GosuAwards 2010: Team of the Year
The GosuGamers 2010 Team of the Year Award
The GosuGamers 2010 Team of the Year Award is an award that honours the team that readers see as the the most important team of 2010. The nominees for this category represent what the editors at GosuGamers consider to be the most accomplished teams of 2010, and the teams that represent the uppermost echelon of world DotA.
This award does not simply exist to acknowledge the strongest team of the past two or three months; rather it is a review of the entire year – the past twelve months – which, in the world of DotA, may seem like ages. Some of these teams have gone through major roster changes, and have spanned multiple map versions and metagame eras.
We hope you guys dig deep, and take into consideration as much of the year as you can before voting.
Yet the start of 2010 was a somewhat inauspicious period for the legendary team. While EHOME were certainly a top team in China, they did not quite enjoy the status of top dogs as they do now.
The team spent a large portion of the year wallowing in a three-core funk while their rivals LGD.sGty were rapidly reinventing the modern metagame. For a number of months leading up to ESWC 2010, EHOME sat largely in LGD.sGty’s shadow, losing consistently and convincingly whenever the two teams met. Certainly the names of X!!, Burning, KingJ, 357, and 820 were not whispered with the awe and reverence with which they are today – and certainly these names were nowhere near as illustrious and recognizable world-wide.
In the weeks leading up to ESWC, many Chinese DotA fans and international admirers remained unconvinced of the team’s merits. Even after they had managed to defeat LGD in the qualifiers, some of GosuGamer's readers regarded them as usurpers of LGD’s rightful tickets to Paris. There were concerns, too, that the team would disgrace Chinese DotA, and lose for Asia the legendary “EU vs Asia” flamewar of early 2010.
Well, not much needs to be said about ESCW 2010. It was an iconic tournament for EHOME. The team’s ruthless dominance of the world’s best teams set DotA message boards on fire. They showed the world they were one step ahead of everyone else in their understanding of the game, their individual skill, and most importantly, they set the modern gold standard for teamwork in DotA.
Since then, EHOME have gone on to cement their status as the strongest team in the world, achieving consistently high results in every competition they’ve chosen to participate in. Although they suffered a somewhat controversial hiccup at Loveen’s WDC tournament in China, the team memorably capped their year with a major win over their rivals at SMM.
EHOME's legendary performance at ESWC ushered in an era of Chinese dominance that has still yet to pass. At the core of this dominance sits EHOME and no one else.
1st - Electronic Sports World Championship (2010)
1st - Intel Extreme Masters (2010)
1st - National eSports Open (2010)
2nd - Electronic Sports Thailand Championship (2010)
1st - TopGamer (2010)
1st - Road of the King (2010)
1st - SMM Grand National DotA Tournament (2010)
In the early stages of 2010, the team gained world-wide fame for their incredibly powerful play-style -- a departure from the three-core strategy they pioneered during SMM 2009. This new style relied on a strong solo lane that could push/defend lanes by itself, played by one of China's top solo players, 2009, a 'kill' lane consisting of up to three strong early/mid-game 'engagement' heroes -- the lane where YYF and CH became household names -- and a passive lane for ZSMJ and Gx, where the talented carry could take advantage of his team's strong mid-game.
This style brought the team many awe-inspiring victories, and their dominance of version 6.67 eventually broke the three-core era of Chinese DotA and gave rise to the balanced modern draft and trilane that EHOME used to dominate ESWC 2010. LGD's abuse of their laning prowess and teamwork ushered in what some might call the laning era of DotA, where strong and balanced lanes consistently trumped late-game potential and "imba" purple heroes.
Since this creative and influential peak, LGD have walked a long road. While they have remained consistently at the top of Chinese and world DotA, they have failed to produce the results of their rivals.
The loss of their influential captain and solo-mid left them in a slump many feared they would never shake. The team went through a will-he-or-won't-he saga with Malaysian DotA's prodigal son Chuan and were eventually forced to recall former teammate Sharingan instead, leaving them without an established solo player. This marked the beginning of the post-'2009' era for LGD.sGty, and it was a rough time for the team as they struggled to remain within China's elite three.
The eventual departure of iconic support player Gx and addition of pro scene veteran 830 gave them something of a new lease on life. Though they failed to progress to the finals of the tournament, LGD's performances at WDC were scintillating nonetheless, and showed promise of a bright future for the new roster. At the very least, the team seemed to have found something to build on.
As SMM 2010 rolled around, LGD began firing on all cylinders, demolishing challengers to their 2009 title left and right. Ultimately they failed to fend off the challenge of rivals EHOME and had to settle for second place, but fans of LGD could at least take solace in the fact that their favourite team was firmly taking steps in the right direction. Slowly but surely, LGD seemed to be rebuilding the momentum they possessed in early 2010.
Although this team may not have achieved as illustriously in 2010 as others on this list have, they remained, and have continued to remain, a team that the entire world looks to for innovation at the very highest level DotA.
