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TSM has faced better competition with more success than Wildcard Gaming in their time.
TSM have proven themselves to be a constant mid-table team throughout the 2022 season. The team formerly known as TSM FTX and Team SoloMid entered the pro circuit in the last season and will be facing off against another relatively new team in Wildcard Gaming. TSM was formed by the signing of former members of Team Undying, who themselves were only a year into the professional circuit.
However, TSM had an eventful first season and made their arrival on the international circuit known by coming first in the ESL Malaysia Qualifier and finishing the tournament in a solid 7th-8th place - which is no mean feat for their debut season.
As a relatively new team, TSM showed their true potential in 2022 by holding their own against the world’s most elite teams in Tier-1 and Tier-2 Dota tournaments. Their tendency to hold up against elite competition makes them our pick for this matchup, considering they are going against a similarly inexperienced team in Wildcard.
Wildcard Gaming officially entered the Dota 2 scene only in December 2021. Sadly, they are going up against overwhelming favorites in TSM in this early-stage matchup. Looking at their record, it’s easy to see why they are the underdogs. Wildcard’s best-ever performance was 3rd place in the ESL One North America Closed Qualifier and 5th place in the Tier 2 DPC North America 2021/2022 Tour 3: Division 1.
Despite being a little green and not having any major tournament wins(yet), Wildcard Gaming have some favorable stats that ensure we don’t completely rule out the possibility of a shock upset. The diverse team have clocked in a win rate of 60% in the last year. Unfortunately, they have not been as consistent as they need to be to face off against an established team like TSM and have lost three out of their five most recent matches.
We predict a one-sided contest in this matchup because the unranked Wildcard are going up against a seemingly higher-level TSM, currently ranked #22 globally. However, we concede that anything can happen in the world of esports, so we wouldn’t entirely rule out the possibility of a shock upset.
Shopify Rebellion are overwhelming favorites, thanks to their star-studded roster.
While Shopify Rebellion, or SR as they are more commonly called, have been around the esports scene for some time, they only recently formed a Dota team. However, with the backing from internet giant Shopify, the team was able to assemble an all-star roster consisting of ex-Evil Geniuses and TSM players that could shake up the North American Dota scene in 2023 and beyond.
The team currently features legends of the games like Arteezy, Abed, SabeRLight-, Cr1t- and is captained by Fly. With all players officially joining Shopify Rebellion on December 9 2022, we have no idea what to expect from this collective as a team - except that each player has some mind boggling stats accumulated over the years.
Except for SabeRLight-, the rest of the Shopify Rebellion roster comes from Evil Genuieses, who coincidentally won the last two editions of the DPC North America Division 1 tours. Having these players on board gives the team a direct entry into the upcoming season, bypassing the qualifier rounds.
While it’s impossible to pick a single player from this star roster, we’d keep our eyes on SabeRLight-, the only player on the team who isn’t from Evil Geniuses. We look forward to seeing how his play style blends into an established meta between the rest of the players of Shopify Rebellion.
Not much is known about Thiuth Gaming, and their competition record is a clean slate. With their roster being announced on December 10 2022, we were pleasantly surprised to see some familiar names like layme, esK and lilskrip. However, lilskrip was removed from the roster just nine days later after being banned by Valve and PGL for account sharing.
The team features upcoming Russian talent layme, who has been active in the international Dota scene since 2021, when he was on the winning team of the Russian Esports Cup 2021. Thiuth gaming finds itself in Division 1 of the DPC because Quincy Crew gave up their slot for the newly formed team. The details behind Thiuth are currently murky and we’re looking forward to knowing exactly how this new team will perform in 2023, although they have their work cut out for them when they face off against the established pros in Shopify Rebellion.
nouns are favored to defeat the inexperienced ALPHA under the leadership of Yamsun and Gunnar.
Despite being on a two-match losing streak, nouns are the team to pick for this matchup. The team from the United States is currently ranked 31 in the world and has an impressive win rate of 64%. In its present form, the team have played 28 games and lost 13.
nouns are currently led by Gunnar, who was one of the founding members of 4 Zoomers. 4 Zoomers had a highly unimpressive first season by earning high placements in most of the competitions that they entered. They topped off their opening season by toppling then-favorites Quincy Crew in a shock upset. We’re eager to see Gunnar’s next venture in nouns come to fruition over the 2023 season.
Another notable member of the nouns squad is Yamsun, who holds 21 kills in a single professional match. The combination of Gunnar and Yamsun alone is enough to disrupt any momentum that ALPHA will be trying to secure in the opening rounds of the tournament.
With 21 wins and 10 losses under their belt, it might seem that ALPHA is dead even in their matchup against nouns, but that isn’t the case. ALPHA are yet to see the upper reaches of a Tier 2 tournament, with their best result being 13th-24th in the BTS Pro Series Season 13.
On the other hand, they’re going up against nouns who have experienced significantly stiffer competition both as a team and as individual players. ALPHA is currently ranked 57th in the world and is led by Rises, who helped ALPHA win first place in the last Division 2 tournament. Notably, Rises had the highest average kills per game at 9.72 during Season 2 of the 2021 DPC SA Lower Division. However, they’re facing a team who have made it through to the qualifiers of The International and will need to pull off something dramatic to get a favorable result.
With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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