Six teams with no roster changes

Posted by Andreea "divushka" Esanu at 12 September 2017 12:06

picture courtesy of Valve

Open and regional qualifiers for the first Minors have started, and with the ESL One Hamburg Major qualifiers just around the corner, it’s time to look at who will play in the exact same formula from the previous season.

Virtus.Pro: "No Disband. See you at TI8!"

Virtus.Pro are the first to have confirmed no changes to their line-up. They did it even before The International 2017 would begin, on the 13th of July 2017, when they announced that all the player contracts were extended to the end of the 2018 year.

Roman Dvoryankin, Virtus.Pro’s General Manger official statement:

Today is a very important day for all of us. I am pleased to announce that a few weeks before the start of TI7 we extended the agreement with the composition of Dota 2 - the guys will defend our colors to the end of 2018. It was not the easiest negotiations as it is very important to have everything you need for a safe and efficient preparation. Our organization was able to provide a comfortable environment for the players, which will help the composition of the Dota 2 to reach the highest goals. Our relationship with the players are now are long-term, which creates a stable environment and allows steadily develop in the competitive eSports market.

A month later, after TI 7 finished with the Russian powerhouse team finishing top 6, VP reinsured their fans that the team will stick together with a video titled “No Disband. See you at TI8!”

Virtus.Pro roster:

Russia Alexey 'Solo' Berezin
Ukraine Ilya 'Lil' Ilyuk
Russia Roman 'Ramzes666' Kushnarev
Russia Pavel '9pasha' Hvastunov
Ukraine Vladimir 'No[O]ne' Minenko

Newbee: "Keep Newbee and carry on"

Criticized by their fans at first for approaching the TI7 with a roster with too many inexperienced players, Newbee grinded their way to TI7 from the third season of DPL. At the end of 2017 Newbee won DPL ahead of LGD Gaming and all the IG squads, and established themselves as the team to beat from the Chinese region. They continued to dominate throughout the entire season and were one of the two directly invited Chinese teams to the most important event of the year.

The International 2017 was the final and the biggest test for Newbee’s roster. Their second place in Seattle this year is a great achievement especially that they made it to the TI7 Grand Finals from the upper bracket.

Newbee sticking together for the new season was confirmed by a simple tweet from the team:

Newbee roster :

China Xu 'Moogy ' Han
China Song 'Sccc' Chun
Australia Damien 'kpii' Chok|
China Zeng 'Faith' Hongda
China Hu 'Kaka' Liangzhi

LGD Forever Young: "No Changes"

As the somewhat secondary team of LGD Gaming, LGD Forever Young's roster for TI7 was finalized at the beginning of May, when Tue 'Ah Fu' Soon Chuan came from Malaysia to join the Chinese team. With Ah Fu spicing up their game, LFY qualified for MDL and EPICENTER 2017 and delivered amazing performances at both events. They reached the MDL Grand Finals where they lost the battle to their sister team, LGD Gaming and finished 3th/4th/ at EPICENTER. Headed into the TI7 Chinese qualifiers, both LGD and LFY took the playoffs qualifying spots but still they were still hardly regarded as top contenders for the Aegis of the Champions. However, everyone’s perception on LFY changed with the TI7 group stage where LFY took the top seed o group B, ahead of Newbee, OG, and Virtus.Pro.

In the TI7 main event, LFY were finally defeated in the upper bracket finals by Newbeee and lost the lower bracket finals against the ones who would become the TI7 Champions, Team Liquid.

LFY’s third place at The International 7 comes not only with nearly two million dollars in prize, but also with renewed contracts for all the players.

LFY roster :

China Du 'Monet' Peng
China Xie 'Super' Junhao
China He 'Inflame' Yongzheng
Malaysia Tue Soon 'AhFu' Chuan
Macau Leong 'DDC' Fat-meng

TNC: "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."

