Dota 2: Lima Major Playoffs Preview

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Dota 2: Lima Major Playoffs Preview

What we think of each team competing for the top prize at the Lima Major 

The year’s first Dota 2 Major is about to reach its climatic Playoffs stage, with 12 teams set to duke it out for the $200,000 and 400 Dota Pro Circuit points grand prize. Each team has been through hell and back to get to this stage, with years of hard work for every player and months of practice as a team spurring them on towards, hopefully victory. WIth so much on the line, it’s important for fans — especially those potentially putting their money on the line — to know how each team stands in order to determine what the outcomes of matches will be.

Here’s every team at the Lima Major, and how we see them before the Playoffs begin.

Gaimin Gladiators 

  • Anton “DyrachYO” Shkredov 
  • Quinn “Quinn” Callahan
  • Marcus “Ace” Hoelgaard
  • Erik “tOfu” Engel
  • Melchior “Seleri” Hillenkamp 

The surprise Group A toppers really seem to have consolidated over the post-TI break, doing extremely well in the first DPC season of the year before continuing their success at the Major so far. They were fourth at last year’s first Major, so it wouldn’t be a big surprise if they were to crack the top 3 this year. That being said, they will be up against stiff competition in the very first round of the upper bracket, with Team Aster being considerably more than just a tricky customer. With a little luck and a whole lot of teamwork, anything’s possible for GG.

Team Aster 

  • Du “Monet” Peng
  • Zhai “Xwy” Jingkai
  • Lin “Xxs” Jing 
  • Ye “BoBoKa” Zhibiao
  • Yu “皮球” Yajun

The Chinese side would definitely have preferred a better seed going into the Playoffs. Their Group Stage was rather shaky as they dropped games to not just the mighty Team Liquid, but also the relatively weak HellRaisers. Brimming with talent and with some of their squad having been together for a very long time, Aster still has a very good shot at going far into the tournament if they can iron out some of their issues. As long as they can ensure that Monet has a decent game, they’re always in with a chance.


  • Dzmitry “Fishman” Palishchuk
  • Vladislav “Kataomi`” Semenov
  • Tobias “Tobi” Buchner
  • Daniel “Stormstormer” Schoetzau
  • Alimzhan “watson” Islambekov

Few would have expected Entity to do this well after their subpar performance at last year’s The International 11, but the inclusion of watson in the lineup seems to have done wonders for the team. The team will also feel vindicated after having ousted former carry Ivan “Pure” Moskalenko from the tournament, pretty much having dealt the death blow to his team in the Group Stage. They will be hard-pressed to defeat a scary-looking Evil Geniuses lineup, though — especially with plenty of home support for the latter in Peru.

Evil Geniuses 

  • Jose “Pandaboo” Padilla
  • Farith “Matthew” Puente
  • Adrián “Wisper” Dobles
  • Jean “Chris Luck” Salazar       
  • Crhistian “Pakazs” Savina

The only South American team to qualify for the Upper Bracket at this Major, EG have gone from being in the shadow of friends/rivals beastcoast to being the face of SA Dota in the span of a week. While this iteration of EG still doesn’t have the pedigree of the team’s former lineups, there has been a feeling for a long time that this crop of Peruvians have great things in their future. This would be the ideal conditions in which to start manifesting those goals, with the support of their country not just in their minds, but right in front of their eyes.

Team Spirit 

  • Illya “Yatoro” Mulyarchuk
  • Denis “Larl” Sigitov
  • Magomed “Collapse” Khalilov
  • Miroslaw “Mira” Kolpakov
  • Yaroslav “Miposhka” Naidenov

The winners of last year’s Arlington Major, Spirit managed to prove that they’re not a one-tournament wonder only to be unceremoniously dumped in last place at TI11. Now they’re back following the removal of Alexander “TORONTOTOKYO” Khertek, and they’re looking dangerous once more without the obvious clashes they had been having with the passionate but allegedly abrasive player. Spirit’s match against Shopify Rebellion will be one to watch, with their aggressive all-in style flying in the face of SR’s usually more methodical approach.

Shopify Rebellion 

  • Tal “Fly” Aizik
  • Andreas “Cr1t-” Nielsen
  • Jonáš “SabeRLight-” Volek
  • Abed “Abed” Yusop
  • Artour “Arteezy” Babaev

It’s been far from an easy few months for this squad. They were dropped from their longtime organization EG, who proceeded to leave the region outright to move to what they obviously felt were greener pastures. Afterwards, they couldn’t even top a relatively barren North American DPC Tour, with TSM taking that honor away from them in the last match of the season. Here at the Major, they look like they’ve improved somewhat with a well-earned upper-bracket berth. At the same time, they were the only team to drop a game to Knights, so there’s that.

