Fingers crossed, of course, but it looks like we are finally getting a LAN Major with an audience. It might not be ideal and we are not going to see teams from China, but it is definitely a step towards some semblance of normalcy, which is severely lacking nowadays. Today we are going to have a quick look at the Western European representatives: the region that was going through a bit of a renaissance in Tour One and fresh blood now prowing it wasn’t just a fluke.
It doesn’t matter who represents the tag: OG are here to dominate. With an all-new roster they managed to take first place in the regional DPC on their second try and are now heading to the Major. A lot of it can be credited to ATF — the team’s x-factor.
Greedier position three players are not a new concept and we feel like there is a bit of this early iceiceice magic in ATF. High-risk, high-reward playstyle and Timber as one of the signature heroes provide for immediate comparisons.
This is bolstered by the typical OG ability to figure out meta before anyone else and find ways to abuse game imbalances. They were among the first to figure out how strong DK is in this patch, while also experimenting with a slightly clunky, but nonetheless powerful Underlord, who could be a game changer come Major.
From Vikings to Gladiators. The top two WEU teams can be described as a product of high mechanical talent of younger players and some high-level coaching from more experienced members of the community. ImmortalFaith didn’t get a chance to make a name for himself as a player, but he is definitely making one now as one of the most consistent coaches and in-game guide creators.
When it comes to playstyle, Gaimin Gladiators are very different from OG. They mostly rely on their first two positions to carry the game in the later portions, while their offlaner regularly plays default, space creating heroes. This approach makes a lot of sense when you have a consistent, if a bit conservative Offlaner in Ace and a potentially explosive mid in Miroslav “BOOM” Bičan.
The team is once again the second seed in the region, but for a relatively new team they are showing great consistency, making them a rather scary opponent coming into Major.
It is weird to think about them this way, but Team Liquid is distinctly “old blood” when it comes to the WEU region. This roster’s been playing together for around four years, proving that steady growth and discipline could be a recipe for success for some. That, and getting some of the most experienced and talented cores in the region for the first and third positions.
Zai and MATUMBAMAN transition did improve the team, in our opinion and they handily won the first tour of the DPC. The second one didn’t go as well, however, though a lot of it can be attributed to draft experimentation.
Liquid have several unconventional heroes in their arsenal that could prove a problem on the international stage. They are also among the most adaptable teams with an exceptionally wide hero pool and that could be a deciding factor during the Major.
You can’t talk about Tundra without highlighting Aui_2000 as the team’s coach. He joined at the tail end of 2021 and resulted in immediate improvements to the team, with consistent top4 results for two seasons already. The team showed great promise last year already, but now they are a consistent contender in arguably the most competitive Dota region.
The team also exhibits an interesting trend of unconventional conservatism: they have a rather small hero pool of unique heroes very few other teams play. This, in our opinion, is an all-or-nothing approach: the team is exceptional when it is allowed to play their own brand of Dota, since only they can navigate well in it.
But they might also lack the necessary adaptability, if their ideas won’t have a good matchup against other regions. Only time will tell whether their ideas will work, but it will certainly be exciting to witness a team with an identity as strong as Tundra Esports.