Evil Geniuses, Fnatic look to climb back into top 10 Dota 2 teams

Steven Rondina • January 21, 22:18

The 2021 Dota Pro Circuit is officially underway and with that, it’s a good time to take a look at where top teams stand heading into the season. There hasn’t been too much action since the last installment of the rankings, but top teams that were forced through the qualifiers saw their stocks rise slightly.

Most of the standings should look familiar, but the makings of a major shift are in place with the start of the new season. Here’s where things stand:

Catch up on the Dota 2 rankings:

Team Aster jumps after qualifying for Chinese DPC League

Team Aster was undeniably snubbed when it was denied a direct invitation to the Chinese DPC League. Though it shouldn’t have been forced to work its way through the qualifiers, it did reap some benefits from the experience when it comes to the rankings.

In this latest installment of the Dota 2 rankings, Aster sits in sixth place, which makes it the second-highest-ranked Chinese team behind PSG.LGD. The next highest is Elephant in eighth place. 

Aster is actually the last team to debut in the league, and won’t play until January 24. PSG.LGD will welcome them and it could crack the door open for a changing of the guard at the top of the region.

Evil Geniuses, Fnatic primed for return to top 10

Once upon a time, Evil Geniuses was the second-highest ranked Dota 2 team in the world. This came from strong performances in the first two majors of the season, as well as solid showings in the early online leagues that popped up in 2020. Fnatic was in the same boat, winning five straight events in the spring. 

Then the teams just stopped playing. Omega League in September was Evil Geniuses’ only appearance in a tournament in the second half of 2020 and that led to a precipitous drop due to inactivity. Roster changes within Fnatic saw the team play less often before stopping around the same time.

Both competed on the first day of their respective leagues, and are likely to join a quick climb back to the top as a result. 

Evil Geniuses returned to action for the first time in over four months with a showdown against 4 Zoomers. The team looked solid and came out on top of a hard-fought best-of-three. While 4 Zoomers isn’t an overwhelmingly formidable team, checking in just inside the top 25, it was still a solid enough showing by the new lineup.

Fnatic returned by defeating T1 in impressive fashion, with mid laner Kam “Moon” Boon Seng putting on a clinic. T1 lands in the 20th spot, but once again this is the kind of showing the team needs in order to climb further.

Given the relatively slow pace of the Dota Pro Circuit, things won’t change overnight. With both of these teams expected to top their respective leagues, expect them to climb back into the top 10 over time.

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