Dota 2 is the undisputed king of the competitive gaming world at the moment. It attracts the best gamers in the world to compete for cash prizes worth in the millions. Steam’s The International set the precedent for very lucrative tournaments, and the success of its live streaming also attracted coverage on television sports networks. Since the game is undeniably huge all over the world, including here in Canada, who is Canada’s best Dota 2 team?

Technically that would be Evil Geniuses, that was founded in Canada in 1999, but has since relocated to San Francisco. They won The International 2015, came third in 2016, but were eliminated in 2017. All the best North American teams are based in the United States now, where they are close to the most lucrative team sponsors and partners. Since gaming happens largely on the internet, players can be based anywhere in the world. Latency and time zones do limit geographical spread to smaller areas due to practical concerns.

Canada is proud to have many of the world’s top Dota 2 players, including Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling, Artour “Arteezy” Babaev, Theeban ‘1437’ Siva, and Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao.

Canadian teams come and go quickly. Most of them disband shortly after unsuccessful tournaments, or their top players are poached by teams who can offer the star players more money. More often than not, teams implode due to insufficient sponsorship money coming in. It takes money to pursue gaming full-time, and that’s the kind of commitment that is necessary to play at the sharp end of competitive gaming. With top tournaments now offering millions of US dollars in prize money, there’s a lot at stake for prospective Dota 2 teams, and top players want to ensure that they spend on what is usually a very brief career with an organisation that can give them a chance to capitalise on the sport’s biggest payouts.