posted by Brasozial,
Let's start with the carry position which evolved to be the most important role in the latest patches. If you want to be a world-class team you need to have a top-notch player on position 1 who carries you to victory. A team that learned that early on is OG. They actually used that strategy already last season at The International 2018. They focused all their power on star carry Anathan 'ana' Pham - and it worked perfectly, as we all know.
ana took a break after lifting the Aegis, but came back earlier this year. Yes, he's a world-class player, but since he didn't play for most of the season, we won't put him in first place.
The decesion comes down to Michał 'Nisha' Jankowski and Amer 'Miracle-' Al-Barkawi. The Team Secret carry is one of the best players in the world right now and probably the biggest surprise of the season.
The 18-year-old Polish player joined Secret in September 2018 and isn't known for excentric or euphoric emotional breakouts, but his playstyle is incredible. He's one of the big reasons why Secret is the indisputable champion of the season - and without the EPICENTER Major there wouldn't be a doubt about him as the best carry of the season.
Amer 'Miracle-' Al-Barkawi has been considered the best player in the world for more than two years now. He dominated mid and switched now to the carry position to shape another lane. Officially, he switched to the carry position when Omar 'w33haa' Aliwi joined Team Liquid, but he also played carry before and Lasse 'Matumbaman' Urpalainen took over the mid lane.
At EPICENTER he proved that he's still the best player in the world - whatever lane he's playing. This is why I'd pick Miracle- for the carry position. But let's be honest Nisha would deserve it, too.
Our choice for the top midlane in Europe is way easier than picking a carry: Yeik Nai 'MidOne' Zheng is a godlike player. He's been good for more than a year now, but his last months were even better than that. He's mechanically skilled, has a good temper and knows exactly when to attack the other lanes. Every opponent team sees him as a threat - he builds the most dangerous combination with Nisha.
If we look at the other top teams from Europe, only a few get even close to his level: Topias 'Topson' Taavitsainen, Adrian 'Fata' Trinks and Lasse 'Matumbaman' Urpalainen are definitely very good players, but this year MidOne is a step ahead.
The only player who improved his game alot and is worth mentioning as possible contender is Max 'qojqva' Broecker. I'd still say that MidOne is the best mid laner in the world, but I've been surprised by the performances of qojqva on Storm Spirit and other heroes - especially in the late phase of the season. If he continues to improve TI9 could be his time to shine.
Miracle has been the best player in the world for the last years, but if we just look at this season Ludwig 'zai' Wåhlberg took over the status as number one. The Swedish offlaner is insanely skilled and his intelligent play surprises all experts and opponents.
He is unrivalled on his position. Ivan 'MinD_ContRoL' Borislavov, Neta '33' Shapira, Sebastien 'Ceb' Debs and even Samuel 'Boxi' Svahn are very good, but zai is still on another level. Although he has stars on every position in his team, he outshined them too much this season. Anybody would like to have a zai in their team.
The position 4 support
Here is another difficult choice: Yazied 'YapzOr' Jaradat, Jesse 'JerAx' Vainikka or Maroun 'Gh' Merhej? All of these three players proved several times that they defined the support role in their own way and deliver game changing moments.
However, for me the decision is almost clear: gh was the best position 4 support in 2017 and JerAx was the strongest one in the last season. This season definitely belongs to YapzOr - and it was about time to happen. By now, the Jordanian support is famous far beyond his Rubick play.
He proved that he's able to adjust to the meta and pick almost any hero Puppey wants him to play on. This is the backbones you need for a top team.
The position 5 support and captain
Building a squad as a team manager isn't always easy: what if you have four top stars in your team, but still don't win? You're probably missing a good captain and position 5 support that can shape a team.
This season is the renaissance of Clement 'Puppey' Ivanov. He's definitely been a top player for more than ten years now, but this season definitely proved that he's one of the best that ever saw the game. He's the mastermind behind Secret's great plays. He picks the right heroes for his team and knows how to outdraft them and save the energy of his carries. There's no doubt about picking him.
Four other players worth mentioning are Peter 'ppd' Dager, Kuro S. 'KuroKy' Takhasomi, Johan 'BigDaddyN0tail' Sundstein and Aydin 'iNsania' Sarkohi - all of them will compete at The International 2019.
Kuro successfully solved the task of implementing a new player to his system and actually made it immediately into a Grand Finals again. ppd formed another threat in Europe with two former Secret players, N0tail kept his team strong over a difficult time with changes and iNsania delivered great performances with Alliance. They're all incredible players and can take over the throne next year, but this year belongs to Puppey.
Amer 'Miracle-' Al-Barkawi
Yeik Nai 'MidOne' Zheng
Ludwig 'zai' Wåhlberg
Yazied 'YapzOr' Jaradat
Clement 'Puppey' Ivanov
We had some difficult choices to make, but in the end it looks way easier than it was: we picked almost the entire Team Secret squad, although every European team has awesome players. They're definitely the best team of the year.
Which five players would you pick in your European dream team?
Photo credit: EPICENTER Media, DreamHack und StarLadder
This an subjective article which represents the opinion of the author. We define region not by nationality, but the region they play in.