This has been one of the strangest years for esports in recent memory. Normally, it should have offered us the 3rd Dota Pro Circuit and the 10th World Championship, known as The International. But because of the ongoing global crisis, the professional scene became divided and every tournament took place not only locally, but also online.
As a result, it is no longer clear who reigns supreme overall and which teams are the strongest. In this article, I will try to provide a brief answer to the question: if The International 10 would take place tomorrow, which teams could realistically win it?
In spite of finishing 4th at the recent ESL One Germany 2020, Team Secret should still be regarded as the most successful competitor of 2020. Their list of achievements is impressive. In effect, they won almost everything they were a part of:
- 1st place: DreamLeague Season 13
- 2nd place: WePlay! Dota 2 Tug of War: Mad Moon
- 1st place: WePlay! Pushka League S1: Division 1
- 1st place: OGA Dota PIT 2020 Online: Europe/CIS
- 1st place: ESL One Birmingham 2020 – Online: Europe & CIS
- 1st place: BLAST Bounty Hunt
- 1st place: BEYOND EPIC: Europe/CIS
- 1st place: OMEGA League: Europe Immortal Division
- 1st place: OGA Dota PIT S3: Europe/CIS
- 4th place: ESL One Germany 2020
We’ve yet to see what Secret will do next. Because they either lost their advantage in this meta and got deciphered by the other opponents, or they just had a bad moment during their last tournament. Puppey is known to be a fierce competitor and someone who loves winning, so I doubt his team is not training as hard as it used to. The semi-failure registered at ESL One Germany 2020 was most likely caused by a personal problem (health, family or something else) that ruined his ability to focus on the tournament. Secret entered the race being the number 1 favorite to win, finished the Group Stage with 3 consecutive wins and managed to lose 2 Bo3 series in the span of 3 matches.
Assuming that their 4th place at ESL One Germany 2020 was a fluke, I think it’s safe to say that Team Secret would be one of the several teams that could win The International 10 if it started tomorrow. In the global rankings, I’d put them in the top 3 at this moment in time, probably 2nd to be precise. In any case, they’re the best team in Europe and CIS.
As we were able to see at the recent ESL One Germany 2020, Team Liquid is in great shape again. Throughout 2020, their results have been very consistent. In spite of only winning one important trophy, Liquid was often in the top 4. They managed to do this no less than 6 times. And the last time they actually won the event, defeating the best competitors in Europe and CIS in the process: Nigma, Vikin.gg, Secret, mudgolems, and Natus Vincere.
Liquid’s excellent form was also confirmed at the recent DOTA Summit 13 Online: Europe & CIS, a tournament in which they finished 2nd. Based on their seasonal results and the fact that they’ve been on an upward trend recently, I would put them at number 2 in Europe and number 3 overall.
At The International 2018 and 2019, PSG.LGD finished in 2nd and 3rd place respectively. But in September this year, the roster that got those great achievements left the organization and got replaced by an entirely new set of players. Some of these players came from EHOME, others from even smaller clubs, such as CDEC Gaming.
Initially it wasn’t clear how strong the new PSG.LGD line-up was going to be. But after the first 3 tournaments, everyone quickly realized that it is just as good as the previous one. The results speak for themselves:
- 1st place: China Dota2 Pro Cup Season 1
- 2nd place: OGA Dota PIT S3: China
- 1st place: CDA-FDC Professional Championship
If we look at the bigger picture of 2020, PSG.LGD got a lot of other impressive results. But I repeat, those results belong to a different lineup.
In the overall rankings, I would put PSG.LGD at number 1 at this point, but only slightly above Team Secret. Regionally, PSG.LGD is no doubt the strongest team in China.
With Sumail’s brother (Yawar) and 4 other talented players, Quincy Crew had the best year since its inception. They were part of no less than 11 Grand Finals of important regional tournaments and managed to win 7 of them. If North America and South America would be as strong as Europe and China, based on these results we could easily conclude that Quincy Crew has been the best Dota 2 team in the world in 2020. But unfortunately, NA Dota is quite terrible at this point and on top of that, Evil Geniuses did not even bother to take part in most tournaments. And when they did, they won.
In the overall rankings, I would put Quincy Crew somewhere around 5th place. But even that seems a bit optimistic when we consider the fact that Europe is full of world-class competitors that could probably demolish the North American squad in any Bo3 match.
To be fair, Alliance didn’t shine this year, in the sense that they weren’t the star of the show in any of the tournaments that they participated in. But in spite of that, their consistency has been impressive. Apart from finishing 4th at a Major (DreamLeague Season 13), s4 and his crew managed to play in 3 other Grand Finals.
One thing that’s impressive about this team is its roster, which is full of highly skilled, highly experienced, and in some cases, highly accomplished players.
- Position 1: Nikobaby
- Position 2: Limmp
- Position 3: s4
- Position 4: Handsken
- Position 5: fng
Being a TI champion and winner of many important events, s4 is by far the biggest star on this team. But the others aren’t that far behind. Overall, the team is probably ranked 4th.