We are now on the 12th season of DreamLeague. While you could argue that the prestige of the tournament has fallen with the top teams in the world choosing to sit out because of the way the DPC season works — which is a massive shame — DreamLeague still promises to be a very entertaining tournament both in and out of game. Sheever and her panel always deliver some great content between the games and the teams in attendance could very well be seen at most of the Majors this year. Alliance, NiP, Team Liquid, FlyToMoon, J.Storm, and Demon Slayers will be in attendance and for the majority of these teams some lan games before the first Major or Minor will certainly help. If you haven’t been following the post-TI roster shuffle and have no clue who is on what team, we’ve got you covered with this preview.
The new Alliance perhaps has the most hype surrounding them as we go into DreamLeague. They took down their old counterparts during the Major qualifiers to take first place and Nikobaby looks to be hitting his stride after a pretty good performance at TI when he was on Mineski. Limmp, 33, Handsken, and Fata playing the 5 rounds out Alliance’s roster. While we’re still not entirely sure what to make of Fata playing 5, through the qualifiers they looked pretty good and they’ll be looking to build on their strong start at DreamLeague and hopefully straight into the Chengdu Major. They also have something to prove against Liquid, even though they already beat them once during the qualifiers — you never want to lose to the team you're replacing.
There are some massive shoes to fill for the current Liquid roster. They have managed to accomplish one thing the old Liquid roster surprisingly has never been able to do though. They will be playing at the first Major of the season in Chengdu. The former Alliance roster is one of the longest standing Dota 2 rosters in the world after TI9 where most of the teams that had stuck together for a longer period of time finally made some roster moves. Whether their commitment to playing together for the long term will work out or not remains to be seen.
PPD’s return with NiP comes with Skiter, Gunnar, Universe, and Biver. They narrowly missed out on making it to the first Major, losing only to Alliance and Team Liquid during the qualifier. There are some rumors saying this team will be playing from NA in the future and if that is the case NA’s best captain is coming home. It’s too early to tell exactly how this iteration of NiP will perform but their weaknesses were made apparent early during the qualifiers. The good news is that it shouldn’t be too difficult to work on those issues now that they know what they are. Gunnar has plenty of time to work on his hero pool while PPD figures out exactly how the team wants to move forward and DreamLeague would be a perfect place to test out some of Gunnar’s new heroes. The Minor is coming up soon for NiP so they won’t have too much time to experiment but if anybody can figure out how to make this team work it’ll be PPD.
It’s good to see some of these guys making it to events. FlyToMoon is filled with old Russian and Ukranian players that we’ve seen play on countless teams over the years. It feels like it wasn’t too long ago that players like Iceberg and Flow first started to make ground in the CIS region but it has already been a few years. They are paired with Ark, CemaTheSlayer, and one of the most experienced players in the CIS region, Alwayswannafly. The CIS region has struggled to put together more than one competitive team at a time despite all the talent the region holds. Unfortunately for FlyToMoon they failed to make it through the open qualifiers for the first Major and Minor of the DPC season so this will be their only chance to show us what they’ve got.
Moo, Nine, Brax. MoOz, and Fear are the current roster of J.Storm but considering Brax is still listed as a trial member this tournament may determine whether or not he stays on the team. The team is coming off a win at Midas Mode 2, although Moo was playing offlane while Reso was the carry during that event. J.Storm might show up and surprise though considering they did make their way to the Major with this roster, beating out Quincy Crew 2-0 to earn their spot. We’re also kind of looking forward to seeing Fear take on PPD and hopefully it’ll show us what we’re in store for in the months ahead.
Named after what I can only assume is some sort of Japanese cartoon, Demon Slayers consists of Costabile, Ched, OldWhite, FrancisLee, and Xuan. Many people will remember Costabile from his time on SG along with FLee’s long career in NA. Xuan has also bounced around a bit in NA Dota 2 for quite a long time but has never been able to find his footing in the competitive scene. They have made it to the Minor so DreamLeague will not be the only place we see them play and also proves they are at least somewhat decent in NA. These guys are true underdogs and it should be fun to see if they have what it takes to slay their opponents.