Who will be at MLG? - Group A
From the 16th to the 18th of October, Major League Gaming will be hosting its famed World Finals. Eight of the top teams from across the world have been invited to compete for the grand prize of over $100 000. Who will come out on top? In a series of two features, we examine the teams that will be battling it out in the World Finals, and their form since The International 5. In this article, we will explore Group A, containing Evil Geniuses, (monkey) Business, LGD Gaming, and Virtus.Pro.
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Image taken from dotablast.com
Evil Geniuses, the winners of The International 5 have elected to play as little Dota as possible since The International, allowing the players a short rest. In the meantime, they have undergone a significant roster shuffle, kicking Kurtis ‘aui_2000’ Ling in order to allow Artour ‘Arteezy’ Babaev to return to the EG lineup from Team Secret. This led to significant drama on reddit. Clinton ‘Fear’ Loomis seceded his role as carry, returning to 4-position support.
EG’s decision to play only a small amount of games turned against them in ESL One New York. Their picks and general team play showed signs of weakness and rust. EG are not yet the unstoppable juggernaut they were in the lead-up to The International. They are a team looking to find their rhythm. When they do manage to come together as a team, they will be able to compete with the best teams on the planet. But can they do it yet? The MLG World Finals will surely tell.
Evil Genius’ roster is as follows:
Image taken from (monkey) Business Twitter
(monkey) Business have been described as being nothing more than ‘Miracle + 4’ – a team that revolves around Amer ‘Miracle_jr’ Barqawi carrying the team in spite of the rest of (monkey) Business making questionable plays. However, despite the fact that the team only formed in the wake of The International 5, (monkey) Business have shown that they mean business, winning 68 percent of their games overall.
The old Fnatic support due of Johan ‘N0tail-BigDaddy’ Sundstein and Tai ‘Fly-Simba’ Azik are reunited in (monkey) Business, with N0tail-BigDaddy moving to a mid/core role in the team to great effect. N0tail has shown significant individual skill and an unconventional hero pool to great success. Miracle_jr has also shown that he is one of the best carry players in the world, with superlative play backing up his title as the first player to reach 8000 Solo Ranked MMR. (monkey) Business have shown great team communication and a deep understanding between their players. They will most definitely prove to be a strong opponent and an entertaining team for the fans to watch at the MLG World Finals.
(monkey) Business’ roster is as follows:
One of the greatest names in Chinese Dota, LGD Gaming have a proud reputation as being amongst the best teams in China and the world as a whole. Like Evil Geniuses, LGD Gaming has not played much Dota since The International 5. They only played two games in the Chinese qualifiers for ESL One, managing to defeat DUOBAO before losing out to Invictus Gaming.
Although LGD’s roster suffered some major changes they still are amongst the most experienced in the world, and they will be able to show their unity and skill. LGD play as a cohesive unit, rallying behind Fan ‘rOtk’ Bai’s drafts and captaincy. The Director, Ning 'xiao8' Zhang, is now only a substitute player, and will not be seen on the MLG grand stage. However, something that will be seen on that stage is some impressive Dota from LGD Gaming.
LGD Gaming’s roster is as follows:
Virtus.Pro are most well-known for toppling the giant of Team Secret at The International 5. However, they had been performing consistently well for an extended period of time, flying under the radar of the more well-known teams. Virtus.Pro’s roster remains unchanged, opting not to meddle with a lineup that placed in the top 6 teams in the world at The International.
Virtus.Pro have played a handful of games since 6.85 was released, competing in the WCA Championships, the Playoffs for ESL One New York, the Summit 4 European Qualifiers, and The Defense season 5. They have had mixed results, but Virtus.Pro continue to look solid. The MLG World Finals may be the event where they show what they can do in 6.85.
Virtus.Pro’s roster is as follows:
From the current world champions in Evil Geniuses, to the madcap brilliance of (monkey) Business, to the consistency and execution of LGD Gaming, to the all-in style of Virtus.Pro, Group A will most certainly produce some memorable Dota series at the MLG World Finals. Look out for the next feature, where we will take a look at Group B, containing Team Secret, CDEC Gaming, Cloud9, and MVP.Phoenix.