Four SEA Players to Watch Out For At the WePlay AniMajor
The WePlay AniMajor is set to start tomorrow, and fans can expect some intense Dota 2 action between the world’s best players. SEA players have often attracted attention during such momentous clashes and established their reputations in the international professional circuit. One such storyline was Yopaj’s in the Singapore Major, as fans and casters fondly referred to him as “Yopaj God.” On the flip side, some players from the SEA struggle at such high stakes due to a lack of international experience.
Here, we look at four SEA Dota 2 players you should keep a close eye on at the WePlay AniMajor.
Note: We have only considered the SEA players that are currently playing for teams in the SEA DPC, namely T1, TNC Predator, and Execration.
Four SEA Dota 2 Players to pay attention at the WePlay AniMajor
Armel Paul “Armel” Tabios, a SEA superstar with considerable LAN experience, is already turning heads in the EU pub scene after arriving in Kyiv for the Major.
Armel has been almost unbeatable in SEA midlane matchups and is widely regarded as one of the best midlaners on the scene. His stability, consistency, and vast hero pool in the midlane help him get an edge over his opponents.
During the second DPC season, we witnessed Armel play a lot of Bristleback and Beastmaster, two unorthodox heroes, in the midlane, while at other times, we have also seen him play Medusa from the midlane, making him the true position one of that game. This has been one of TNC’s drafting strategies ever since Bok and Boomy stepped into the roster, where they tend to swap roles and draft some unconventional lane heroes for Armel as well as Gabbi. This can be one of the deciding factors in the insane WePlay AniMajor midlane matchups for Armel.
Armel’s group stage opponents in the midlane, including SumaiL, Chris Luck, Abed, NothingToSay, and TORONTOTOKYO, are sure to blow your mind. Almost all of these players have flashy styles and are unlikely to hold back when it comes to making a perilous move.
Image Via Epicenter
Despite being around the SEA scene for some time now, Karl “Karl” Jayme has only recently started to rise to the forefront of SEA Dota 2 last year. Karl showcased one of the widest hero pools in the SEA DPC Season 2, playing 14 different midlane heroes in a total of 21 matches. Karl’s heroes are usually saved for the last round by Captain Kuku so that he can get him the most favorable matchup. In addition to this insane versatility, Karl is quite a mechanically skilled player, which helps him take over the game on high-risk, high-reward heroes like Puck, Tiny, and Tinker.
Since experience and pressure-soaking ability is a big plus in such crucial LAN events, Karl’s relative international inexperience may come to hurt him at the WePlay AniMajor. Furthermore, being a bold player can also result in you leading your team down at critical moments because of unwarranted greed.
It will be very interesting to see how consistently Karl can perform well in the midlane to help his team win with his amazing skills.
In order to survive the wild card, Nikko “Nikko” Bilocura will be a key player for Execration. One would expect Yowe or Palos to represent Execration in this list, but often, it is Nikko and the supports who sacrifice their games for the two cores.
Nikko tends to open a lot of space for Yowe and Palos as he is seen selecting heroes like Centaur Warrunner, Axe, Mars, and more who just jump in and stun enemies, so the rest of the team can follow even if he has to sacrifice his life. Execution in such moments and target selection have been his virtues in the second DPC season.
In addition, one of his top heroes in the second season was Doom, as he had a string of MVP performances on the hero. So, Nikko also possesses an ability to play as the win-condition for Execration.
Like most other SEA players, it remains to be seen if Nikko can keep his composure and deliver against top international teams with his lack of experience. He is not only a LAN event novice but is a relatively new player to the competitive Dota 2 scene, having entered the top SEA stage only in 2020.
Jun “Bok” Kanehara is another offlane player with a very similar playstyle to Nikko, and his performances will be a key to TNC’s success at the AniMajor. For TNC in the SEA DPC, Bok sacrificed his game for the two cores Gabbi and Armel, and even Tims, who loves all the extra networth he can acquire. Teamfight heroes like Centaur and Pangolier have been Bok’s go-to choices while he also assisted his team with teamfight items on relatively single target heroes like Legion Commander and Bloodseeker. Bok’s playstyle has so far worked wonders for TNC, considering the team’s result at the SEA DPC.
Though Bok has a sacrificing playstyle, it may not be an accurate explanation of the average laning stages that he has had in the SEA DPC. As per Dotabuff, most of his lanes were either drawn or lost. Though his heroes will likely be picked in the early stages, allowing enemies to counter pick him, TNC’s early game can improve more if Bok manages to keep the enemies at bay somehow.
If results in the initial games of the group stage do not favor TNC, it also remains to be seen if Bok can change his playstyle and can play more on heroes like Nature’s Prophet and Timbersaw that have the potential to set the tempo.
With SEA players always having that element of unpredictability, the WePlay AniMajor can provide some amazing storylines at its conclusion. Execration will be the first to begin its WePlay AniMajor journey in the wild card on June 2, followed by TNC Predator, which begins on June 4. T1 is likely to play its first playoffs match on June 9.