What really sets the best teams apart is the leadership of a great captain. Let’s take a look at the best captains who have played Dota 2 at a professional level so far:
5 – S4 (Alliance)
Gustav “S4” Magnusson is a veteran of the scene and was the captain of the legendary Alliance squad that won TI3. They also dominated the professional scene before and after this victory. After joining several other top teams and a long hiatus from TI9, S4 is back in the Alliance leadership and is poised to lead the new roster to glory.
S4 is an unusual captain – he doesn’t play any of the support roles. Earlier in his career, he played mid and was one of the most dominant mid players, often winning his lane and controlling the game through flamboyant games with his signature heroes: Pak and Magnus. This style of play is rarely seen among captains, who often play the role of a tough support with limited play capabilities.
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4 – Solo (Virtus.pro)
Although his name is not on Aegis, Alexy “Solo” Berezin is a highly respected captain who holds the record for the most major wins. Since the TI7 season, Virtus.pro from Solo has been one of the best members of the team. The only achievement Solo is still chasing is winning the TI. The new Vp roster is starting to gain momentum – back in April they won ESL One Los Angeles in the Europe and CIS division.
Solo has an interesting past as a captain. When criticized for making simple and repetitive picks, Solo responded in style at Dota Summit 7, where he collected 81 heroes throughout the tournament. This included picking five different heroes in each game until the final (which they won, of course). Aside from his skillful draft, Solo is known to play very sacrificial position 6-style support. He is rarely seen with more than a pair of boots.
3 – KuroKy (Nigma)
Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi has been actively involved in promoting Dota 2 from the very beginning. No wonder KuroKy boasts so many accomplishments. To date, he has played at all Internationals, including TI7, where he won with Team Liquid. On his way to his second victory at TI, KuroKy founded his own esports organization, Nigma. So far, Nigma has proven that they cannot be ignored; earlier this season, they failed to qualify for the Dota Pro Circuit Minor. A week later, they beat Team Secret in the grand final to five wins. It seems like Nigma and KuroKy can do anything.
KuroKy is an extremely versatile player. On account of more than 1000 victories on the professional stage. KuroKy has played supporting heroes and key roles in his career. According to his Dotabuff profile, the only heroes he has yet to play in the official game are Mars and Void Spirit. KuroKy attributed much of his success to his non-playful behavior. He is known for watching replays of games more often than playing Dota. KuroKy seems to know everything about their opponents – perhaps even more than they know about themselves.
2 – N0tail (OG)
Putting Johan “N0tail” Sandstein in second place on this list was not easy. As the only captain to ever take the Aegis of Champions twice, at TI8 and TI9, he possesses a monumental achievement that only he and his team share – and perhaps no one else will ever do so. N0tail hasn’t played as a captain for most of his career; this role was largely reserved for his longtime ally Tal “Fly” Isaik before their dramatic split shortly before TI8. Despite being thrown into the role of captain out of necessity, N0tail quickly proved to be one of the game’s greatest minds.
Captain N0tail’s style is somewhat different from that of his contemporaries. Check out some of Valve’s True Sight documentaries and you will soon see N0tail screaming and banging on the table during the fight. But there is no rage on OG; N0tail rules the power of friendship.
1 – Puppey (Team Secret)
The greatest Dota 2 captain of all time. Clement “Puppey” Ivanov doesn’t boast two Aegises like N0tail, but he has countless achievements in Dota 2. He was part of the first team to win International and has remained at the top ever since. When Puppey formed Team Secret, he selected the best players in the world. After the original Team Secret roster disbanded, it continued to surround itself with world-class players. One of Puppey’s greatest skills seems to be his ability to look for talent. He found some promising players who have not yet reached their full potential, such as Michal “Nisha” Jankowski and Yazid “YapzOr” Jaradat. Before joining Puppey, none of them had any notable victories – now they are among the top players.
For most of his career, Puppey played in fourth position; he consistently defined the meta with junglers like Chen, Enigma and Doom and crazy strategies like Fountain Hook, which he showcased at TI3. You can often see him playing unusual characters such as Pak and Weaver. Puppey progresses more and more with each tournament. Team Secret are currently winning five consecutive Grand Finals, and it won’t surprise anyone if the OMEGA League is their sixth in a row.
Watch Europe’s best captains compete in the OMEGA League: Games kick off today, August 14th. Unfortunately, KuroKy is still injured and will be replaced by his team coach Roman “rmN-” Paley at this event.
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