The new DPC season has started and all the top players have begun to form their own teams to compete and make a run at the Upper Division. While the narrative surrounding North American Dota’s lack of infrastructure and development has been dominating Dota-related news, there is hope in the form of the young talent coming out of the region. In this article, I go over the top four rising star players NA has to offer.
The first rising star on this list is dnm, a 17-year-old position 1 and 2 player who is currently playing the mid position for Sadboys. The team was founded one month ago by veterans Peter “PPD” Dager and Clinton “Fear” Loomis and did well in the BTS Pro Series 4: Americas tournament, finishing third. Dnm plays a style you would expect out of carry-mid laners, preferring heroes such as Storm Spirit and Leshrac. He is a strong laner that can go toe to toe with most other mid laners in NA/SA. Beyond the laning phase, dnm has been consistent when he is able to get a lead and can usually snowball his team into victory. While he has not looked great when his team falls behind, the hope is that more experience will do him well. There is great potential for him to be the next Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan or Artour "Arteezy" Babaev. It seems like it is only a matter of time.
Kittz is an impressive carry player who is currently the position one for 5manmidas. He has a combination of discipline and balance that are the hallmarks of a future great. Throughout the games that he played in BTS Pro Series 4, he had particularly impactful performances on carries like Lifestealer, Phantom Assassin, and Faceless Void. In all three games, he was able to make solid rotations to aid his team in mid-game engagements and come out on top in net worth by patiently waiting for his chance to go in and clean up the fight for his team. Another aspect of his play that stands out is the in-game adjustments he makes.
As an example, in BTS Pro Series, in game two of a series with Arkosh Gaming,
Kittz went out of base as a Phantom Assassin with a Blightstone in order to be aggressive on the enemy offlane Viper. He did this with the understanding that an Undying and Phantom Assassin would have their best window to deal damage to the viper at level 1, when the combination of Decay, Stifling Dagger and a Blightstone would be enough to get a quick first blood. While Kittz’s playstyle is not flashy, it is proactive and consistent, and I look forward to seeing what he can do with this promising 5manmidas squad in the future.
Lukiluki - NoPangolier
Lukiluki is a name that has been around the NA pubs for a while. The 9000 MMR Pangolier main is now taking his shot at the competitive scene. The team is still playing in smaller tournaments such as RD2L and Epulze Open League where they have been making good showings against other NA stacks and are constantly developing as a team. LukiLuki himself plays offlane on the team and specializes in strong, strength-based initiators like Mars, Pangolier, and Night Stalker. His playstyle revolves around trying to gain an early advantage through lane dominance and snowballing the lead by constantly taking engagements. A good rule for LukiLuki is that if the strength offlaner buys a Blink Dagger, he probably plays it well.
Pingu - No Pangolier
A relatively unknown quantity, Pingu is another player who makes this list from No Pangolier and is also one of the more impressive players who is slowly gaining notoriety in the NA scene. While the team does not have that many games under their belt, they are slowly getting better, and Pingu plays a great supportive role in the team’s development. I highlight the supportive aspect of his play as he has a terrific Wisp that would be the bane of enemies to play against. The other heroes that he has done well on are Mirana, Jakiro, and Clockwork. The sample size is not large as of right now, but Pingu will be one to look out for in the near future.