Eighteen teams have assembled in Seattle, Washington for The International 6, the tournament with the biggest prize pool in esports history. The best Dota 2 players in the world have all gathered to battle it out, but something is missing. Mainly, an all-star dream team draft.
Theorizing which five players could make the most unstoppable dream team is every armchair drafter's favorite past-time. However, at this time, it doesn't seem like an all-star draft is in the works for Compendium owners. That didn't exactly stop our staff from theorizing, and so, we'd like to present you our picks for the 2016 Dota 2 All-Star team. We'll be using the common nomenclature: one pick for each numbered role (five through one), with some honorary nods to those who didn't make the cut.
5. Li "iceice" Peng, Wings Gaming
Variety is the spice of life, and Wings' five-role support certainly brings a lot of that to the table. Just a quick look down Peng's recent games show his adaptability: Keeper of the Light, Warlock, Enchantress, Shadow Demon, Shadow Shaman, Disruptor. The five-role is typically referred to as the "ward buyer," designated to do the most work with the least available resources. Iceice is a player who finds space, finds opportunity, and can make any hero work with a strikingly low amount of gold per minute (GPM). It would be any drafter's dream to have such a flexible five-role, and so, he was the obvious choice for our hard support pick.
Honorable mention(s): Hu "Kaka" Liangzhi, Newbee; Johan "pieliedie" Åström, Team Secret
4. Jesse "JerAx" Vainikka, Team Liquid
The four-role has become a tempo-setting position for most teams, as supports in this role start to roam more often, finding kills and applying pressure wherever necessary. JerAx is a constant map presence in every match, from excellent play on his signature Earth Spirit to other heroes, like his recent Oracle play that stands at a 100 percent win rate in 6.88. This was a hard pick overall to make, between TL's roaming support and others, but the level of participation and pressure Vainikka brings to each game is simply unmatched.
Honorable mention(s): Andreas "Cr1t-" Franck Nielsen, OG; Akbar "SoNNeikO" Butaev, Natus Vincere
3. Victor "GeneRaL" Nigrini, Natus Vincere
The offlane might be the unsung hero of this patch, due to most players defaulting to the new tactic of Iron Talon jungling, rather than actually laning against the opponent's safe lane. GeneRaL is an aggressive, in-your-face offlaner, and sometimes that can lead to disaster. But many times, though, it means a constant third threat, and one that is directly impacting your one-role's bread-and-butter. Nigrini can effectively control fights and zone with his Faceless Void or Sand King, kick off the action on Batrider, or teleport in to salvage fights on Nature's Prophet. Averaging a 4.56 kill/death/assist ratio (KDA), GeneRaL likes to get in action and participate rather than farm jungle creeps, and having a playmaking third core can put some hefty pressure on teams only expecting to deal with two.
Honorable mention(s): Zhou "Yang" Haiyang, Vici Gaming Reborn (Note: DQ'd due to visa issues); David "Moo" Hull, Digital Chaos; Saahil "UNiVeRsE" Arora, Evil Geniuses
2. Amer "Miracle-" Barqawi, OG
The mid lane is the canvas for the best players in the world to showcase their individual skill on heroes. It's where 1 vs. 1 Shadow Fiend matchups started, but Miracle- isn't just a solo star. The 9000 MMR prodigy has proven time and again that even if you focus his lane, apply constant pressure and give him little breathing room, he can bounce back and make plays happen. His talents in the mid lane are unquestionable, and he can effectively play in both playmaker and team-oriented mid roles. From Invoker to Tinker, to picks like Axe and Medusa, Miracle- is an explosive player, and would make an excellent addition to our all-star team.
Honorable mention(s): Danil "Dendi" Ishutin, Natus Vincere; Syed "SumaiL" Sumail Hassan, Evil Geniuses; Yeik "MidOne" Zheng Nai, Fnatic
1. Chen "Hao" Zhihao, Newbee
The one-role is difficult to meter, because it tends to be less flashy than mid but also more influential. The hard carry needs to be someone you can fall back on, a pillar of consistency who can routinely find farm, avoid ganks and get the items they need to ensure their team's success. Hao makes that happen, never struggling for farm and making the most of space whenever possible. Zhihao is flexible, able to rotate through a number of picks, so changing metas doesn't bother him. In his games on 6.88, he's rarely dipped below 600 GPM, and only once shied below 100 last hits (to be fair, it was an eleven-minute victory in his favor). Hao isn't just a solid carry, but a pillar, someone you can rely on to always find the tools and space he needs to gear up and be the team's carry.
Honorable mention(s): Artour "Arteezy" Babaev, Team Secret; Dmitry "Ditya Ra" Minenkov, Natus Vincere; Lasse "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen, Team Liquid