The StarLadder iLeague Dota Invitational LAN will soon have all eyes directed at Kiev, Ukraine. Between April 14-17, eight teams will be competing for a cut of the $100,000 prize pool. In the first premier LAN of the spring season, Dota 2 fans will get the chance to see how the teams with new, revamped rosters will fare against the ones that decided not to make any changes to their lineups in preparation for the Manila Major and The International 6.
The stakes are definitely high. Eight teams will battle it out in hopes of proving themselves worthy of being directly invited to the Manila Major.
StarLadder and iLeague are once again thrust into the center of attention as a fishbowl filled with some of the best teams from around the world have gathered in Kiev, Ukraine.
All eyes will be carefully fixated on the action as new and revamped rosters test the waters and anchored rosters attempt to continue to bear down strong.
The StarLadder iLeague Dota Invitational LAN will be the proving grounds for eight of the best teams coming to the surface.
In the last Starladder and iLeague partnership event, Alliance became StarLadder iLeague StarSeries Champions, after tearing through Evil Geniuses, 2:0, in the grand finals. The victory gave Alliance their second consecutive title and the first LAN title of the new year.
StarLadder iLeague Dota Invitational LAN
The StarLadder iLeague Dota Invitational LAN will feature a prize pool of $100,000. The event will take place between April 14-17 at the Kiev Cybersport Arena in the Ukraine.
Eight teams will compete, including reigning champions Alliance. OG, LGD, MVP.Phoenix, Na’Vi and Virtus.Pro have been directly invited. Vega Squadron has secured the European qualifier spot and ViCi Gaming Reborn grabbed the Chinese spot through their victories in the H-Cup.
StarLadder iLeague Dota Invitational LAN participating teams
- Winner of the European qualifier – Vega Squadron
- Winner of the Chinese qualifier – ViCi Gaming Reborn
StarLadder iLeague Dota Invitational LAN brackets
StarLadder iLeague Dota Invitational LAN schedule
Thursday, April 14
- 08:30 CEST – LGD vs. Vega
- 12:00 CEST – Virtus.Pro vs. Alliance
- 15:30 CEST – ViCi Gaming Reborn vs. MVP.Phoenix
- 19:00 CEST – Na’Vi vs. OG
Friday, April 15
- 08:30 CEST – Loser of M1 vs. Loser of M2
- 12:00 CEST – Loser of M3 vs. Loser of M4
- 15:30 CEST – Winner of M1 vs. Winner of M2
- 19:00 CEST – Winner of M3 vs. Winner of M4
Saturday, April 16
- 08:30 CEST – Winner of M5 vs. Loser of M8
- 12:00 CEST – Winner of M6 vs. Loser of M7
- 15:30 CEST – Winner of M9 vs. Winner of M10
- 19:00 CEST – Winner of M7 vs. Winner of M8
Sunday, April 17
- 14:00 CEST– Loser of M12 vs. Winner of M11
- 17:00 CEST – Grand Finals
StarLadder iLeague Dota Invitational LAN format
- Teams will compete in a double elimination bracket.
- All matches are best-of-three series.
- Grand Finals are best-of-five series.
StarLadder iLeague Dota Invitational LAN team previews
Their Storyline: Alliance’s resurgence came on immediately after recreating their TI3 championship team. Barely two weeks later, the Swedish sweethearts nailed down their first championship title in one year and a half, at WCA 2015.
Less than a month later, they continued to sizzle, burning down the North American TI5 champions, EG, to take their second consecutive premier LAN championship title at the StarLadder iLeague StarSeries. Their games featured perfect execution and optimal team coordination, expected of a team that was once considered a western juggernaut.
Most Recent Tournament Result: Alliance took 7th-8th place at the Shanghai Major, where they were eliminated in a major upset by compLexity Gaming, 2:1.
Current Lineup Formation: Alliance had been marred by a long period of instability and disappointing results. It was not until they recreated the lineup which brought them the Aegis of Champions at The International 3 that they began to surge forward again. In December 2015, the Swedish squad welcomed former teammate and longtime friend, Jerry “EGM” Lundkvist and has been a stable roster with impressive performances ever since.
Gustav “s4” Magnusson
Jonathan “Loda” Berg
Joakim “Akke” Akterhall
Henrik “AdmiralBulldog” Ahnberg
Jerry “EGM” Lundkvist
Their Storyline: Five talented players converted their past commendable successes and experience into championship status and reshaped their future with their own hands. Starting out with a strong presence, Team OG have now established themselves as a top world class contender in the Dota 2 competitive scene, a leader in branding and a prime example of maintaining dignity, humor and a positive demeanor.
