Dota 2 Starladder Season 13 2016 Tips, Odds & Tournament Preview

Starladder i-series Logo

In the lead up to the first Dota 2 major of the year teams turn their attention to the 13th season of the Star series. With a tidy prize pool of over $300,000 USD and monster teams such as EG, Secret, Na’Vi and Team Liquid we can look forward to some exciting matches before the Shanghai Major. The Finals will be played at Minsk arena in Belarus and has a capacity of up to 18,000 spectators

Dota 2 Starladder Tournament Format:

4 Direct invites
4 Teams from Europe and CIS Qualifier
2 Teams from China Qualifier
1 Team from America Qualifier
1 Team from SEA Qualifier

Group Stages:

12 teams will be split up into two groups of 6 and each team will play in a round-robin format with first in each group advancing directly to the semifinals of the playoffs. Second and Third teams of each group will advance to the quarterfinals.
Teams will play a best-of-three in a single-elimination format.
Playoffs Bracket


EG Logo

Evil Geniuses – North America (Invited)

After a very successful 2015 and a controversial roster change after TI5, Evil Geniuses are back and looking to make a statement after being upset by OG in the losers bracket finals of the Frankfurt Major. The roster change sent Fear who was once position 1 and carry down to position 4 to pave the way for their explosive and aggressive player Arteezy who has stated he is hungry for a major title.


1/2 – Artour “Arteezy” Babaev
1/2 – Syed “SumaiL” Hassan
3 – Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora
4 – Clinton “Fear” Loomis
5 – Peter “ppd” Dager (C)

Secret Logo

Team Secret – Europe (Invited)

Team Secret had a successful run in the lead-up to TI5 last year winning consecutive tournaments over the likes of EG, Na’Vi, Liquid and Alliance with their previous roster. However they fell short where it counted and lost in the lower bracket of the International 5 to Virtus Pro leaving them in an underwhelming 8th place. Since then they have changed their roster to include Eternal Envy, W33haa and MiSeRy to replace Arteezy, Zai and KuroKy.


1 – Jacky “Eternal Envy” Mao
2 – Aliwi “W33” Omar
3 – Rasmus “MiSeRy” Filipsen
4 – Johan “pieliedie” Åström
5 – Clement “Puppey” Ivanov (C)

Team Liquid Logo

Team Liquid – Europe (Invited)

Team Liquid is a team full of history and have had many different rosters over the years however they have not had a presence in the dota 2 scene since TI4. This changed in October when Team 5Jungz was signed by Team Liquid and since then they have had an impact in recent tournaments with wins over OG (Frankfurt major winners) and Team Empire to place first in Dota 2 Championship league and The Defense. Great things are expected from this roster


1 – Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen
2 – Adrian “FATA” Trinks
3 – Ivan “MinD_ContRoL” Borislavov
4 – Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka
5 – Kuro “KuroKy” Takhasomi (C)

Na'vi logo (1)

Natus Vincere – Europe (Invited)

One of the most recognized and decorated teams of dota 2 are back again. The winners of the first dota 2 International have had varied success and disappointment of late with poor showings in TI5 and failing to qualify for the Frankfurt Major. Since then they’ve made new additions centered around Dendi and Sonneiko and will be looking to instill the winning culture back into the team.


1 – Dmitry “Ditya Ra” Minenkov
2 – Danil “Dendi” Ishutin (C)
3 – Dmitry “Ax.Mo” Morozov
4 – Akbar “SoNNeikO” Butaev
5 – Ivan “Artstyle”Antonov

Vega Squadron Logo

Vega Squadron – Europe & CIS Qualifier

After failing to qualify for TI5 Vega Squadron were chosen to compete for the Wild Card for the tournament and played rather well before losing to CDEC gaming who were eventual runner-ups at TI5. Since then the team won the ESL One New York tournament 2:1 against Team Secret yet had an underwhelming finish at the Frankfurt major losing to EHOME to secure 12th place.


1 – Pavel “9pashaebashu” Hvastunov
2 – Vladimir “No[o]ne” Minenko
3 – Andrey “Mag~” Chipenko
4 – Alexei “Solo” Berezin
5 – Semion “CemaTheSlayeR” Krivulya (C)

Alliance Logo

Alliance – Europe & CIS Qualifier

Alliance has had limited success since taking out TI3 against Na’Vi in one of the most memorable finals of Dota 2. After not even qualifying for TI5 the team looked to be headed toward destruction, however with a couple of roster changes Alliance looks reinvigorated. They competed at World Cyber Arena in December and took out 1st place against hometown favourite LGD gaming in a close fought 5 games.


