The best Dota 2 players, the immortalized International Champions, the GOAT. Exceptional players go by many titles, but it is the defining MVP moments and championships they won that engraved their names as the world’s best Dota 2 players.
As such, the Dota 2 scene has no shortage of incredible talents, so to speak. Plenty of players can easily be considered among the best Dota 2 players at one point or another in their careers. Yet, what differentiates the following ten apart, is how impactful they have been to the way Dota 2 games are played or how instrumental they have been for their organizations during their career.
The 2023 Best Players in Dota 2
10. Artour “Arteezy” Babaev
Kicking things off, it’s the Canadian golden boy for Evil Geniuses, Artour “Arteezy” Babaev.
EG is famously known for being the International 2015 champions, but you would be surprised to find out that Arteezy wasn’t part of the winning roster.
Instead, he has built his namesake up by outplaying and dominating opponents to earn his spot on this list. One of his signature Dota 2 skills is the perfect Armlet-toggling. For the uninitiated, the Armlet of Mordiggan is an active item that can be toggled on and off to drastically increase/decrease health. While the concept is simple, timing the toggle to survive on the verge of death requires peerless attention.
Back in The International 2019, Arteezy single-handedly rampaged against Vici Gaming by simply Armlet-toggling, and the crowd went nuts.
Unfortunately, perhaps due to poor management in EG, Arteezy hasn’t been able to showcase his talent in DPC (2021-22). Fans are calling out EG’s stale drafts as a crippling factor for their terrible performance this season.
9. Henrik “AdmiralBulldog” Ahnberg
Speaking of retired Dota 2 players, Henrik “AdmiralBulldog” Ahnberg from Sweden still deserves the title as best offlane Dota 2 player of all time.
The former International 2013 champion is the pioneer of split-pushing strategies, aka rat Dota. As Mr. Henrik would claim, he mastered his two signature heroes, Lone Druid and Nature’s Prophet, to their utmost capability.
Hence, the memes revolving around AdmiralBulldog’s small hero pool don’t do justice to what he’s capable of. After all, his art of split-pushing left ripples throughout Dota 2 professional playstyles today. To this very day, pro players will still pay respect bans on his signature heroes in pub matches.
8. Anathan “ana” Pham
Unlike the former, the next player in the hall of fame is no other than Anathan “ana” Pham. When we talk about the youngest Dota 2 champions in town, Ana takes the cake for the reputation he has built thus far.
Ana won two consecutive Internationals in his pro career while only spending a mere three months with his team for bootcamps. His rivals have many reasons to envy the immense talent and skill he possesses. And who can blame them, after all, he considers his Esports career as more of a side hustle, where he regularly takes breaks off the competitive Dota 2 scene to enjoy the finer things in life, such as studying culinary.
After a two-year hiatus, ana is once again returning to compete in Dota 2’s The International 2022 (TI11) alongside former OG player, Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen. That said, he will have to overcome the roadblock ahead, which is the TI11 regional qualifiers, where he will play under team T1’s namesake.
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7. Clement “Puppey” Ivanov
For the most part, becoming the best Dota 2 players is a long endeavor reserved for the quick-witted and efficient carry players, but rest assured there’s a spot for the seasoned support players as well.
Clement “Puppey” Ivanov, the captain and co-founder of Team Secret has undoubtedly aged like fine wine. For a Dota 2 player of his “age” (32), he is arguably one of the best Dota 2 players of all time.
It has been over a decade since he won the first International, yet he’s still keeping up with the times. He’s the mastermind behind Team Secret’s unorthodox strategies that he kept innovating patch after patch. Although Team Secret’s time in DPC has been tough and failed to qualify for Majors, their recent performance at ESL One Malaysia 2022 proved otherwise.
Team Secret just had one too many attritions this season, which takes time for the whole team to adapt around. Hence, let’s hope that they are finally ready to compete and qualify for TI11.
6. Michał “Nisha” Jankowski
Another prominent figurehead from Team Secret, Michał “Nisha” Jankowski is a prodigy who has gone under the radar as being consistently among the best Dota 2 players. Despite Team Secret’s win trends, Nisha has never fallen off the net worth chart as he’s an efficient farming machine.
