June 26, 2023
The Dota 2 Esports scene in year 2023 embraces diversity in players forming multinational teams. Last year’s International (TI11) featured the absolute dominance of Western European teams, such as Tundra Esports, Team Secret and Team Liquid. European teams reign supreme again in recent majors and Dota Pro Circuit 2023 (DPC 2022-2023).
For this iteration of Best Dota 2 Players, we consider the player’s recent DPC 2022-2023 achievements, alongside their notable accomplishments at DreamLeague, the Majors and TI11.
Quinn from Gaimin Gladiators
Quinn “Quinn” Callahan is arguably the most underrated mid-player in the scene as he hails from the North American region. NA has and still is, an unviable region for young prodigies to grow. And although Quinn has done well enough to sustain himself and build one of NA’s staples in TI Championships, his team, Quincy Crew’s potential was heavily capped.
Until 2023, when Quinn took the leap to play for a WEU team, Gaimin Gladiators. Since DPC 2022-2023, Gaimin has won two consecutive majors and it’s not an exaggeration to claim that Quinn contributed heavily to this team’s success.
He’s now one of the best mid players Dota 2 fans has ever watched in 2023, and fans have high hopes for him at TI12.
Quinn “Quinn” Callahan
Nisha from Team Liquid
Second only to Gaimin Gladiators is Michał “Nisha” Jankowski from Team Liquid. The former Team Secret player now leads his newfound team into every grand final of majors and TI-grade tournaments, such as DreamLeague S20 and Riyadh Masters.
Even so, Nisha stands out from the crowd of best Dota 2 players because of his long-serving royalty with Team Secret. Just last year, Nisha reached the peak of his Dota 2 Esports career by placing second at TI11.
As he finally left Team Secret after five years, it marked the end of a powerful era for Team Secret fans. Nonetheless, Nisha fans are still rooting for him to win TI11 under a different namesake. On paper, Nisha is a mid-player who never deteriorates in performance, making him one of the most consistent and versatile Dota 2 mid-players.
Michał “Nisha” Jankowski
m1CKe from Team Liquid
Another well-acquainted ally of Nisha is Michael “miCKe” Vu. Team Liquid at TI11 before Nisha’s arrival was already a phenomenal team, whose team journey started as underdogs. Liquid won the TI11 Last Chance Qualifiers to ultimately win third place at TI11, but what truly ignited Team Liquid was that the players played for the sake of a retiring legend.
It was MATUMBAMAN’s final TI run before retiring, so the rest of Liquid really wanted to win TI11 for him. Even so, MATUMBAMAN’s last hurrah ended at a commendable third place, all thanks to m1CKe’s performance.
Hence, if we exclude Gaimin Gladiators players from our list of best Dota 2 players, m1CKe hands-down takes the cake as the undisputed best Dota 2 player based on his tenure.
Michael “miCKe” Vu
iNSaNiA from Team Liquid
Aydin “iNSaNiA” Sarkohi has had his fair share of ups and downs, which is a telltale sign of how much he has grown since. While his collection of fails throughout his career is hilarious to watch, that doesn’t change the fact that iNSaNiA earned his title as best hard support player Dota 2 has to offer.
Furthermore, he is captain of Team Liquid, who is responsible for the team’s drafts and execution. Stepping up as the successors of the Team Liquid roster that won TI7, the Dota 2 playerbase often compare iNSaNiA to Kuro “KuroKy” Takhasomi.
While iNSaNiA hasn’t won a TI yet, he has certainly surpassed his predecessors as Team Liquid’s captain.
Aydin “iNSaNiA” Sarkohi
skiter from Tundra Esports
The rightful TI11 Champion, Oliver “skiter” Lepko deserves a spot among the best Dota 2 players in 2023, notably for his performance at TI11. Sure, Tundra Esports is infamously known for abusing overpowered meta, such as Wraith Pact’s buff.
Yet, skiter is recognized for his versatile hero pool, that enabled the rest of Tundra Esports to pick their signature heroes instead. Hence, he is the uncrowned champion of Tundra’s success at TI11.
