The Western Europe Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) has always been one of the most competitive regions of Dota as home to several big and international winners such as Team Secret, OG, Team Liquid and Nigma Galaxy. With new teams moving up the ranks but with some old favorites cracked in their armor, there is real competition for the region’s top four spots. Here’s how it stood for the last three weeks of the season.
Team Liquid dominates the Western European DPC
Until the loss to Nigma Galaxy on January 11, 2021, Team Liquid was unbeaten in DPC Western Europe with a 5-0 record. This year, Team Liquid made changes that they exaggerated even further. With Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen and Ludwig “zai” Wåhlberg, this team, which only narrowly lost in the major qualification last year, has turned into a team that is now solidly number one in the region.
Although there were questions about the move from Samuel “Boxi” Svahn to fourth place, his move has so far gone smoothly. MATUMBAMAN in particular has once again demonstrated its ability to play a large number of heroes by switching from early game-oriented picks like Slardar and Bristleback to later games like Gyrocopter. So far this has helped them start the season with just a single loss and 5 wins. With this list of Boxi, MATUMBAMAN, zai, Aydin “iNSaNiA” Sarkohi and Michael “miCKe” Vu, Team Liquid doesn’t seem to be doing anything wrong.
Rise of the team tickle
Team Tickles came out of nowhere to surprise the entire region. Although this brand new roster was built from what was left of Vikin.gg, a team that was at the end of the regular season last year, this brand new roster is full of players who had previous opportunities elsewhere but never the highest tier of the Dota competition.
One of the best stories from Team Tickles is the return of Marcus “Ace” Hoelgaard. Ace once played for Team Secret as a carry player and has returned to the highest Dota level off-lane. His Tidehunter, Night Stalker and Lycan in particular have carried many of Team Tickles’ games, with a 4/8/18 result against OG that helps carry Team Tickles against one of the emerging squads in Western Europe. If Team Tickles can prove themselves for the rest of the season and make it to major, it would add another strong team to the pool of Western EU-DPC contenders.
Team Secret and Nigma Galaxy are off to a difficult start
Team Secret and Nigma Galaxy have always been a matter of course in the Western European DPC scene. Both teams are led by longtime captains Clement “Puppey” Ivanov and Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi, respectively, and although most analysts put them at the top of the table earlier in the season, they have struggled so far. Both teams are currently 3-3, and if the season ends here neither team would make the major.
Team Secret, for example, added Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan and Daryl “iceiceice” to Koh Pei Xiang in the offseason to form a super team, but they haven’t gotten together yet. Now they face Team Tickles in their next game, and even if they win, fans will likely see at least one tiebreaker by the end of the season.
Will the rest of the season be different for these teams? The last victory of Nigma galaxy against Team Liquid is their third straight win as they beat Alliance, Team Secret and now Team Liquid. There’s definitely a sign of life to the veterans roster, and there’s still a chance they’ll make it to major.