The Summit 5 kicks off this week on July 13, providing an early look at the state of the competitive scene before The International 6 in Seattle, Washington. As one of the last LANs before the Valve's global event, every match will be scrutinized, picked apart and analyzed. Eight teams will clash for a prize pool of over $100,000. But more than just some prize money, The Summit 5 will provide an opportunity for players to get some much-needed practice and shake out the nerves before Seattle.
Here's our ranking of where each team stands, coming into the fifth Summit.
What else is there to say? Two-time Major champions OG look like a team at the peak of its game. With back-to-back victories against the contenders for the throne, Team Liquid, OG continues to amaze with each match. Though Amer "Miracle-" Barqawi tends to be the star player, every member of this team has stepped up in recent matches, including Johan "N0tail" Sundstein in the one-role carry. A third face-off between Liquid and OG is likely to happen at The Summit 5, and OG will look to maintain its throne atop the Dota 2 scene.
2. Team Liquid
It's easy to forget that Liquid have yet to win a Major given the level of its performances in the last six months. Since the Shanghai Major, it's faced the unfortunate fate of being knocked out by the eventual winners in a number of tournaments. Recently, the team has sought to diversify its picks in an effort to avoid becoming too predictable. Having lost its two most recent series against OG, it's Liquid's turn to strike back.
Despite all previous versions of Fnatic being built around Chai "Mushi" Yee Fung and Chong Xin "Ohaiyo" Khoo, the two veterans now play a secondary role in the current roster. Zheng "Midone" Yeik Nai and Djardel "DJ" Mampusti are the stars of the show now and the addition of Adam "343" Shah means the team can finally stabilize its drafts. Fnatic have made a habit of proving critics wrong this year, showing it can indeed perform on LAN and take on the biggest teams from every region. All that's left is to overcome the final boss and take home a LAN championship.
4. Wings Gaming
There is no team more entertaining to watch right now than Wings. The infamous meta-breakers are as exciting as they are inconsistent. With a disappointing Manila showing punctuated by two dominant appearances in China afterwards, it's hard to tell which Wings will show up in Los Angeles. Manila was a wake-up call for the team. Look to Chu "Shadow" Zeyu in the hard carry role and the character pool of support player Li "iceice" Peng to create opportunities for Wings to take games and secure a solid showing at The Summit.
5. Digital Chaos
A difficult team to evaluate, Digital Chaos have become regional giants in the last two months but have only competed in two LAN events so far. To its credit, one of those LANs was the Manila Major, and the team placed in the top half of its group. Rasmus "MiSeRy" Filipsen's wealth of experience has proven to be a major asset to the team, providing enormous depth to its drafting ability. The only team attending Nanyang, The Summit 5 and Starladder on its road to TI6, Digital Chaos have the opportunity to gain a lot of momentum.
6. Natus Vincere
The "Na'Vi is back" train has been a roller coaster. Danil "Dendi" Ishutin and his motley crew have a lot of doubters to dispel. This team will always be a hometown favorite no matter where it goes, but some subpar performances have many questioning whether Na'Vi can rise out of the middle of the pack and into the upper stratum of teams. Dmitry "Ditya Ra" Minenkov will need to tow the rope a little harder, as each game can't rest on Dendi's shoulders alone.
7. Ad Finem
The Greek squad have shown enormous growth over the last year, from being middle of the pack contenders in low-key tournaments to favorites in top tier qualifiers. Unfortunately, it's developed a habit of failing at the final hurdle. With its TI dreams recently shattered, Ad Finem's resolve will be tested at the Summit, with the team needing to stay motivated despite missing out on the event of the year. Continued determination could see Ad Finem upsetting some of the best teams at the event and making a run for a top spot. This could be its own version of TI6.
After being spurned by Complexity for a spot at TI6, it might not seem like FDL have much to gain here besides prize money. A truly talented team that was just barely edged out, it might say more about the level of talent present at The Summit that FDL is ranked the lowest. Some quality wins would gain back some momentum, and possibly quiet whispers of shifts or changes during the post-TI6 shuffle. This is a dark horse if there ever was one, and don't be surprised to see FDL make some teams work a lot harder for that W than others would.