The Spring Shuffle, which ran from 27 December to 9 January, was not as hyped as the Fall one, but it was certainly without disappointment. Some new blood joined the scene, alongside returning players who yet again proved that there is no such thing as retirement in Dota 2. Most notably, however, more and more teams became multinational.
Here are some of the most interesting new rosters formed over the last few weeks:
Everyone in the Dota community was waiting in anticipation to see what one of the most glamorous Dota 2 teams would serve as a roster and while the guessing game revolved around which CIS names would find their way onto it, the team dropped a bombshell by announcing a more international squad.
Two of the new additions will play for the first time at the top level – rmN- and Biver – while Pajkatt will join the core duo of Dendi and GeneRaL for the first time since March. It is the Swede who will have the task of leading the new team to victory as captain.
- Per Anders Olsson “Pajkatt” Lille (c) – position 1
- Danil “Dendi” Ishutin – position 2
- Victor “GeneRaL” Nigrini – position 3
- Roman “rmN-” Paley – position 4
- Malthe “Biver” Winther – position 5
Region: Europe and CIS
The newly formed B)ears are a curious team comprised of individually skilled players. Whether they can gel is another question, however.
Despite his unsuccessful period in Team Secret, Forev’s desire to compete on the International stage (along with the subsequent disbanding of MVP) led him to this roster. He will be joined by FATA-, who was instrumental in Team Liquid’s successes throughout 2016 before taking a break after The International.
The two most likely Supports are 343 and YapzOr. The Jordanian player stood out as part of Escape Gaming as a Support who can decide games, while 343 leaves a good reputation at Execration to join the team. A versatile player, 343 is reliable as a Support, as well as an Offlaner.
The question mark in this team is Feero, who despite having some competitive experience on the NA scene, is yet to feature at the top level.
- Feras “Feero” Hroob – position 1
- Adrian “FATA-” Trinks – position 2
- Lee “Forev” Sang-don – position 3
- Yazied “YapzOr” Jaradat – position 4/5
- Adam “343” Shah – position 4/5
DeMoN’s spell at Fnatic did not go as well as anticipated, but back on home soil he found players willing to join him, enabling him to lay the foundations for the new Team Onyx.
After failing to achieve much success on the rosters of three of the strongest Dota 2 teams last year – EG, Team Secret and Team Liquid – BuLba will have a chance to prove himself once and for all, most likely in his preferred Offlane role. He will be joined by mason, a veteran on the NA scene who once played for EG.
The MVP survivor DuBu will experience an American adventure first-hand as this will be his first multinational squad, with MVP having been a wholly Korean based outfit.
The last acquisition for Team Onyx is the SEA SumaiL, Abed. The 16-year-old prodigy demonstrated that he has a lot of potential during his time at Execration and despite his young age, he is a player who can definitely make a difference.
- Mason “mason” Venne – position 1
- Abed “Abed” Yusop – position 2
- Sam “BuLba” Sosale – position 3
- Kim “DuBu” Doo-young – position 4
- Jimmy “DeMoN” Ho (c) – position 5
ppd’s love of the game did not keep him away from competitive action for long, despite becoming Evil Geniuses’ CEO. With an announcement in which he stated he would be “playing in a FEW Dota tournaments this year”, he presented his new team WanteD to the Dota community in early January.
The roster features two Canadians. The first is Jeyo, who has played on various rosters in the NA scene but achieved most success with Rave, while the second is Boris, who has some experience in the NA region but is fairly new to competitive play.
The former leader of MVP, QO is yet another South Korean player who is going to the USA to make his debut in a more international squad.
Rasmus “Chessie” Blomdin has already gained high level experience as he was on the roster of compLexity Gaming for most of 2016. He will make a return to competitive action after a period of inactivity following TI 6.
The roles in this team are a true enigma. Apart from ppd, who plays Support, the other four players are used to playing either Mid or Carry, so two of them will have to adapt to a new role. QO is also used to playing an overly aggressive Dota style, while ppd’s teams have never relied too much on aggression, so this will provide an interesting contrast.
- Peter “ppd” Dager (c)
- Jio “Jeyo” Madayag
- Rasmus “Chessie” Blomdin
- Kim “QO” Seon-yeop
- Bill “Boris” Oliver
The Chinese powerhouse decided to renovate their roster almost in its entirety in the Spring Shuffle as four players were removed following a period of ups and downs since TI 6. The team disappointed in the Boston Major after being eliminated in the first round of the main event, but they also achieved some successes on both the domestic and International scenes, with a 3rd place finish at the Shanghai Dota 2 Open #2 and 3rd in the Northern Arena BEAT Invitational.
Two of the new players, Xi and jdh, are young bloods from the EHOME.Keen subdivision, while Sen comes from EHOME.Luminous. The Mid and Carry roles will be kept by the only player remaining from the previous roster, old chicken, and the returning Cty respectively. LaNm will be retained as a coach.
- Chen “Cty” Tianyu – position 1
- Wang “old chicken” Zhiyong (c) – position 2
- Hu “Sen” Sen – position 3
- Luo “Xi” Yinqi – position 4
- Jiang “jdh” Donghao – position 5
- Ren “eLeVeN” Yangwei – substitute
- Zhang “LaNm” Zhicheng – coach
Mushi did not manage to complete a five-man setup before the closure of the Spring Shuffle, but the team were unlucky as newly acquired Mid talent Muhammad “inYourdreaM” Rizky had to depart home to deal with family problems.
YamateH’s stood in during ESL One Genting but following his departure, the team were reduced to three players: cores Mushi and Ohaiyo, as well as former MVP player Febby, who joined the team earlier this month.
- Kim “Febby” Yong-min
- Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung
- Chong Xin “Ohaiyo” Khoo
Region: Southeast Asia
Despite the Spring Shuffle being half the length of the Fall one (three weeks as opposed to six), it did not lack interest, with a number of teams making changes. Despite this, some big and successful teams understandably decided to retain their rosters (for example OG and EG), while some of the teams that emerged after the Fall Shuffle decided to give it one more try despite their lack of success (Team Faceless and compLexity Gaming to name but two).
However, the looming Kiev Major led to the formation of more brand new teams than the previous shuffle, and how far they go in Kiev in April might ultimately prove crucial to their future existence.