With The Internationals 2023 in less than two weeks, let's take a look at 5 legends who will be making a comeback to claim the coveted TI 12 title
The biggest competition in Esports history, Dota 2‘s The International is set to begin its twelfth edition in less than two weeks. The strongest teams across the world will face each other in a war for supremacy in Seattle starting October 12. TI inevitably has a lot of recurring names, who were a part of the last rendition of it in Romania. However, here we’re going to take a look at big names who missed out on qualification last year. They had to wait and persevere for an entire year or more, and have now made their comeback onto their biggest stage.
Resurgence: 5 Players Making A Comeback At TI 12
Let us take a look at legendary figures who will be looking to regain their former glory at The International 2023 –
1. MidOne – Team SMG
This prodigious export of SouthEast Asia last played in The International 2019 for Team Secret. Secret were looking very strong throughout TI9, making it to the top 4 before bowing out against eventual finalists Team Liquid. The prodigal mid laner had a stint at OG during the covid era, but the roster weren’t able to stick together for long.
MidOne returned to SEA, forming his own squad, Team SMG in mid-2021. They were not doing too well in 2023, only barely making it to the Lima Major, before being eliminated from the Group Stage.
Things took a massive turn though, when the legendary No[o]ne joined SMG in August 2023, right before the Regional Qualifiers. The team looked exponentially better in an instant with his introduction. And SMG slammed through every team they faced in the qualifiers, beating Kuku- led Blacklist International 3-0 to convincingly secure their slot at The International. MidOne will be looking to emerge once again, onto the pinnacle of Dota 2.
2. Solo – 9Pandas
Next up, is one of the greatest captains to grace the Dota 2 professional scene. Solo has been a stalwart for the majority of Dota 2’s history, winning a record FIVE Majors with Virtus.Pro. VP was perhaps the most dominant team from 2016 to 2018, in no small part, due to the virtues of Solo both as a player and a leader. They failed to make it to the top 4 of TI, always falling short even after looking stellar in the Group Stages.
Solo’s last TI appearance was in 2019, with his beloved Virtus.pro. It was a tournament to forget for the CIS giants, as they fell to RNG and finished in 9th-12th place. The roster disbanded after TI9, and Solo has played in many teams since. None of them were steady stints however, as Solo was only looking like a shadow of his former self and not clicking with his team.
Things did change drastically in 2023 though, when Solo joined 9Pandas, playing alongside old VP teammate RAMZES666. 9Pandas have looked to be one of the best teams this year, finishing 4th in the DPC Rankings. They secured their slot to TI very early on, and Solo will be looking to turn his fortunes as he returns to the stage after four years.
3. Gabbi – Entity
Claiming the third spot is Gabbi from Team Entity. He gained recognition as early as 2016 during MDPL, notably for his prowess on Puck. Gabbi's journey led him to join TNC, a squad that elevated SEA's status by clinching a Major victory in 2019.
Gabbi last graced the TI stage in 2019 with TNC, showing great promise but falling to Team Liquid. TNC disbanded in late 2021, and Gabbi had stints with various teams but failed to secure a TI spot, leaving fans concerned.
A few months ago, Entity announced Gabbi's arrival as an Off Laner, where he quickly made a strong impression. Entity became the first team to emerge from the competitive WEU Regional Qualifiers. After a four-year absence, this SEA superstar returns to the TI spotlight, eager to leave his mark on Dota 2's grandest stage once more.
4. No[o]ne – Team SMG
At the third spot is No[o]ne, the formidable mid laner who even made Miracle- wary of facing him head-on. No[o]ne, alongside Solo, was a pivotal member of the legendary Virtus.Pro lineup that struck fear into opponents' hearts. His last TI appearance was at TI9 with VP in 2019. Following his departure from Virtus.Pro in 2020, No[o]ne had brief stints with AS Monaco Gambit and Natus Vincere in 2021 and 2022, without making a significant impact.
He then took a year-long break from professional Dota starting December 2022, and then made a comeback just before the Regional Qualifiers for TI 2023, joining SMG and showcasing his dominance in the mid lane. Returning to The International 2023, he aspires to recapture the brilliance of his past performances.
5. Topson – Tundra Esports
Finally, the most eagerly anticipated comeback of this year's TI belongs to none other than Topson. His remarkable achievement of winning back-to-back TIs in 2018 and 2019, especially considering TI8 was his first major LAN, was nothing short of astonishing. After OG's 7th-8th place finish at TI10, Topson took a hiatus due to prolonged COVID-19 restrictions, with relatively unremarkable stints at T1 and Old G compared to his high standards.
However, just before TI 2023, Topson received the call to join the defending champions, Tundra Esports. Topson's mystical connection with the TI stage is legendary, and the Dota 2 world eagerly anticipates the possibility of witnessing that magic once again at this year's tournament. His return adds an extra layer of excitement to an already highly anticipated event.
Redemption Of The Unforgotten Legends
A mere thirteen days remain before the beginning of the biggest Esports event in the world. Make sure to tune in and watch as these legends strive to reignite their old flames!