Team Liquid

  • Michał “Nisha” Jankowski
  • Michael “miCKe” Vu
  • Ludwig “zai” Wåhlberg
  • Samuel “Boxi” Svahn
  • Aydin “iNSaNiA” Sarkohi

It’s rare for a team to come into the tournament as firm favorites and remain that way after the Group Stage, but Liquid have done just that. They are the only team to not have lost a series yet, and look like they have everything they need to keep it that way throughout this tournament. Of course, the Playoffs present a whole other set of challenges, with pressure having gotten the better of far more experienced players than these. Nevertheless, it would be a fitting icing on top of the cake of their gradual rise over the last year or so if they can make it to the top in Peru.

Talon Esports 

  • Nuengnara “23savage” Teeramahanon
  • Rafli “Mikoto” Rahman 
  • Anucha “Jabz” Jirawong
  • Worawit “Q” Mekchai
  • Chan Chon “Oli” Kien

Having lost only one series at the event so far, Talon are the surprise UB inclusion from the South-East Asia region. Most people had such hopes from the likes of Execration or even Geek Slate, but it is this tenacious Talon side that continues to bear the torch for an entire region with their current run. Being matched up against Liquid will certainly not do them any favors, but this is pro Dota and anything's possible. As long as Talon players manage to grab their comfort picks while also putting together a cohesive draft, their path forward might not be that murky.


  • Alexey “Solo” Berezin
  • Vladislav “Antares” Kertman
  • Matvey “MieRo`” Vasyunin
  • Gleb “depressed kid” Zyryanov
  • Artem “Yuragi” Golubiev

Everyone had HR down for being knocked out in the Group Stage after their miserable performance in the first two days, but the resilient Eastern European side has managed to cling on to the tournament by the skin of their teeth. To their credit, they haven’t done so by beating weaklings either — most of their opponents were from the top half of the group. Even with a stand-in Carry player in Yuragi, they have managed to somehow squeeze into the Playoffs, and now have a shot — albeit a narrow one — at winning the whole thing.


  • Guo “shiro” Xuanang
  • Cheng “NothingToSay” Jin Xiang
  • Li “项羽” Longwu
  • Lin “planet” Hao
  • Zhang “y`” Yiping

Following a massive restructuring and extensive recruitment, the Chinese giant may have managed to win their regional DPC season, but they have looked underwhelming at this Major, and this is their first time starting a Valve tournament in the Lower Bracket since the Changsha Major in 2016. The relatively new quintet seems to still have a long way to go before they’ll be able to challenge the biggest and baddest teams, but to be fair, they were able to beat TI champs Tundra and take games off of the likes of Spirit and EG, so HR shouldn’t be difficult.


  • Héctor “K1” Rodríguez
  • Gonzalo “DarkMago” Herrera
  • Rafael “Sacred” Yonatan
  • Elvis “Scofield” Peña
  • Steven “StingeR” Mamani

The Peruvians have been less than impressive on home soil, with way too many games being dropped to teams they shouldn’t be dropping games to if they are to cement their place in the scene as the pre-eminent South American side. The only good thing that can be said about beastcoast’s current situation is that they are no strangers to the Lower Bracket, and their match against Tundra and whoever else they may meet will be just another day at the office for them. They certainly have the talent to win, but they need to do better in terms of performance.

Tundra Esports

  • Oliver “skiter” Lepko
  • Leon “Nine” Kirilin
  • Neta “33” Shapira
  • Martin “Saksa” Sazdo
  • Wu “Sneyking” Jingjun

Probably the biggest disappointment at this event, Tundra seems to have fallen asleep following their TI win. This is actually pretty common, with no team ever winning a Major and a TI back-to-back (or the other way around). What’s worrying is that Tundra doesn’t seem to be doing anything about their struggles. Nevertheless, while it won’t be too surprising if the team continues to deteriorate, it also won’t come as a shock if they suddenly bounce back and destroy everything in their path. After all, they did it once before to the tune of $8.5 million.

Join us for the daily recaps as well as more Dota 2 and Lima Major content over the next few weeks and beyond.

Dota 2: Lima Major Playoffs Preview
The Old One
When he's not sighing at sub-standard teammates in Dota 2 and CS2, The Old One is writing about those two games (among other things). If you see his name around the site too many times for your liking, well, the guy just never stops writing. Yes, we've tried an intervention.