(The #ManilaMajor Bound is a series of sweet and short profiles on the competing Dota 2 teams at the Manila Major)
Teams from North America (NA) have proven over the years that they indeed have the potential in winning it all in big Local Area Network (LAN) tournaments contrary to public belief.
Evil Geniuses (EG) recently won it big at The International 2015 last August 2015. EG have long been the kings of North American Dota 2. However, with key contributors Artour “Arteezy” Babaev and Saahil “Universe” Arora leaving for Team Secret (Secret), EG have been looking like a shell of their former selves.
CompLexity Gaming (coL) showed an impressive performance in the recently-concluded EPICENTER: Moscow last month. Being a team that EG previously had no problem with, coL finally defeated them and proceeded to have a good run throughout the tournament, finishing at a respectable 4th place. With enigmatic coL captain Kyle “Swindlezz” Freedman feeling confident about their recent success, they’re looking to top what they’ve accomplished.
Rounding up the last representative for NA in Manila is the overhauled team Digital Chaos (DC). After disbanding their previous roster bar Roman “Resolut1on” Faminok, DC picked up former Secret players Omar “w33” Aliwi and Rasmus “Misery” Flipsen, Archon support David “Moo” Hull and a pub star in Martin “Saksa” Sazdov.
The NA region is definitely sending teams that cannot be underestimated to Manila.
To fill in the gap that was left by Arteezy and Universe, the 17-year-old American team picked up Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling and Sam “Bulba” Sosale.
The two are not new to the #BleedBlue squad: Aui_2000 was part of their former roster that won The International 2015 while Bulba was part of the team’s The International 2012 roster and coach during The International 2015.
EG has yet to regain their championship form. The departure of the team’s carry and offlaner left a lot of questions for them to answer. Their early exit in EPICENTER: Moscow against NA rivals compLexity Gaming showed that they need to go back to the drawing board.
The team also had the chance to reactivate substitute Swedish player Ludwig “Zai” Wahlberg but decided to go with their current roster. Meanwhile, Zai chose to join the Pittner “Bone7” Armand-led Kaipi in hopes of rekindling his career after taking a hiatus to concentrate on his studies.
One question continues to haunt the team: who should man up to the carry role? Should Aui_2000 continue playing the carry role or should the ever-loyal EG veteran Clinton “Fear” Loomis reclaim it?
The winds of change have definitely affected the Evil Geniuses. Will they rise to the occasion and recapture some of that championship caliber magic?
CompLexity are no longer the doormats of the NA region. With a stable roster that has been together for quite a long time, complexity finally proved that they are constantly and surely getting better as days pass by.
Sure, DC may have an interesting new lineup on paper led by w33 and Misery but if recent LAN success is what we are talking about, coL is the most successful NA team this year. In fact, they were the region’s only representatives during ESL One Manila in April and the first NA team to beat EG in recent history during EPICENTER: Moscow.
Even if DC bested coL in the American Qualifiers for the upcoming Summit 5, SL-ILeague 2 and Nanyang Championships 2 later this year, in terms of LAN results coL cannot be taken lightly.
With Swindlezz looking to make every match interesting before it even begins, this 13-year-old American squad might just shock the Dota 2 world anew this June.
Digital Chaos is a team that some people thought would be throwing in the towel after disbanding its roster last March.
Dota Cinema CEO and the team’s founder Shannon “SUNSfan” Scotten wasn’t going to let go that easily.
Even if SUNSfan let go of the majority of the team that included former TI champion Aui_2000, he did manage to retain one player in former Team Empire star Roman “Resolut1on” Fominok.
On top of w33 and Saksa, the team also managed to pick up even more championship talent in Ramus “Misery” Filipsen as their new captain who most recently won the Shanghai Major with Team Secret last March. With this, the team now boasts two players who have won a Major in the form of Misery and w33.
The team has only spent a short time together but have already qualified for the upcoming The Summit and maintained a multi-day streak over coL. DC has also picked up Pers Anders “Pajkatt” Lille as their coach in Manila.
Will DC, the youngest team in the NA region, pull-off some upsets and shock the expected jam-packed arena this Manila Major?
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