The Dota 2 competitive scene is unique in esports in that it is very player-centric. Because teams break up all the time and organizations shuffle in and out constantly, fans often get attached to players and not teams. But, despite all the constant changes, there are a few things that remain the same, such as the talent in the game.
Yet, despite the undeniable talent in Dota 2, because there are only very few Valve-sanctioned tournaments like Majors, not everyone has a chance to win one.
With that said, we've decided to round up 10 of the best Dota 2 players ever to never win a Major.
Majors are tournaments introduced and sanctioned by Valve in 2015 in an attempt to improve the professional landscape of Dota 2 and spread the wealth throughout the year outside of The International, which is usually held in August.
So far, there have only been 22 Majors held so far, with a 23rd, WePlay AniMajor, scheduled soon.
Naturally, the criteria are simple. Each Dota 2 player included in our list has had a lot of success in Dota 2. Some have even won millions. Unfortunately, the feeling of hoisting up a Major trophy continues to elude them to this day. Also, in an attempt to narrow down the list more, we excluded players who haven't won a Major tournament in Dota 2 but have won a TI already.
So, without further ado, let's get started.
Roman "Resolut1on" Fominok is widely considered one of the most proficient hard carries in Dota 2, capable of carrying entire teams on his back.
Perhaps the most prominent example of this was when he joined Team Empire as a stand-in at The International 2017, helping Russia-based professional Dota 2 organization finish in 7-8th place and eliminating Evil Geniuses in a hard-fought 2-0 series that saw each game make it past the 50-minute mark.
Whether as a stand-in or as a team member though, Resolut1on is a proven player. He was also part of the Digital Chaos lineup that finished in 2nd place at The International 2016 and placed 4th at The Boston Major just months after.
The closest Resolut1on was to winning a Major was at MDL Changsha Major, where he helped guide VGJ.Storm to a Grand Finals berth. Unfortunately, the team peaked at the wrong time, with that year's eventual TI8 runner-up, PSG.LGD, winning 2 straight Major tournaments.
At the moment, Resolut1on is playing for HellRaisers as the team's offlaner and captain.
ddc is the only position 5 support to ever make it to our list, and for a good reason: he's one of the most consistent hard supports in Dota 2 history. In fact, so consistent was ddc that, before TI9, ddc had attended every TI tournament, a record that he shared with the likes of Clement "Puppey" Ivanov and Kuro "KuroKy" Salehi Takhasomi.
At the age of 30, ddc is now considered ancient in the scene and yet, his playstyle remains relevant. In fact, throughout the years, ddc is one of the few players to have ever maintained his level play and we do still believe that he's got what it takes to play Dota 2 at a competitive level.
Back in 2017, ddc played a crucial role in the upstarts, LGD.ForeverYoung, dropping only 2 games during the Group Stages and making it all the way to the Upper Bracket finals before losing to Newbee and Team Liquid to earn a third-place finish at The International 2017.
Unfortunately, that was the closest ddc would ever come to winning a TI. He'd have little luck with Majors as well. His closest chance was with VGJ.Thunder at The Bucharest Major in 2018, where they got swept by Virtus.Pro in the Grand Finals as the bears secured their, at the time, third Major in four tries.
Affectionately referred to his fans as "big d*ck LaNm", Zhang "LaNm" Zhicheng is a veteran of the Dota 2 scene. But, despite already being older than most of his contemporaries by a notable number of years, LaNm continues to impress with Team Aster as he takes on the role of both the coach and the captain.
Most notably, LaNm was part of the Team DK squad back in 2014 that earned a podium finish in all but one of the tournaments the team played in. Unfortunately, that one big tournament was The International 2014, where Team DK went home with "only" a 4th place finish to show for all their efforts. Since then, LaNm has bounced around from EHOME to Vici Gaming and Team Royal.
At 31, LaNm's time to a win TI or a Major is limited. However, given the current performance of Team Aster, LaNM will have a good chance at finally winning a Major and perhaps, even a TI at TI10 in August.
Artour "Arteezy" Babaev is the poster boy of the best Dota 2 players to never win a Major.
The longtime Evil Geniuses hard carry is widely considered one of the most popular and mechanically skilled Dota 2 players in the world. But, for some reason, he's never won a Valve-sponsored event. In fact, Evil Geniuses' most successful year was a TI5, which was when he notably left the squad to join the all-star cast of Team Secret.