The independent European team defied the odds when they rose through the Lower Brackets, bested The International 5 champions, Evil Geniuses, and upset favorites Team Secret to rocket to the top and claim the championship title and the staggering 1.1 million dollars prize at the first Dota Major, in Frankfurt. They then proved to the world that their dramatic victory at the Major was not just a fluke of luck. Once again, OG proved their merit when they obliterated Team Empire, 3:0, in the DreamLeague Season 4 grand finals, clinching their second consecutive LAN in a matter of a week.
Most Recent Tournament Result: OG slid into 5th-8th place at the DotaPit Season 4 LAN. They were the second team eliminated as the rising SEA team MVP.Phoenix overwhelmed them, 2:1.
Current Lineup Formation: Since the European team materialized at the start of the fall season during the Frankfurt Major registration period, in August 2015, the squad has continued to evolve and flourish with the same, unaltered lineup.
Johan “BigDaddy” Sundstein
Tal “Fly” Aizik
David “MoonMeander” Tan
Andreas “Cr1t-“ Franck Nielsen
Amer “Miracle-“ Barqawi
Their Storyline: A permanent fixture at The International and an iconic part of Chinese Dota throughout the years, LGD has maintained a remarkable presence in the regional and international Dota 2 scene. Regardless of roster changes or any extenuating circumstances, the team has always risen up at some point each year.
Despite an incredible third place result at The International 5, the team was still subject to significant roster changes during the following months in an attempt to regain top results and iconic status.
Most Recent Tournament Result: The once Chinese Dynasty ended their Shanghai Major run with a 9th-12th place finish. LGD was eliminated in the second round of the main event’s brutal best-of-one Lower Brackets by compLexity Gaming.
Current Lineup Formation: LGD Gaming announced their new roster for the upcoming Manila Major and TI6 season in mid-March. On the heels of the public departure of Liu “Sylar” Jiajun and Fan “rOtk” Bai, Zhang “xiao8” Ning returned from being inactive. CDEC’s famed Sun “Agressif” Zheng and CDEC.Avenger player Xue “September” Zhichuan joined at the same time, as well. StarLadder iLeague Dota Invitational will be the team’s first major LAN with their new lineup.
Sun “Agressif” Zheng
Lu “Maybe” Yao
Zhang “xiao8” Ning
Lei “MMY!” Zengrong
Xue “September” Zhichuan
Their Storyline: For the third time in one year, the Korean-based organization grabbed the hearts of fans around the world. The first time, when they stunned viewers with their dominating performance from both squads in the TI5 qualifiers, taking both qualifier spots for the main event. The organization did it again at the Shanghai Major, when they emerged from virtually the shadows and astonished enthusiasts everywhere with their aggressive playstyle and standout performances. MVP.Phoenix’s outstanding journey landed them into the top four.
The Korean team continued with the same tempo at the DotaPit LAN. They came to the event from the qualifiers and were able to knock out the Frankfurt Major champions, OG, and sweep through compLexity Gaming – cruising through to the Grand Finals with style. Facing off against the TI5 championship team, EG, they were not daunted by the task ahead of them and convincingly took all three matches.
Most Recent Tournament Result: The Korean overlords seized the championship title at the DotaPit Season 4 LAN. MVP.Phoenix completely dominated Evil Geniuses and swept through the TI5 champions, 3:0.
Current Lineup Formation: Following the post-TI shuffle, the two MVP teams merged rosters and created an all-Korean lineup. Although the mix of rosters was expected to make them an even stronger force, they were unable to attain the same results. The full Korean lineup failed to qualify for the Frankfurt Major and another roster change took place in time for the winter season and the December roster lock period.
Kim “Febby” Yong-min
Kim “QO” Seon-yeob
Lee “FoREV” Sang-don
Pyo “MP” No-a
Kim “Dubu” Dooyoung
Their Storyline: Na’Vi has had a tumultuous year with significant and frequent roster changes, producing subpar results. A team that was once the archetype of success has fallen into disarray during the last year.
Going into 2016, the team has high hopes to rekindle that “Born to Win” rally cry and once again achieve greatness. In the last four months, the Ukrainian team has been proving, one step at a time, that they are indeed back on a hopeful path.
Most Recent Tournament Result: In the DotaPit Season 4 LAN, Na’Vi secured an impressive 3rd-4th placement after a long stint of struggles. Na’Vi ended their run at the DotaPit LAN finals with a fantastic run and journey, having bested the Shanghai Major Champions, Team Secret and pushing the TI5 Championship team, Evil Geniuses, to a deciding third match.
Current Lineup Formation: With roster changes and continued subpar results, the team has looked to make drastic improvements in their performance in the upcoming Manila Major and TI6 season. After trying out and then finalizing their roster in December with Viktor “GeneRaL” Nigrini, the team has begun to surge forward with positive results.