Oliver “skiter” Lepko
SumaiL from Team Aster
Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan is the talk of the town after joining the Chinese powerhouse, Team Aster before the Bali Major 2023. His initial debut began at Berlin Major as a stand-in, where he managed to captivate fans and Team Aster players of his strength.
As such, history is made as the first North American player plays for a Chinese team. Considering how underwhelming SumaiL’s career has been in Nigma Galaxy and other WEU teams, it’s a great change in pace for the prodigy and TI5 Champion.
Image source: Perfect World
NothingToSay from PSG.LGD
Making an entry two year running is Cheng “NothingToSay” Jin Xiang from LGD. After his first debut at a TI, NothingToSay instantly became a worthy candidate for the best Dota 2 carry player. The Malaysian player has been with PSG.LGD since late 2020, and remains a part of the Chinese powerhouse through several major roster shuffles.
The recent 3rd place finish at DreamLeague S20 was in big part thanks to NTS’s solid performance throughout the event.
Cheng “NothingToSay” Jin Xiang
RodjER from Darkside
Vladimir “RodjER” Nikogosian is quite the unorthodox pick in our rankings of best Dota 2 players. For one, Darkside isn’t a well-performing team from Eastern Europe, but RodjER made his impact as a stand-in for 9Pandas (formerly HellRaisers). He understood the fundamentals to become a threatening roamer against his opponents, making him the best roamer player Dota 2 can ever ask for.
9Pandas managed to place third at the Berlin Major, behind only to the WEU giants, which is on its own a great achievement. He helped 9Pandas get one step closer to securing direct invites to TI12, which is unfortunate as he won’t be part of their journey.
Vladimir “RodjER” Nikogosian
Pakazs from Evil Geniuses
The South American talents have gone under the radar, despite being decent teams in DPC 2022-2023 themselves. Notably, Evil Geniuses’ Crhistian “Pakazs” Savina is a formidable carry player that could potentially shock the scene like how SA teams destroyed its TI11 competitors.
Crhistian “Pakazs” Savina
Best Dota 2 Players – Quick List
The year 2023 kicked off with a major shift in what truly defines the best Dota 2 players. Last year’s International (TI11) crowned an underdog team from Europe, Tundra Esports as champions. The victory shook the Dota 2 Esports scene, setting a trend for esports powerhouses to revamp rosters.
However, unlike past practices, powerhouses are looking for players from the amateur pool instead of relying on high-profile pros.
The debate on “Who is the best carry player in Dota 2?” goes on, unending and unanswered. As we speak, teams participating in the DPC2022-23 are putting the hours to rise into the Dota 2 hall of fame.
Best Dota2 Players for the Carry Role in 2022
Furthermore, we figured we would also retire Anathan “ana” Pham from the list of best carry players Dota 2 in 2022. After all, the two-time champion has retired from the Dota 2 scene for two years now, and we need to make way for new mentions.
For this iteration of Dota 2 best carry players, we take into account of the player’s potential heading into the Dota Pro Circuit 2021-22 (DPC2021-22), and lesser on their achievements last year.
Yatoro from Team Spirit
At the age of eighteen, Illya “Yatoro” Mulyarchuk hails as the best Dota 2 carry player to-date. His large hero pool gives him leverage in drafting as opponents struggle to shut down the hard carry player. In fact, Yatoro played fourteen different heroes over twenty games during TI10, which earned him the proclaimed title as the most versatile player too.
His massive hero pool is coupled with his high-impact contributions in every game. Yatoro often plays aggressively and takes every opportunity to engage opponents. Hence, it didn’t come as a surprise when Yatoro managed to get three rampages in TI10, making him the current record holder for most rampages in the Internationals series.
While Yatoro’s kit is impressive on its own, Team Spirit’s success wouldn’t have come true without his trusty teammates.
