Opinion: Why Valve invited the right teams

posted by HolyMaster, 3 years ago
The invited teams for The International 2013 have been announced. KaiPi isn't one of them. A tough choice that has been the cause of much debate. The following is an analysis from the standpoint of someone who is tasked with making these same hard decisions as the head tournament admin for joinDOTA, responsible for inviting teams to competitions such as The Defense, the joinDOTA Masters, EIZO CUP and Bigpoint Battle.

It looks as if only a few of us were not surprised when the invited teams for the Western Qualifier were announced yesterday. I was one of them. In fact I was predicting exactly those eight teams to be in the mix. But more than half of the almost 200 comments we have are discussion around one question, the topic of the spontaneous show by Much Ado About Dota yesterday: Why is eu KaiPi not invited?

First of all, even though I have more insight than others into this matter, I can only assume what led Valve to this decision. What I can safely explain to you is why I would have done exactly the same.

Stability Matters!

What I heard many times during MAAD yesterday (e.g. from the understandably disappointed EternaLEnVy): "Every team changed it's roster, so this can't be a reason". Sorry guys, you can say this 100 times, but it is still completely wrong! Roster changes might not be the only reason, but they certainly play a role.

Out of the eight invited teams, four have not made a a single change recently:
  • dk Absolute Legends announced its current roster at February 10th.
  • eu QPAD Red Pandas finalized its lineup at March 4th.
  • ru RoX.KiS had its last change at March 27th
  • Not sure about ua iCCup, but they definitely had their lineup before March 23rd
All of these teams have played with its current lineup for more than a month. RoX.KiS in its current state is the most recently modified team of the four, but their strong results made them indispensable for the qualifier. The other three teams have not shown impressive but at least solid results. That doesn't make their invites safe, but it is an advantage.

EG or Mouz? Out of the question.

The next two teams are us Evil Geniuses and de Mousesports. There's not much to say about them. Both of them exchanged one player very recently, but have had a stable lineup for half a year before that (with KuroKy leaving Mouz being the only exception). EG and Mouz are big names who have been around for a long time and showed great potential. Both of them could easily afford one roster change. Their slots were still safe.

The Unstable Trio

That leaves only two truly unstable teams: ru Team Empire and fr dd.Dota. Just like KaiPi, these two teams have had major changes quite recently. So let's make a comparison.

Empire was probably the strongest European team in the last four months of 2012, winning many tournaments. However only two players are left from their successfull lineup. twiSta and Mitch are decent additions. I wouldn't rate them higher than ComeWithMe and Arteezy, maybe even a little lower. But the third addition is LighTofHeaveN, and that has probably been the deciding factor in favour of Empire - besides the team's history. If it wasn't for Light, Empire might have not been invited in my opinion.

Let's get to dd. Just like KP, dd has been a very unstable "team" for many months. Both of them have absolutely nothing in common with the original lineups under these names (KP was originally from Lebanon, including players like Babarrr and Asuna; dd was Danish, evolved out of the former Copenhagen Wolves). KP has without any doubt been the stronger team out of these two in the past two months. But the two additions on each side changed that. The core of dd are the three French players who won the qualifier last year with eu mTw. They are now joined by Goblak and Silent, who have had great success with Empire, with Goblak also being a great captain of course. dd's Lineup simply appears to be stronger now by just looking at the names. Maybe that turns out to be wrong, but since both teams haven't proven anything with their new lineups, the potential can only be estimated. And KP slightly loses that comparison.

The final decision

I'm not saying KP doesn't deserve to be invited. They would have been a legit choice. But it's also completely legit to not include them. It's a tough call between these nine teams, but in the end KP has been my #9. I also want to mention that se 4FC (my #10) and pe Artyk (my #11) have been quite close as well in my opinion. They would have deserved it too.

In the end we had a bunch of candidates and they got judged by several factors. I think these 3 are the most important ones (in that order!):
  • 1. Potential
  • 2. Stability
  • 3. Achievements

EG, Mouz, and RoX were safe. All other comparisons were tight. While KP slightly beats QPandas or iCCup in potential, they clearly lose on stability. While KP beats dd on achievements with the same stability, they lose on potential. While KP is (maybe?) on par with Empire in potential and stability, they loses on achievements.

A couple of factors have to be considered, while choosing the right teams. There's not that one thing that decides everything, so many elements influence the outcome (I just mentioned the three who are - in my opinion - the most important ones). Again, it's REALLY close. It would have been perfectly fine to decide otherwise. But it's understandable for sure. Last but not least it was certainly not helpful for KP to add the only player, who didn't get his visa for the USA last year.

Summing Up

Do I think KaiPi would have been invited with their old lineup? Yes. But they risked their slot and ultimately lost it. This also serves as warning for next year: If you change your team during the invite period, you might (MIGHT!!) be punished for it.

My suggestion to Valve: Give the teams a deadline. March 31st or something like that. Only teams who don't change their lineup after that deadline are considered for an invite or qualifier spot. That way they at least have one month to prove themselves instead of leaving it to pure speculation (dd vs KP!), regarding which team will be stronger.

And now, let's enjoy the qualifiers!