TNC had a rough start of the TI7 season. They began the long journey to the most anticipated event of the year by losing three of their members and suffered a few roster changes until they finally reunited part of the TI6 roster and signed Theeban '1437' Siva. The final roster for TI7 was announced in the post-Kiev Major shuffle. Three days after the new roster was assembled, TNC took an impressive second place at StarLadder i-League Invitational #2 followed by a third place finish at Galaxy Battles, both events happening in China.

Right after their run at Galaxy Battles, TNC entered the TI7 SEA qualifier race and took the first ticket to the event for the region. In Seattle, they managed to secure an upper bracket start in the TI7 main event but suffered two consecutive losses, to LFY and OG afterward, and finished only 9th-12th.

In the post TI7 shuffle, TNC lost their analyst, Muriel 'Kipspul' Huisman but the five players were officially announced to stay together for the new competitive season.

TNC's roster:

Philippines Marc Polo 'Raven' Luis Fausto
Philippines Carlo 'Kuku' Palad
Philippines Sam 'Sam_H' Enojosa Hidalgo
Philippines Timothy 'Tims' Randrup
Canada Theeban '1437' Siva

Mousesports:  "The Greeks are staying together"

In what we could say a pleasant surprise, Mousesports will keep their Dota 2 Greek line-up, despite not even qualifying for The International 2017. The fact that the five Greeks, runners up at The Boston Major under the Ad Finem name tag, decided to stick together for the new season should not come as a surprise to anyone. They are well-known for their friendship that goes beyond the game, a friendship that kept them going as a team through turbulent times. When they were signed by Mousesports, back in April, many had doubts that the new partnership would last as the organization is known, in the Dota 2 world at least, to sign rosters only for certain events and dropping them if the results are not satisfactory.

With Mousesports losing the European qualifiers for TI7 to Team Dog in the playoffs Grand Finals, fans anxiously waited for an announcement from the organization.  Officially that announcement never came but the team captain, Giorgos 'SsaSpartan' Giannakopoulos declared on the 5th September on twitter that “The Greeks are staying together”.

However, it wasn’t clear if Mousesports will continue to support the team, or not until recently when PGL announced the invited teams to the regional qualifiers for their Bucharest Open Minor. StarLadder will announce later today the regional invites for their Minor as well and, according to sources close to the event organizers, Mouseports are featured among the invited teams. These two invites, along with Sspartan’s tweet should be more than a clear indicator that Mousesports are approaching the new season with the same Greek team.

Mousesports roster:

Greece Omar 'Madara' Dabasas
Greece Dimitris 'ThuG' Plivouris
Greece Xaris  'SkyLark' Zafiriou
Greece Verros 'Maybe Next Time' Apostolos
Greece Giorgos 'SsaSpartan' Giannakopoulos

Vega Squadron: "We are aiming to reach tier-1 level"

Same with Mousesports, Vega Squadron lost the regional qualifiers battle for TI7, but will continue to play in the same formula regardless. The roster was confirmed at the end of August 2017 by Alexey Kondakov, Vega Squadron CEO, in an interview published on the organization official website. Asked about the feature plans for the Dota 2 team, Mister Alexey Kondakov said: “We're aiming to reach tier-1 level”. To help the team to reach such goal, Vega made an interesting choice of adding a non-CIS coach and analyst for this season, no other than Murielle "Kipspul" Huisman, former analyst for Fnatic at TI6 and for TNC at TI7.

Vega Squadron roster:

Ukraine Illya 'ALOHADANCE' Korobkin
Russia Sergey 'G' Bragin
Russia Vasily 'AfterLife' Shishkin
Russia Airat 'Silent' Gaziev
Ukraine Semion 'CemaTheSlayeR' Krivulya
Netherlands Murielle 'Kipspul' Huisman (coach)

The new competitive season has already begun, and all the aforementioned teams are set to participate in the regional qualifiers StarLadder i-League Invitational #3 and PGL Bucharest Open regional qualifiers, so make sure you follow all the action to see if roster stability will do justice for them.


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