The second Dota Pro Circuit 2021/22 season will start next week. At this time, Valve has announced the spring major, so the teams will be motivated to win the regular championship, as everybody wants to come to the international LAN tournament. Besides, the teams had enough time to relax, so the confrontation in the regions will be very tough. Some favorites will most likely make it the spring major in each of the six regions. For instance, these are Team Liquid from Europe or BOOM Esports from Southeast Asia. Nobody doubts they will be at the top by the end of the season. At the same time, there are non-obvious favorites in some regions, the so-called dark horses. These are the teams that will probably surprise the audience during the DPC league, although now few believe in them. Read which teams can be called "dark horses" and which place they can get during the second Dota Pro Circuit 2021/22 in the material of Cybersport.Metaratings.ru.
The current roster of Virtus.pro differs from the one that represented the club during The International 10. Then the team managed to show decent results and take sixth place at the main tournament of the year. However, it wasn't enough for some "Bears." Soon after TI 10, Vitalie "Save-" Melnic and the best player Egor "Nightfall" Grigorenko left the team. That's why the new lineup had to be built around Danil "gpk~" Skutin and Dmitry "DM" Dorokhin. These guys are also good players but not as good as the guys who left the organization. Nevertheless, the Virtus.pro management decided to make a bid for them.
During the offseason, carry Ivan "Pure" Moskalenko and semi-support Daniyal "yamich" Lazebnyy also joined the team. Virtus.pro played the first half of the DPC winter season with them. Then the team failed, losing several unnecessary games. After that, Illias "illias" Ganeev who had to deal with some health issues left the team. As a temporary replacement, Virtus.pro rented support Egor "Xakoda" Lipartiia from the youth roster of Team Spirit, with whom it ended the season.
With Xakoda, "the bears" lost no game (except the Team Secret's main roster), took third place at the regular championship, and made it to the regional finals. There Virtus.pro again defeated everyone but Team Spirit and got a second place which can be called a success. Apparently, the temporary replacement of Illias has turned into a permanent one, and the organization signed Xakoda officially.
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Egor "Xakoda" Lipartia, who previously held the stand-in position, officially joins the Virtus.pro Dota 2 team. Xakoda is a young player who previously played for Yellow Submarine. Egor showed himself well in the first season of the DPC, becoming the top 2 of the region along with the roster. Egor's individual progress and his impact on the team game are visible to the naked eye, so we decided to sign the player on a permanent basis.
At the moment, the roster of the Virtus.pro esports organization is as follows.
- Ivan "Pure" Moskalenko (carry);
- Danil "gpk~" Skutin (mid);
- Dmitry "DM" Dorokhin (offlainer);
- Daniyal "yamich" Lazebnyy (position four);
- Egor "Xakoda" Lipartiia (support).
This roster is quite good. It brought together young players who desire to win. They have shown they can play Dota 2 at a high level. Next season, the players should prove themselves. Especially since last season, "the bears" had a weaker lineup last season, and now they are up in arms. No doubts Virtus.pro is capable of beating everyone in the CIS. And given that Team Spirit has lately not been in its best form, "the bears" can defeat this team, too. In the upcoming season in the CIS, it is worth betting on Virtus.pro, it's time for young hot blood.
Xtreme Gaming is a relatively young Chinese organization that has never played at the tier-1 level before. Before the DPC winter season started, there were serious changes in the team. All the old players were fired, and Chinese stars left without teams were hired instead. They also added young players with high ratings so that the team was made up of experienced and young players at the same time.
In the first season, Xtreme Gaming had to start from the second division. The team ended with a score of 5-2, having lost to two weak teams: Ybb Gaming (1-2) and CDEC (1-2). This earned Xtreme Gaming a slot in the first division of China during the DPC spring season. During the New Year break, the team decided to replace two players, the pubers with high ratings. Carry Wang "J" Wenjun and offlainer Sun "Srf" Runfa became inactive. They were substituted by Lou "lou" Zhen and Ren "old ELeVeN" Yangwei which obviously made Xtreme Gaming stronger. Now, the team's roster is as follows.
- Lou "lou" Zhen (carry);
- Zhang "Paparazi" Chengjun (mid);
- Ren "old ELeVeN" Yangwei (offlainer);
- Xiong "Pyw" Jiahan (position four);
- Ding "Dy" Cong (support).
On paper, the lineup of Xtreme Gaming looks extremely strong. There are two very cool globally renowned supports and a genial mid Paparazi. Moreover, the team has an experienced offlainer ELeVen and a promising young carry lou. Xtreme Gaming should perform very well if it shows decent teamwork.
