The Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) will finally be kicking off later this month, with teams both old and new returning to competition and vying for the right to lift the Aegis of Champions.
Sports leagues would often have fans running fantasy leagues alongside their real-life counterparts, so the team here at Yahoo Esports SEA — content producer Kurt Lozano, producer Jay Chan, and social media manager Zoey Ng from SelectStart — thought we should do the same in anticipation of the DPC restart. We’re all massive Dota fans, so here’s our picks for a Dota 2 fantasy team with the best SEA has to offer.
Kurt: Raven (Fnatic)
My pick would be Marc Polo “Raven” Fausto, who I think is outright the best carry player in SEA. Why? He’s the best at doing what a carry player should do, which is to not die, get as much farm as possible, then win the game for his team.
I just want to home in on that first point about not dying; according to Dota 2 statsman Ben “Noxville” Steenhuisen, the average pro player dies every seven minutes and 34 seconds, while Raven dies every 12 minutes and 55 seconds.
Sure, kills are flashy, but you are liable to get killed yourself the more you chase for kills. Get killed at the wrong time as the carry and you can lose the game for your team.
The most efficient play for a carry is to not die and keep farming until he can win the game. In his time with Geek Fam and Fnatic last season, Raven has shown just that. Pick whichever carry you want, I’m sticking with the player who gives my team the best chances at winning.
Jay: Gabbi (TNC Predator)
I picked Kim “Gabbi” Villafuerte for my fantasy team because I think he was one of the big reasons why TNC did so well in the previous DPC season.
He’s a very solid carry player as it is, but his aggressive playstyle fits really well with his team so that makes him even better for me.
I mean, he’s arguably the only carry in SEA with the audacity to play carry Bristleback, which should drive home what I want to say.
Zoey: Gabbi (TNC Predator)
I also picked Gabbi for his highly-aggressive, yet versatile, style of play, which I think really encapsulates the spirit of SEA Dota.
While I could go on about how great of a fit he is with TNC, I think it’s better to show than tell.
Who could forget Gabbi’s insane one-versus-five fight with his signature Morphling-Earthshaker combo against Gambit Esports at ESL One Hamburg 2019? I know I won’t, and that’s why he’s my pick to be the carry for my SEA Dota fantasy team.
Kurt: Abed (Evil Geniuses)
I think we can all agree here that Abed Azel “Abed” Yusop is the best midlaner in SEA, even if he’s playing with Evil Geniuses (EG) in North America. I still remember how his Meepo dismantled compLexity Gaming in that one game at the Wildcard Stage of The International 2016 (TI6). He was already pretty good back then, and he’s only grown to become a truly great player four years later.
I think his greatest strength is his versatility, he can either be a playmaking mid, a secondary carry, or even a space creator depending on his team’s needs.
Him being one of the best Meepo players in the world is just icing on the cake. He didn’t get to flex his muscles with EG much at all last season, so I’m excited to see how he can shine in the upcoming DPC.
Jay: Abed (Evil Geniuses)
My pick would also be Abed, SEA's pride of the MMR ladder. While he used to be known just for his Meepo back in the day, he has really improved his versatility as a player.
Sure, his Meepo is still scary to play against, but you also have to be wary of his Storm Spirit and Templar Assassin now.
If nothing else, there’s a reason why EG chose him to take over for Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan as their midlaner last season. Those are some big shoes to fill, and I’d say Abed has been a more than capable replacement.
Zoey: Abed (Evil Geniuses)
Dota 2 is a team game, but being a midlaner is arguably as close as you can get to playing single-player Dota, so I’m basing my fantasy pick on that one aspect of the role.
To be a great midlaner, you not only have to dominate your lane, but also be able to dominate for the rest of the game. Abed fits that description the best among all SEA players, thanks to his excellence as a space creator and tempo-controller.
Not only that, he’s also the first to hit 10,000 MMR twice (first in 2017 then in 2019 under a new MMR system) and was the first to hit 11,000 MMR. I mean, he’s a great pro player, but to do all that while playing in the infamous SEA server is just insane.
Kurt: iceiceice (Evil Geniuses)
For me, the offlane role is all about disruption. In the laning phase, you disrupt the enemy carry. In the midgame, you disrupt the enemy’s movements by making space for your team.
In teamfights, you disrupt the enemy’s initiation to give your team the opening to win. If there’s one player that embodies all that, it has to be Daryl “iceiceice” Koh.
Whether he wreaks havoc as Timbersaw or blindsides the enemy as Tidehunter, iceiceice will make the game as difficult as possible for the enemy team all while making it as easy as possible for his.
Not only that, he can also take over a game if he needs to. He was a big part of Fnatic’s success last year and will make EG a very scary team this year.
Jay: Kpii (TNC Predator)
My pick would be the only SEA player mentioned here to have ever made it into a TI grand finals, Damien “kpii” Chok.
