posted by NanaKrustofski,
OG, Team Secret,, Vici Gaming: The league of the strongest teams in the history of Dota 2 is well-staffed and does not even end with this listing. But which one of them earned the crown and sceptre as best team in the entire world?

Is The International really decisive?

Note: The term "team" refers to a specific roster in this article and not to the organisation itself.

Every Dota pro player has one goal: to lift the Aegis at least once. Winning The International means winning the most important tournament in Dota. Whoever prevails on the holy grounds of TI holds the title of a world champion. The best team in the world – or just a fluke?

The International has been praised for years as the most glorious battlefield where the greatest team of is determined. Until 2018. OG set a milestone: After a mediocre DPC result, the team skyrocketed through the Open Qualifiers to the playoffs and into the Grand Finals. After nearly four hours of fighting against PSG.LGD, OG won TI8 with a 3-2 victory.

But despite just having won the world championship, they could not convince all critics. OG fluked to victory, as furtive voices claimed in the depths of the community. The team was supposedly unskilled, they were just lucky. Of course, the majority regarded OG to be the well-deserved champions. But still, parts of the Dota world disagreed.

OG were not satisfied with one single TI win: They doubled their TI title count in the successive year. By winning The International 2019, they put up another milestone. Not only were OG's members the first players to win TI twice, they also managed to do so back to back. With this incredible, unbelievable achievement, there is no doubt that OG are the strongest team in the entire world, right?

Just another fluke. Also, OG boosted their performance by abusing drugs, so random speculators claimed. Not even winning The International twice is sufficient to be universally acknowledged as the best team in the world. So which criteria does a team have to meet?

'Second place at TI does not even matter'

Winning TI does not convince all fans, so getting second place certainly does not mean much either. As an example, Omar 'w33haa' Aliwi scarcely missed the Aegis twice. Getting to the finals of the biggest tournament two times should actually be a solid proof of one's skill.

However, lots of people discredit his achievements. He was actually a bad player that only got carried by his team and the meta favoured his hero pool. But if the competition is so incredibly dense at TI, could you make it to the pedestal?

w33 is not the only case. Second, third and fourth place are often overlooked. In general, every team that participates at TI counts to the global elite in Dota and the top placements are occupied by especially strong teams.

Consistency: Are DPC points key?

One of the key arguments of those denying OG's status as best team: They lack consistency. The DPC ranking could pose a suitable parameter to determine consistency. Naturally, the more points a team collected throughout the year, the better have they played.

But is consistency really the key factor for the title as best team? Is it really more important to perform superior throughout all the Majors than at The International?

If you go by this rating, Team Secret and were the world's best teams in the past two years. Both of them had a respectable finish at TI8 and TI9, too. Secret claimed the sixth and fourth place, VP finished fifth and ninth. Does this mean the teams were superior to OG?

The upcoming changes to the DPC system might once again alter the way tournaments get rated and the importance they have. So far, there is not much information available on how the system will be put into practice. Leagues could potentially lower the pressure at tournaments and give a more accurate indication of a team's skill and performance which is not only measured by their results at a few tournaments throughout the year. Update: DPC points distribution and further detail have been revealed by Valve.

It seems like the DPC results vs TI standings discussion is based on subjective opinions. Some parts of the community value TI higher, some the DPC ranking. However, there are more criteria to determine the strength of a team, other than results at tournaments.

What elements determine the best team?

Performance under pressure: With its exalted status (and the insane amount of money on the line) The International applies unimaginable pressure and creates the most competitive environment. While some teams might in theory have the better players, a well-working team chemistry and achieved results over the DPC season, they might crumble under the pressure and fall short to a team that in is less skilled on paper.

So, a team might be "better" but still loses due to not being able to cope with pressure. One might argue that this exact ability to play Dota under the highest levels of pressure contributes to being "the best team".

Versatility: Many people indulge in reminiscences about Wings Gaming. The champions of The International 2016 took the Dota world by storm with their creative drafts and seemingly unreachable level of skill.

The team could get any hero to work and rendered their opponents (for example Jacky 'EternaLEnVy' Mao) clueless about what to ban – because Wings mastered every strategy.

Individual skill + teamplay: Not only do tournament results matter, the execution of plays and individual skill also adds to the quality of a team. There is a difference between winning a match because you outdrafted your opponents or because you outplayed them.

Some players constantly deliver strong performances on every hero in every matchup, but while they achieve good results, they are not completely outstanding. Other players have extremely high peaks that add to entertainment and deliver mind-blowing plays. Those who master the high risk/high reward strategy often gain higher recognition from the viewers.

Inventing something new: Playing flawlessly according to script surely is a highly demanding task. But inventing new strategies, builds or combinations is what sets the good apart from the best. Copying and perfecting is always easier than creating something new.

Ability to adapt: Dota is constantly changing and while a team might have been on top of their game in 2015 for example, their previous success does not say anything about their skill now. The "best team" must be able to quickly adapt to changes and a new meta.

So, which one is the best team?

Summa summarum: It surely is the right take to consider OG to be the best team in Dota 2. Not only did OG set several milestones and won the biggest tournament twice, they also provide outstanding individual skill, team work and creativity to their gameplay.

However, you can also consider a different team to be number one if you value other aspects higher or have another point of view. It is important to provide solid reasoning and also accept if people disagree with your choice.

What do you think: Which is the best team in Dota 2? What factors contribute to the title?

Photo credit: Valve