This was made evident recently at ESL One Malaysia 2022, one of the best Dota 2 tournaments, where fans pointed out how Nisha has been able to stay relevant despite his team’s downhill trend last season. As such, Nisha is a staple in Team Secret, whom Puppey would hate to let go.
5. Ammar “ATF” Al-Assaf
Talk about rising stars among the best Dota 2 players, and Ammar “ATF” Al-Assaf from team OG will go-rounds in debates as a promising offlane player. Despite playing for a roster that had no competitive LAN experience just last season, Ammar and OG have certainly left a hallmark as a strong successors to OG’s legacy.
While ATF is also infamously known for his taunting attitude and disrespect towards opponents, which is ironically a trait of its predecessors. Many parties consider ATF too arrogant for his own good since the new OG hasn’t won any TI to prove their worth.
Regardless, ATF is one, who performs exponentially better when the odds are stacked against him, as such should be reckoned of.
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4. Sébastien “Ceb” Debs
Sébastien “Ceb” Debs or “CEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEB!” is the jack of all trades hailing from team OG. He’s now a retired player, much like AdmiralBulldog, but still lives up to his name when he stand-in for the new OG at ESL One Stockholm 2022.
And against all odds, OG won the major with Ceb, further proving that the veteran has it in him to become the best Dota 2 player of all time. To date, Ceb has taken up roles as offlaner, captain, drafter, coach, and his most prominent career as team morale support.
In fact, the new OG has much to thank Ceb for his support and perseverance in bolstering OG’s legacy further.
3. Wang “Ame” Chunyu
The Chinese competitive Dota 2 scene has long been recognized for its discipline and is generally built differently. They have in-house leagues, a proper esports management organization, and a sustainable Esports scene.
Even then, Wang “Ame” Chunyu tops the list of China’s best Dota 2 players because of his timeless presence in the scene. While many pro players fall out of relevancy, Ame has competed in four Internationals where they secured runner-up finishes.
Hence, once again, proving that one doesn’t need to be an International Champion to be featured on the list of best Dota 2 players.
2. Magomed “Collapse” Khalilov
Second, only to Yatoro from Team Spirit, is Magomed “Collapse” Khalilov. Collapse earned a reputation for his signature heroes, Mars, Magnus, and Doom, which posed such a threat to opponents in TI10.
Despite not being meta heroes, Yatoro’s proficiency with these heroes forced opponents to make difficult choices in paying respect bans of his heroes. Even so, it wasn’t enough to stop Yatoro from having at least one of these heroes overwhelm PSG.LGD at TI10 Grand Finals.
It was the final match of TI10, which his plays left LGD fans in distraught, questioning why LGD didn’t ban Yatoro’s signatures. It became so chaotic, such that PSG.LGD had to post a public announcement and justify why they didn’t ban the hero.
1. Illya “Yatoro” Mulyarchuk
As if Collapse wasn’t a pain to deal with for Team Spirit’s rivals, Illya “Yatoro” Mulyarchuk tops the cake as the most versatile carry player. Yatoro played 14 different heroes over just 20 games, which is a testament to how no team can truly render him obsolete.
With a hero pool that rivals even ana, Yatoro has won the hearts of many fans for how young he was when he won TI10 on his first TI debut. And Team Spirit’s victory at PGL Arlington Major 2022 only reaffirms us that Yatoro has his eyes set on his second Internationals title.
See also: Best Dota 2 Streamers
Who is the best Dota 2 player of all time?
It comes as no surprise that the founding member of Team OG, Johan “N0tail” Sundstein is indisputably the best Dota 2 player of all time.
He founded OG, one of the best Dota 2 teams around, endured the ups and downs, and still persevered against all odds. While carry players often take the credit for achievements, we have to reserve the stage for the best Dota 2 player of all-time to the sunflower, N0tail.
While N0tail is unlikely to play at the upcoming TI11, it’s great to know that his successors are doing phenomenally under his leadership.
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