2017 has been a massively important year for Dota 2, and one that has seemingly found the solution to keep the game as one of the biggest esports in the world for years to come. We will most likely look back at the Pro Circuit as one of the most important developments in Dota history, and even in the short term it has been a blessing. Competitions have been more regular, with more of the big names taking part, resulting in some of the best action we have seen.
Even before the Pro Circuit came along we had a great year of Dota. The Kiev Major was one of the best ever, TI7 was unforgettable and there were so many great stories to come from the scene.
Throughout the year we have seen many teams rise and fall through the rankings, and we have seen players go from superstars to teamless in what has been quite an unstable 2017 in terms of rosters. However, some teams and players have constantly been at the top all year long, becoming the best of 2017.
The top 5 teams
OG had a really weird year. They started off strong, placing in the top four of their first five events, including a win at the Kiev Major, but then fell off massively, only making top 8 at TI. Since then a roster change came in, and they finally seemed to be coming good towards the end of 2017 with a Minor win and some solid placements. Team Secret’s rise to the top has hindered them a lot, but in terms of top tier event wins, OG has had a pretty solid year all things considered.
For so long this roster was touted as the best in the world, but they could never get it done on the big stage. They provided one of the best finals of all time at the Kiev Major against OG, just falling short, and they made top six at TI. But that Major win just wouldn’t come. That was until ESL One Hamburg, where they finally took first place at a massive event, and proved that they really are as good as everyone says. Finally the CIS scene is back at the top of the scene.
It hasn’t exactly been a good year for China, with the defending TI champions disbanding and being banned in their own region, and a lot of big names retiring. But the one shining light through the past 12 months has been Newbee. Throughout the year they have made finals of big events, from ESL One Genting back in January through to the Perfect World Masters in November, and they have won more than a few as well. They also dominated at TI, only falling to Liquid in the grand final. This team has been one of the most consistent of the year, but man seem to have overlooked them.
2. Team Secret
Secret’s pre TI7 roster didn’t have the best time, and they struggled at the big event, only placing top 12, but the new roster they have put together is up there with the best we have ever seen. The team of newer, upcoming, players have proven that they are one of the best in the world, winning pretty much every EU qualifier they were in, and placing high in most LAN events. They ended the year by winning the DreamLeague Major, after coming second at ESL One Hamburg, and top the Pro Circuit table, meaning a TI invite is looking likely.
1. Team Liquid
You can’t write about the best teams of the year and ignore the TI winners. Liquid’s lower bracket run was astonishing, and their domination in the final truly showed why they should be considered the best team of 2017 by far. Even outside of TI they have placed in the top four of almost every LAN they went to, winning many of the big events pre TI and doing well enough post TI to hold joint second in the pro point standings. Liquid has had an unbelievable year, and there is no reason why that won’t carry on in 2018.
The top 5 players
Position 1: Roman "RAMZES666" Kushnarev, Virtus.Pro
The position one meta has changed quite a bit in 2017. No longer is this the lane that gets all the help from the supports. That honor now goes to mid, so carry players had to become used to being alone and staying alive, but still farming a lot.
Most have adapted well to this change, but arguably it is VP’s RAMZES666 who embraced it to the fullest. He has had an unbelievable year, and almost single handedly won VP a load of games. It helps that his mid laner, No[o]ne, is one of the best in the world, (and narrowly missed out on this honours list) which gives the supports more time to help the safe lane, but even so the young carry has proven himself as the best in the world.
Position 2: Amer "Miracle-" al-Barqawi, Team Liquid
Ask the pro players who they think the best player in the world is and quite a few of them will come back and say Miracle-. The star mid laner has a ridiculously versatile hero pool, and is more than willing to move out of the mid lane if needed, which has worked out well for Liquid throughout the year. He has a unique style of play, and requires a lot of farm, but when he gets it — which he somehow always does, even if shut down in lane — he will come back and turn a game Liquid’s way. His performance at TI was a big reason for Liquid’s success, and in a year full of great mid players, it is difficult to find anyone better than Miracle-.
Position 3: Damien "kpii" Chok, Newbee
Rarely do offlaners get the spotlight in teams, and that is the case with this choice, but the level of consistency he brings the team is near unmatched. Kpii is always there when needed, will almost always use his spells at exactly the right time and has a weird kanck of just being in the right place at the right time. Sure the likes of Ivan "MinD_ContRoL" Borislavov might come up with the big flashy plays, which Kpii is missing, but they certainly do not have the constant presence on the map, creating so much space for his team and winning more games through small plays. Kpii is certainly underappreciated by many, but without him Newbee would not be where they are now.
Position 4: Maroun "GH" Merhej, Team Liquid
“GH God” is probably the most popular new Twitch chat message of the year. He only officially joined the team in January, but has already established himself as a legend in the Dota scene. His IO became one of the most feared in the world, thanks to his ability to save teammates in every fight and always stay alive. His KOTL became just as well known, producing some of the biggest plays of the year. Basically GH was easily the best 4 position in 2017, and without him we probably wouldn’t be looking at Liquid as TI champions.
Position 5: Kuro "KuroKy" Salehi Tahasomi, Team Liquid
The 5 position was as competitive as the 2 position when it came to building this super team, with the likes of Puppey, Fly and Solo all in the mix. But when all was said and done it was difficult to overlook a man that lead a team of young players through five best of threes and one best of five to win TI7, all in the lower bracket. The leadership qualities Kuro brings to the table more than outweigh his in game skill, which is still great, and that was proven by his TI win. Most teams would have crumbled in that lower bracket, but KuroKy made sure his team would make it to the final, and when they did he proved why he is the best leader, drafter and 5 position in the world, at least for 2017.