As the saying goes, "Form is temporary, but class is permanent."
1st - U9 (2010)
2nd - WCG China (2010)
3rd - Intel Extreme Masters (2010)
2nd - MYM Prime Defending #12 (2010)
3rd - TopGamer (2010)
2nd - SMM Grand National DotA Tournament (2010)
G-League 2010 Champions - Seasons 1, 2, 4
Of course this Nirvana team was made up of the former cD, one of the China's strongest teams and the runners up at SMM 2009, and XFY, the surprise winners of ADL 2009. Nirvana.cn immediately became a top five team in China, with the pedigree of its players clearly shining through. However, placing 2nd in U9 was their only major accomplishment for quite a long stretch of time, and they seemed to be faltering slightly in G-League.
Arguably the turning point for Nirvana.cn was June of 2010, when two CH players had a dispute with their sponsor and captain. Nirvana quickly pounced on this conflict, taking in both Dgc, one of China's very finest support players, and YaphetS, the pub-league star and heir apparent to to the "Y-God" moniker. Both Xiami and ZippO were seemingly jettisoned to make room for the new acquisitions.
Nirvana.cn promptly sky-rocketed to the top of the popularity charts, and very quickly became the flagship Nirvana team, as Nirvana.int's era began to wane.
Success did not immediately follow for the team, as PIS and Dgc took time to settle in. PIS in particular became the target of criticism for his somewhat unrefined play in the team's games at NESO. Nonetheless, Nirvana very rapidly rose to the top of Chinese DotA, taking second place at NESO and first at WCG.
It could be argued that Nirvana.cn didn't fully gel as a team until the latter stages of the Razer Global Challenge online tournament. While they certainly had a fair share of results, their form was uneven and their play inconsistent for long stretches of time. The team would often show flashes of their frightening potential, only to squander it in frustratingly arrogant and sloppy ways. Yet the team found a measure of consistency in the playoff stages of RGC, and famously knocked-out every single top European team to take first place in the online event.
This Nirvana.cn team finished the year in absolutely superb form, demolishing their opponents to take first place at WDC, and faltering only to the challenges of world-beaters EHOME and the wily LGD.sGty at SMM 2010.
Renowned for their powerful play, exhilarating style, and a young man known across the world as PIS -- "Perfect is Shit" -- they now occupy the S-class of world DotA, perhaps only slightly behind EHOME in the estimation of DotA fans, and are indisputably fan favourites for DotA spectators worldwide.
2nd - U9 (2010)
1st - WCG China (2010)
2nd - National eSports Open (2010)
2nd - TopGamer (2010)
1st - Razer Global Challenge (2010)
1st - World DotA Championship (2010)
3rd - SMM Grand National DotA Tournament (2010)
Practice paid off not that many months afterwards, as they won Storm the Front #3, beating Meet Your Makers in the semi-finals and Nirvana.int in the finals. They also grabbed 2nd place in Pick-League division 1. The sleeper powerhouse was now finally staking its claim.
The prestigious ESWC tournament was on the horizon when DTS managed to sweep through ASUS Open Spring edition, beating TeamHome in the finals. They had now secured a place at ESWC, contending in the name of Mother Russia.
DTS finished second at ESWC, losing to the DotA-monstrosity EHOME. Despite this set-back, DTS shortly thereafter participated in the renewed edition of MYM Prime Defending and won it with ease. DTS had conquered Europe, and so The World was next.
Revenge came when DTS flew down to China to participate in the World DotA Championship. DTS beat EHOME at WDC, knocking them out of the group stages, and eventually finished 3rd, after emphatically beating LGD.sGty and Aeon.MuFc, and thus proving that they were a team to be feared by the Chinese elite.
This year, we've seen the return of LightofHeaven on carry, which was a celebrated turn-around. He spent most of 2009 playing support, and he definitely wasn't bad at it. But with a legendary carry caged, why not release it, especially now with the award-winning support player NS on the team?
Their play-style completely turned around. DTS had been known for turtling, with only the occasional aggressive game. Now, aggression became like the 6th man for DTS, especially after ESWC, when the trilane became an in-arguable playstyle.
DTS' trilanes, with ArtStyle as the prime hero, were almost always the most successful. Urn of Shadows and tower diving became a recipe for a DTS replay. We saw alot of Shadow Fiends, but also alot of Night Stalkers and Dragon Knights.
Just recently, two core members left the team, one of which was their influential captain Artstyle, the other their primary solo carry Dendi. Whether they recover from this loss remains to be seen, but we will always remember them for the impact they made throughout 2010 and wish them the best in the upcoming year.
2nd - Pick League XIII - div1 (2010)
1st - Storm the Front #3 (2010)
2nd - Electronic Sports World Championship (2010)
1st - MYM Prime Defending #12 (2010)
3rd - World DotA Championship (2010)
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(co-edited: heikki and Tjernobylbarnet)
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