CET-SUN S18 Power Rankings / Team Reviews

Season 18 is upon us, and the SUN draft has concluded. This means it’s time for power rankings.

I will once again be using five tiers with teams ranked 1st through 18th and spread throughout these five tiers, so in a couple of months, we’ll be able to look back and compare my power rankings to the ones compiled by Kimer, based off the power rankings provided by the captains.

As always, this is purely my own opinion, and you’re free to disagree and discuss — as a matter of fact, I encourage you to do so. Preferably in places of high visibility. With links to this post when possible.

Jokes aside, a lot of this is going to be just gut feeling, since it’s impossible to tell even how veterans will do, but especially once you add new players into the mix, it’s very hard to accurately predict how well someone will do. This is a low MMR season, so anything can happen, but without further ado, let’s head into the power rankings.

Special shoutout to Medium whose formatting just did not want to cooperate.

Tier 5

18. Rinkusaur

zaergaegyr, exZ, Thz, bernard humperdink

The first pick drafter has the luxury of choosing any single player their heart desires. With many amazing options to choose from, like Anstar, KTZ, Crayon, or the anticipated Wannex, Rinku instead opted to go for…zaergaegyr. A self proclaimed 1/2 player whose Dotabuff is riddled with classic position 5s, Zaer has much to prove in terms of core performance, especially considering the likelihood that Rinku drafted this team in an effort to place himself mid, something he’s been trying to do for a while. One can’t help but wonder, though, if there were better ways about this, and while this defiance of the expected Wannex first pick isn’t bad whatsoever, I think Zaer was definitely not the best alternative. Looking past the core duo, we have exZ making a comeback to RD2L, likely as an offlaner for this team, but with many people agreeing that he’s well past his prime and somewhat washed up, it’s hard to see this tri-core doing very well. Thz is a promising support pick, likely guaranteeing this team a Treant ban in every game, but it’s hard to predict if Thz can still perform without their main hero. Finally, there’s bernard, who does little to help this team look any better, but is bound to at least improve the atmosphere of the team. That’s something, right?

17. Debowy

Crayon, Viper, Revenger, MattPar

Debowy seemed confused throughout the draft, and the end result shows this. After seasons of high expectations for any team I saw Crayon’s name on, I’ve learned my lesson, and am quite confident that he’s not the consistent win condition core everyone would like him to be. Debowy himself being a support player, his team is set up with a pretty cut and dry role setup, with last pick MattPar defying RD2L traditions in his first season as he’s likely to be one of the rare 3k carries who actually play their role in the league. This leaves Revenger as the second support, and while his Dotabuff might not suggest that this’ll pay off, he’s had some great success in the role in the past, even including a Warlock rampage if I’m not mistaken. Either way, this leaves us with Viper in the offlane, who, despite being somewhat underwhelming performance wise, is deservedly seen as a great addition to any team, considering the additional effort he puts into scouting and preparation. At the end of the day though, while I expect we’ll see Crayon pop off every now and then, I don’t believe this team will amount to much unless he steps up in a very significant way and spends more time helping his team improve.

16. OverKoalafied

PONPO, SwagMander, Glimmer of Hope, SinqSinq

Oh Koala. What is this draft, buddy? Admittedly, there’s some semblance of a plan here, with a semi-decent core trio with PONPO, Swag and Koala himself, but it’s a trio plagued with talk of inconsistency and underperformance in past seasons, so for them to escape the depths of tier 5, I’d wager one of these players would need to show up in a major way. The support duo is, uh, interesting, let’s say, with Glimmer of Hope, being a consistently valuable position 5, paired up with newcomer SinqSinq, who ends just about every message with an emote — and while we may have lost the premier Pepe specialist of S17 in LookAlive, SinqSinq seems to lack about 3000 MMR to be a worthwhile replacement. Overall, this team consists of what many would consider smack-dab-average players, amounting to a far-below-average team.

