The bevy of high-caliber Dota 2 and meme machine in the form of the ever-successful The Summit returns with their 7th edition. Organized by BeyondTheSummit, 8 teams compete for $100,000 at their beautiful house in Los Angeles starting on the 14th of June. The prospect of direct invites for TI loom large this month if Valve reveals them around the same time they did last year. That being said, The Summit 7 could play a crucial role in determining the fate of CIS giants Virtus Pro, while help other teams like Na’Vi and CDEC secure invites to the regional qualifiers, if not simply reaffirm them. The tournament also shall play a decisive role in shaping the changes and updates over which TI shall precede over given the next premier tournament shall occur within 30 days till TI.
With the intensity of the competition that this tournament packs alongside the classic Summit stream couch casting and aptitude for memes, we present a look at the teams and what they bring to the tournament.
The defenders of the Summit. In the ever changing CIS scene, Solo and his roster have managed to stick together for nearly a year. After cruising through the CIS Qualifiers for the Kiev Major, they blitzed through the event only to fall short to OG in the grand finals. Their extremely impressive performance at the Major, alongside an exceptionally solid track record spanning over the last 3 months, certainly makes the CIS giants among the favorites for the tournament. They have their own host of issues, however, which need to be addressed.
With 10 games on 7.06 and boasting of a mere 50% winrate without the competition of major contenders, Virtus Pro’s showing in the current patch has been noticeably underwhelming. Perhaps their biggest fallout from the change in meta has been Ramzes666, who has begun to fall behind around their classic mid push timings. The team also enters the tournament at an experience disadvantage with the current patch, given that Team Secret and Team NP played the Manila Masters. Their extremely talented carry player will need to step up and their team overall needs to bring the plow along with some LAN magic.
The advent of 7.00 proved to be decisive for the then newly formed roster of VG.J. Under the stellar performance by rOtk on Dark Seer and Nyx Assassin, the team quickly built up a once submerged reputation by winning two major qualifiers and placing 2nd at the Starladder i-League StarSeries Season 3, losing only to Team Liquid but also managing to take down the tournament favorites OG in their run. Thereafter, the team has been at a loss of momentum and a subsequent loss streak, resulting in them not contesting a notable number of tournaments. They placed 7th/8th at DAC, 5th/6th at the Chinese Dota 2 Professional League, and failed to qualify for the Zotac Qualifier Cup Masters Qualifiers and EPICENTER- not to mention a short run at the Kiev Major which concluded at the round of 8.
7.06 and the last few matches of competitive Dota 2 haven’t been pretty for VG.J either. The team tumbled at the Starladder i-League Invitational 2, unable to secure a single victory. They seemed to have not formulated their general strategy, given the lack of a good performance at the event. VG.J must understand their team composition and adjust to the meta and the heroes that it demands in order to remain a competitor.
Few have managed to court as much controversy as Puppey’s creation, Team Secret, did. Their roster started from a point where fans predicted the death of his and the organization’s career. Moving to current times, Secret recently won two qualifiers and attended a number of LAN events in this competitive season. The addition of Yapzor, who has been brilliant on a number of heroes, has made Secret stand out as one of the top European teams. Their SEA import, MidOne, exceeded all expectations and constantly managed to stick out in the lime-light with noteworthy solo performances and exceptional mid lane dominance. The team has particularly managed to make quick work of their opponents with a mid game centered around Invoker, Medusa, or Ember Spirit by MidOne, and MP’s Lycan or Terrorblade, boasting good win rates on those heroes.
Team Secret have enjoyed a fairly green season of competitive Dota 2. Sporting a 67.2% win-rate post-7.00, they have managed to keep their heads afloat despite not making much initial progress during the first 2 months. They boast a 60% win-rate in 7.06, implying that they are a confident team in the current meta. Yapzor has managed to play a diverse arsenal of heroes, shifting to the 4th and 5th position with ease, all the while excelling. Overall, Secret does bring a lot more to the table than Virtus Pro, given their win against them, but their loss at the hands of Team NP at the Manila Masters does mess up their claim to be the favorites for the tournament.
Replacing Clutch Gamers who couldn’t make it to the main event due to visa issues, the current roster of Digital Chaos regains a chance to win a LAN event. After an early exit at the Zotac Cup Masters, this will be the only tournament that DC will have before TI to prove they have what it takes to get there. With so few showings from DC it’s difficult to know just how well they will perform against the rest of the teams at The Summit. Their stakes lie on shaky grounds of them being a better team than that which we were treated to at the Zotac Cup Masters.
