Dota 2 Pro Players
Dota 2 is a premier title in the world of esports. As the number one game in terms of sheer prize money, it is officially the most prestigious esport on the planet—with more than $150 million in prize money awarded over its illustrious history.
In fact, the top forty players in terms of prize money earned through esports are all Dota 2 players, from the versatile Kuro “KuroKy” Takhasomi, to the indomitable Xu “Moogy” Han. There is a lot to be made from playing this game, which is why it attracts some of the best esports professionals in the world.
There are many pro players popular within the entire Dota 2 community, hailing from more than a handful of different countries. For those that live in the Eastern Hemisphere, you’ve got the Chinese scene first and foremost, where true living legends like Xu “BurNIng” Zhilei, Zhang “xiao8” Ning, and Luo “Ferrari_430” Feichi reside. The Chinese scene is quite comparable to the Korean scene in League of Legends and StarCraft, where you have the Association of Chinese Esports (ACE) running the region’s local tournaments.
Then you’ve got the highly competitive Southeast Asian scene, which has a long-standing reputation of breeding some of the most aggressive players in the world. Players like Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung, Daryl “iceiceice” Koh Pei Xiang, Ryan Jay “Bimbo” Qui, and Carlo “Kuku” Palad shine the brightest in this region.
Of course, we must not forget about the CIS scene, where the harsh winters of Russia and Ukraine forge the toughest players you will ever see. Danil “Dendi” Ishutin, who won the first International with Natus Vincere (Na’Vi), is undoubtedly the most popular player of all time—thanks in no small part to his flashy playstyle and down-to-earth personality. The region is also home to names like Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev, Alexei “Solo” Berezin, and Ilya “Lil” Ilyuk.
Over on the other side of the globe, you’ve got the North American region—home to the midlane virtuoso Syed “SumaiL” Hassan, and the ever-popular Artour “Arteezy” Babaev. NA also has guys like Peter “ppd” Dager, considered one of the best captains and drafters the game has ever seen. Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao, notorious for his on-and-off performances, also calls North America home. Down below, you’ve got the South American region, which houses some of the most tenacious pro gamers you will ever see—like William “hFn” Medeiros and Danylo “Kingrd” Nascimento.
Just across the ocean is Europe, considered to be on par if not equal to the Chinese scene in terms of sheer talent and consistency. In fact, out of the four non-Chinese International champions so far, two of them are European teams. Team Liquid, the most recent world champions, house Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi—the first player to reach 9,000 points of matchmaking rating in the old Dota 2 ranking system. Legendary captain Clement “Puppey” Ivanov, known for his time with Dendi in Na’Vi, has also chosen to make Europe his base of operations.
But no matter where you’re from, there is a Dota 2 player or personality out there for you. For a full list of pro players, check out Liquipedia.
Dota 2 Professional League
Unlike other titles such as Overwatch and League of Legends, Dota 2 does not have a singular, publisher-controlled league like the Overwatch League or the League of Legends Championship Series. Instead, third-party organizers like ESL, StarLadder, PGL, and MarsTV run their own independent tournaments.
These third-party events, however, are part of the Dota 2 Pro Circuit—a series of tournaments sponsored by Valve. Events in the Pro Circuit are called either Minors or Majors, depending on their prize pools. Minors pay out at least $300,000 in total, while Majors will be worth at least $1 million.
What really sets them apart, though, is the number of Pro Circuit Points that they award. Pro Circuit Points are given to teams that place within the top 4 of a Minor or a Major, and contribute directly to their chances at a direct invite to The International. Only the top 8 teams that score points, however, will be invited.
Speaking of The International, it is the game’s equivalent to the League of Legends World Championship, and is the single most lucrative esports event in the world. Teams gather at The International to play for upwards of $20 million in prize money and the Aegis of Champions—the trophy that everyone wants to be able to lift at least once in their career. The International is typically held in August, and serves as the final event of the Pro Circuit.
Dota 2 Pro Teams
Since Dota 2 is a 5v5 game, naturally the pro scene will have many teams for fans to follow and cheer for. Much like the players themselves, teams are usually identified by their home region, which is where they choose to practice and play from.
In China, the most famous teams include LGD Gaming, Invictus Gaming, Vici Gaming, and Newbee. Their neighbors in Southeast Asia have TNC Pro Team, Fnatic, and Mineski. Just above them are the CIS teams, which include Na’Vi, Virtus Pro, and Empire.
On the other side, you’ve got the “boys in blue”—the Evil Geniuses, the “Green Wall” OpTic Gaming, and compLexity Gaming, one of the oldest active esports organizations in the world. Their friends across the ocean in Europe include Team Liquid, Team Secret, and OG.
If you’re looking for a team to support, again look no further than the full list on Liquipedia. The wiki even has competitive results for most of the teams, so you can read up on each one’s history.
How to be pro in Dota 2?
Perhaps the best part of the professional Dota 2 scene is that literally anyone can throw together a team and try for the Pro Circuit events. Every tournament in the Pro Circuit has open qualifiers, which anyone can participate in as long as they have a team of five players.
Note, however, that there are some rules in place when it comes to team rosters. Normally, you are only allowed to swap players in and out of your team as long as you do so within the roster lock, which is a period of time specified by Valve for this purpose. If you and your team choose to change your lineup outside of the roster lock, you will be forced to go through the open qualifiers of The International, no matter what your position is on the Pro Circuit leaderboard.
If you and your friends are interested in being a part of the Pro Circuit, you can sign up via the official webpage. Good luck and have fun!
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