Just as everyone predicted, the battle in North America is taking place between Shopify Rebellion and TSM. Both teams are currently undefeated and it’s hard to overstate just how much stronger these competitors are compared with the rest.
What’s strange about the NA league is the fact that some teams, including B8, seem to be completely unable to adapt. A lot of Dota 2 fans, especially from the CIS region, assumed that Danil “Dendi” Ishutin’s team would do well against the North American teams because Eastern European Dota is much stronger.
But it seems that they were completely wrong. In the first four matches, B8 did not win a single time. It’s true that they faced three of the strongest teams in the region, but it’s still very shocking to see them just one step away from relegation. B8 will need to win two of their last three matches and one of their opponents will be TSM!
Shopify Rebellion’s dominance
What has happened so far at the top of the rankings table is perfectly normal. But it’s still impressive. Shopify Rebellion did not lose a single game in their first five best-of-three matches. This means that the new player, Jonas “SabeRLight-“ Volek has been successfully integrated into the former Evil Geniuses roster.
Next match vs nouns:
🗓️ January 25 @ 3PM PT / 6PM ET pic.twitter.com/oFVBcWWRSh
— Shopify Rebellion (@ShopifyRebels) January 22, 2023
This team not only wins. It absolutely dismantles opponents. Some of the games ended so fast that it felt like Rebellion were smurfing at 3000 MMR. At this competitive level, winning in less than 16 is incredible. And it happened. Almost all of Shopify’s games lasted around 25 minutes, which suggests that the team won with ease.
In Dota 2, a balanced match lasts between 35 and 60 minutes. Anything that goes above 40 minutes can be considered a real battle. To win in 25 minutes you need to have a much better draft or a phenomenal laning stage. And Rebellion tend to always succeed in both regards.
The only problem is that when you’re so dominant regionally, it’s hard to learn any hard lessons and improve your strategies. This could result in an epic failure at the international level.
It remains to be seen what Shopify can do at the first DPC Major of the season, which will take place in Lima. But they’ll likely look much weaker than they do in their own region.
The most exciting match in Tour 1 of North America will take place on January 28. That’s when Shopify will face TSM to decide who wins the race.