At the moment, it has started its ascent to the top. At the end of January, the team in its new roster took second place at the Intel World Open Beijing tournament, in which all the strongest teams of China participated. And quite recently Xtreme Gaming became the SAPPHIRE OGA Dota PIT China Season 6 champion, defeating all the grands during the tournament.
Even if it didn't play its best, Xtreme Gaming should still be commended. With such a level of the game, the team has all chances to qualify for the spring major. To do it, it needs to get at least to the top 4 during the regular championship of China. It's a feasible task for the new lineup of Xtreme Gaming. This team should become successful next season.
Evil Geniuses failed the DPC winter season, especially its beginning when the team lost two matches to the outsiders of North America. After that, Evil Geniuses rehabilitated themselves and won all of the remaining games of the season (except the replays). But they had to substitute Egor "Nightfall" Grigorenko with Arif "MSS" Anwar. Evil Geniuses played better with him, and it seemed he would stay in the team, but it didn't happen. MSS left the team soon after the loss to TSM FTX in the replays for the second place in the regular championship.
Was fun standing in for EG. Unfortunately didn't end on a high note but I was glad to be able to just play in the first tour anyway. Will probably start streaming somewhat regularly in the near future until I find a team!
Arif "MSS" Anwar
Before the regional finals started, it became known that Nightfall would join Evil Geniuses. He didn't leave the team officially, Egor was transferred to the reserves because he could not play with the team, as he had difficulties with entering North America. He could not play online due to external factors. Nevertheless, Nightfall has returned to Evil Geniuses, and now the team's lineup is as follows.
- Artour "Arteezy" Babaev (carry);
- Abed "Abed" Yusop (mid);
- Egor "Nightfall" Grigorenko (offlainer);
- Andreas Franck "Cr1t-" Nielsen (position four);
- Jesse "JerAx" Vainikka (support).
With this lineup, Evil Geniuses finished second in the regional finals, losing to TSM FTX in the grand finals with a score of 2-3. However, we should note that Evil Geniuses started to play much better than last year. The team managed to find its playing style, although it has to develop it. And given how strong the team's representatives are, it is safe to say that it will be very strong during the DPC spring season. It will probably get to the major and get a good place due to its experience. Maybe, it will reach the top 2 again (as last year). Now Evil Geniuses have everything to do that. They need only to brace themselves.
It's been a long time since Nigma Galaxy showed a good game. All last year, the team was in the background and never made it to the top. The only bright spot was the Kyiv major, where Nigma Galaxy took sixth place. It is the best achievement of the team for the last two years, which is pathetic. Even the changes in the team didn't remedy the situation. The current roster of Nigma Galaxy is a year old, and it looks as follows.
- Igor "iLTW" Filatov (carry);
- Amer "Miracle-" Al-Barkawi;
- Ivan Borislavov "MinD_ContRoL" Ivanov (offlainer);
- Maroun "GH" Merhej (position four);
- Kuro "KuroKy" Salehi Takhasomi (support).
Despite all this, now Nigma Galaxy can start playing better. This has the premise of the GAMERS GALAXY: Invitational Series Dubai 2022 tournament, which ended a few days ago. Nigma Galaxy played very cool during the championship and took third place as a result. And this was a LAN tournament. If Nigma Galaxy can show the same level of the game during the regular championship, it will fight its way to the spring major, though it is considered one of the weakest teams in Europe. It's time for Nigma Galaxy to return.
Team Secret played quite well last year and took third place at The International 10. However, this result did not satisfy the team, and several changes were made. Lasse "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen and Ludwig "zai" Wåhlberg left the team. They were replaced by Syed Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan and Daryl Koh "iceiceice" Pei Xiang. Now the team's lineup is as follows.
- Michał "Nisha" Jankowski (carry);
- Syed Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan (mid);
- Daryl Koh "iceiceice" Pei Xiang (offlainer);
- Yazied "YapzOr" Jaradat (position four);
- Clement "Puppey" Ivanov (support).
The new roster failed during the Dota Pro Circuit 2021/22 winter season. The team got fifth place and didn't even participate in the regional finals. A month later, Team Secret's result did not improve. The team took sixth place at the GAMERS GALAXY: Invitational Series Dubai 2022 LAN tournament. And the DPC spring season will start next week, and it is unclear whether Team Secret will manage to improve its game.
First, it may seem that Team Secret cannot start playing much better, as there is no premise for that. But you should not forget that the best Dota 2 captain plays in this team. It's Puppey. He has never missed The International in all the tournaments of this format (there are no other players like him).
It's difficult to imagine that Clement will miss the main tournament this time. It means that now Team Secret should give 110% to acquire the cherished invite. It will be too late to start in the summer season because the required number of points may not be enough even in the case of success. Thus, everything will be decided in the spring season, and Team Secret will not miss its opportunity.