Tier 4

15. Melalez

Brainy Gonzo, snooze gaming, Matty, Criiolix

I can’t tell if I have some inherent bias which results in Melalez’s teams never getting past tier 4, or if his drafts are always just somewhat mediocre, but that long-standing tradition isn’t bound to change with this team either. With what seems to likely be a return to safelane carry Melalez, famous for going absolutely ham on Ursa once and then never doing anything worthwhile again, first pick Brainy Gonzo might be playing offlane. Or, wait, no — no, none of that makes sense. This team’s best players share their two core roles, meaning they have no natural mid player, unless we’re looking at Snooze Gaming, another self proclaimed mid player with no semblance of a mid hero on their Dotabuff page. There’s even a possibility of Gonzo or Melalez playing support and letting Criiolix play safelane, I guess. Very confusing. I have no idea what their role setup is going to be, if that’s not clear enough yet, but either way, none of the potential setups make me want to put this team any higher. Shoutout to Matty, who’s almost certainly going to be playing support and is a pretty value pick, because he, if nothing else, adds some stability to this team.

14. Crispy Bacon

Muffinsan, Batsphemy, Davjo, ezclap

What a pleasant team! Yet underwhelming. My expectation is that we will see Chris move over to the mid lane, with Bat playing carry and Muffin once again in the offlane, and the worrying part here is that Bat playing carry seems like the least underwhelming combination there. The microphone less Davjo will have an interesting time settling into this very friendly and communication-based squad centered around the tri-core, while last pick ezclap seems to have the right kind of attitude for a Crispy Bacon team, which nice as it is, doesn’t help with the 44% overall winrate. No surprises here, it’s looking like a lovely, positive and friendly team that will absolutely challenge none of the better teams. Classic Chris.

13. Mewes

Nsphere, Dihav, ReggieLA, SockerMedSmor

With two mid 5k players, you’d expect this team to be much higher up. So would I, except these two players are Nsphere and Dihav. Nsphere is known to be a skilled and consistent offlane player, and despite being an ape in Discord from time to time is an alright guy. Don’t let him know I said that, though. Dihav, however, is real questionable. Let’s start with the obvious — any 5k who gets through to the place in draft this guy got to isn’t likely great. Dihav, also known as Adolf Tilter, showed little promise during his last season, and while his smurf (which was shown to the captains, don’t worry) is a little bit more active, there’s still little to convince me that he’s truly mid 5k level, especially in RD2L. Either way, this leaves us with Sockar, a core player who’s been stuck at support in RD2L (though admittedly he’s been improving in the role, not using mic is a huge detriment to his improvement), as well as ReggieLA, whose Dotabuff suggests that he’s a decent support player for his MMR. Questions about this team’s role setup are plentiful, though, and their performance will hinge heavily on what this setup ends up as, and whether Nsphere can settle into a potential farming core role.

Tier 3

12. Reddydas

Wannex, bitch im a cow, Hollow, Alien Assassin

Reddydas sat down with RobMyst to set up a thorough draft plan. Then Rinku skipped Wannex. Whoops! With the 7k in hand, Reddydas inevitably ended up picking late in the rounds that followed, but managed to grab a pretty valuable and well regarded position 4 in bitch im a cow, followed by some, uh, less well known 3k core players. I put this team at 12th, but they could just as well be 18th or 1st, depending on how good Wannex really is, especially in a core role, which I’d imagine he’d have to play for this team to find success. It’s hard to predict what their setup is, but overall, I can say from personal experience that picking the 7k isn’t necessarily always great. Trust me.

11. Barg

Tal, Raptured, KryAzel, HawkEye

In an attempt to redeem himself after an underwhelming previous captaining experience, Barg sat down and flipped through the player list and concocted a draft plan. Then the draft order changed. Barg was, without contest, the one captain most screwed over by the change of the draft order minutes before the draft, resulting in first picking Tal, followed by Raptured. Still, this is actually not that bad of a draft, securing a decent carry and decent offlaner, which means this team will depend on Barg to show up in the mid lane (if that wasn’t a meme — I can’t tell at this point). An okay-at-best support duo rounds this team out, but it’s pretty obvious that they’re not the make-or-break part of this team.

