Jump to content

The International 10: European Region

Mary C

Recommended Posts

European Region

Virtus Pro
Team Secret
Team Spirit



Virtus Pro 

Winning major trophy after major trophy, Virtus Pro managed to stay at the top of the competitive scene for the longest time of any team in Dota 2 history. The Aegis, on the other hand, always seemed to elude them, with the squad failing to turn a great season into a TI victory year after year. Following their largest setback at TI9, the Bears' nearly three-year-old team was disbanded, and the Cubs have taken their place, with the Russian organization deciding to promote their young squad and start over. 

With an average age of only 19, this is one of the youngest teams in the league right now, but these youngsters have so far proven to be worthy successors to the huge names they had to live up to. Every single member of the new lineup has shown exceptional individual mechanical ability, with midlaner gpk standing out as one of the most promising newcomers at the moment. 


Winning both of their regional DPC competitions with a combined 28-3 win/loss record, VP has been without a doubt the greatest Eastern European team this season. Despite their outstanding success in their own region, they struggled at both majors, finishing 7-8th in Singapore and barely 9th-12th at the AniMajor. Fortunately, the DPC points earned through their league victories were more than enough to send them over the finish line for a TI direct invite as they finished third overall behind only Evil Geniuses and PSG. LGD. 


In their two appearances since the AniMajor, the VP have placed second and third, respectively, against tough international competition. However, because these victories came in online events, doubts about their failure to compete on LAN remain despite these impressive achievements. No one can disagree that a top-performing VP poses a threat to even the most elite teams, but we have yet to see them perform at their best at an in-person event. Expect huge things from these boys if they choose TI10 as their first time to do so. 





Team Secret 

Secret kicked off 2020 with a statement triumph at the Leipzig Major, and they went on to win eight straight online tournaments in dominating 3-0 grand final whitewashes during the months that followed. They appeared less unstoppable in 2021, but by winning the first Western European regional league and placing fourth at the Singapore Major, they collected enough DPC points early on to practically guarantee their direct invitation to TI10. 

Puppey and the guys are maybe the most difficult squad to predict going into this year's International. Secret had previously dominated the 2018/19 season, rising to the top of the DPC standings and establishing themselves as the overwhelming favorite to win TI9. They later parted ways with their long-serving midlaner MidOne, shuffled Nisha to the midlane, and recruited TI7 champion MATUMBAMAN as their new carry after ending in a tantalizing 4th place. They also replaced SunBhie as coach with Heen, a well-known strategist who previously guided MATU and Team Liquid to TI7 victories. 

Puppey is perhaps the most accomplished player in the game's history, and his unwavering leadership leads a team in which it is tough to pick a single greatest player. YapzOr embodies a gift for highlight compilation makers everywhere with his consistent game-winning support plays. Zai brings a level of hero and playstyle versatility unmatched by any other offlaner, and Nisha's clinical dismantling of his midlane opponents earned him the prestigious award of PC Player of the Year in 2020. 

After years of having to play second fiddle to Miracle- on Liquid, MATUMBAMAN resurfaces on Secret. He was thrown off the team before TI9, and they finished second without him, but with KuroKy and his other old teammates failing to qualify this year, TI10 could be MATU's redemption narrative. To add to the story, Puppey is currently the only player alive who has competed in every International, and a second TI victory after a decade could be enough to seal his place as the best of all time. 

Secret will indeed be a tough team to beat. 






Alliance is perhaps one of the most variable teams out there right now who is capable of looking top tier one day and frustratingly poor the next. As a result, it is difficult to rate them because they could finish last in their group or finish in the top eight. Following TI9, Team Liquid stole the whole Swedish team, yet they were able to assemble a fresh group capable of reaching The International – however whether they will be able to stay in the competition longer than their predecessors did in Shanghai remains to be seen. 

Both Handsken and Limmp are skilled players, with the latter being particularly well-known for his early laning-phase skills. Despite their years of Dota 2 experience, this is both of their first TI appearances, with their previous closest attempt ending in the TI6 wild card play-in stage. Fng is another journeyman player who has tried and failed to captain numerous Eastern European squads to The International over the years, but now that he has joined the Swedes, he will be able to return to the tournament for the first time since TI5. 

