Paparazi passes Yatoro for highest MMR, forms new team

By Kenneth Williams


Nov 17, 2021

Reading time: 2 min

The new highest MMR player in Dota 2 has redeemed himself after a rough run at The International 10.  

Chinese mid superstar Zhang “Paparazi” Chengjun is now the highest MMR player in the world. After a long final stretch, he achieved his goal of surpassing Team Spirit’s TI10 championship-winning carry Illya “Yatoro” Mulyarchuk on the Western Europe leaderboard. Shortly after taking first place, a Chinese Dota 2 insider revealed that Paparazi has a new team in the works for the 2022 Dota Pro Circuit season.

Paparazi is currently ranked first with Yaotoro just below him on the official EU west MMR leaderboard. The players’ exact matchmaking rank is not known, but fans speculate that they are both above 12,000 MMR. The Chinese icon hovered in second place for several days before finally eclipsing Yatoro after a streak of several consecutive wins. One of the final games included a monstrous 12-1 performance on Storm Spirit against Yatoro’s Anti-Mage.

Many players from The International 10 are still in Europe, creating one of the highest-skill matchmaking environments in the history of Dota 2.

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While Yatoro is undoubtedly sticking with his championship Team Spirit roster, Elephant’s disappointing 16th-place finish prompted the squad to make some changes. The $40 million event resulted in Paparazi’s worst placement at The International since 2017. According to a prominent Chinese scene analyst, Paparazi already has his new roster picked out.

Paparazi leads new Xtreme Gaming roster

With such an accomplishment under his belt, Paparazi will also be joining a new team for the 2022 Dota Pro Circuit. Xtreme Gaming’s unofficial roster is as follows.

  • Wang “J” Wenjun
  • Zhang “Eurus” Chengjun
  • Sun “Srf” Runfa
  • Xiong “Pyw”‘ Jiahan
  • Ding “Dy” Cong

No coach or manager has been announced. The new Xtreme Gaming Dota 2 roster was revealed by Dota 2 personality and analyst Leon Arthur and is not an official announcement.  

The three headlining players are Paparazi, Dy, and Pyw. The support duo joins from Vici Gaming, where they earned a reputation as some of the most active playmakers in China. Dy will likely retain his captaincy on Xtreme.

The roster is stacked with talent, but there are some players that western fans may not recognize. J and Srf join from Sparking Arrow Gaming, which was relegated to the lower division at the end of the 2021 DPC season. J is a mechanically-skilled playmaker who should fit naturally with Paparazi’s late-game dominance. Longtime fans of Chinese Dota 2 will recognize Srf for his tenures on Invictus Gaming and Royal Never Give Up.