What's even more surprising is that Evil Geniuses have come close to winning multiple times and have always been considered favorites ever since Arteezy returned (and never left) after his second stint with Team Secret at The International 2016.
At the moment, Arteezy and Evil Geniuses have at least two second-place finishes at a Major tournament, which, coincidentally, both also lasted the full five games. The most recent tragic loss came at the ONE Esports Singapore Major 2021, where Evil Geniuses actually led the series 2-0 in the Grand Finals and had a chance to finally put the memes to rest only to fall 3-2 in a rare reverse sweep at the hands of Invictus Gaming.
Liu "Sylar" Jiajun is the very model of consistency in Dota 2, which is probably why he's underrated by a lot of fans.
Unlike other carries who traditionally only excel at a particular playstyle and on a handful of heroes, Sylar has successfully and consistently proven that he can adjust his play as a carry depending on what the team requires of him. Sometimes, he's played as a hard carry. Other times, he's played decoy and sacrificed to shine the spotlight on his teammates. He's also played the role of skirmisher and initiator, to great effect.
It doesn't matter which role Sylar plays. He's able to execute at a high level and make little to no mistakes.
Yet, despite his versatility and longevity as a hard carry, Sylar has to either a TI or a Major, with his closest chance of winning either coming as part of the VGJ.Thunder squad with ddc at The Bucharest Major where they got swept by Virtus.pro in the Grand Finals.
As part of EHOME, Sylar continues to not disappoint. However, because EHOME wasn't able to qualify for the WePlay AniMajor, Sylar will have to wait for next season for his chance to win a Major.
Djardel Jicko B. "DJ" Mambusti is one of the most prominent Dota 2 players from Southeast Asia and is widely considered one of the best roaming supports worldwide. DJ first gained fame for his play with Rave in 2015. Later on, Fnatic picked him up to be a part of their Southeast Asian lineup that eventually placed in the Top 6 at the Shanghai Major and Manila Major before placing 4th at The International 2016.
Since joining rejoining Fnatic in 2017 after a short stint with Execration, DJ has remained loyal to Fnatic. At the moment, he serves as the captain of Fnatic, having given up his role as the roaming support to better guide his time as a hard support.
After Fnatic failed to qualify for the WePlay AniMajor, DJ will have to wait for next season for his chance to win his first Major.
Measuring 6-foot-8, Martin "Saksa" Sazdov is the tallest player in competitive Dota 2. However, even his towering height falters compared to the expectations on him as he replaces the legendary and now-retired Jesse "JerAx" Vainnikka as the position 4 player for the two-time TI champions, OG, who are seeking a third straight TI win.
Then again, save for his lack of Major and TI wins, Saksa seems up to the challenge. So far, he's done a mighty job filling in the shoes of JerAx, often making a difference for OG in most of their matches.
Before joining OG, Saksa made a name for himself with Digital Chaos along with Resolut1on. From there, he'd join Ninjas in Pyjamas, who was captained by TI5 winner, Peter "ppd" Dager. Although the team performed well during the 2018-19 season, even winning a couple of Minors, Ninjas in Pyjamas fell apart at The International 2019 as they failed to win a single game and went home with a last-place finish.
With OG already out of the running for Majors, Saksa won't have a chance to win a Major until next year.
Nicknamed the "Emperor" and "B-God", Xu "BurNIng" Zhilei is one of the few professional Dota players to make a successful transition to Dota 2.
In his early years, BurNIng was often cited as an example of how a hard carry should play like. He was the sort of player who you could always rely on to make use of every inch of space afforded to him to farm and win the game for you. In fact, BurNIng was so good as a hard carry that many considered letting him have Anti-Mage as an automatic loss for the enemy team.
Yet, despite being known for playing as a hard carry, BurNIng is actually quite a versatile carry player, something he proved as part of Team DK where he famously played 9 different heroes as a carry in 9 games and winning them all.
Unfortunately, despite all of his individual prowess and helping his team achieve a lot of success over the years, BurNIng was never able to get over the proverbial hump. The closest he ever got was with Invictus Gaming back in 2017, where he won arguably the biggest tournament of his Dota 2 career, the Dota 2 Asia Championships, where Invictus Gaming successfully defeated OG in the Grand Finals.
Since 2018, BurNIng has retired to co-found his own team, Team Aster.