2020, despite its complications, has been a phenomenal year for Dota. The Dota community has persevered through the canceling of LANs, including The International, and has been rewarded with several excellent tournaments, each with impressive strategies and exciting outplays. It’s been a magical experience being able to watch the progression of Dota this year. To commemorate this year, TrackDota has compiled our top 5 professional Dota plays of 2020.
Starting with number 5, we have Team Liquid’s Michael "miCKe" Vu on Sven in game 2 of Liquid versus Vikin.gg at ESL One Germany. Patch 7.28, especially in its later months, was known for Sven's oppressive strength, particularly his Aghanim’s Scepter. With his team's help, miCKe pushes this hero to its limits, weaving in and out of the fight, ensuring he is staying in the range of Aydin "iNSaNiA" Sarkohi’s Oracle to stay alive.
While this is fantastic team fight execution by team Liquid, credit has to be given to miCKe for cleaning up all of Vikin.gg. This team fight, in combination with a clever relocate play by miCKe and Tommy "Taiga" Le, is what allowed for Team Liquid to come back from mega creeps and close out the series.
At number 4 is OG’s Syed Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan’s Rapier turn around on Gyrocopter in game 2 of Team Secret versus OG at ESL One LA.
The start of this engagement looks horrible for OG. Not only are they 30,000 net worth behind Team Secret, but the fight starts with a pickoff on Johan "N0tail" Sundstein’s Nyx Assassin and an Echo Slam to take out Neta "33" Shapira’s Chen. With both supports dead, the fight, and possibly the game, looks lost for OG. However, between SumaiL’s Divine Rapier and Satanic, as well as some excellent saves from Martin "Saksa" Sazdov’s Pugna, OG manages to drag out the fight long enough to recover and wipe Team Secret. This team fight is the momentum shift OG needed to come back in this game, taking the series 2-0.
Number 3 goes to Fnatic’s Nuengnara "23savage" Teeramahanon playing his signature Morphling in game 2 of Fnatic versus Team Secret at DreamLeague Season 13. While this one isn’t a rampage or team wipe, 23savage shows off both his impeccable Morphling play, as well as the creativity and ingenuity that Dota allows.
Team Secret is pushing into Fnatic’s high ground with an Aegis on Michał "Nisha" Jankowski’s Monkey King and nearly a 20,000 net worth lead. 23savage turns the tides of this fight quickly with a series of very fluid plays. He previously had used Morph on Lasse Aukusti "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen’s Magnus. He then waveforms behind the Monkey King, morphs back into Magnus, uses Skewer, buffed by his Aghanim’s Scepter to skewer Nisha back to Dire’s Ancient, where Djardel Jicko B. "DJ" Mampusti is waiting. DJ then uses Toss with Tiny’s “Toss Requires No Target” talent to toss Nisha into Dire’s fountain. There, Nisha dies and respawns due to his Aegis, turning the entire fight in Fnatic’s favor. While they don’t manage to win the game, this play shows how players are rewarded for being creative with the tools they are given.
Number 2 goes to Nigma’s Amer "Miracle-" Al-Barkawi on Arc Warden in game 1 of Team Nigma versus Alliance at OMEGA League Immortal Division. This is arguably the greatest throne defense of all time. Miracle- places seven perfectly positioned and timed Magnetic Fields preventing Alliance from dealing the last 50 damage necessary to win the game. It’s important to notice that Miracle- isn’t always placing the fields the moment they come off cooldown but waiting for the perfect time to prevent as much damage as possible. He manages to do all of this while keeping his hero and tempest double alive, wiping out Alliance one by one. This amazing throne defense results in Nigma winning the game, which was looking beyond gone before this play.
2020 has had countless great plays, and it is clear that the level that professional Dota is played at has only risen. Our number one play of the year goes to Evil Genuises’ Artour "Arteezy" Babaev on Faceless Void in game 2 of Evil Geniuses versus Quincy Crew in BTS Pro Series 2.
Evil Genuises is down by 18,000 net worth with buyback only on their Phoenix at the start of this play. Quincy Crew is taking Roshan number four, meaning it is about to drop Aegis, Cheese, Refresher Shard, and Aghanim’s Blessing. Right before Roshan dies, Arteezy Timewalk’s into the Roshan pit, Chronospheres the Lina and Luna from Quincy Crew, steals the last hit on Rosh, Aegis, Cheese, and Refresher shard. He uses the Refresher Shard, allowing him to use his second BKB, and Timewalks uphill to hit a second Chronosphere, this time on all the remaining Quincy Crew players, managing to wipe the entire team. This play single-handedly won EG the game. You could not ask for more because there simply isn’t a better play than this.
In conclusion, 2020 has been a strange year for Dota 2. With no International, the professional scene has lost a little bit of its direction. In spite of that, though, there are many extremely talented players and teams and getting better every day. We look to 2021 with hope, excited to see what new comebacks and outplays the upcoming year will bring.