1 – Jonathan “Loda” Berg
2 – Gustav “s4” Magnusson (C)
3 – Henrik “AdmiralBulldog” Ahnberg
4 – Jerry “EGM” Lundkvist
5 – Joakim “Akke” Akterhall Logo – Europe & CIS Qualifier is a very successful gaming franchise with top teams in across many games and their dota 2 team keeps the tradition. With a consistent roster over the past year VP started off 2015 with tournament win after win against the likes of Na’VI, Team Empire and Alliance. However as the year drew on they had lackluster showings and secured 5th at TI5 after losing to LGD in the losers bracket and later securing 7th spot at the Frankfurt major after losing to the eventual winners OG. OG named as their hardest matchup throughout their lower bracket run to the finals.


1 – Airat “Silent” Gaziev
2 – Sergey “G” Bragin
3 – Alexander “DkPhobos” Kucheria
4 – Ilya “Lil” Ilyuk
5 – Artem “fng” Barshak (C)

Team Spirit Logo

Team Spirit – Europe & CIS Qualifier

Team Spirit is a new brand in Esports and this will be their first dota 2 team. They signed CIS rejects who include some previous Team Empire players such as ALWAYSWANNAFLY and Goblak. Since their inception late 2015 they have competed in small Russian tournaments and have found success. They’ll be hoping to make a name for themselves in this tournament


1 – Roman “RAMZE666” Kushnarev
2 – Bogdan “Iceberg” Vasilenko
3 – Vasily “AfterLife” Shishkin
4/5 – Andrey “ALWAYSWANNAFLY” Bondarenko
5/5 – Artur “Goblak” Kostenko (C)

LGD Gaming Logo

LGD Gaming – China Qualifier

LGD one of the big Chinese powerhouse teams in the dota 2 scene and has had varied success over the years with 2 top 3 finishes at the International (TI2 and TI5) as well as a top 6 spot in TI4. With so much competition in the Chinese region they’ve had to improve on a consistent basis and it really shows in the way they play and communicate with each other. They’ll be hoping for a strong finish to gain confidence going into the Shanghai Major for which they have also qualified.


1 – Liu “Sylar” Jiajun
2 – Lu “Maybe” Yao
3 – Bai “rOtK” Fan (C)
4 – Lei “MMY!” Zengrong
5 – Liang “DDC” Faming

Wings Gaming Logo

Wings Gaming – China Qualifier

A relatively unknown Chinese team who have not really had an impact in any large tournaments and were knocked out of the Shanghai Major qualifiers. There’s not much information about Wings Gaming so we’ll label them as the mysterious Dark Horse of the tournament


1 – Chu “Shadow” Zeyu
2 – Zhou “bLink” Yang
3 – Zhang “bian” Ruida
4 – Zhang “Innocence” Yiping
5 – Li “iceice” Peng

compLexity Logo

compLexity Gaming – America Qualifier

compLexity gaming seemingly came from nowhere when they competed in TI5. They were overlooked during the lead-up to the tournament however they had a great showing in the group stages finishing 3rd and securing an upper bracket run. However they would lose to EG the eventual winners before being knocked out by VP in the lower brackets and ending up with 12th spot. Since TI5 they have changed their roster significantly to include Limmp, Chessie and Handsken. Funnily enough all of their roster were a part of staygreen a team who took out every big tournament in Heroes of Newerth and still stands as the most successful team on the platform. Will their success translate across games? Only one way to find out


1 – Rasmus “Chessie” Blomdin
2 – Linus “Limmp” Blomdin
3 – Kyle “swindlemelonzz” Freedman
4 – Zakari “Zfreek” Freedman
5 – Simon “Handsken” Haag

Fnatic Logo

Fnatic – SEA Qualifier

Since transferring to a Malaysian team Fnatic have consistently made a name for themselves as tough competitors in the major tournaments. Under the leadership of Veteran player Mushi they have asserted themselves as the team to beat in the SEA region making it an extremely large wall to break onto the dota 2 scene. Fnatic will be looking to assert themselves in this tournament.


1 – Ahmad “ADTR” Anuar
2 – Chai Yee “Mushi” Fung
3 – Chong Xin “Ohaiyo” Khoo
4 – Djardel Jicko “DJ” Mampusti
5 – Wai pern “Net” Lim


Now that we’ve had a quick overview of the teams competing I will now draw on my experience (or lack-there-of) to pick my favourite teams to win the tournament:

Winner: Alliance
Runner-up: EG
Value pick: compLexity Gaming