After rounding up WEU, we head east for more Dota lineups for the Dota 2 DPC 2023 Tour 1 EEU Division 1 Team Analysis.
While most people have been busy poring over teams from WEU, China, and the Americas, Eastern Europe has been building up some mighty squads of their own. It wasn’t the best year for the CIS region barring Team Spirit’s Arlington Major win, with only two of the region’s teams making it to The International 11 and only one even making it to the Main Stage — only to be knocked out in joint last place. They’ll no doubt be looking to do better in the upcoming season, and have put some mean squads together to achieve that.
Following our breakdown of the WEU teams for the upcoming season, we’re going to take a look at how their neighbors have been doing.
Eastern Europe Division 1
The CIS Region, judging by their shuffles following TI11, seem to have taken stock of the gravity of their situation. To be fair, Outsiders (now Virtus.pro again) were somewhat short-changed when their DPC point deductions ended up putting them narrowly behind Fnatic, but their subsequent failure to qualify was completely on them. Following this, both BetBoom Team and Spirit were subpar — to put it lightly — at TI, so whichever way you spin it, EEU has to step up. Here are all the EEU Division 1 teams, followed by brief discussions on each.
- Natus Vincere
- Team Spirit
- One Move
- BetBoom Team
- Nemiga Gaming
- Alexandr “krylat” Krylatov
- Ilya “squad1x” Kuvaldin
- Evgeniy “Noticed” Ignatenko
- Oleg “sayuw” Kalenbet
- Andrey “Dukalis” Kuropatkin
Rebranding and rolling back that rebranding aside, it hasn’t been the easiest year for the CIS giants. As previously mentioned, they couldn’t get into TI, but the unabridged version is that they were unable to do so despite being within one game of doing so not once, not twice, but three whole times. They lost to BetBoom in the CIS Qualifier, Team Secret in the Upper Bracket Final of the Last Chance Qualifier, and Team Liquid in the Lower Bracket of the same. What makes it worse is that they couldn’t take a single game off of any of those three. Shocking.
To be fair to them, they were far from being a bad team, but management seems to have thought otherwise — especially following internal problems, which also led to the departure of star Carry Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev. Now, they’ve completely revamped their team, with Noticed being the only one in the squad to have experienced regular Division 1 gameplay recently. Being the only consistent CIS team over the last few years, VP are undoubtedly taking a massive risk with this unproven squad, and only time will tell whether it’s a good move or not.
- Arman “Malady” Orazbayev
- Georgii “swedenstrong” Zainalabidov
- Vladyslav “laise” Lais
- Nikita “Nicky`Cool” Ostakhov
- Alik “V-Tune” Vorobey
It’s truly a mark of just how far Na’ Vi have fallen since they lost their footing some 8 years ago now. Nowadays, it’s more of a surprise if the TI1 winners and TI 2 and 3 finalists actually end up doing something right. They’ve gotten rid of the last two big-name players in their squad in the form of Volodymyr “Noone” Minenko and Alexey “Solo” Berezin, and are now pretty much in the same boat as VP after replacing the veterans with a couple of relative unknowns. However, three members have stayed, and that will give them some important experience in the ranks.
Last year they barely made a mark on the DPC table until they finished Tour 3 in second place behind Outsiders/VP. They didn’t make it to any of the Majors, and just when it looked like they might end the season on a high note as they marched to the Upper Bracket final of the EEU Qualifier, they ended up losing two matches in a row to crash out. Things didn’t get better in the LCQ, where they topped their group only to go out in the second round of the Lower Bracket. Let’s hope this shuffle brings a welcome change to them, because they certainly need one.
- Illya “Yatoro” Mulyarchuk
- Denis “Larl” Sigitov
- Magomed “Collapse” Khalilov
- Miroslaw “Mira” Kolpakov
- Yaroslav “Miposhka” Naidenov
Following the incredible Cinderella story of TI10, they performed very well early this year before undergoing a bit of a dip during which the voices of the doubters and haters calling that magical run a fluke only got louder. However, they struck back hard by winning the Arlington Major, going from being in doubt about even making it to TI to being 3rd seed. However, some questionable drafting choices and a lack of the chemistry that won them the last iteration of the tournament made it so that they just didn’t click.
In the entire history of TI, there has only been one occasion when a team has returned to defend their aegis only to be knocked out in the very first round of the Double Brackets, and Spirit have that dubious honor. It was a truly shambolic end to a year that began beautifully and had another major (and Major) milestone for the rags-to-riches side. Since then, they’ve parted ways with Alexander “TORONTOTOKYO” Khertek and brought in Larl to replace him, and if the recently concluded BetBoom XMas Show was a sign of things to come, they’ll be alright.
- Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev
- Maxim “re1bl” Afanasyev
- Vladislav “DkFogas” Frolov
- Vladimir “RodjER” Nikogosian
- Akbar “SoNNeikO” Butaev
The only new organization to be formed for this year's DPC, Darkside is a mixed bag with considerable potential. Starring former VP member RAMZES666, former Na' Vi anchor SoNNeikO, and RodjER, who has been on almost every major CIS side, Darkside have balanced things out with two relatively unknown quantities in the form of DkFogas and re1bl.
