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Cloud9 join 2022 Lock In semifinals after 2-1 victory against CLG

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Eight teams entered the 2022 LCS Lock In quarterfinals in an attempt to prove themselves before the 2022 Spring Split. Cloud9 took down Counter Logic Gaming 2-1 in the last quarterfinal match today, officially setting the semifinals stage of the League of Legends competition.

In the first three-game series of the LCS Lock In, C9 bounced back from a small deficit to reaffirm their status as the multi-time LCS champions. CLG found optimal opportunities to tear down C9 through their bot lane in Luger and Poome, though action across the map and varying draft choices made winning through bot only not a useful strategy to win this series.

While Luger and Poome maintained a solid lead in the bot lane, Blaber was making his presence known in all other areas of the map. Between ganks and objective secures, C9’s jungler made it clear early on in game one that the small lead CLG was accruing in the bot lane would not result in much success for the team. Within 15 minutes, Darshan and Blaber had killed Jenkins six times, simultaneously creating two tanky monsters for the rest of CLG to overcome.

Corki’s meta prevalence again became one of the biggest factors in C9’s 2-0 victory in this series. After Fudge ran over the entirety of CLG with Corki in game one, throwing out long-distance rockets to melt the enemy carries, the champion was immediately placed on the bench in the next pick/ban phase. In Corki’s place were both Vex and Akshan, joining Viego and Gwen to make game two showcase all four League champions released in 2021.

During game two, CLG aimed to identify and resolve some of the mistakes they made in the first game, and they succeeded. An early bot lane lead snowballed into multiple teamfight victories prioritizing ultimates from Palafox and Contractz, giving their top laner Jenkins the room to get ahead that he lacked in game one. Two Barons later, game two remained in complete control of CLG, leaving very little room for C9 to fight back.

Though Darshan failed to find his footing on Akshan in game two, game three was where he finally had the opportunity to display the effects of the textbook-length descriptions on the Rogue Sentinel’s abilities. Jinx was also handed over to the C9 squad despite being wide open for Luger to get his hands on, especially after two games where he had performed well with the pick. With a better understanding of their possible removal from the Lock In right in their faces, C9 used their amended composition to maintain a lead on CLG throughout the entire game. With an over 10,000 gold lead in tow, C9 secured one final Baron, triumphed down the bottom lane, and secured their spot in the 2022 LCS Lock In semifinals.

C9 now advance to face Evil Geniuses on Saturday in a best-of-five series to determine which team ventures to the Lock In finals. The day before, Team Liquid and Dignitas will fight for the other coveted spot in the finals. This is also not the expected roster for C9 to venture into the 2022 Spring Split. Players and new head coach LS have faced visa issues, resulting in this combination of academy and mainstays on this C9 squad in the Lock In. The 2022 LCS Lock In finals will take place on Jan. 30.


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Quinn makes the leap, abandons NA for Europe and some Gladiators in 2023 DPC

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The spirit of North American Dota 2 is dwindling yet again. One of its staple players, Quinn Callahan, officially made the move to Europe and joined Gaimin Gladiators today.

This comes after more than a month of speculation that the former Quincy Crew core of Quinn and YawaR would finally break up following the end of its tenure with Soniqs and a poor showing at The International 11—where they were one of the first four teams eliminated in the group stage. 

Quinn was arguably the single best NA player and embodied the region’s playstyle in how he carried himself both in-game and on camera, occasionally just giving into rage and diving at any enemies or key objectives in his path. This will also be just his second time competing outside of NA if you count his brief two-month stint with paiN X in South America back in late 2018.

Related: Uncrowned king steps down: Ame takes time off from Dota 2 as LGD begins huge rebuild

He will bring a new dynamic to a GG squad that kicked its previous longtime midlaner and parted ways with its similarly tenured coach, though it is unlikely he will take the Quinoa nickname his new captain Celery gave him in the introduction video. 

With this move, NA loses another key component out of its top rotations while Europe gains one more of the top frontliners in the world to fill out what is already the most stacked region in Dota. Chalk it up there with Evil Geniuses packing up and moving to SA and TSM going through its own roster shift

The rest of the former Soniqs roster is still scattered to the wind, though it does look like LESLÃO will remain in NA and join Nouns Esports for the upcoming DPC season despite being dropped for an extremely offensive in-game moment at TI11.

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Team Spirit, Virtus.pro and NaVi roster movements ahead of DPC 2023

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The CIS teams are on the move to reform a new powerhouse roster for the upcoming Dota Pro Circuit 2023 (DPC 2023). After the Eastern European teams’ poor showcase of results at the International 11 (TI11), it wasn’t surprising that even the TI10 Champs, Team Spirit themselves, are up for a roster shuffle.

