The CIS team comprised of the game’s most well-known veterans just got blitzed by relatively unknown and new players. Can NaVi bring it back, or is the new age of Dota 2 finally here?
Generational talent can be quite the thing. In the Dota 2 competitive scene, there are a handful of players known across the game’s history to warrant being called a generational talent; the current NaVi Dota 2 roster, for instance, has several of them. In particular are Volodymyr “No[o]ne” Minenko and Alexey “Solo” Berezin; No[o]ne was at one point considered Dota 2’s best mid-laner, up there with Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi and Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan. Yesterday, however, was an eye-opening experience for a number of things: generational talent is called thus for a reason, and we may be entering a new age for competitive Dota 2.
In what could only be considered a massive blowout, NaVi loses two straight games to PuckChamp, a burgeoning CIS team composed of former Division II players who managed to barely climb to Division I. NaVi themselves only barely managed to keep their roster in the Upper Division after the huge roster fallout that rose from their loss in the TI10 Qualifiers.
However, a lot of onlookers, especially those familiar with the CIS Dota 2 scene, were optimistic; not only was the renewed roster filled with familiar names that produced quality results, Viktor “GeneRaL” Nigrini was also returning as an offlaner after his unceremonious benching for Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev.
Subpar, sloppy, and inconsistent
The roster’s first dip into the new CIS DPC season was nothing short of terrible. The first game, in particular, made the entire NaVi Dota 2 roster look like Division II players that are struggling with compatibility and consistency. The entire PuckChamp roster danced circles around them, with the Io pick in particular wreaking havoc and preventing NaVi from doing anything significant.
NaVi fared much better in the second game, but that ‘better’ is not enough. With PuckChamp’s support-carry duo kept the same in two games, Andrey “Dukalis” Kuropatkin’s Io and Alexandr “krylat” Krylatov’s Razor ran away with very little to deal with in terms of competition.
The future of Dota 2
With the results of this opening match for NaVi came a tide of fans wondering if this truly is it for some of Dota 2’s oldest players. It’s interesting to see a parallel between NaVi and Team Spirit, with the latter opting into a roster composed almost entirely of new players with tons to prove. We all know what that resulted into, as the young CIS team finally took home the region’s first The International title after ten years, ironically after NaVi’s first championship win back in 2011.
It’s not exclusive to CIS as well. OG, Dota 2’s most popular organization, have since tried Team Spirit’s approach; the results are resounding success as their full roster comprised almost entirely of youngsters below 25 managed to upset Team Secret with SumaiL and Daryl Koh “iceiceice” Pei Xiang in their ranks in two straight games. While it’s a bit sad to see some of the legends of the game at their lowest, it’s also an exciting time, as maybe now we can see more new generational talent rise to keep competitive Dota 2 alive.