Illya “Yatoro” Mulyarchuk
Collapse from Team Spirit
Offlane players or position 3 rarely qualify for the best carry Dota 2 player can achieve. After all, these lanes are often harsh, and it’s difficult enough to survive, let alone farm safely. Yet, Magomed “Collapse” Khalilov plays the toughest carry role in Dota 2 as if it’s a middle lane. His signature heroes consist of the initiation-type picks, such as Magnus, Mars, and even Doom. Opponents fear Collapse’s signature picks so much that they just don’t have the leeway to ban other Team Spirit players’ heroes.
Hence, Collapse’s reputation is already affecting opponents before the match even begins, once again indirectly benefiting his teammates. The respect bans spent to prevent Collapse from becoming the wunderkind he sought out to be, has become a debacle among viewers.
During the fifth game of TI10 grand finals between Team Spirit and PSG.LGD, the lather let Magnus fall to Collapse’s hands, which ultimately made PSG.LGD look like fools. The backlash in Chinese social media was so bad that PSG.LGD players had to publicly explain to fans why they did not ban Magnus.
Magomed “Collapse” Khalilov
NothingToSay from PSG.LGD
“Na-na-Nothing to say,” is probably how it felt when Cheng “NothingToSay” Jin Xiang became a TI10 finalist. Considering it was also his first debut at a TI, NothingToSay instantly became a worthy candidate for the best Dota 2 carry player. The Malaysian player has been with PSG.LGD since late 2020, the time when the Chinese powerhouse was undergoing major roster shuffle.
However, the team quickly regained momentum to become a formidable powerhouse in China, winning the WePlay AniMajor 2021.
Perhaps what sets NothingToSay apart from PSG.LGD’s former mid-players are his diminishing presence in the game. His offensive playstyle synergizes well with Wang “Ame” Chunyu, who only shines when his opponents are being locked down. NothingToSay plays decent crowd control heroes, notably Magnus and Tinker, which are great as semi-supports for Ame. The young player has certainly earned his reputation among Chinese fans and is off to a phenomenal start in DPC2021-22.
Cheng “NothingToSay” Jin Xiang
Matumbaman from Team Liquid
Former TI7 champion, Lasse Aukusti “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen is better known today for his outstanding performance in Team Secret, and recently Team Liquid.
MATUMBAMAN returns as one of the surviving best Dota 2 carry players from last year’s iteration. Matumbaman’s year 2021 career has mostly been about his journey to relevancy with Team Secret after getting kicked from Team Liquid. Eventually, Team Secret made it to TI10 and secured their best Internationals achievement, third place.
Surely not as impressive as playing in TI10 finals, but the third-place victory was perhaps the highest Team Secret could have achieved. Hence, MATUMBAMAN sets out again in search of a new team to play for. Team Liquid answered MATUMBAMAN’s calling and together with Ludwig “zai” Wåhlberg, the iconic duo made Team Liquid great again.
First place in DPC2021-22 Western Europe, and a close runner-up in regional finals.
Fun fact, the Chinese players refer to him as the Toilet Bowl/Bro because “Matu” sounds like the Mandarin pronunciation of a toilet bowl. Of course, they didn’t mean it negatively, since MATUMBAMAN is wholly recognized as a TI champion and still a top choice in Dota 2 Betting.
Lasse Aukusti “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen
We had one less candidate this time around to fit into the official Dota 2 best carry player hall of fame. Nonetheless, the DPC2021-22 has showcased many formidable talents that we believe could become TI11 hopefuls.
Yopaj from BOOM Esports
The Southeast Asian scene recently found a strong representative that can rival other regions’ top teams. BOOM Esports rise to fame in a relatively short duration has gotten many fans onboard their bandwagon.
Erin Jasper “Yopaj” Ferrer is BOOM Esports’ mid-player and is frequently dubbed as SEA’s SumaiL. Even then, that felt very much like an understatement for Yopaj, whose true strength as a mid-player comes from his trickster attitude.