Nikobaby, who plays his carry role like a shark, continually sniffing for hints of weakness and delivering devastating killing blows when the moment is right, is without a doubt Alliance's best player. The team's other notable name, TI3 champion s4, guides this deadly instinct. After extended stints on both OG and Evil Geniuses, the "Son of Magnus" is the final active member of Alliance's 2013 Aegis-winning squad, and he made his warmly-welcomed return to the organization. S4 leads the team from the off-lane position, bringing almost a decade of experience at the highest level of Dota 2, and his in-game shot calling is evident in the team's excellent late game maneuvers. 

With Alliance, it is best to expect the unexpected! 






For the past two Internationals in a row, experts, including this author, have misjudged OG. However, after completing remarkable back-to-back TI victories, perhaps we should just start operating under the assumption that anytime the Aegis is on the line, this team always appears to be in peak form. Despite a failed DPC season this year with slightly varied rosters, their recently revitalized lineup emerged as the single victorious survivor from the bloodbath of the Western European TI qualifier — undoubtedly the most difficult of the six regionals. 

SumaiL has been mostly missing from competition since his post-TI9 benching by Evil Geniuses due to excessively high ping preventing the US-based player from continuing to compete in European events with OG throughout the online season of 2020. His imposing performances as a stand-in for Team Liquid earlier this year, and since rejoining OG at the carry position, imply that the self-proclaimed "King" of Dota 2 has not lost his lethal edge. Saksa, possibly the least decorated member of this all-star team on paper, has consistently delivered MVP performances for OG over the previous year with his disruptive support play. 

Individual brilliance is more than matched by OG's superb team chemistry and next-level strategic comprehension of the game, making them an opponent most would want to avoid on the major stage. Despite their poor performance this season, we should expect the other teams to not be caught off guard by OG again this time. All eyes will be on the defending champions, and every team will be planning methods to counter them, but if any team can win despite this intense scrutiny, it's OG. 

Can they lift the Aegis back-to-back to back? 




Team Spirit 

Apart from periodic roster shuffle changes, Team Spirit has long been one of those many average Eastern European organizations about which you seldom hear anything. Spirit's biggest claim to fame has been as the squad on which Russian carry prodigy RAMZES666 made his first appearance on a major stage, but its talent scouts appear to have struck gold once more this season. 

While most people's attention has been drawn to Virtus.pro and their new roster, Spirit has quietly ascended to the top of the Eastern European scene. Thanks to newly discovered teenage talent. Aside from their captain Miposhka, the rest of the team is relatively new to professional Dota, but each of their young players has already demonstrated the potential to become one of their region's next stars. 

Spirit came in fourth place in their debut regional DPC league, just missing out on a spot in the Singapore Major due to a tie-breaker loss against ASM.Gambit. However, they avenged themselves a few months later in the second league where they finished second after a dominant performance in which they only lost to an unbeatable VP. This performance qualified them for the AniMajor where Spirit struggled in the group stage but survived elimination following a tie-breaker victory over Team Liquid. Spirit then defeated Alliance in the lower bracket, but they were quickly defeated by Vici Gaming in the next round, finishing in seventh or eighth place. 

As a result, Spirit fell to 14th place on the DPC leaderboard, missing out on a straight invitation to The International. Fortunately for them, their primary competitors Natus Vincere and ASM.Gambit both appeared to implode in the regional qualification, and Spirit was able to clinch a spot at TI10 in the end. In the few appearances they have made since then, they have maintained their strong form, even finishing second to just PSG. LGD won the DotaPIT Invitational recently. 

This impressive performance, on the other hand, may come back to haunt Spirit as their appearance in the penultimate grand final before TI10 would almost surely have drawn undesired attention from opponents who may have previously disregarded this youthful squad. Expectations for Team Spirit at TI10 are obviously dampened, with all but one of the team's members making their International debuts in Bucharest; however, only a fool would write them off altogether. Miposhka was on hand for Team Empire's epic victory over Evil Geniuses at TI7, and his new squad is sure to surprise anyone who underestimates them. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...