The Dota 2 pro circuit’s second Major, DreamLeague Season 8, has concluded today in Jönköping, Sweden. The trophy was claimed by Team Secret, who in addition to securing bragging rights until the next major, take home $500,000 in prize money and 750 pro circuit points.
(1st) Team Secret: After finishing in second place at the first Major of the season, ESL One Hamburg, expectations for the new Secret roster were very high. The addition of Marcus “Ace” Hoelgaard and Adrian “Fata” Trinks has been nothing short of a massive boon. These two players have meshed expertly into Clement “Puppey” Ivanov’s playstyle, and the team looks to be among the top five contenders in the pro circuit going forward. The team’s win at DreamLeague has thrust it well into the lead on the pro circuit rankings, now sitting at 3690 points. On Secret’s road to first place at event, the team only lost a single game, falling to Team Liquid. The team’s next tournament appearance will be at the Captain’s Draft 4.0 finals, but the future for this Secret roster is extremely bright.
(2nd) Team Liquid: Despite being the reigning International 7 champions, a Major victory under the new pro circuit system still eludes Team Liquid. The team finished in 3rd/4th place at ESL One Hamburg, so while its placement at Dreamleague is an improvement, it's still not what’s expected of this team. At DreamLeague, the team played well enough though, so fans can rest easy about Liquid’s performance slipping. The only games that Liquid lost were to the eventual champions, Team Secret, and all the games between these two were quite close. Moving forward, Liquid still remains one of the key teams to beat, but teams are clearly adapting to their playstyle.
(3rd) Evil Geniuses: The time since The International 7 has been difficult for Evil Geniuses to say the least. After swapping Ludwig “zai” Wahlberg for Clinton “Fear” Loomis, the team had some considerable adjustments to make. After a string of bad results and even failing to qualify for some events, Evil Geniuses appear to have regained at least some of their footing back. Notably, the team showed some impressive adaptability at DreamLeague. After realizing that its focus on helping Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan in lane was being aggressively countered by opponents, EG shifted its game plan to concentrate more on Artour “Arteezy” Babaev and letting him carry instead. Although there is still a lot of work left if this EG squad wants to reach its old heights of glory, a 3rd place finish is a solid start.
(4th) Natus Vincere: Na’Vi is back! Now that that’s out of the way, this was a very impressive result from the Na’Vi squad that has been at the receiving end of their fair share of jokes over the past few years. Despite a loss in the first round to regional rival Virtus.pro, Na’Vi managed to hang on for a long time in the lower bracket by eliminating both Fnatic and Newbee. Unfortunately for Na’Vi’s passionate fanbase, the team’s run would be cut short by another once-great team on the rebound, Evil Geniuses.
(5th/6th) Newbee: Another team that would place below expectation, Newbee’s results here come as a large letdown after the team’s commanding victory at the Perfect World Masters at the tail end of November. Newbee absolutely demolished their Chinese competition at Perfect World, but seriously struggled against international competition at DreamLeague. After an easy win over a comparatively weak Infamous squad, Newbee proceeded to get handled by Team Secret and then eliminated from competition by a resurgent Na’Vi squad.
(5th/6th) Virtus pro: This was a surprisingly poor result for the ESL One Hamburg Major champions, but Dota can be a topsy turvy game at times. VP started the tournament out with a close 2-1 series win against regional rivals Na’Vi, and then moved on to be defeated 1-2 by team Liquid. In the lower bracket, Virtus.pro faced an apparently revitalized Evil Geniuses team, who handily defeated VP 2-0 to end their run. The team’s next appearance will be at the upcoming Summit 8 Minor, starting December 13. For both the Summit 8 and MDL Macau, captain Alexei “Solo” Berezin will be on a break, replaced by the team’s coach, Ivan “ArtStyle” Antonov. How this affects the team’s upcoming performance remains to be seen, but ArtStyle has been the team’s coach for almost the entirety of 2017.
(7th/8th) Fnatic: With the recent addition of SEA superstar and 10k MMR player Abed “Abed” Yuspo, Fnatic hoped to turn around its string of embarrassing tournament finishes. Unfortunately for Fnatic, this would not be their time to shine. The squad had looked strong in the regional qualifiers shortly before DreamLeague, but completely fell flat at the event. Fnatic did manage to take a game off Na’Vi, but this event will certainly go down as another major disappointment for the star-studded Fnatic roster.
(7th/8th) Infamous: This was a difficult tournament for Infamous, who were clearly the worst team at the event by a hefty margin. Although the team won its regional qualifier, South America has been an exceptionally volatile region recently with a lot of roster swapping going on. The two series that Infamous played were against Newbee and then Evil Geniuses, and both ended with lopsided sweeps at the hands of their opponents. Although the team’s results were poor, this is a squad of relatively new players, many of which were attending their first ever major LAN. If the players can keep a level head, this loss will be a valuable learning experience for the young squad.