While the team hasn’t seen any top level action that we can comment on yet, the three well-known members are certainly masters of their craft. RAMZES has been one of the most prolific Carries in the history of the game, SoNNeikO a brilliant support, leader, and strategist, and RodjER a great all-round player. However, what might be a bigger issue for the team is a clash of personalities and problems with temperament – with multiple players known for either having a tendency to get tilted or crumbling under stress.
- Nikita “Pantomem” Balaganin
- Geogrii “Gilgir” Svistunov
- Vasilii “AfterLife” Shishkin
- Aliaksei “Ainkrad” Dziveyeuski
- Nikita “Munkushi~” Chepurnykh
Undergoing numerous changes over the course of a year is rarely good for a team, but it has somehow gone very well for One Move, who climbed into Tier 1 in the second DPC tour of last year and managed to stay alive in the third. They also did reasonably well in the EEU TI Qualifier, making a prolonged Lower Bracket run after losing their Upper Bracket game to BetBoom only to be thwarted by the same again in the LB Semifinal. Taking out HellRaisers and Mind Games couldn’t have been easy, and it’s safe to say that One Move belongs in Tier 1.
That being said, One Move is pretty much an unknown quantity right now, considering how many changes they have undergone even since TI. Other than AfterLife and Pantomem, the other players have been changed since their aforementioned exploits. Of these three, youngster Munkushi~ is very new to the pro scene, but Ainkrad has been around for a couple of years, and Gilgir has been roaming the lower tiers for a while now. There’s a lot of potential here, but whether these players can handle top level play and pressure remains to be seen.
- Alexander “TORONTOTOKYO” Khertek
- Vitalie “Save-” Melnic
- Egor “Nightfall” Grigorenko
- Danil “gpk” Skutin
- Ivan “Pure” Moskalenko
Early last year, it looked as though BetBoom would be the new superpower in the Eastern Europe region. However, their Tour 3 was relatively uneventful, and despite surprising many to beat Outsiders/VP 3-0 in the Grand Final of the EEU TI Qualifier, they were dreadful in the Group Stage and didn’t even make it to the Main Stage. Since then, they have completely overhauled their team, and have brought in some big guns to fill in the gaps.
Recruiting a TI winner into your team of non-TI winners is always going to create pressure within the ranks, and this might turn out to be doubly so considering TORONTOTOKYO’s famous — or infamous — volatility, there’s a chance that this roster may not last long. However, if they manage to iron out temperament issues, they have what it takes to create some serious waves in the CIS scene and beyond by sheer talent alone, considering their heavy recruitment.
- Alexey “Solo” Berezin
- Vladislav “Antares” Kertman
- Matvey “MieRo`” Vasyunin
- Gleb “depressed kid” Zyryanov
- Nikita “Daxak” Kuzmin
As has been the case for many CIS lineups, It’s been a bit of a roller-coaster year for HellRaisers. After making it to Tier 1 at the end of last year, they did pretty well in the first DPC tour only to be smashed down into the lower tier in the second. However, they immediately proved once again that they belong among the elites, and are back with a much more powerful squad with four of their five players being replaced — three of them by people with much higher skill and market value.
HellRaisers are another team that’s going to have a lot of eyes on them going into the next DPC season. They have talent and skill in spades, with the youth of Antares, MieRo`, and depressed kid (for what it’s worth, we hope he feels better) and the immense experience of Solo and Daxak balancing each other nicely. If their lineup clicks, it’s going to be bad news for many of the CIS players. In fact, they’ve already caused some raised eyebrows by taking out Nigma Galaxy at the BetBoom XMas Show.
- Vitaly “so bad” Oshmankevich
- Kirill “Hellscream” Lagutik
- Ivan “Vazya” German
- Stanislav “Malr1ne” Potorak
- Ilya “Kiritych” Ulyanov
If any CIS team has shown the value of friendship and unity over the course of this post-TI shuffle, it’s been Nemiga. The only Division 1 team to have retained their entire squad, Nemiga has been steadily improving over time. They were barely hanging on in Division 2, but improved greatly around the middle of the year to secure second place in their division and earn a promotion, and although they couldn’t eke out a TI11 slot, they have made tremendous strides since their humble beginnings.
Nemiga’s Position 5 player so bad is probably the unluckiest player in the world, having been dropped from Spirit in favor of Mira mere months before the now-CIS-giant’s TI win. However, instead of giving up and going home, he has carved out a little place for himself alongside some new friends. The lineup has recently secured third place at the BetBoom XMas Show we keep touting, but what’s more remarkable is that they beat the likes of PuckChamp, HellRaisers, and Virtus.pro on the way, losing only to champions Gaimin Gladiators — twice.
This year’s CIS DPC promises to be exciting, and given the number of powerful teams that have formed, it won’t be surprising to see a CIS side win another Major or — dare we say it — another TI. Keep an eye on our site for overviews of the other regions in the days leading to the DPC tour.