Before we get stuck into 2022's DPC, let's take a brief look at the most impressive Dota 2 players for the 2021 season.
Due to COVID-19, 2020 was not the best year for Dota 2. Although we got to see a lot of intriguing online tournaments, every big LAN event was postponed, including TI 10. Speaking of the devil, the most prestigious Dota 2 tournament was delayed for 2021, and despite the obstacles, we saw the best teams in action.
Slowly but steadily, 2021 is coming to an end, so it is time to take a look at some of the best players of the year. Since Team Spirit won The International 10, all of them deserve to be on this list. However, we will only include a couple of them because many other players should be included.
Ilya “Yatoro” Mulyarchuk
The first name on our list that many people probably agree is among the best is Yatoro. The Ukrainian professional Dota 2 player was almost flawless at TI 10. Thanks to his carrying skills, he played a significant role in Team Spirit’s success, even before TI 10 started.
Besides being one of the best carry players in the world, Yatoro is also among the youngest. Born in 2003, the 18-year-old superstar is one of the names that we will definitely see a lot more often in the future. Interestingly, he also holds the record for scoring the most rampages in The International’s main stage - 3. What’s more, he also played a total of 14 heroes for Team Spirit during TI’s main event, which is impressive.
Despite being one of the best pro players, Yatoro is also an excellent teammate in pubs. As of November 7, 2021, Yatoro reached 12,000 MMR, making him one of the highest-rated players in the world.
Cheng “NothingToSay” Jin Xiang
Another big name on our list is the Malaysian mid laner known as NothingToSay. He is yet another young talent that is a part of EHOME but plays for PSG.LGD. Many people consider the talented player as one of the best globally, and he definitely lives up to the expectations.
NothingToSay was one of the most important players at TI 10 for many Chinese fans because they hoped that he would help LGD finally win the most prestigious event. Even though Cheng and his teammates reached the Grand Finals, they were unable to bring down the mighty Team Spirit.
Prior to TI 10, NothingToSay was always the start of the show for LGD. Since he became a part of the team in 2020, the Malaysian star managed to continue Lu "Somnus丶M" Yao’s legacy and dominate the mid-lane
Michał "Nisha" Jankowski
Despite being just 21 years old, Nisha is already one of the best players in the world. He has played for several professional Dota 2 teams over the years, but he became famous in 2018 after joining Team Secret. Led by Clement "Puppey" Ivanov, Nisha quickly proved himself as one of the best European core players. His performance was really impressive throughout 2020, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise he did well in 2021.
Many people thought that Nisha and his teammates were finally going to win TI because they dominated their opponents during the group stage. Interestingly, the European powerhouse continued its domination on the Main Stage until they lost against PSG.LGD and Team Spirit.
While it is true that Nisha is Secret’s mid laner, he used to be the team’s carry. However, after Yeik "MidOne" Nai Zheng left in favor of Lasse Aukusti "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen (who is also no longer a part of Team Secret), Nisha decided to switch to the mid lane. Needless to say, he adapted quickly and earned a name for being one of the best players in the game.
Hu "kaka" Liangzhi
Kaka is probably not one of the first names that come to your mind, but he definitely deserves to be on this list. His team Invictus Gaming were not among the favorites to win TI 10, but it nearly reached the top four. This proved that iG is one of the most underrated teams in China and definitely has a lot of potential.
As for kaka, he is one of the most popular pub stars and the best support player in his country. Besides being one of the highest MMR players in China, kaka has many years of professional Dota 2 experience before joining iG. He used to be a part of teams, such as HuperGloryTeam, EHOME, and Newbee.
Usually, support players don’t get a lot of attention from casual Dota 2 fans because they only like the carries and mid laners. Kaka is probably one of the few exceptions because he has earned a name for himself over the years.
Magomed "Collapse" Khalilov
The final name on our list is Collapse, another superstar from Team Spirit that won The International 2021. Despite being only 19 years old, the Russian offlaner proved yet again that age is just a number. While it is true that he doesn’t have as much experience as other people in his position, he played really well all the time. Like other people from his team, Collapse never played at TI before, which probably had a positive effect on him because he was fired up.
Although Magomed is mostly famous for his Magnus, similar to other team members, he can play loads of other heroes, such as Mars, Tidehunter, and more. The fact that he is so diverse makes him one of the best offlaners in the current meta.
Even though the players listed above definitely stand out, there are many more interesting names that we can include in this article, such as Wang "Ame" Chunyu. One of China’s best carry players definitely deserved to win TI 10, but sadly, PSG.LGD finished second. Nevertheless, Ame was one of the key players for the team, thanks to his world-class Terrorblade.
Another person that also impressed us throughout 2021 is Syed Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan. The ex-EG player has always been one of the best globally, ever since he won TI 5. Although he had the uneasy task of replacing Anathan "ana" Pham at OG, he could shine several matches in a row. Despite that, OG was unable to win the most prestigious Dota 2 tournament for the third time in a row.