With the Kiev Major just over a month away, it’s time for us to look at the top contenders going into Valve’s first official Dota 2 tournament in a CIS country. The direct invites have already been revealed, and while we’re still waiting on the last of the qualifiers, the favorites have already claimed their place at the Kiev Major. Expect to see big things from these four teams at the end of April.
It would take brave man or woman to bet against OG. Under the leadership of Tal “Fly” Aizik, OG have evolved into an explosive, unpredictable, and downright intimidating opponent. Fly has rapidly established himself as one of the most successful captains Dota has ever seen. Losing various players along the way, including the talismanic Miracle to Liquid, hasn’t dented OG’s remarkable consistency, and team is capable of winning even the toughest matches. No one would be surprised to see them claim a fourth Major victory in Kiev. OG’s team-focused playstyle and drafting versatility is almost unparalleled.
The rivalry between OG and Liquid is flaring up once again. Liquid have put in the practice needed to transform their new roster into the powerhouse it always threatened to be. With a hard-fought victory at StarLadder’s i-League StarSeries Season 3 LAN Finals under their belt, Liquid might have proven themselves to some, but the team is under an immense amount of pressure to deliver compelling results at Kiev. All eyes will be on Miracle, of course, especially if they play against his former teammates on OG, but the performances of KuroKy, MinD_ContRoL, and the rest of the squad will be just as crucial.
The current EG roster is terrifying, and can always be relied upon to deliver impressive performances at large events like the Kiev Major. Despite his youth and trademark aggression, TI champion SumaiL is arguably the top mid in the world, winning touch match-ups with style and producing dazzling performances on a wide variety of heroes. Arteezy is one of the most celebrated Dota players in the world, and is back to his best form in this EG roster. Of course, EG have another TI winner, UNiVeRsE, who’s regularly cited as one of the consistent professional Dota players. The team’s support duo, Crit and Zai, have almost telepathic levels of synergy. It has won them many a game by itself. EG took a tough best of 5 off OG at the Dotapit Finals in January, so they’re clearly capable of going all the way.
The dark horse of the Kiev Major has got to be VG.J. While they’ve secured a direct invite and boast a squad of experienced professionals, the team is still finding their footing–they’ve only been around since September of 2016. This year, VG.J have shown that they’re rapidly improving, and they’re one of very few teams to win a match-up against OG in 2017. We expect that VG.J will be the strongest Asian team at the Kiev Major, and fans should watch their early games closely.
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