Four Dota 2 Players to Look Out for at ESL One Malaysia 2022
In light of the fact that the ESL One Malaysia 2022 will be the last international LAN event before The International 11 (TI11) in October, it promises to be an exciting event where top teams from all over the world will clash and produce some top-tier Dota 2 games. Moreover, this will most likely be the last event before the new patch is released, so both players and teams will be well prepared for it. When such big international LAN events with a live crowd are held, there are always a variety of storylines to expect, but we have narrowed it down to four players worth paying attention to.
Four Dota 2 players to keep an eye on at ESL One Malaysia 2022
OG's 17-year-old offlaner Ammar "ATF" Al-Assaf has quickly made a name for himself in the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) 2021-22. ATF is not only known for his item drops, all-chats, and straightforward personality but he's also become a steadfast offlaner, playing a key role in OG's success. It was an excellent season for the team as it consistently performed well in the regional leagues and even won the Stockholm Major.
As a result of ATF's greedy playstyle, which appears as if OG is playing with three cores, the team has not only enjoyed this success but also set a precedent for other top teams to follow. Offlaners have been much more focused, in this patch, on selecting heroes and having item builds that allow them to become stronger as the game develops.
Due to how the current meta operates, allowing teams to play with more greed, a number of OG opponents have been quite uncertain about how to handle this three-core strategy so far. But it has also been observed that if ATF struggles to perform well in OG games, the team also feels the pressure.
As illustrated by OG's success, such games are rare but it will be interesting to see how much focus the opponents place on shutting down ATF's hero pool as well as his laning stage, where he usually tends to take the lead and then snowball out of control.
Nikolay "Nikobaby" Nikolov is the only player on Alliance's lineup who has retained his place from last season's DPC. As Nikobaby rose through the ranks of the last season, he has remained the cornerstone around which Alliance has shaped its roster.
In the current season, Alliance has been quite lackluster, and Nikobaby's stocks have come down with it. Aside from there being a disconnection amongst the players, the carry player's performance has also been scrutinized, as he crumbled under pressure a bit. In this season, he has been lacking the spark on some of his signature heroes such as Faceless Void and Morphling as well.
While he will undoubtedly require his squad to improve, ESL One Malaysia 2022 is the right time for him to reclaim his lost mojo as the TI11 qualifier approaches. Nikobaby's solid performance and a good overall result will help Alliance gain a great deal of confidence going into the qualifier, an event in which optimism and momentum play a significant role.
Resolut1on (Team Secret)
In the Riyadh Masters 2022, Team Secret's tryout with Roman "Resolut1on" Fomynok in the offlane paid off really well as the team finished 3rd-4th, which was a great improvement from its failure to qualify for the Arlington Major in Tour 3 of the DPC 2021-22. Resolut1on and Baqyt "Zayac" Emiljanov wanted to play together and Clement "Puppey" Ivanov was impressed with the way they performed in the offlane.
The chemistry between Resolut1on and Zayac was praised, but the player himself remained a rock for the team for several games, being on point with his gameplay throughout.
As a consequence, Resolut1on ended up on the team in place of Daryl "iceiceice" Koh. Secret hasn't competed in competitive event since, and ESL One Malaysia 2022 will be the team's second event with this new lineup.
As a result, how Resolut1on plays with Secret will be interesting to watch because Secret is probably going to be a very difficult squad for opponents to take down if he manages to perform at the level he did in Riyadh. If the team can repeat its performance in Malaysia, it will not only earn a good result at the event but also bolster its confidence heading into Western Europe's TI11 qualifier, which presents top-tier opposition.
BoBoKa (Team Aster)
Team Aster has finally ended its streak of underperformance in international LAN competitions by finishing third at the PGL Arlington Major. The team silently progressed past one team after another while the community focused on other teams such as OG.
The unfaltering gameplay as well as the energetic team conversation with coach Zhang "LaNm" Zhicheng just before the games demonstrated a shift in team perspective and the ability to rise above the pressures of a LAN event.
But there was one player on the team who finally brought his A-game after a long time - Ye "BoBoKa" Zhibiao. Over the past four years, BoBoKa has been a steady player for Aster, performing his duty as cleanly as he can. However, there have been times, like the one observed at the Major, when he simply erupts and draws attention to himself from the viewers and opponents.
BoBoKa will be one of the most frightening players at ESL One Malaysia 2022, thanks to a fantastic hero pool, the ability to know when to go explosive, when to take a backfoot, and most importantly, the momentum from the Major.
During ESL One Malaysia 2022, from 23rd to 28th August, 12 teams from across the world will battle for the largest share of the $400,000 USD prize pool in the Arena of Stars at Resorts World Genting.