For the first time in history, Korea will be represented in the main event of The International, by not one, but two teams, both playing under the MVP banner. MVP.Hot6, a team that was barely known outside of the SEA region circles prior to the TI5 Southeast Asian qualifiers, has qualified for the main event and will face against 15 teams, including their “sister-team”, MVP.Phoenix.
MVP.Hot6 surprised everyone when they secured the first place win during the TI5 SEA Qualifiers, after besting MVP.Phoenix, 3:1, in the grand finals. They topped their group in the first phase, defeated MVP.Phoenix in the Upper Bracket finals, and advanced directly to the grand finals.
MVP.Hot6 is comprised of four newer Korean talents and one seasoned Finish player. The team has found success together, marking a powerful moment in national and individual history – a debut at The Internationals main event for both the Korea and the five players.
With some of the fewest games played as a team, only a handful of achievements, and the fewest years of experience combined, MVP.Hot6 looks like a Cinderella story in the making. Their limited amount of competitive play compared to other TI5 teams could make it difficult for them to anticipate moves and develop strategies.
MVP (Team MVP) is a Korean multi-gaming organization founded in late 2010. Between August 23, 2011 and April 17, 2012, it was known as coL.MVP, due to its StarCraft II partnership with compLexity. On September 1st, 2013, MVP signed their first Dota 2 team, which had been playing as Team Ashu. In November, the organization added their second MVP Dota 2 team, featuring Jimmy “DeMoN” Ho. However, after the Phoenix squad won the Nexon Sponsorship League Season 2 on December 28th, DeMoN parted ways with the organization.
New kids on the block
The current MVP.Hot6 squad was formed in February 2015, when the management decided to split up their core players to reform the two teams. Lee “Forev” Sang-don and Lee “Heen” Seung-gon were sent to MVP.Hot6. In March, it was revealed that Finnish player Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka would be joining the team.
Being relatively new to the scene, MVP.Hot6 have quickly made their presence known.
MVP.Hot6 won the MPGL Season 7 LAN finals – their first LAN tournament since becoming a team, in January.
Shortly afterwards, they would leave Dota 2 fans in awe with their spectacular performances during the TI5 Sea Qualifiers
MVP.Hot6 roster:“Forev” Sang-don, Pyo “MP” No-a, Lee “SunBhie” Jeong-jae, Lee “Heen” Seung-gon, Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka
Lee “Forev” Sang-don
Lee “Forev” Sang-don made his professional Dota 2 start playing for MVP’s main squad, in 2013. He has been with the organization ever since and made the switch to the MVP.Hot6 squad at the end of February 2015. As part of the organization, he has enjoyed several successful placements: first place in the Nexon Sponsorship League Season 2, Korean Dota League Season 3, IeSF Asian Championships and Korean Dota League Season 2, second place in the Korean Dota League Season 1 and season 4, as well as 7th – 8th place in StarLadder StarSeries Season 9 and ASUS ROG DreamLeague Season 2.
In addition to playing professional Dota 2, Lee “Forev” Sang-don works as a media producer and owns a studio.
Pyo “MP” No-a
Pyo “MP” No-a started his Dota 2 career in 2013, playing for a Korean team Bird Gang, that was picked up by StarTale. StarTale’s Dota 2 team made its debut in the first season of the Nexon Sponsorship League and included MVP.Phoenix player Kim “Febby” Yong Min. After StarTale announced that they were parting ways with their team, Pyo and the rest of the squad became known as Pokerface.
It wouldn’t be until February of 2015 that he would become a part of the MVP organization. His first championship title with the organization was at the MPGL Season 7 finals.
Lee “SunBhie” Jeong-jae
Like most of his teammates, SunBhie started his professional Dota 2 career in 2013, playing for MVP. With only a short stint away from the organization, when he played for a team called LoTem, Lee “SunBhie” Jeong-jae returned to MVP in October 2014, as part of the MVP.Hot6 roster. He took his first championship title at the MPGL Season 7 finals.
Lee “Heen” Seung-gon
Along with Forev, Lee made his professional Dota 2 start playing for MVP’s main squad in 2013. He has been with the organization ever since and made the switch to the MVP.Hot6 squad at the end of February 2015.
Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka
JerAx is known for his Earth Spirit, having played over 500 games with the hero, at a 75% win-rate. The Finnish player was a part of teams QPAD Red Pandas and 4 Anchors + Sea Captain and stood in for Team Tinker just before he joined MVP.Hot6.
Jesse made his name in Heroes of Newerth, where he played for a number of teams including “Dirty Minds” (with Adrian “Era” Kryeziu and WehSing “SingSing” Yuen) and “Man the f*ck Up”/”KD-Gaming” (with Era). He started playing Dota 2 when he finished his compulsory military service in the Finnish navy.
HJe started out on Finnish team Rat in the Dark, as a support player. A month later, he was approached by SingSing to try out for QPAD Red Pandas, before being accepted as a full time teammember. Following the disbanding of QPAD, JerAx took more than a year off of competitive play. He made his return to the scene when he became a part of the newly-formed Finnish squad 4 Anchors + Sea Captain, alongside Kalle “Trixi” Saarinen, Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” and Riku “Buugi” Fält. He left the team in early January 2015 and stood in for Team Tinker for a short period of time before moving to Korea to join MVP.Hot6.