You’d think that the biggest drama of the year would be the former TI5 champions, Evil Geniuses, forfeiting their direct invite to TI6. But no, this is Dota 2, and the weeks after the International has always led to what’s known to many fans by now as the “Post TI Roster Shuffle.”
As of September 4, teams with full official rosters can no longer drop players without giving up the ability to be invited to the next Major. But, many teams still haven’t announced a full official roster yet. They have until September 18th to do so.
Given the number of quality free agent players available, the next few weeks are sure to be crazy, as teams vie for the services of known commodities such Arteezy, Zai, and DeMoN, just to name a few.
Still, even though the best has yet to come, it’s worth taking a look at what has transpired so far, from which players stayed put, to which packed up, and which players were kicked off of their teams.
Chinese Dota headlined the worst of this year’s Post TI shuffle as nearly every top-level team disbanded. Yes, this included TI6 champs, Wings Gaming.
Dota 2 insider, Wykrhm Reddy, speculated that the move was because of an agreement between Chinese teams due to their inability to ensure players would fulfill contractual obligations and the hyperaggressive nature by which they were poaching talent. You can look at it as a hard reset of sorts, one that should give teams better control over their rosters in the future and make sure that their lineups are ready well ahead of the roster lock, which is on September 18.
Fully disbanded too is the Filipino squad, TnC Gaming, led by Jimmy “DeMoN” Ho. This is a surprising move, as the team posted a solid seventh-place finish, and unexpectedly were the ones to send the favorites, OG, home in the second round of the losers bracket.
TnC later released a statement saying that the two parties split “amicably” and this was based on the player’s “individual growth.”
Teams Going Through Major Changes
Plenty of Western and Southeast Asian squads too are undergoing through big changes to their rosters, many of which yet having yet to announce an official roster. This long list of teams include Evil Geniuses, Alliance, Fnatic, compLexity Gaming, Team Liquid, Team Empire, and so on.
Look for these teams to try to make a splash these next few weeks as the free agent pool remains deeper than ever.
— Ray Ian (@spdyyy_) September 6, 2016
Teams With Confirmed Lineups So Far
Teams who fell terribly short of expectations, OG and Team Secret, made major changes to their rosters as well. Although both teams have since announced their new lineups. (OG announcement / Team Secret Announcement)
Digital Chaos also released offlaner, David “Moo” Hull, and replaced him with David “MoonMeander” Tan, a former member of OG.
Perhaps what may have been the biggest shock is Ukraine’s Natus Vincere choosing to keep its roster intact. Although Na’Vi was able to bag home its first tournament win since 2014 at the StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 2, which was held in Los Angeles, the team hasn’t exactly consistently performed well enough lately.
Everything Is Up In The Air
With the roster lock roughly two weeks away, it’s hard to predict which players will end up going to which teams. Perhaps the remaining free-agent players could choose to band together and form new squads, or they may end up being picked up by other organizations. Who knows?
The closest to a sure thing we have is China making sure to try to keep its players within the country. As well as one “super group, similar to 2014’s Newbee lineup being formed days before the roster lock.
Meanwhile, TnC Gaming will probably try to look for pub players to fill their lineup to try to replicate their success at this year’s TI. Although, as sad as it may seem, that’s not likely to happen in the future with a new squad. Then again, no team ever has won back-to-back Internationals, so sticking together isn’t exactly all that much better.
For a live update on the current rosters, be sure to check out this link:
Written by Ray Ian Ampoloquio