Managing a team of players is not easy. Most players begin with an independent team and are hired by some expert organization if they happen to be a good squad. This is what has happened to most of the lineups you will see listed here. The best teams in the world are normally hired by good managers that worry about giving their players less things to worry about so they can concentrate and improve faster.
Some of the organizations listed here have other squads for different eSport games. However, the following earnings are only related to Dota 2. This way we can truly compare these teams’ success in Dota 2.
The Top 10 Dota 2 Teams with the highest prize money earned:
Evil Geniuses – $10,261,447.65
EG is one of the oldest team/organization in Dota 2’s existence. The organization has been founded in 1999, and it has been known to compete and place highly in major tournaments ever since. Dota 2 has shown by far and away the most profitable game for this brand.
EG is the best and most successful North American Dota 2 team. The team’s journey began in 2011; their first roster consisted of DeMoN, PlaymatE, MiSeRy, Pajkatt and Fear. The team underwent many success and failure stories, as well as reshuffles over the years.
EG’s spark of stability began in 2014, when Fear and UNiVeRsE picked up the then-members of S A D B O Y S – zai, ppd and Arteezy. Thus, the EG as we know it today came to be. The team went in as favorites into TI4, but fell short of the trophy and ended up with the 3rd place and just over a million dollars.
In January of 2015, right before DAC, EG lost two key players; zai and Arteezy. When all seemed lost, they brought in former C9 member Aui_2000 and 16 year old wonder kid SumaiL. The team returned in form stronger than ever and showed their new strength by winning DAC. Later into the year, they cemented themselves in Dota 2 history by winning The International of 2015.
Newbee – $5,643,616.16
Newbee is a fairly young team in the competitive Dota scene. The team was formed amidst the Chinese reshuffle of 2014, in hopes of achieving results at The International of 2014. The team was later known as a dream team.
Xiao8 assumed the position of captain, and brought in former TongFu members Mu and Hao, alongside KingJ and ZSMJ, who were later changed for Banana and SanSheng – completing the TI4 winning roster.
Newbee assumed fantastic results prior to TI4, and were given a direct invite. Although they started poorly and finishing 8th in the group stages, they bounced back in the knockout rounds and took care of Vici Gaming with ease in the final.
The team was never the same after TI4; xiao8 announced (temporary) retirement, and even though they acquired LGD star carry Rabbit not long after, Newbee are still but a shadow of their former glory.
Vici Gaming – $4,410,900.27
Vici Gaming is a team with a long history in the Chinese and global Dota 2 scene. They were initially formed in 2012, and were subject to a number of reshuffles until they found their strength in 2014, where they came in as one of the favorites and eventually lost to Newbee in the final game, finishing 2nd.
Vici is most famous for its unbeatable support duo in Fy and Fenrir – the former often dubbed by many as Fy-god thanks to his miraculous Rubick plays among others. Super, their mid player, has also remained a staple in the team throughout the years.
Vici Gaming has consistently remained strong throughout the years. In TI5 with Hao and iceiceice on the carry and offlane positions, they managed to secure 4th place in the tournament, despite a disappointing start in the group stages.
LGD Gaming – $4,012,135.03
LGD has always been a behemoth in China, even in the early Dota 1 days. The team’s transition to Dota 2 began in 2012, although they didn’t participate in the first International of 2011 in Cologne, they were present in 2012 and came in as one of the strongest favorites in the tournament.
LGD finished the group stages with a flawless record. In what was a mostly Chinese teams dominated tournament, their winning streak was finally stopped by Natus Vincere, and later on Invictus Gaming – who went on to win the tournament.
In The International 2014, they came in as underdogs, but still managed to secure shared 5th-6th place and approximately $650,000. TI5 was their strongest, where under xiao8 they were led to 3rd place and $2,211,553. The team’s current roster is still in full force and looking to emulate previous successes, especially for the upcoming majors.
CDEC Gaming – $3,258,942.96
CDEC became the fifth most successful Dota 2 team in just a few days. They entered the International 5 tournament as a Wild Card and managed to finish in second place; they didn’t even drop to Lower Bracket.
This team is led by the organization LGD Gaming. Formed by young talents, they turned into the biggest surprise in 2015 for the competitive scene. They were literally unknown until they managed to qualify for TI5 and won almost every game in that tournament.
This achievement will always be remembered by young teams looking to make it into the big scene.
Natus Vincere – $3,117,755.85
The last, but assuredly not least, mention on our list is a name that will forever be etched in Dota 2 history and the hearts of fans everywhere – Natus Vincere.
Na’Vi is a team that only a few people in the scene, if any, have not heard of. They are known for their aggressiveness and extreme innovation, especially under their former captains Artstyle and later on Puppey.
