminated at the hands of the eventual champions in a thrilling BO3 series.
|The Chongqing Major ||5th-6th Place|
|Asia Pacific Predator League 2019||Winner|
|World Electronic Sports Games 2018||Winner|
|ESL One Mumbai 2019||4th Place|
|ESL One Birmingham 2019||5th-6th Place|
|EPICENTER Major||4th Place|
|The International 2019||9th-12th Place|
|ESL One Hamburg 2019||Winner|
|MDL Chengdu Major||Winner|
|WESG 2019: SEA Finals||Winner|
|ONE Esports Dota 2 World Pro Invitational Singapore||9th-12th Place|
Do you agree with our list? Did we miss out on any of your favoruite team? Let us know in the comments below.