The local Dota 2 scene experienced some major upheaval during it’s annual reshuffle period, so we turned to the beard with one of the most knowledgeable men in South African Dota attached to it, Devin “Hellbird” Rigotti, to give us the lowdown on who scored and who has been potentially floored.
Reshuffling periods are a contentious time, no matter what sport or esport you’re in. Tensions are high, egos get slapped around and some feel that allowing teams to chop and change frequently encourages Multi-Gaming Organisations to have knee-jerk reactions to bad results, not giving squads enough time to settle and gel. Others, such as ol’ Hellbird, sing a different tune.
“I definitely think it’s an important part of the scene, firstly, players themselves change over time both in ability and in mentality, some players may end up being a burden to one side, but the mechanism another side needs to be successful.
You also want to ensure that you don’t just have one super team crushing everyone without contest, so when individual players from different teams show the capacity to compete with the top dog (or top Rabbit in this case) you want it to be possible for a new team to be formed.”
No matter which side of the debate you find yourself on, you can’t deny he’s made a pretty good point. Well, you could, but it’d be pointless (GLHF: See, contentious!) because that’s not what we are here to discuss and it doesn’t seem likely that these transfer windows are going anywhere anytime soon. So, every season we shufflin’, shufflin’. Step up fast, be the first player to make us throw this cash.
There’s no real cash for players in South Africa yet, so we’ll end the obligatory LMFAO joke there and move on to more relevant things. Like who came out on top after the recent shuffle.
“The biggest winner was definitely Bravado Gaming, their team is a legitimate threat to even WRG. Doni is scary, for those who may be new to the scene, look out for a treat, the players within the team are very strong and I am very interested to see how FilthyFrank performs in a team of such caliber.
Santo also deserves a tip of the hat, sure he may have been replaced in WRG, but he is coming into a team with a history of winning and that could help a great deal for a new team. I expect them to have mixed results early on as they grow together, but within a few months, maybe even as short as a few weeks, we could see a very strong side.
I don’t want to say they are going to beat WRG, but they certainly are the side I would see most likely taking games off them.”
This is the second time we’ve interviewed Hellbird and he’s used the word ‘scary’ to describe Doni. We’re beginning to wonder what Doni has done to poor Hellbird to have him so terrified. Hellbird, if you need help, we’re here for you. Send us a direct message.
Unfortunately, where there are winners there have to be those that didn’t come off as well and this reshuffle is no different.
“My biggest concern is Energy, Odu was seriously doing well in that lineup and I expected them to look towards other big names to replace him, but with many options such as RDK potentially taking up a carry role for them and doing a bit of a shuffle out of the equation, they could struggle a bit and probably my biggest concern is if the team won’t disband all together.
I have a long history with a lot of these players and, honestly, LKR (GLHF: Also known as Chelsea.) deserves to be in a top side, I feel his name is often left out of the big fish we commonly laud and he isn’t really alone in that camp.
I’m also curious to see the new XTC team, as they lost big, but actually managed to put together a solid team at the end.
To be an MGO owner right now can’t be a huge amount of fun, I know there has been some drama with the likes of EXDEE already, who seem to have a solid replacement in the form of Cloud, who is someone I have always thought needed a good home.
I am really curious to see what happens to Kuhnchun, he said on August 8th, ‘end of an era’ on Twitter. Pretty cryptic and I haven’t seen a huge amount more from him since then. It’s often a little hard to keep up with all the changes so perhaps I am just missing something, but I do think he is one of those players that are probably not valued as much as they should be.”
Honestly, if anyone missed anything to do with local Dota, we’d be incredibly surprised if it was Hellbird. This man knows everything.
Times of change often bring about unpredictable periods as players settle into new teams and learn to play with new teammates, but with the current state of South African Dota there is always one thing that’s very predictable – the name at the top of the leader board.
So when we asked Hellbird for his predictions, the first couple of names were no surprise. The third, while maybe not surprising to those who have been following their story, will surely give them a massive confidence boost going forwards. Or backwards. Really anywhere they go.
“I think I am comfortable enough to call the following three:
Beyond that, it’s hard to tell, I’d like to think XTC would really be tough now as they take up the former BVD squad and Energy still has some top contenders, but will XTC be able to perform? Will Energy even exist? What happens to APG? Can Exdee finally perform to their potential?”
Ah, the classic ‘only time will tell’ scenario. That answer leaves us with a ton more questions, but not enough of your attention spans to get them all answered. Another time.
Something old, something new and the return of something formidable in blue. We’ve got all the makings of an intriguing season of Dota, all we need are a couple of storylines to keep an eye on and, of course, Hellbird has us covered there too.
“In some interviews last year, I said that we would start seeing new faces, I think it’s obvious that those faces are now here. That leaves us with two new points for the new year; firstly those new faces are likely going to become even more terrifying this year and it’ll be great to see Castaway pushed by the likes of Depi.
Secondly, I’ll eat Wilson’s hat if by the end of this year there isn’t a new superstar among us… To keep it on point, if you own even a lesser known organisation, go find them, grow them and perhaps it’ll pay off for you too.”
Oooh! We love a good hat eating almost as much as we love a new superstar, so either way we’re very excited. We’ll be sure to consult with local hat connoisseur, axtremes, about which hats are best for eating.
As for who that superstar might be… well, we’re all going to have to enjoy finding that out together.
Current South African Dota Rosters mentioned in the article:
White Rabbit Gaming: Nicholas ‘Schlinks’ Dammert, Ryan ‘ChiDoWi’ Lancaster, Travis ‘CastawaY’ Waters, Charl ‘Welp’ Geldenhuys and Wesley ‘Odu’ Rose.
Bravado Gaming: Mark ‘Frank’ Lehle, Michael ‘Santo’ Myburgh, Aidan ‘Depi’ Marshall, Abdur ‘Habibi’ Kamdar and Donio ‘Doni’ Teixeira.
Sinister5: Adam ‘Adastam’ Moore, Denis ‘DotA-and-Die’ Connellan, Tertius ‘Traxion’ de Bruin, Dirk ‘Skynet’ van Velden and Tristan ‘Aghanim’ Kiefer.
xTc Gaming: Jeffrey ‘Impackt’ Waller, Rynhardt ‘RDK’ De Kock, Nash ‘Mikasa’ Dong, Donal ‘225’ Quinn and Teddy ‘Bluecat’ Wang.
Energy eSports: Andrew ‘Chosen1’ Ferguson, Wazeer ‘SmacKa’ Kamdar, Chad ‘acg’ Simpson, Darron ‘Chelsea’ Reinhardt and Nicholas ‘Strike’ Cheng.
eXdee Gaming: Daniel ‘Hunter’ de Villiers, Tameer ‘TKC’ Chicktay, Russell ‘Cloud’ Tiedt, Damian ‘Rock Lee’ Dangubic and Anton ‘Fury’ de Villiers.