The Riyadh Masters 2023 is over, so let’s take a look at 5 important things we need to remember about the event.
The largest Dota 2 tournament, aside from The International in 2023, is over. We had the chance to watch the world’s leading Dota 2 teams in action over the course of several days. In the end, Team Spirit won the tournament and got $5,000,000.
Riyadh Masters 2023 was a very important event for several reasons. Besides our chance to see the newest meta in action, it was a chance for some of the best teams to play against each other on the big stage prior to TI. So, let’s see a couple of important things we need to remember now the event is over. Don’t forget to check the Riyadh Masters 2023 Group Stage Roundup if you missed out on any of the action.
Rubick is one of the best supports right now
Despite the fact that the hero’s win rate is not as impressive as some people think (around 49%), there is no arguing Rubick is the most popular hero in the game. With more than 111 appearances, he is miles away from the competition. This may not surprise most of you, considering his ability to make a difference at all stages of the game.
Rubick is one of the Dota 2 heroes who can be a solid option early on, as well as in the mid and late game. His ability to harass and set up kills early on makes him a solid pick in every lineup. As for his ultimate, this allows the hero to be the perfect counter to enemies who rely on a specific ability, such as Enigma’s Black Hole. Considering the latter is pretty popular in the current meta, it’s no surprise Rubick is also among the heroes that shine.
Gaimin Gladiators is the best team in the world, but they’re not undefeatable
Prior to the beginning of the Riyadh Masters 2023, Gaimin Gladiators were the only thing Dota 2 fans were talking about. The team achieved the impossible by winning every event they participated in. This includes 3 Majors and 2 DreamLeagues.
Considering their success and dominance in every tournament prior, a lot of players expected Gaimin Gladiators to be one of the best teams at the Riyadh Masters 2023. Even though this was the case, Quinn "Quinn" Callahan and the rest were unable to win the competition after losing in the Lower Bracket.
Gaimin Gladiator’s first loss was in the Upper Bracket, where the team wasn’t able to defeat Team Liquid. Although they won against Michał "Nisha" Jankowski’s squad several times in 2023, this time, the team was unlucky.
Despite eliminating Quest Esports and BetBoom Team, Gaimin Gladiators were unable to deal with Talon Esports. Against all odds, Talon defeated its opponents and eventually reached the LB Finals.
Southeast Asia has a team capable of defeating the best in the west
It’s safe to say the regions in Dota 2 have never been as one-sided as in 2023. Western Europe is on another level compared to the rest, and pretty much every single tournament so far has proven it. However, other regions also have a glimmer of hope, one of which is Southeast Asia.
Despite the fact that neither of the Southeast Asian top-tier teams was invited to the Riyadh Masters 2023, the one team that wasn’t able to qualify for the Bali Major found its way. Talon Esports was the underdog in Group B and a lot of people expected to see the team knocked out. However, this was not the case because Talon finished among the top 4 and secured a slot for the Upper Bracket.
After defeating Quest Esports, Talon lost against Team Liquid and was sent to the LB. Fortunately, the team eliminated 9Pandas and Gaimin Gladiators before it got the chance to play against Liquid for the third time at the Riyadh Masters 2023. The bad news for Nuengnara "23savage" Teeramahanon and his crew is that Liquid ripped through them.
Team Liquid is cursed
If you ask someone to name the best Dota 2 teams in the world, there is a good chance this person will include Team Liquid on the list. The latter has been one of Western Europe’s top-tier squads and a team that people pay attention to. Sadly, it seems like they’re cursed, losing yet another final.
Team Liquid reached the Grand Final of several Dota 2 tournaments in 2023. After losing Majors and DreamLeagues against Gaimin Gladiators, the team defeated their counterparts and continued their dominance. Sadly, they weren’t able to deal with last year’s Riyadh Masters finalist — Team Spirit.
Even though the TI 10 champion was the underdog in the series, Illya "Yatoro" Mulyarchuk and the rest defeated Team Liquid twice. As a result, the squad wasn’t able to win the biggest event outside of TI for 2023.
Team Spirit will be one of the big contenders for The International
Even though it wasn’t easy for Team Spirit, The International 10 champions have proven yet again they’re one of the best in the Dota 2 world. After finishing among the top 4 teams in the Group, Team Spirit continued to dominate in the Upper Bracket. The squad eliminated the likes of Team Aster, BetBoom Team, and Team Liquid. In fact, the players had to go up against Nisha’s squad twice and they won both series.
The Grand Final didn’t start well for Yatoro’s team, with Liquid winning fairly easily, dominating their opponents from the laning stage and closing the game after just 33 minutes. Thankfully, this painful loss didn’t prevent Team Spirit from showing what they’re capable of— the team won 3 consecutive games after that. Each one was a nailbiter and Liquid gave everything they got, but in the end, the best Eastern European team won the match and a check for $5M USD.