A few weeks ago we introduced you to our plan to craft a few local esports storylines, focussing on the Telkom DGL Masters teams. This week we’ll be laying the foundations for a few great adventures within the Dota 2 Masters competition, and hopefully we’ll get you excited enough to follow the stories that play out throughout the season.
We probably need a super knowledgeable and extremely likeable character to lead us through these events, so we contacted our old friend, Devin ‘HellbirD’ Rigotti, to get his take on how the Dota 2 DGL Masters story is looking at the moment.
Bear in mind that we interviewed HellbirD before the announcement that Aperture Gaming’s then-captain and KDA King, Adam ‘Adastam’ Moore, was to leave the MGO. But we’ll get to that later.
“White Rabbit Gaming are obviously exceptional at the moment, their team is playing very well and they have some star players in their roster, I expect them to do very well. ApG and eXdee also deserve mentions as both sides made some amazing strides in their own right in 2016.
I’m interested to see how the Energy squad performs. I feel that with their roster they should be a tough team for anyone to beat, but it just seems to me that this squad has many players who would feel that they have failed to consistently get the results they want, but it is a different team now and perhaps with a bit of time it will all come together.
VnR and F3 actually have some strong players as well and I’d like to see them both develop into truly competitive sides. DC and Ventus I feel are likely to be under the most pressure, but it’s a long season and I doubt they intend to bottom the log.”
It has certainly been a turbulent few months for the local Dota 2 scene, with the disappearance of top dogs Bravado and the effective conversion of Carbon into Energy. So what does that mean for us as avid esports fans? Who do we need to keep our eyes on now?
“WRG are in an interesting position, as they are expected to take over that role Bravado once held as the team to beat. Bravado historically had a more favorable skill discrepancy that built up that aura of invincibility, and I think how WRG handle that pressure against the other strong sides such as eXdee and ApG is going to be a key factor in if they can dominate this year’s Masters.
Pulse, Ventus and Energy are going to also have a lot of pressure on them, although Energy is effectively Carbon reborn. The fact that their MGO’s are new to Masters puts a big target on their back. You can also consider eXdee in this bracket, but with some strong performances in scrims and events like the Mega8 tournament last year, I think they would feel a little more proven.
I do believe that the other teams could pull out some surprises, but if I were in their shoes I’d honestly be focusing more on beating the other mid-to-low log teams rather than searching for that big upset.”
We can already see the beginnings of our stories here: The Quest To Be The Best featuring WRG, The Battles Of The New Masters, and Searching For Surprises.
But the stories themselves are not going to be very interesting if we don’t get to know their heroes and supporting cast: The players. And, obviously, in all the best stories some characters stand out more than others. So who does HellbirD think we should be paying attention to in our adventures?
“Travis ‘Castaway’ Waters is probably the best player at the moment in our scene. It’s always hard to single someone out like that, but with many of the old guard out, he finds himself in a very unique position, having a pretty impressive amount of experience. Being quite young, he also has a lot of time to improve even further.
From the eXdee squad I’d have to tip my hat to Rynhardt ‘RDK’ de Kock. I feel like his esports journey has been less impressive than it could have been, probably not getting the recognition I think he deserved early on and probably not making the best decisions when coming to team selection, but he’s still the kind of guy I think can win a game for his team against any opponent.
Lastly, the man who’s name is mispronounced almost as commonly as I call Chidowi, Chidori… Adastam, he’s a very effective player and although I think he is a little off the pace compared to Castaway, he’s a monster on the field.
I’ve had the good fortune of playing competitively with and against these three gents above and I can guarantee they are going be regular faces on the highlight reels.”
Sadly, Adastam has since been dropped from ApG’s roster, and is still not sure about where he’s heading next. So, unfortunately, one of our star characters has already been given the Game of Thrones treatment. Moral of the story: Don’t get too attached, no one is safe.
Jokes. You should get very attached, because hopefully that means you’ll follow their stories, watch their games, and just generally help build some local esports stars.
It’s all very well to invest your emotions into characters that you are familiar with already, but the real excitement is to be had from supporting players that many people perhaps don’t know at the moment, but who could turn out to be the Arteezys and SumaiLs of tomorrow. Plus, when they become popular, you can say you liked them before it was cool.
“Let’s step out of the Masters for a moment, as there are obviously a number of younger players already that have shown they are capable. I’m a little more interested in what is lurking in the abyss beyond.
There are two guys that really stick out in my mind due to their attitude and aptitude: Hunter and PapaKappa. You may have crossed paths with these Meepo and Phantom Assassin spamming youths in a pubby or scrim, but you may not have had the chance to actually chat to them. Both have a lot of drive and and a great attitude. It’s inevitable that we will see them in a Masters team in time.”
Now that we’ve got our advice on which characters and factions we should follow closely during the Dota 2 Masters story, we need to talk about the battles that will play out between these armies.
There will definitely be some match-ups that will be more entertaining than others, with some being rather one-sided to be sure. But fortunately General HellbirD can give us an idea of which ones will offer the most entertainment value.
“In terms of quality Dota 2: Any combination of WRG, ApG and eXdee. But there will also be some surprises, there really are some big boys in the other sides as well.
In terms of competitive quality: Man we are in for a treat. Every side has a reasonable rival and I think the mid-log sides will produce some exciting matches as well.”
Well, there you have it. The stories have been laid out in front of you. Now all you have to do is watch them as they unfold before your eyes in the coming months. Well, that’s if their main characters survive because, as you no doubt know, winter is coming. But in the meantime, show your support, get vocal and hang on tight, because it’s going to be a wild ride.