10. Neox

Liquid Oxygen, Fox, Regurgitard, hybr1d

Neox went from picking an unbeatable team in Franchise League (including yours truly) to first picking a 3k support player in RD2L. Talk about a hard transition, huh? In all seriousness, Neox realized like many that your pick affecting the draft order is hugely important, and deliberately reached down to grab a higher MMR pick in the second round. I like this play, and I did something similar; on top of that, I agree with Neox’s apparent opinion that Oxy is a really valuable player. The problems with this team start after this. Passing up players like Zakke and Kalimoo to instead grab Fox shows that Neox has no intention of playing mid in this team, which, all of the Neox mid flame aside, probably isn’t the best option. Still, I believe Neox is just a very good Dota player — otherwise, this placement would be much, much lower, and I think there’s definitely a great possibility of him getting the most out of these players. A lot will hinge on just how good Fox really is at mid, but if nothing else, his first two picks have the Croatia synergy, so that’s something, I gu-oh wait he has Regu. Disregard all of this, not getting past the first round of playoffs.

9. Kalisdar

Cvaekt, Sorano, Spicy, .’.’.’

Cvaekt has finally found his place in RD2L, and that’s on Kalisdars teams. With a decent 3–4 pair in Spicy and Sorano, and a solid dual core of Kalisdar Cvaekt, on paper this team seems ok. Decent. Not much more. So, uh, yeah. That’s it. It’s worth mentioning that I believe this team’s comms will be interesting, with Cvaekt and Spicy being very vocal and the rest being somewhat on the quieter side. If this doesn’t devolve into flaming and passive aggression, the team could benefit from the duo.

8. Haraway

ElNino, Endon, Maus, RTP

One of the premier offlaners of RD2L picking another one of the premier offlaners of RD2L. What a waste! Haraway’s coming mid, and I’m expecting just as much Dazzle and Tiny, just slightly worse. Meanwhile, this team has three 5k players, who I believe will be playing mid, offlane and position 5, which is in all honesty pretty damn solid. This puts our Soundcloud beatmaker safelane and Maus 4, which both seems kind of underwhelming, considering many people would stress the importance of safelane, mid and 4 over offlane and 5. With haraway being a vocal captain and drafter, some of my concerns for teams like this are covered, but he’s going to have to do these same things from a new role, so we’ll see how that works out.

Tier 2

7. T-Reds

n0thinG, Dolemite, skin gaming, Basi1eus

T-Reds seems to have climbed quite a bit, and managed to grab one of the premier mid players of the draft in n0thinG. People who know him from Breakaway have some doubts, but his potential mid opponents throughout the season could be easy pickings. Paired with the very solid Dolemite and the valuable support player Basi1eus, the one question mark for this team is new arrival skin gaming, but overall this team seems quite decent to me, especially if someone steps up to control the dynamic of their game.

6. Kuroame

Roran, Kimer, zorenb, Deadwatch

This Kuroame draft seems weird at first, as he took a very different approach in which roles he prioritized, but it’s obvious that he has tailored it around himself. Roran and Kimer will make for one of the best offlane duos around, while Kuro is a decent safelaner. Zoren is one of the few lower MMR players that people put faith in to perform as a core in RD2L, and I do expect him to take up the midlane once again. This team will have to play around their offlane duo winning the games, but that’s not a bad approach in my opinion, especially if Roran takes initiative and controls the team. Value picks all around, I’d say.

