The first installment of the official WIN.gg Dota 2 rankings is here.
Dota 2’s pro scene has been moving from a handful of international live events to a long grind of online regional leagues. That has made for a top 10 that pays homage to the top dogs from each region during this time.
Omega League essentially served as the end to the 2019-2020 Dota 2 season, and it's worth taking a look at how teams stacked up at that point. A number of the teams listed have already undergone significant changes, but we can look at how teams stacked up after the final event of the year.
No. 1 - Team Secret
This shouldn’t be any kind of surprise. Team Secret is the unquestioned and undisputed best team in Dota 2 today, and has been historically good in 2020.
Secret has won seven events in a row with the finals of each of those events ending in a 3-0 sweep. Its most recent such outing came in Omega League, where the team didn’t drop a single series in the tournament and only lost two games along the way. Secret is currently in the midst of a year that’s statistically better than that of 2013’s Alliance, long the hallmark of dominance in Dota 2.
There are plenty more stats and achievements to use as evidence of how deserving Secret is of this top spot, but they likely don’t need to be further hyped up at this point. The results speak for themselves.
No. 2 - Evil Geniuses
There are three key factors that contributed towards Evil Geniuses getting this strong of a ranking.
First is the fact that Evil Geniuses is a very good team. Though the squad hasn’t been able to compete as a proper unit for a long while now, the organization’s overall body of work has been very strong despite Abed “Abed” Azel L. Yusop missing and Roman "RAMZES666" Kushnarev just recently being reunited with his teammates at EG.
Second is how many of its opponents are in a state of flux right now. Top teams from China and Southeast Asia all either made recent changes to their rosters or have holes in their lineups due to recent departures.
Third is the rise of Quincy Crew. Quinn “CCnC” Callahan and company have really cemented themselves as the top team in North America. Evil Geniuses have largely gotten the better of that competitive rivalry and that helps push them up further in this time of uncertainty.
Evil Geniuses may be in the midst of a jump from North America to Europe. If EG settles down in Europe, the increased strength of competition will be the real litmus test for how deserving the team is of this placement.
No. 3 - PSG.LGD
PSG.LGD had an utterly disastrous start to the season, but China’s most popular squad really turned things around in March after being poised to miss the first three majors of the season. The team officially made its return in China Dota 2 Professional League Season 1 and has placed in the top four in most of the events it has competed in since.
The departures of some of its key players for the newly minted Four Angry Men Dota 2 squad prompted PSG.LGD to hit the reset button on its Dota 2 division. The organization acquired most of the EHOME roster in a blockbuster trade and brought back former carry player Wang "Ame" Chunyu to complete an all-new roster. The big question now is whether PSG.LGD's infrastructure and management will be able to take a good team and transform them into a great one.
No. 4 - Vici Gaming
Vici Gaming enjoys strong placement here courtesy of a start to the season that included second place in the MDL Chengdu Major, third place in the DreamLeague Season 13 major, and first place in ONE Esports Dota 2 World Pro Invitational Singapore. The online league era hasn’t been especially kind to Vici Gaming, as the team has been mixing strong placements in some with middling performances in others.
Much like PSG.LGD, Vici Gaming has been one of the big victims of the 2020 roster shuffle that has swept across Asia. The team lost off laner Zhou "Yang" Haiyang, top carry Zhang "Eurus" Chengjun, and longtime coach Bai "rOtK" Fan. The new roster is an interesting one, but losing arguably its two best players and the coach that traditionally handled the team's drafts is a hard shot.
No. 5 - Quincy Crew
As previously touched upon, Quincy Crew has really started to shine of late. The team struggled at the beginning of the season to fill a hole in its roster in the off lane position, which wasn’t filled until Rodrigo "Lelis" Santos joined in June.
Lelis seems to have been the missing piece to Quincy Crew’s puzzle, as the team has been white hot throughout the summer. The team has taken first place in six straight tournaments, really asserting its dominance and cementing itself as a domestic rival to Evil Geniuses. Depending on whether Evil Geniuses makes the transition from North America to Europe a permanent one, Quincy Crew may be well cemented as the best team in the region.
No. 6 - Fnatic
Another standout of the online league era, Fnatic has enjoyed the best all-around year in the organization's Dota 2 history in 2020 thanks to its dominance over Southeast Asian events. The team has placed in the top three of every event it has competed in since the DreamLeague Season 13 major, a streak that includes first-place finishes in five straight events.
Fnatic is yet another team that is affected by multiple roster changes in recent days. The indefinite hiatus of Daryl Koh "iceiceice" Pei Xiang became a divorce, which was preceded by Fnatic dropping top-rated player Anucha "Jabz" Jirawong. Fnatic currently has two holes on its roster to fill, though there are a number of strong free agent options out there.
No. 7 - Team Nigma
On the right night, Team Nigma is capable of reaching the grand finals of The International. On the wrong one, Nigma can’t qualify for majors. That lack of consistency has almost always been there with this team, but their amazing upside keeps them right near the top.
The online league era has been fairly kind to Nigma, with the team placing in the top four of every event it has competed in since June. If that form keeps up, Nigma will almost certainly be able to convert that success into a higher spot on this list.
No. 8 - OG
OG has been generally strong throughout 2020 and that’s an enormous achievement. The team was one of the hardest hit by the online league era, as Syed “SumaiL” Hassan was forced to compete from North America, Yeik "MidOne" Nai Zheng was stuck at home in Malaysia, and Topias Miikka "Topson" Taavitsainen was unable to return home to Finland. A rotating list of replacements allowed OG to remain active, but the team flopped on more than one occasion.
The good news is that OG is set to rebound. The new roster is squared away with the return of Sebastian “Ceb” Debs and the departure of SumaiL. The team’s new roster debuted with a second-place finish at Omega League and should be positioned to climb from here.
No. 9 - Invictus Gaming
The 2019-2020 Dota 2 season started off with Invictus Gaming looking ready to return to the top of the scene, but that didn’t hold up long-term. Early on, iG found itself stuck behind Vici Gaming. As the season progressed, PSG.LGD also got the inside track on them which left iG as the third-best team in China.
That’s still good enough for iG to slip into the top 10, but the team is primed for success at the moment. While Vici Gaming and PSG.LGD are currently looking to rebuild, Invictus Gaming’s roster remains intact and that could be a recipe that lets iG return to the undisputed top spot in China for the first time in years.
No. 10 - Virtus.pro
Virtus.pro has been one of the most active teams of this season, playing in almost every European league that has popped up as well as in a number of regional CIS events. The team hasn’t been dominant, but has found consistently solid results, with the highlight being a first-place finish in ESL One Los Angeles.
The black mark on VP’s ledger right now is its inability to come through in the biggest events. The organization dropped a roster that thrived at majors and has thus far been rewarded with a last-place finish in DreamLeague Season 13 and an eighth-place finish in Omega League. VP is certainly still good, but the current roster still has a long way to go before recapturing its former greatness.