There’s been a ton of back-and-forth in Dota in 2017. From OG’s dominant start to the year, to Liquid’s win at TI7, to Secret’s impressive showings later in the year, we’ve seen tons of players fight for the crown.
In honor of some of the most interesting players this year, we’ve put together a list of the best player stories from 2017. These players may not have all had the best results in 2017, but they all had the best stories.
Let’s kick this list off with LGD’s mid laner, Maybe, whose 2017 included a first place finish at Mars Dota 2 League 2017 and third and fourth place finishes at the Summit 7 and The International 7 respectively.
A veteran of the Chinese scene, Maybe was a consistent force on LGD throughout 2017. As one of the more experienced players on his roster, Maybe’s great hero pool and strong play played a big factor in their run at TI.
It was a tough year for China by the region’s high standards, but players like Maybe always show up and perform, and 2017 was no exception.
Number nine on our list, Resolut1on won ESL One Genting with Digital Chaos and placed second at DAC with them before posting a disappointing 9th-16th finish at The Kiev Major with Thunderbird. He then played with Team Empire at TI before joining OG, where he placed 5th-6th at Dota PIT and won MDL Macau.
There’s no question that it’s been a tumultuous year for the young position 2 player, as he’s bounced between three rosters since the start of the year.
And after a series of organization transfers for the former DC roster, Resolut1on wound up playing for Team Empire at TI, where he moved from position 1 back to 2 — and put on a show in the process.
After a breakout performance at TI reaffirmed Resolut1on as an up-and-coming star, he signed with OG. That roster hasn’t quite gelled in the post-TI season, but it shows a lot of promise and set the stage for 2018 to be Resolut1on’s year.
8. ah fu
Coming in at number eight is ah fu, who placed 3rd-4th at EPICENTER, second at MDL, third at The International and third at Perfect World Masters.
ah fu made a name for himself in the later parts of 2016 with Warriors Gaming Unity, but the Malaysian player’s big break came when he signed on with LGD Forever Young.
Alongside what looked like one of the strongest teams in China, LFY made a run to third at TI7 after a group stage where they looked like one of the strongest teams in the tournament.
Then, of course, ah fu managed to pull off one of the most impressive plays of the tournament.
A well-rounded position 4 player with great ganking and playmaking, ah fu was a standout player in a year where China, as a region, struggled overall. Empowered by changes to the game that gave position 4 players more access to gold, ah fu was part of a wave of supportive players that changed what was expected of their role.
Number seven on our list, MidOne had a rocky start to the year, placing 9th-16th at the Kiev Major and 9th-12th at The International. But with a rejuvenated Team Secret in the post-TI season, MidOne and co. put up strong results, placing second at ESL One Hamburg and winning DreamLeague Season 8.
A powerful position 2 player, MidOne has been part of a shift in the role that has seen more hard-carry physical damage heroes like Phantom Lancer and Ember Spirit.
When Secret struggled at the beginning of the year, MidOne was the team’s primary carry. And now with Ace taking some of that burden off his shoulders, he looks just as strong.
Though it is still extremely early in the new season, Team Secret look like the squad to beat right now, and MidOne is a big reason why.
No one, who comes in at number six on our list, was part of a surging Virtus.pro roster that surprised everyone with the results that they posted in 2017, including a second place finish at the Kiev Major, a 5th-6th finish at The International and a first place finish at ESL One Hamburg.
No one’s 2017 may not be remembered in the same way as some of Dota’s other superstars, but the CIS squad’s consistently high placings have put them in the conversation among some of the world’s top teams.
No one’s excellent laning, deep hero pool and ability to completely dominate certain games make him one of the year’s biggest breakout players. And of course, he also did this.
Number five on our list, JerAx placed second at DAC 2017 and won the Kiev Major. But after a 7th-8th finish at TI7, OG have struggled to put up the same results in the latter half of the year and the new Dota season.
With JerAx on the team, OG won back-to-back Majors at the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017. At the beginning of the year, they looked to be one of the best teams in the world.
And JerAx’s position 4 support play was the bedrock on which OG’s period of dominance was built upon. His solid play on picks like Treant Protector at the Kiev Major set the bar for how good a position 4 could look this year.
JerAx and OG haven’t been able to maintain their spot at the top of the Dota world, and they’re still looking to find consistent success post-TI. But to say that this roster has a lot of potential for 2018 would be an understatement.
Number four on our list, Miracle placed 5th-8th at the Kiev Major and won EPICENTER 2017. But of course, his biggest accomplishment is the world title he won at the International 7. After TI, Miracle and Team Liquid placed 3rd-4th at ESL One Hamburg, and 2nd at DreamLeague Season 8.
One of the most gifted Dota talents in the world, the young prodigy has tasted success before, but his win at The International cemented his place in Dota history.
Miracle’s greatest strength is his enormous hero pool — he played 22 heroes during TI7. And his incredible performances on a huge range of heroes throughout the year has been at the heart of Liquid’s success.
Miracle is a player who demands a team build around him, and Liquid have done exactly that to an enormous amount of success.
Coming in at number five is Sccc, who placed 9th-16th at the Kiev Major and second at TI7. After the International, Newbee placed in the Top 4 at ESL One Hamburg, won the Perfect World Masters minor and placed 5th-6th at DreamLeague Season 8.
It wasn’t an especially strong year for China in Dota 2, but Newbee were the exception. Despite their struggles in the early portion of 2017, Newbee’s run at TI7 earned them — and especially Sccc — the admiration of fans.
Where some players have taken physical damage carries to the mid lane, Sccc excelled on mage picks like Storm Spirit and Invoker, allowing Moogy to play scaling position 1 picks.
Though Sccc demands a lot of resources in draft and in game, his play more than makes up for it and he was a huge part of Newbee’s successful 2017.
Number two on our list is GH who, like Miracle, played on Team Liquid throughout 2017 and was instrumental in their win at The International 7.
Playing in his first major tournament with Team Liquid in late 2016, GH’s first full calendar year playing Dota 2 professionally has been one for the history books as he exploded onto the scene with a versatile hero pool and an impactful set of signature picks.
The scariest thing about GH is the amount of pressure he puts on your team during a draft. His play on picks like Earthshaker, Io and Keeper of the Light drew bans throughout the year, but he’s been able to consistently perform despite being targeted.
GH is one of the most successful rookies in the history of Dota, and he already has a TI title under his belt. To say the future is bright for this player is an understatement.
Number one on our list couldn’t be anyone other than Team Liquid’s captain, KuroKy. He was the mastermind behind Team Liquid’s incredible 2017, and it was his leadership that helped his team lift the Aegis of Champions.
KuroKy had been determined to return to the TI finals since he made it there with Na`Vi back in 2013. He helped build Team Liquid’s 2017 roster with the hopes of doing just that and his focus and leadership were a huge factor in their championship win.
KuroKy is one of the game’s most consistent and knowledgeable position 5 supports, and he always seems to find himself in the right place to enable his team.
But it’s also probably true that winning TI7 meant more to KuroKy than anyone else on his team, and his emotional reaction to their 3-0 sweep will stick with us.
2017 was the year that KuroKy finally lead his team to the biggest prize in esports, but with the team sticking together after the tournament, we can’t wait to see what Team Liquid manage to do in 2018.
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