Western Aegis Agenda: Heroes, Hops, and Salt


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Western Aegis Agenda: Heroes, Hops, and Salt

Vignesh Raghuram
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The Western Dota 2 scene this week gave us everything from strategy shake-ups to personal pivots. Ceb critiques Dota 2's stale meta, while Leviatán dives into its turbulent waters with a fresh roster. The Bzm saga adds a dash of intrigue, revealing the complexities behind player transfers. Meanwhile, Ari's quick climb in League showcases the universal language of gaming skills, and Grubby decides to take a breather from Dota 2's salty seas.

Fasten your seatbelts as we zip through these highlights, serving up a cocktail of insights, drama, and a reminder that in Dota 2, change is the only sure bet.

Ceb Throws Shade at Dota 2's Monotony

In a recent discussion on the 'All Chat' podcast hosted by Austin “Cap” Walsh, Sébastien "Ceb" Debs, a celebrated Dota 2 veteran and two-time TI champion, voiced his concerns over the current state of Dota 2's gameplay. According to Ceb, today’s Dota 2 scene is as repetitive as my dad’s stories about walking uphill both ways to school. He misses the days when players were more like mad scientists in a lab, mixing up strategies with the excitement of a kid opening up Immortal Treasures hoping for an Ultra Rare drop. 

Back then, like at the beginning, you had to think so hard about all the options that they [opponents] could do. They could be switching lanes, they could be tri-laning, they could be dual-laning mid, they could be like, there was so much, and now it's like everybody does the same stuff before the rune, after the runes, the same check, the same items. I used to flame players that would go for the same item build every game, you know? I'm like, there's something wrong. It means the guy is just not thinking about the game right? He's not thinking about what heroes he's facing and what heroes he has on his team."

Despite this, Ceb still tips his hat to the new game features, suggesting they might just sprinkle a bit of that long-lost magic dust back into the game. He praised the addition of new game elements like the Twin Gates and The Tormentors, which were designed to add depth and complexity to the game. He appreciated these changes for broadening the strategic possibilities within Dota 2, suggesting a glimmer of hope for the return of creativity to Dota 2.

Leviatán Jumps into the Dota 2 Pool

Leviatán, previously known for splashing around in the Valorant pond, has decided to cannonball into the Dota 2 pool, making waves with their international lineup announcement. The Argentine esports organization announced their new international roster on 18th March, featuring a mix of seasoned veterans and promising talents from various countries, showcasing the organization's ambition to compete on a global scale. The roster includes players like Samuel "Sammyboy" Anderson from the United States and Damien "kpii" Chok from Australia, each bringing a wealth of experience and strategic insight to the team.

The lineup looks something like this:

  • Samuel "Sammyboy" Anderson (United States) playing the hero, not just in-game but also trying to figure out time zones for practice.

  • TBD at Position 2, also known as "We're still swiping right on Dota Tinder."

  • Damien "kpii" Chok (Australia), who's here to put another shrimp on the barbie and another carry in the grave.

  • Tommy "Taiga" Le (Norway), who has seemingly comeback from his Dota 2 'retirement' 3 months ago.

  • Steven "StingeR" Vargas (Peru), who's ready to sting the competition, assuming the competition is into that.

You might've noticed the lineup's got a gaping hole in the mid lane department. But, they roped in Jean Pierre "Chris Luck" Salazar as their stand-in mid-laner for the DreamLeague Season 23 Open Qualifiers. Unfortunately, they found out the hard way that "Luck" in the name doesn’t guarantee success, as they were knocked out in the quarter finals of the open qualifiers.

But don’t count them out yet! With the PGL Wallachia Season 1 qualifiers on the horizon, Leviatán's gearing up for another shot at glory. It's like they've got a redemption arc brewing, and who doesn't love a good comeback story? Especially if it involves overcoming the odds, defying expectations, and finally finding a permanent mid-laner who doesn’t have "TBD" as a name.

The Bzm Transfer Saga: A Drama in Three Acts

When Alexander "TORONTOTOKYO" Khertek decided to pack his bags and leave Team Spirit back in 2022, the Dota 2 world turned into a high school cafeteria abuzz with the juiciest gossip. The hot topic? Whether OG’s Bozhidar "bzm" Bogdanov was going to fill those big shoes and teleport over to Team Spirit. However, bzm declined, Denis "Larl" Sigitov joined and the rest is history.

In a recent interview, OG’s captain, Sébastien "Ceb" Debs, spilled the tea about the whole situation.

I saw an interview with Yatoro where he stated that OG supposedly said nothing to bzm about this. I don't remember if he added a "maybe". Need to double check the information. OG is the best club in terms of player attitude, so as soon as an offer comes in, the person finds out right away. Bzm found out about the invitation to Spirit within the next hour. We didn't hide anything from him. He just didn't want to transfer. At the time, Spirit was struggling. That was before it started winning again. He would have to speak Russian on the new team - he knows a little bit of the language, but not well enough. That played a big role. At the same time, things were going very well for OG. We just won Stockholm Major, we were in the top 4 in Arlington, he was happy with the team and the atmosphere. So he just decided not to move, that's all.”

Ceb's behind-the-scenes look into player transfers not only gives us the juicy details we all crave but also highlights the less glamorous side of esports: the need for a solid fit over just slapping together a team of all-stars. So, here’s to OG and their tight-knit crew, proving yet again that in the world of Dota 2, sometimes the best move is the one you don’t make.

Ari’s League of Legends Adventure

OG’s new support Matthew "Ari" Walker stars as the protagonist who leaps from the Dota 2 ship straight into the stormy seas of League of Legends, landing ashore with the grace of a cat wearing floaties. Ari snagged the Diamond IV rank within a mere 130 hours of gameplay, while the rest of us mortals are still struggling to get past a crowd of Disco Nunus and inting Yasuos, on our way to the trenches of Gold.

Despite being as unfamiliar with League champions as I am with the concept of "moderation" at the Steam Spring sale, Ari’s Dota skills translate like the Rosetta Stone of MOBAs, proving that actual “gamer skills” beats knowing what the heck a “Yordle” is any day.

Grubby Quits Dota 2 Due to Toxicity

Warcraft III legend turned Dota 2 adventurer Manuel "Grubby" Schenkhuizen recently announced his decision to hit the pause button on Dota 2. After more than a year of battling through the game's trenches and climbing to the Immortal bracket, Grubby's had a revelation. And no, it wasn't that he suddenly understood every patch note ever released. Instead, it was the realization that Dota 2's community had enough salt to season a small country's worth of french fries.

“My interest level in playing the game properly, and my mood levels dropped quite a lot,” mused Grubby. “That’s me, I can’t change that about myself. Which means I’m no longer playing to win. Which is a very alien feeling for me and I think it's a waste of time for me to spend my time like that. I have better experiences that I wanna get out of games and out of life than that.”

Despite his love for the strategic depth and camaraderie in the game, Grubby found himself wading through a sea of toxicity so potent, even a hazmat suit couldn't keep the negativity at bay.  “If the community was better, Dota 2 would be one of the most fun communities to be a part of. Because there are so many intelligent people, there’s a lot of passionate players.”

Yet, like a glutton for punishment or perhaps just an eternal optimist, Grubby isn't hanging up his mouse and keyboard in Dota 2 for good. He said he'll be back to play the game, from time to time, but won’t fully commit to it. In the meantime, Grubby plans to explore other gaming pastures, possibly ones where the grass is greener, or at the very least, not on fire.

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Vignesh has been covering the esports industry for nearly 5 years starting with the early days of the DPC. His industry expertise includes experience in Dota 2, CS:GO and Mobile Esports coverage.

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