The Dota 2 DreamLeague Season 19 tournament is coming to a close and we’re seeing the top eight teams of the world battle it out. Shopify Rebellion, one of the top teams, have made headlines for several reasons. They went from finding their footing at the beginning of the tournament with their stand-in, Kasra “Mikey” Mesbah, to thriving with him. The 17-year-old pub star made a few noticeable plays, such as the huge Aegis steal in a recent game.
During the second group stage matches on April 17, Shopify Rebellion faced a powerful team in the TI11 winners, Tundra Esports. While many players claim Tundra’s form has not been as impressive since their TI-winning days, Shopify Rebellion did not take them lightly. In their first game of the series versus Tundra, Mikey pulled off an amazing Aegis steal during Tundra’s sneaky attempt to vanquish Roshan.
During Tundra’s Roshan kill attempt, Mikey took the initiative and jumped the Roshan pit with his Pangolier’s Rolling Thunder skill. In the closing moments of the Roshan kill, as soon as Tundra takes down Roshan, Pangolier knocked their heroes aside and snatched up the Aegis before Tundra could even react. As a little bonus, Mikey also picked up the Aghanim’s Shard for his team before his eventual death.
Aegis steals are widely considered to be high-risk, high-reward plays, especially in competitive professional matches where the enemy team are always on the lookout for such actions. Not only would this aegis steal be almost impossible to pull off for lesser players but Mikey did it in style, prompting an immediate response from Tundra Esports.
The 17-year-old Iranian pub star quickly rose to prominence throughout DreamLeague making plays like this one. Before this tournament, he was a relative unknown in the professional scene, similar to Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen during his initial TI8 run.
The coach of Shopify Rebellion, Kanishka ‘Sam’ “Bulba” Sosale, who was the talk of the Dota 2 scene yesterday, scouted Mikey because of his skills and notoriety in the pub scene. He is one of the few players to make it to 12,000 MMR, which is even more impressive considering Mikey managed to do that in 15 days, attributing to his skills as a Dota 2 prodigy.
Recognizing his skill, Bulba recruiedt him to Shopify Rebellion as a stand-in for star midlaner, Abed “Abed” Yusop—a Filipino player who could not make it to Europe for DreamLeague due to VISA processing issues. As much as Abed has been missed, Mikey’s stand-out plays have brought Shopify Rebellion to a 10-4 record in the DreamLeague standings during the first group stage.
DreamLeague Season 19 is still ongoing and will conclude on Apr 22.