Dota 2 / 6 comments

Swarley's Picks: Direct Invite Predictions for the Kiev Major

Is there anyone undeserving on this list?

Julius Tabios

Banner Image Credit: TNC Pro Team Facebook

The Dota 2 Majors are about to make their Eastern Europe debut in the Kiev Major. Roshans will be slain and tears will be shed in the heart of Ukraine on April 27-30. Everything is set save for the teams who will duke it out for the right to raise the Mystic Staff.

Who is worthy?

Recent results have always been a determining factor for Valve whether or not a team deserves a Direct Invite so I will also take this into consideration as well as the stability of their current roster. With Valve's recent announcement, it seems that once again there will be eight invites. I'll give two slots for each region and base it on a variety of different factors. So here's who I think deserve the magic eight invites for Kiev:


1) Evil Geniuses

Evil Geniuses is currently one of the world's most stacked Dota teams. From top to bottom, every player is a specimen of individual talent. They finished 3rd/4th in the Boston Major and their only tournament so far in 2017 has been Dota Pit League Season 5. In the Croatia meet they took top honors against European powerhouse OG. With the drafting genius of Crit-, SumaiL's insane mid prowess, and Arteezy's farming acumen, EG is very hard to shut down. Getting through Zai's early game pressure and Universe's consistent initiation is also no walk in the park for any team.

It will be nigh impossible for the boys in blue to not get a direct invite to Kiev.

  • Artour 'Arteezy' Babaev
  • Syed 'SumaiL' Hassan
  • Sahil 'Universe' Arora
  • Ludwig 'zai' Wahlberg
  • Andreas 'Crit-' Nielsen

2) Digital Chaos

From of a team that included Jake SirActionSlacks Kanner as a substitute at some point, the Misery-led squad has come a long way.

With veteran captain Misery and one of the most complete carries in the game in Resolut1on, DC is hard to beat . Underdogs no longer, DC looks to maintain its status as a top-tier team. Winning ESL One Genting, the first premier LAN of 2017, and finishing top 4 in the Boston Major is enough to warrant them an invite.

  • Roman 'Resolut1on' Fominok
  • Aliwi 'w33' Omar
  • David 'Moon' Tan
  • Rasmus 'Misery' Filipsen
  • Martin 'Saksa' Sazdov


3) OG

Ana may not be the best midlaner in the world but OG knows how to win anyway through hard work and dedication. They were the winners of the Boston Major (and Manila, and Frankfurt) and their roster has remained untouched since.

Fly and N0tail are three-time Major Champions so there is no denying their quality as players. With s4's explosive offlane ability and JerAx being the support god that he is, you can never sleep on the #DreamGreen squad.

  • Johan 'n0tail' Sundstein
  • Anathan 'ana' Pham
  • Gustav 's4' Magnusson
  • Jesse 'JerAx' Vainikka
  • Tal 'Fly' Aizik

4) Team Liquid

Team Liquid are finally doing it! When Miracle joined Team Liquid they were supposed to be instant contenders. But instead they had an underwhelming end to 2016 and a low-key start to 2017.

Their meteoric rise started when Lebanese 9k support player GH officially joined the squad early in January. He completed the first-ever triumvirate of 9k MMR players in a pro Dota 2 team alongside MATUMBAMAN and Miracle. GH was the missing cog for the European side. He is a sublime playmaker and his next-level understanding of the game has caught the eyes of many pundits recently. Liquid won the last LAN before Kiev, StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3 which ups their stock tremendously for a Direct Invite.

  • Lasse 'MATUMBAMAN' Urpalainen
  • Amer 'Miracle-' Barqawi
  • Ivan 'MinD_ContRoL' Borislavov
  • Kuro 'Kuroky' Takhasomi
  • Maroun 'GH' Merhej


5) Newbee

With star midlaner sccc and cerebral captain Kaka, Newbee is looking like China's best team today. They've had good results against fellow Chinese teams and international teams since their run in Boston. I put them above Wings Gaming who have had underwhelming performances in 2017 as they continue to try new things with the meta.

They also recently won the Chinese exclusive Dota2 Professional League Season 2 - Top League which gives them the advantage in the region.

  • Xu 'uuu9' Han
  • Song 'sccc' Chun
  • Damien 'kpii' Chok
  • Zeng 'Faith' Hongda
  • Hu 'Kaka' Liangzhi

6) Team VG.J

It took them awhile but VG.J's roster is finally coming together. With the Rubick god and charismatic fy and the talismanic rOtk leading the way, the team has become one of the country's crowd darlings as of late. They eliminated OG in the recently concluded StarLadder but ultimately fell short against Team Liquid in the finals.

With a memorable performance like that, it wouldn't be a surprise if they get the call-up for Valve for Kiev. Plus, if they get in maybe we'll see NBA star Jeremy Lin in the analyst desk once again.

  • Sun 'Agressif' Zheng
  • Liu 'Freeze' Chang
  • Bai 'rOtk' Fan
  • Xu 'fy' Linsen
  • Lu 'Fenrir' Chao

South East Asia

7) Team Faceless

Team Faceless have often been the representatives of the SEA region in international meets. With star Thai midlaner Jabz and the iconic iceiceice in tow, it's no wonder as to why they dominate the SEA region

While they dominate the SEA region, they usually struggle against the world's finest. But they surprised everyone in Dota Pit League Season 5 as they finished 3rd before getting eliminated by the star-studded OG. They will be the SEA representatives in DAC 2017 and they will likely also be a SEA rep in Kiev.

  • Dominik 'Black^' Reitmeier
  • Anucha 'Jabz Jirawong
  • Daryl Koh 'iceiceice' Pei Xiang
  • Toh 'xy' Wai Hong
  • Wong 'Nutz' Jeng Yih

8) TNC Pro Team

One could easily say that TNC is the best team out of the Philippines today because of their impressive chemistry and roster. Raven is the most consistent carry to come from the Philippines as of late and Tims is already making waves in the international scene as T-God.

With the momentum from their WESG 2016 Championship run and Top 4 finish at StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3 still fresh in the minds of many, TNC might just get to fly the Philippine flag in Kiev.

  • Marc Polo 'Raven' Fausto
  • Carlo 'Kuku' Palad
  • Samson 'Sam_H' Hidalgo
  • Timothy 'Tims' Randrup
  • Ryo 'ryOyr' Hasegawa

I know it's weird that I did not put a single CIS team in there despite it being the CIS Major. But I had to play by my two invites per region rule and there was no way I would have given Virtus.Pro a slot over OG and Liquid right now.

These are my eight teams for the Kiev Major. Do you agree with them? Do you have different teams that you think deserve to be invited in the showdown in the CIS region? Let us know in the comments below.