Sources: The International, joinDOTA newspost, MAAD Episode 20.5

Related Content:


Brad.58 wrote at 03.05.2013, 19:04 CEST:
AdnanNawazKhan wrote at 03.05.2013, 19:04 CEST:
BWS wrote at 03.05.2013, 19:07 CEST:
cry me a river envy.
se7en.chan wrote at 03.05.2013, 19:08 CEST:
KP lose potential to DD ROFL.. GOBLAK and silent could not even speak french to those french guys imo. how the potential comes from?
Evolik wrote at 03.05.2013, 19:09 CEST:
Envy fanboys incoming :)

Also the deadline thing is a great idea.

edited by Evolik at 03.05.2013, 19:14 CEST
Revir wrote at 03.05.2013, 19:09 CEST:
AntaKu wrote at 03.05.2013, 19:09 CEST:
Why KP isnt invited? 1 word ETERNALENVY
Gameorg wrote at 03.05.2013, 19:09 CEST:
While many of your points are right, i wonder why we need a personal opinion as news.
Just go to the forum with this. News are for news and facts imho. This is more like a blog entry.
Additionally: Skillwise, imho qpad dd AL are all behind KP. Its just that AL and Qpad have an organisation behind them, especially Qpad with living next to the hoster of the qualifier.
U completly ignored that point.

Also calling teams stable that changed roster this year is false imho. Stable means 6+ month.

edited by Gameorg at 03.05.2013, 19:13 CEST
Yogofu wrote at 03.05.2013, 19:10 CEST:
a deadline would have helped... Valve should know better :c
EnanoMaldito wrote at 03.05.2013, 19:11 CEST:
I don't agree on DD.dota but oh well.
Syyynd wrote at 03.05.2013, 19:13 CEST:
Mr. Bean wrote at 03.05.2013, 19:13 CEST:
So, KP gets punished for making changes to improve their roster? What's stopping the currently invited teams from making roster changes? It's a pretty bullshit excuse, and KP has a legitimate excuse to be upset as they have performed very strong of late, even with a weaker lineup than the currently have. A deadline would definitely be something Valve could do in the future, but it's silly to punish one team for it. Moreover, stability should not be weighted so heavily in the case of inactivity (like with aL and ICCup).
jackefawn wrote at 03.05.2013, 19:15 CEST:
your proposal might help teams decide wether they want a player out or not because they have a deadline.


If I got this right, it's the players who recieve the invite and has to stay with the same lineup through TI? If so it might just destroy some teams leading to unjustified kicks due to insecurity, or going to TI without practice and teamspirit just because they have to stick to the player(s) they gave the benefit of the doubt sticking with.
Cr1t. wrote at 03.05.2013, 19:15 CEST:
You act like only 1st, 2nd or 3rd placements were achievements,
but for small upcoming teams it's just not correct and thusfor Kaipi has way better results and "achievements" than dd and deserved the spot more.
-MG- wrote at 03.05.2013, 19:17 CEST:
Im so happy they mention artyk :D
its a big step for the peruvian scene
(sorry for the bad english)
ALWAYSINMYMIND wrote at 03.05.2013, 19:17 CEST:
sad for kp
Cxar wrote at 03.05.2013, 19:18 CEST:
-MG- wrote:
Im so happy they mention artyk :D
its a big step for the peruvian scene
(sorry for the bad english)

And im sure next year will be at least top 5 for qualifiers if not a direct invite ;)
bolenart wrote at 03.05.2013, 19:20 CEST:
Is it this kind of posts the news page really is for? What's the purpose of the forum then? I don't have joindota.com bookmarked because I wanna read some dude's blogposts

Sorry for sounding like a douche btw
Apmat4 wrote at 03.05.2013, 19:21 CEST:
4fc vs iccup
kp vs dd
JohnyUltrah wrote at 03.05.2013, 19:21 CEST:
Badluck Kaipi ... Feel so sry 4 arteezy dmn :(
Sun_Tzu wrote at 03.05.2013, 19:22 CEST:
se7en.chan wrote:
KP lose potential to DD ROFL.. GOBLAK and silent could not even speak french to those french guys imo. how the potential comes from?

They speak English during games, actually. Goblak's English if fairly good, to which I can attest having myself spent a fair bit talking to him during StarLadder.
a73535532 wrote at 03.05.2013, 19:23 CEST:
gonna taste EE fanboy's tears
Layne wrote at 03.05.2013, 19:23 CEST:
In contrast to last year I would say there is very little room for disappointment regarding the invites. Over all solid decision but this should be awarded with too much praise since it was rather obviouse.
Nyt wrote at 03.05.2013, 19:23 CEST:
Can I have a news for my opinion as well?
Just feels like valve dickriding to redeem joindota after Tobi's screw up last year.
Sun_Tzu wrote at 03.05.2013, 19:24 CEST:
Gameorg wrote:
While many of your points are right, i wonder why we need a personal opinion as news.

It's an opinion piece, which are a discretionary right of any news editor. In a traditional newspaper you'll find at least one in every issue.

You are not logged in! To become part of the awesome, create your GameSports account here.