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The top 10 most impactful roster moves in Dota 2 history

by Nic Doucet Sep 9

With the post-TI shuffle still in full effect, every single day we’re seeing new teams form and player trades happen. That got us thinking about the most impactful player swaps of the past. Keep in mind we’re not talking about team formation — just player changes.

With that in mind, here are our picks for the Top 10 Most Impactful roster changes in Dota 2 history.

10. Yao, DD, DDC and xiao8 join LGD-Gaming.China

Kicking off our list is the move of Yao, DD, DDC and the legendary leader xiao8 to LGD Gaming. The roster change added a tremendous amount of veteran talent to the squad and under the guidance of “Director8”, LGD experienced more than a full year as one of the best teams in the world — and this was during one of China’s most competitive periods. No matter what tournament they attended, LGD were a threat to take it all, and it all started with this move.

9. Saksa, w33, MiSeRy and Moo join Digital Chaos

When you have just two days to find four new players and end up creating a TI runner-up, you know you’ve done a good job. That's why Digital Chaos’ emergency roster rebuild from March of 2016 comes in at number nine on our list. While the team looked unusual on paper, w33, MiSeRy, Saksa, Moo and Resolut1on would prove the doubters wrong with their performance at TI6. The roster posted a mixed bag of results after TI6, even after leaving the organization, but you can’t deny their influence on the NA Dota landscape and the level of performance their presence in the region demanded of other teams.

8. Sccc, uuu9 and Faith join Newbee

The revamp of Newbee in late 2016 takes number eight on our list for revitalizing the former TI winner with some serious talent. The addition of Sccc, uuu9 and Faith to the team added skill and smarts, exactly what Newbee needed to become a contender again. After a few dismal years, you could see the upward trajectory of the team after the move, as Newbee went from disappointment to one of the best teams in China. Top Contenders at any event they attended, this Newbee is still one to fear to this day.

7. Arteezy and Zai join Team Secret

Coming in at number seven is the move of Arteezy and Zai to Team Secret, forming quite possibly the most skilled roster in Dota 2 history. Leaving aside their flop at TI5, the RTZ-Zai era Secret were one of the most dominant teams of 2015 during a time of some truly scary competition. Secret were good before, but this move made them great, no matter how briefly.

6. JerAx, s4 and ana join OG

OG was already a two-time Major winning team, so any roster changes were going to be met with massive expectation. Thankfully, JerAx, s4 and ana [anna] joining the roster proved to be just what the doctor ordered. They delivered two more Major titles later and top 4 finishes at six premiere events. It’s safe to say the roster change had the desired impact.

5. GH joins Team Liquid

GH’s arrival on Team Liquid takes number four on this list. While Miracle joining the team was a big step, Liquid truly broke through once GH stepped in. His versatility and skill put Liquid over the top in one of the most competitive landscapes in Dota 2 history, and his impact on Liquid’s winning run at TI7 cannot be understated. Liquid was good before, but GH made them champions.

4. SumaiL and Aui_2000 join Evil Geniuses

It’s incredibly rare that a rookie player helps a team win tournaments in his first year of play, let alone DAC and The International — but SumaiL did just that after he joined Evil Geniuses in 2015. Adding Aui_2000 at the same time into the mix gave EG another incredibly solid support to add to the lethal carry potential of SumaiL, setting EG up for success. And, the results after the arrival of the duo speak for themselves.

3. Iceiceice, Mushi, LaNm and MMY! join Team DK

One of the most important roster changes in Dota 2’s history comes it at number three — that’s right, it’s the creation of the Team DK super-team. Never before in history had the East assembled such a team of superstars, with Mushi, iceiceice, LaNm and MMY! joining the legendary carry BurNing to create one heck of a stacked roster. The team was a terror in the early half of 2014, and while they would eventually fail to win a TI title, for a time, Team DK changed the face of Chinese Dota.

2. EGM joins No Tidehunter

EGM’s move to No Tidehunter in January of 2013 comes in at number two. Once the Swedish support joined his countrymen on the team, later called Alliance, they immediately went from good to great, leading them to the top of the Dota 2 world. In the months that followed, Alliance not only became one of the best teams of the year, but the eventual winners of TI3.

1. Funn1k and KuRoKy join Na`Vi

And our pick for the most impactful roster change in Dota 2 history is the addition of Funn1k and KuRoKy to Na`Vi in early 2013. While Na`Vi was already an elite team at the time, the change would lead them to become one of the best teams in the whole world, especially in the later half of the year. They may have started out slow, but by the time the roster disbanded after TI4, they had won 10 premier tournaments and finished second at TI3, making them one of the most successful rosters of all-time.

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