BOOM from Gladiators
Another rising star from the DPC2021-22 EEU, Gladiators is making waves after they defeated Team Liquid. Team Liquid’s stance was initially unbeatable during the DPC2021-22 Division 1, making them the fan favorites heading into the regional finals. Even then, they were not invulnerable to Gladiators’ tricks.
After two previous losses, Gladiators finally attempted a strategy that could cripple Team Liquid. In short, it’s by having a global presence by having an overpowered Io and its skill, Relocate. Even then, Miroslav “BOOM” Bičan played a vital role in ensuring they initiate on Team Liquid when they least suspected.
Team Liquid lost its map control, and it was eventually easy pickings for BOOM.
DarkMago from Thunder Predator
Lastly, hailing from South America is Herrera “Darkmago” Martínez Oswaldo Gonzalo and Thunder Predator. The SA scene needed a necessary bounce after all three SA participants in TI10 underperformed.
Now, it’s all eyes on Thunder Predator, and his all-star candidate, Darkmago. The line-up was formerly NoPing e-sports’ roster before TI10 but missed the opportunity. Hence, Thunder Predator is aiming to represent SA as the region’s strongest, which by the looks of their performance in DPC2021-22 is possible.
Best Dota2 Players for the Carry Role in 2021
Best Dota 2 Players in the Carry Role in 2021
It’s the year 2021, and the best carry player Dota 2 has to offer might be your casual read for the weekend. Over the past decade of everything Dota 2, the hottest debate among players have always been simply about, “Who is the best carry player in Dota 2?”
Frankly, it’s a tough one writing this or simply updating our Dota 2 hall of fame. Since most Dota 2 players have practically just gotten back to LAN tournaments recently, it’s too early to call any Dota 2 carry players the best across all regions. Regardless, this list is based on various criteria, such as consistency, big plays, and of course, what they achieved in the Dota Pro Circuit 2021 (DPC 2021).
Unlike other esports, such as CS:GO, Dota does not have an official top 10 or top 20 to celebrate the best Dota 2 players in the world. Nevertheless, people still wonder who the best player in Dota 2 is and want to know what to expect in a tournament. Much like in football, basketball or any other team sport, Dota 2 relies heavily not just on a good strategy, but also on exceptional individuals who bring their unique skillset to the table. With that in mind, here’s a list of the best Dota 2 players for the carry role. This top was made in light of the results in 2020 and early 2021.
Emo from Invictus Gaming
At age 20, Zhou“Emo” Yi is already one of the best carry role players on the planet. As desperate times call for desperate plays, Emo stepped in for Invictus Gaming as his flight-or-fight reflexes kicked in.
During the Singapore Major grand finals versus Evil Geniuses, Invictus Gaming was one game away from losing to the North American giant. That was when Emo decided to pull a trick out of his magician’s hat, taunts. After winning a team fight despite being 23,000 gold behind, Emo would casually send the question mark sign to EG. As the match became spicier, the adrenaline rush transformed Emo into a one-man army, shutting down EG’s formation.
Zhou “Emo” Yi
Eventually, EG had enough of the clown fiesta they had and actually let iG got their comeback run at the Singapore Major. Emo went on do the same shenanigans in his domestic DPC Dota 2 Season 2 and is once again looking to contest the world at WePlay AniMajor. The team has also secured an invite to TI10, so expect to see Emo at the big season finale in August as well.
Abed from Evil Geniuses
Another Asian talent that has garnered quite the attention is “Abed” Azel L. Yusop. Hailing from the rigorous region of SE Asia, Abed was scouted out by EG to become their mid-player earlier last year. Since then, the NA scene had to deal with a massive threat in the form of mid-lane Storm Spirit and Puck. Abed is proficient at utilizing elusive heroes such as the ones mentioned, that he often causes havoc in the enemy’s base alone. When the match seems one-sided, Abed will test his limits by chasing his opponents deep into their base, just to prove a point. He is the best Dota 2 carry player, and he wants them to call GG immediately.