5. Harbinger

Judas, Polarbear Prince, Ogreboy, midget with autism

This is, by all respects, a solid team. Three 5k players, a high 3k, a high 2k. What team also ends up being, however, is one of the reasons that it’s great to have 18 teams — it’s poised for a swift disband, with some, uh, let’s say strong personalities involved. Judas and Polar is a very good safelane duo for SUN’s standards, Harb is a decent mid player, and Ogreboy is Ogreboy. Overall, if this team doesn’t disband, they could either be one of the contenders for the championship, or they could flicker out and lose without making a dent. Hard to say, really.

4. Madsen

Elpie, Simbelmyne, Dani, deluxaran

After seasons of marking Elpie in a bright green, designating him as a tier one pick on my draft sheets, I’ve finally got him, and at a 4.3k listed MMR at that. I genuinely would say he’s at least some 500 MMR better than his MMR would suggest, so I was very happy to snap him up in the first round, guaranteeing myself a solid second round pick, which I got in Simbelmyne, who I had talked to previously after looking at his impressive Dotabuff. I won’t spoil it — go check it out yourself. I guarantee you, it’s real fun. I managed to get Dani, who looks like a great support for his MMR, and rounded the team out with deluxaran, one of those lower MMR players who always gets some praise. Overall, I’m very happy with this team, but there’s some questions to answer, not just for the whole team, but for myself specifically. This is the first team I’ve drafted without a single player at a higher MMR than myself, and there’s the possibility that I might need to take the helm with shotcalling and drafting in the team, which I’m somewhat scaredly excited for. The one thing that’s more than just a ‘possibility’, though, is the fact that I’ll need to step up and become a more impactful core, which hasn’t worked out too well in main season in the past, though Franchise League and the last Mini might suggest otherwise.

Tier 1

3. Diego

KTZ, kalimoo, tmp, HufuPtuTU

ElNino associate Diego unsurprisingly went for KTZ first pick, but the true surprise came when he managed to grab Kalimoo second pick. This already establishes what could potentially be a decent tri-core, but with tmp possibly taking up a core role in the team, it’s likelier that kalimoo or Diego might be playing support. Either way, these 3 manage to form a strong foundation for the team, albeit with a heavy reliance on KTZ to perform, and one can’t help but wonder if the time when teams figure out how to deal with his signature picks might be coming up. Still, I think this team is very strong and is likely to be a serious contender for the win, especially if the communication on the team is good.

2. Krota

Anstar, Zakke, Okami Shiranui, Hfbvm

Anstar and Zakke, reunited once again. I wonder if this was Krota’s plan at the start, or if a sneaky Anstar DM had something to do with this, but either way, I think this is a really solid team just based off of those two picks. Krota is also a decent player, much like Okami, and I think Anstar’s ability to control the game and draft will result in this team having strong performances, especially when you take into account that Zakke, if he does end up playing 4, will have the ability to direct the game while Anstar does midlaner things. Still, it’s hard to know if the safelane and offlane will perform, so there’s quite a few variables to account for in this team.

1. Wesside

Hazel, Karma, Laika, FAllS

Hailed as one of the strongest teams by many, I’d have to agree that Wes managed to grab a really solid draft. With Hazel in the safelane, Wes likely mid and Karma offlane, this becomes one of the strongest tri-cores in the season, but many teams have solid tri-cores. What sets this team apart, in my opinion, is Laika and FAllS as the support duo, who while being lower MMR, have pretty nice Dotabuffs and are generally pretty easy to play with. This team has no big weak points, and from my season with him I can tell you Karma’s contribution to preparations and to keeping the silence out of team comms will help alleviate possible issues in this team. Still, I think Wes will need to step up in the midlane and justify his 6k MMR, while also making the game-winning team decisions, and I’m not the only one who isn’t completely sure about this. Either way, overall this is likely one of the strongest teams — possibly even the strongest, but it’s hard to say anything for sure until we see the teams in action.

Thanks for reading! Enjoy your season everybody.

Clarity League Content Writer | Main Over at medium.com/@Maadsen | Buy me a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/madsen03