Na’Vi won the first ever Dota 2 International in Germany, 2011. The TI1 winning roster consisted of Puppey, Artstyle, Dendi, XBOCT and LighTofHeaveN. Artstyle left shortly after winning TI1, and was replaced by ARS-ART. This didn’t stop Na’Vi from massive success later on. As TI2 came to the spotlight, the team faltered in the group stages, but bounced back and reached the finals once again, through a series of memorable matches and unimaginable comebacks, although they lost to IG in the finals.
In 2013, prior to The International 2013, ARS-ART and LighTofHeaveN were replaced by Funn1k and German Dota legend KuroKy. Unlike previous tournaments, the team came in as one of the favorites into TI3, they assumed 1st place in the group stages, and were once again dropped down to the lower bracket – where they battled against TongFu and came out ahead – thanks to the ingenious fountain hooks by Dendi, as well as Orange led by Mushi, in what was one of the most spectacular comebacks in Dota 2 history. Na’Vi battled through to the finals, and eventually lost to Alliance, in what was one of the, if not the best, series of games in Dota 2 history.
Poor starts and lack of form were never an issue for Na’Vi, it seemed. They always found a way to bounce back via lower brackets and reach the finals of many tournaments, not just Internationals. TI4 was their ultimate downfall, however, as they reached 7th place and were knocked out by Cloud 9.
That was the year Puppey and KuroKy left, leaving Na’Vi in shambles. They underwent a number of player reshuffles ever since, but still didn’t manage to return to former strength. In TI5, they were knocked out in the first round of the lower brackets.
Invictus Gaming – $2,701,500.88
The first Chinese team to win an International was IG. Led by Chuan, this squad managed to win the finals against a stronger-than-ever NaVi. They were created in 2011 before Dota 2 was launched. The only remaining member from that founding squad is Ferrari, who is one of the most loved and famous Mid-lane players in China.
2015 wasn’t the best year they’ve had; even though they are still one of the Tier 1 Chinese teams out there, many other squads like Vici Gaming, EHOME and CDEC seem to do better nowadays. Still, their downfall hasn’t been as bad as NaVi’s. Their latest success was ECL 2015 Spring against CDEC.
They are still one of the most successful teams, but they are in the last position of all the top Chinese lineups.
Alliance – $2,453,107.18
Alliance began as a team only for Sweden people. It is highly unlikely to be a successful Dota 2 team if you can only hire good players within a small country. Nevertheless, they became the winners of TI3. Prior to their formation, they were called No Tidehunter and were led by EternalEnvy. They let EE go so they could form the Sweden squad with Akke, Loda, EGM, S4 and AdmiralBulldog.
They’ve given us some of the best Dota 2 matches we’ve ever seen. The last game in TI3 looked like a complete lost for them, but some amazing plays combined with few mistakes made by NaVi earned them one of the most recalled victories. S4’s Million Dollar Coil from that game will always be remembered.
Since then, they’ve been having a rough time. NaVi and Alliance became underdogs too soon after being at the top. Nevertheless, Alliance have kept trying and they just had success at winning one of the tournaments with the biggest prize pools in Dota 2: WCA 2015.
They’ve had a few roster changes, but they finally returned to the very same squad that was so successful in 2013. Their victory in WCA 2015 will surely give them the moral boost they needed after struggling for so long.
Team Secret – $2,443,243.29
Team Secret began as another All Star team formed by Arteezy, S4, Kuroky, Zai and Puppey. They had a lot of success during the first months of their formation and they looked really promising. Sadly, just like it happened with Team DK, they didn’t live up to the expectation: they finished 7 – 8th position in TI5 even though they were the favorites.
These led to various dramas that involved Arteezy and Kuroky, as they were often caught having a discussion after some matches. This lead the team to change its roster: Arteezy and Zai went to EG, Kuroky to Team Liquid and S4 returned to Alliance; Puppey was the only member to stay.
The actual roster formed by Puppey, EternalEnvy, Misery, w33 and pieliedie have won almost every tournament they’ve participated in after Ti5. They only finished second place against OG during the Frankfurt Major 2015. This is why they are considered at least among the top 2 of Western teams right now. Only time will tell if they can become the best for Ti6.
Virtus Pro – $1,853,931.09
VP were one of the few squads to keep their roster intact after Ti5. They only changed their Carry player in December 2015. The roster is now formed by fng, Lil, DkPhobos, G and Silent. They became the CIS scene’s hope after the downfall of NaVi and Empire. They are considered one of the best teams in the world right now.
Their captain fng led NaVi for a few months before joining this squad. They did much better than expected during Ti5 and ended up eliminating the favorites: Team Secret. This is the main reason why they didn’t want to change their roster.
The team swapped Illidan for Silent after finishing 5 – 8th for many tournaments in a row. With their new squad they managed to get second place in the Summit 4. They almost took the series 3-0, but an amazing comeback from EG made the tides turn against them.
Even though they finished second place, it’s hard to say if they improved by changing roster. The Summit 4 was a small tournament and we need to see them play a lot more before deciding what to think about them. Only time will show if they made a good decision. Nevertheless, it’s unlikely they will get worse by swapping just one player.
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