Mason has proven to be extremely solid on a slew of heroes. Given the right start, a farrago of well co-ordinated pushes and objective gaming has catapulted Digital Chaos to victory numerous times, including the recent past where they came extremely close to beating Team NP in the American Qualifiers for The Summit before succumbing to a score of 3:2. After an extremely impressive performance at The Summit Qualifiers where Abed was a real nightmare on the mid-lane, he has slowed down during 7.06. The Philippine import is yet to strike a chord with the current meta, and with the team revolving around his playstyle quite often, it is of prime importance that he finds his footing.
EternalEnvy’s new roster post-Team Secret has never looked finer, stronger, and more ready to win a LAN than before. After falling short at DAC 2017 the team made two changes, bringing on board Pieliedie and Fata. (And boy did that go well in favor of them.) The return of FATA- to the competitive scene after a short stint with Team B)ears has proved extremely fruitful for the Canadian organization. Garnering a commendable KDA of 5.68 and being an extremely crucial factor to how well NP does in general, Fata has already made himself an irreplaceable asset for the team. Finally, the addition of pieliedie, while not being too noticeable of a factor at first glance, still has had its perks, most notably the stability he brings to the team, and the way he enables AUI to play his role.
Team NP is a very experienced team in the current meta, with 10 wins and 6 losses in tournaments and qualifiers. To top their portfolio is their recent win against Team Secret at the Manila Masters. That isn’t to say that they make the best claim to the throne however, given their dismal performance at every LAN they have attended. The Summit 7 offers (near) home-ground for them to pick up their first ever offline event victory. Can NP 2.0, on the back of FATA-’s incredible comeback to the circuit, have what it takes? Or will the infamous 2nd place curse strike again?
The grand sire of CIS Dota 2 gave their die-hard legions something to smile about after an awfully long time in the form of winning the European qualifier for The Summit 7. In a resounding victory against Team Empire in the finals and an extremely heart-pounding run in the qualifiers overall, Dendi managed to make himself relevant in the international circuit again. While the return of Sonneiko to the roster managed to improve the tides for the Ukrainian organization, their stake at the numero uno position still remains riddled with extreme difficulties. The team is yet to truly work out in terms of results over the past competitive year, with the saving grace in terms of prize winnings being a meagre $6,000 from placing 6th/8th at DreamLeague.
Moreover, we shouldn’t be overconfident in Na’Vi by their 3-0 in the finals at the Summit Qualifier. They later went on to tumble down against Virtus Pro and Team Secret at DreamLeague and EPICENTER qualifiers respectively, failing to win even one game off either of them. It is about as much time as it gets for Na’Vi to pull their act together before the TI qualifiers are upon them. The Summit 7 will be their last attempt to gain some momentum for themselves and build confidence before they face the mountain ahead of them.
Team Empire, arguably handling the second best CIS roster, next only to fellow competitors Virtus Pro, have been struggling to leave a mark after the loss of their last roster and most importantly, star player Ramzes666. Team Empire haven’t qualified for any major tournament with the exception being DAC 2017 (and that too with only 2/5th of their current roster). Empire have had multiple chances to show what they can do but more often than not struggle to set themselves apart from other teams in the CIS region.
Ever since 7.00, the team seems to have fallen short mostly to the esoterically skilled on numerous occasions. The team lost the Kiev Major CIS Qualifier to Na’Vi, StarLadder i-League Invitational Qualifiers to Comanche, Zotac Cup Masters Qualifiers to Team Singularity, EPICENTER 2017 Qualifiers to Vega, Summit 7 EU Qualifiers to Na’Vi once again, before finally registering a victory at the LootBet Invitational against Vega and therefore securing an invite to this event. It is an uphill task to make a case for Ghostik’s band to really be a major aspirant to claim first place.
To frame the stalwarts of China’s 2017 in a line: 5 premier tournament qualifiers lost only at the finals. Joining the many once-famed now-slumped names in the circuit, the Maybe-centric roster for the current competitive season have brought in prize money only but once, by placing 2nd that too in the China-only tournament, Dota 2 Professional League. The current team together have no LAN exposure whatsoever with international tournaments being always one spot away. The silver lining however is that they have been trodden upon by internationally acclaimed teams from the current time period, that is Newbee, Invictus Gaming and now, LFY.
Like many teams in the race for The Summit 7, LGD too look to enter the mega race for The International with a surge of confidence over the back of winning an international LAN event. The odds are certainly stacked against their favor, and not to forget that the Chinese qualifier invite was originally secured by CDEC Gaming, who failed in securing visas. Yet again, Old eLeVeN securing himself a LAN victory seems unlikely.