Team Spirit parts ways with TORONTOTOKYO

Team Spirit announced the departure of their mid-player, Alexander “TORONTOTOKYO” Khertek. Renowned for his calm and wise demeanor during drafting discussions, the young prodigy is also infamously known for typing “ez game” at TI10.

Anyways, the departure from Team Spirit was by no means a good sendoff. Team Spirit had the worst run in their career-long TI participation, where BOOM Esports eliminated the defending champ at sixteenth place. While there were rumors about the internal conflict among Spirit players prior to TI11, which may have led to their poor performance. It’s difficult to envision Spirit crumbling so drastically after just winning the PGL Arlington Major 2022 beforehand.

TORONTOTOKYO’s new team

Speaking of rumors, word has it that there is a CIS super-stack in the making, consisting of Ivan “Pure” Moskalenko, Danil “gpk” Skutin, Egor “Nightfall” Grigorenko, Vitalie “Save-” Melnic, and TORONTOTOKYO himself.

These are high-profile players, who have played for powerhouses, such as Virtus.pro and Entity. Traditionally, Pure, gpk and Nightfall are carry players, who are best known for their position 1-3 roles respectively. This begs the question of where TORONTOTOKYO fits into the roster.

Well, it seems like TORONTOTOKYO will be taking the backseat in the team by playing as hard support. He was spamming position-5 support role in pubs since TI11 concluded, so the rumors seem to fit into the puzzle.

Virtus.pro welcomes young blood

VP has had a decent DPC season, all things considered. They placed thirteenth, just shy of 0.5 points after Valve re-calibrated their DPC points calculation. Sure, it’s unfortunate, but VP certainly didn’t let that stop them from qualifying for TI11.

Fast forward to TI11 Last Chance Qualifier, Team Liquid and Secret hoarded the top seeds, ending VP’s TI11 dream. Regardless, VP is still a staple in DPC, which has consistently cultivated new line-ups. As such, they announced a new stack of young players for DPC 2023.

Recruiting players from five different teams, VP has their eyes set on creating the next generation of CIS powerhouse. Evgeniy “Noticed” Ignatenko from BetBoom might just be the only notable player, who has somewhat of a background after BetBoom played in TI11. Besides that, the rest of the team are from unknown origins, and go by the names, Koma`, squad1x, sayuw, and Dukalis.

Natus Vincere releases Solo and Noone

Navi shared a similar journey with VP at the TI11 Last Chance Qualifier, falling just short despite making it to Singapore. With that, the veterans, Volodymyr “Noone” Minenko and Alexey “Solo” Berezin left Navi. Although Navi never met the expectations of a well-established powerhouse, having Noone and Solo’s guidance gave Navi some relevancy.

Anyways, Nikita “Nicky`Cool” Ostakhov and Arman “Malady” Orazbayev take up the vacant roles left behind by their predecessors. Like many other new powerhouses, there seems to be a trend in picking up young blood. The two players are phenomenal in the pubs, so hopefully that transitions well into world-class performance for Navi.


The trio of CIS powerhouses have their eyes set on the new DPC season, whereas a rumored powerful stack is in the making. Considering how drastically the competitive scene has shifted in favor of South American and Western European teams. CIS needs to step up its games in order to stay relevant in DPC 2023.

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Brazilian CS:GO player slams quality of practice in North America

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Just days after winning the $20,000 CBCS Invitational 2022 in Brazil over 00 Nation, paiN Gaming have traveled back to North America to play their last matches before the player break. Rodrigo “biguzera” Bittencourt, paiN’s No. 1 star, is not happy at all to practice again with NA teams, though.

“How I missed practicing in NA,” biguzera ironically said today. “[Practicing in] Brazil is a thousand times better than here. Now I see why this region [NA] is so successful,” biguzera added, calling out how the NA players have been practicing.

Biguzera is not the first and likely won’t be the last player to complain about the quality of CS:GO practice in NA. This has historically been a concern in the region and the practice only got worse after the COVID-19 pandemic because several organizations stopped investing in the competition and almost all relevant tournaments shifted to Europe, which forces the only few good teams from NA like Team Liquid to spend most of their time practicing in Europe to have a chance of winning such big tournaments.

This is also the overall perception in Brazil as well. Most of the Brazilian teams move to NA to attend NA leagues and try to qualify for big tournaments, but with the practice being so bad nowadays, it’s unclear if that is the best approach for Brazilian teams. One of biguzera’s fans asked him if paiN could not move to Europe because they will “unlearn” how to play CS in NA.

The quality of practice in NA won’t likely change anytime soon unless organizations try to nurture talent in the region like Evil Geniuses is doing with its Blueprint project and tournament organizers invest in the grassroots scene.



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