Abed Azel L. Yusop
While rumours of his dominance in NA leagues spread, Abed has no issue delivering the same performance in majors. Notably, the Singapore Major was a stage for him to showcase his skills. EG is also the top team in DPC 2021 rankings, vastly contributed by the young prodigy, Abed.
Nightfall from Virtus.pro
Virtus.pro, one of the biggest powerhouses in the CIS region. It’s essential to start off with the team background this time around because VP’s recent performance doesn’t do Egor “Nightfall” Grigorenko justice. It was just a year ago when VP was at its breaking point, they were having frequent roster shuffles, and nothing seems to be on par with their glory days.
Eventually, Nightfall was delegated to VP’s sister team, VP.Prodigy instead. Here, he built a brand name for himself along with his underdog teammates, surpassing what VP could achieve last season. Hence, Nightfall’s squad was promoted to the main squad in preparation for the DPC 2021.
Egor “Nightfall” Grigorenko
Feared in the CIS region, Nightfall’s relentless aggression with his carry heroes makes him a terrifying opponent to go up against. He has proven to be able to assert dominance as a carry player, even without any significant plays. He’s the reason why VP is currently second place in the DPC 2021 rankings, and for that, he deserves to be called Virtus.pro’s savior.
Arteezy from Evil Geniuses
Representing the NA Dota scene, Artour “Arteezy” Babaev might just be NA’s best carry to date. While Arteezy may not be the flashiest player around, he makes up for it by playing consistently as Evil Geniuses’ position 1 carry.
That said, he certainly can flex his skills when the situation calls for it. A recent play at the BTS Pro Series Season 2: Americas, showcased Arteezy’s consecutive barrage of skills and items to wipe out the opponent’s entire squad. Since 2014 he has not missed a single TI and has played in countless majors and large-scale Dota 2 competitions.
Artour is truly a veteran of the NA scene, but what makes him stand out is his consistency in performance throughout all these years. Thus, earning him the title as one of the best Dota 2 player of 2021.
Matumbaman from Team Secret
Lasse Aukusti “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen’s consistent performance has really gone under the radar for the most part. Despite Team Secret’s decent run in Singapore Major, their achievement was easily overlooked by other teams in the spotlight.
Yet, coming from a downhill career after Team Liquid kicked the lather prior to the International 2019, Matumbaman has definitely reflected on himself. Team Secret was his proving ground to his fans and former teammates that he wasn’t a deadweight they thought. As he was able to outshine his rivals with the support of Team Secret’s talented bunch.
Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen
With Matumbaman regaining his confidence, the DPC majors and ultimately, the International 10 will be his next destination to prove his worth once more. Furthermore, their 2020 first-place finishes speak for themselves. Team Secret bagged seven championship titles in their pocket, making them the top choice in Dota 2 betting.
Other Worthy Candidates
Unfortunately, it pains us to only have 5 Dota 2 best carry player here, but the following players might just catch up in the upcoming list:
Ame from PSG.LGD
Sporting a second runner-up victory at the Singapore Major, Wang “Ame” Chunyu was the last founding member of the PSG.LGD roster that won two runner-up wins in recent Internationals. Ame is well-known for his versatile hero pool but also decision-making. Hence, these traits enable him to be none the wiser as a carry player.
miCKe from Team Liquid
We can’t deny that Michael “miCKe” Vu and Team Liquid have their moments throughout the 2020-2021 season. From their incredible lower bracket run in ESL One Germany 2020 to making it into WePlay AniMajor recently. As far as European powerhouses go, miCKe and his team are ones that will always be featured for good reasons.
Maybe from PSG.LGD
We ranked Anathan “ana” Pham so low in this list this time around solely because he isn’t quite up to par for the time. Having only returned to OG after a year’s break, it was rather blatantly obvious team OG still needs more time to practice. That said, we are reassuringly awaiting ana’s showing at the International 10 qualifiers as the championship draws closer.
After all, in a game of Dota 2, it’s anybody’s game to snatch victories. And by that, we meant the WePlay AniMajor 2021 and TI10.
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