To be honest, I have a soft spot for this dude. If you ever talk to him in person or listen in to TNC’s in-game comms, you’d find he’s a very calm and collected player even during the most intense of teamfights.
Having that steady presence in your team is invaluable, and he’s a pretty good offlaner too. While he won’t be everyone’s fantasy pick, I would take him any day just for his TI experience.
Zoey: iceiceice (Evil Geniuses)
I’m also picking iceiceice for his very creative playstyle, which if I could simplify into one sentence would be: “makes opponents as uncomfortable as possible.” If you’ve ever played against a good offlaner in your pubs, then you should know what I mean.
If you haven’t, imagine playing against someone who annoys the heck out of your carry in the lane, somehow survives every gank attempt, gets a Blink Dagger at 16 minutes even after being heavily pressured during the early game, then later uses that to set up a teamwipe to win his team the game.
That’s what iceiceice does to pro players.
Position 4 support:
Kurt: Tims (TNC Predator)
I would have picked Djardel “DJ” Mampusti, but since he’s playing as the position 5 for Fnatic now I’m gonna get a bit creative and go with Timothy “Tims” Randrup instead. DJ’s role change aside, I’d argue that Tims is as impactful as DJ was, if not more, from the position 4 support role.
To prove my point, here’s Tims on Rubick stealing Ravage then Black Hole, then catching the enemy team in his stolen Black Hole in back-to-back teamfights to win a game. Need another example? Here’s Tims absolutely shutting down Team Liquid in back-to-back group stage games at TI9.
I’m not trying to bring down DJ here. In fact, I want to have both him and Tims on my fantasy team. It’s just that, when it comes down to it, I think it would be better to have Tims at position 4.
Jay: DJ (Fnatic)
My pick would be DJ, arguably the best and most consistent support player in SEA. He has been the bedrock for Fnatic since he joined them for a second time in 2017, becoming one of the few constants for the team despite multiple roster changes simply because he’s so good and plays so well with any type of player.
While he’s now playing as the position 5 for Fnatic, I think everyone will remember him for his world-class play as the position 4 on heroes like Earthshaker, Rubick, and Enigma. That’s more than enough for him to make my fantasy team.
Zoey: DJ (Fnatic)
I’m also picking DJ because he’s one of the few players that can outright win you the game by making one insane clutch play in a teamfight. I mean, we all remember DJ’s godly Black Holes with Enigma back in the Manila Major, right? How about his Earthshaker’s double Echo Slam to win what was a 0% probability win game for his team just last year?
But there’s more to DJ’s greatness as a player than just clutch plays and game-winning moves, he has also shown great synergy with his teammates throughout his stay with Fnatic, particularly with iceiceice.
So, if you want someone to help your cores through the laning phase then make a clutch play in the late game for you, DJ is the man to call.
Position 5 support:
Kurt: DJ (Fnatic)
I already sort of explained my reasoning for picking DJ here at position 5 in my explanation for picking Tims at position 4, but let me expound on it a bit more.
In the small sample size that we’ve seen of DJ playing as Fnatic’s position 5, he’s shown that he is more than capable of excelling in that role as he did as the position 4. Moreover, he has acted as the de-facto captain of Fnatic for years now, so he’s shown that he can lead a team if given the chance.
If nothing else, having both Tims and DJ as your supports pretty much guarantees you win every fight, right? Having two insanely clutch players as your support duo is an incredible luxury any team would want to have, so you can’t really fault me for picking them both for my fantasy team.
Jay: March (T1 - coach)
If European Dota has Sébastien "Ceb" Debs as an example of a player-coach success story, then SEA Dota has Park “March” Tae-won.
His ability to draft well is an extremely valuable tool, which he showed by leading his old team, TNC, over the hump and winning the MDL Chengdu Major in 2019.
Sure, he’s no longer playing and is the coach for T1 now, but that just shows he has the skills needed to build a team’s chemistry. That would be a great help if my fantasy team was to somehow play together in real life.
Zoey: March (T1 - coach)
In Dota 2, a team’s position 5 support player is usually their captain as well, and for good reason. Not only do you have to do the draft for your team, but you also have to make sure everyone’s on the same page during the game and make the right calls all while playing your hero.
It’s a tough job, and I think March has shown he can do that and more in his most recent stint with TNC.
I can go on about his strong leadership and player management skills, which surely played into his new role as T1’s coach, but I want to focus on his strengths as a drafter.
During the draft, you have to ensure you make the right bans and picks, but March has shown he can optimise his teammates’ hero pools to the fullest. I mean, you can argue that picking the Morphling-Earthshaker combo every game to win the Major was a simple strategy, but you can’t deny that it worked very, very well.
Kurt’s SEA Dota fantasy team:
Jay’s SEA Dota fantasy team:
Zoey’s SEA Dota fantasy team:
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