Danil “Dendi” Ishutin
Akbar “SoNNeikO” Butaev
Dmitry “Ditya Ra” Minenkov
Ivan “Artstyle” Antonov
Viktor “GeneRaL” Nigrini
Their Storyline: The Virtus.Pro organization is at the top of the Russian esports scene. With Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov investing $100 million into ESforce, a company owned by VP owner/CEO Anton Cherepennikov, VP are definitely in the limelight. Although the CIS squad came in a commendable 5th-6th place at last year’s International championship and walked away with close to 1.2 million dollars, they struggled after that to find acceptable results moving forward.
Twice since then, Virtus.Pro had roster changes in hopes to break their 5th-8th place curse, and both times the team continued on the same trajectory after a short period of time. In a bold and drastic move, the roster has changed composition once again in hopes of a more lasting and permanent change of course for the new season.
Most Recent Tournament Result: Virtus.Pro took 5th-8th place at the DotaPit Season 4 LAN. The CIS team was the first team to be eliminated from the event after being swept up by compLexity Gaming, 2:0.
Current Lineup Formation: Virtus.Pro made drastic changes to their lineup at the end of March, as they announced the addition of both Alexander ”NoFear” Churochkin and Maxim “yoky” Kim to the roster, replacing Alexander “DkPhobos” Kucheria, and Ilya “Lil” Ilyuk. At the same time, the team announced that Airat “Silent” Gaziev had been moved to the substitute role and is currently inactive due to health issues. Their fifth and final position was then filled by Ilya “ALOHADANCE” Korobkin, most recently departed from Team Empire. StarLadder iLeague Dota Invitational will be the team’s first major LAN with their new lineup.
Sergey “God” Bragin
Maxim “yoky” Kim
Artem “fng” Barshak
Alexander “NoFear” Churochkin
Airat “Silent” Gaziev (substitute)
Their Storyline: Vega Squadron surprised many when they surged forward, showing strong performances in the TI5 European qualifiers and grabbing the Wild Card Series slot for the biggest tournament of the year. Although they failed to advance in the main event of TI5, the squad remained committed to each other and did not fall victim to post-TI roster changes.
They managed to upset TI5 champions Evil Geniuses in a clean 2:0 sweep and cruised to the ESL One New York grand finals to defeat Team Secret, 2:1, and claim the championship title. When it came time for teams to make roster changes for the following season, Vega remained committed to each other once again. Without as much recent success, the team has been competing in less of the premier and major events. They yet again have showed their strength and potential as they clinched the only StarLadder iLeague Dota Invitational LAN qualifying spot for the European region.
Most Recent Tournament Result: Vega rose up to the occasion and grabbed third place in the Game Show Global Esports Cup.
Current Lineup Formation: At the end of March, the CIS team made their first roster changes since before TI5. Pavel “9Pasha” Hvastunov was replaced by Rostislav “fn” Lozovoi in the carry role. StarLadder iLeague Dota Invitational will be the team’s first major LAN with their new lineup.
Vega Squadron roster:
Semen “Cema” Krivulya
Rostislav “fn” Lozovoi
Vladimir “no[o]ne” Minenko
Andrey “Mag” Chipenko
Aleksey “Solo” Berezin
ViCi Gaming Reborn
Their Storyline: In March 2015, ViCi Gaming announced the addition of a new youth squad called ViCi Gaming Potential. The team participated in several major and premier events but were never really able to earn any solid achievements. Throughout the last year, the second squad had maintained a low profile, playing under the radar.
With the addition of two star veterans and new blood, ViCi Gaming Reborn has been outshining their Chinese counterparts and living up to their namesake, merely weeks after formation. Dominating in the weekly H-Cup series, ViCi Gaming Reborn have blown away their competition on a consistent basis and haven’t looked back yet.
Most Recent Tournament Result: H-Cup Season 4 came to an end giving ViCi Gaming Reborn their fourth consecutive win in the new weekly series and the Chinese qualifier spot for the StarLadder iLeague Dota Invitational LAN.
Current Lineup Formation: Towards the end of March, big changes hit the ViCi Gaming Potential squad. The team added Xu “fy” Linsen and Liang “DDC” Faming to the mix, welcomed newcomer Wang “NoNo” Xin from CDEC.Avengers, while Yang “Zyf” Pu moved from the substitute role and Zhou “Yang” Haiyang retained his position. The new rebranding and roster of ViCi Gaming Potential will look to change things for the upcoming Manila Major and TI6 season. StarLadder iLeague Dota Invitational will be the team’s first major LAN with their new lineup.
ViCi Gaming Reborn roster:
Yang “Zyf” Pu
Wang “NoNo” Xin
Zhou “Yang” Haiyang
Liang “DDC” Faming
Xu “fy” Linsen
Featured image courtesy of PC Gamer