Storm Spirit channels a burst of lightning into his fist, preparing to strike.
Image via Valve

Prodigy in the making: 16-year-old wunderkind dethrones Watson on Dota 2 ranked ladder

The second coming of SumaiL.

Batman asked Superman if he bled in Dawn of Justice. In Dota 2, Alimzhan “Watson” Islambekov has been fielding the same question after his number-one spot in ranked play was snatched multiple times in 2024, with the latest coming at the hands of a 16-year-old prodigy.

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The culprit in question is Alan “Satanic” Galliamov, a Dota 2 wunderkind who has been rapidly rising through the competitive ranks over the last two years. Veterans previously noticed the youngster’s talent after he pushed the top 50 in the Valve title’s division leaderboards. Still, not many players had expected him to claim the number-one spot so quickly.

The European Dota 2 leaderboard.
Satanic goes by King in the EU leaderboards. Screenshot by Dot Esports

Satanic’s career started trending in 2024 when he moved into position one with Yellow Submarine, a team widely regarded as an out-and-out talent factory in the Eastern European Dota 2 scene. Over the last 10 years, some of the most notable names in the Dota 2 world burst into the scene after Yellow Submarine stints. The latest two-time TI champions, Team Spirit, once played under Yellow Submarine’s banner before becoming Dota 2 legends. Satanic also uses the name King on the leaderboard, which is a title associated with SumaiL Hassan—who won Dota 2‘s The International when he was 16 years old in 2015—leaving fans wondering whether he could similarly supercharge his competitive career.

Earlier in the year, Watson’s Dota 2 leader reign finally ended for the first time in a year and a half as Quinn rose to the occasion. The North American star’s time at the top ended up being quite limited, though, as Watson quickly took back the spot.

Dota 2’s ranked leaderboard has changed recently, with Valve handing out more punishments in the fight against smurfs. All players were essentially asked to use only a single account to play, and some pros have been unable to play ranked entirely after losing their smurf privileges. Without sub-accounts, all pros are now forced to play on their main profiles, and a wild loss streak can cause them to drop a few ranked spots. When pros had smurf accounts, they could avoid playing on their mains and defend their spots more easily.


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Author
Gökhan Çakır
Gökhan is a Staff Writer and Fortnite Lead at Dot Esports. Gökhan graduated as an industrial engineer in 2020 and has since been with Dot Esports. As a natural-born gamer, he honed his skills to a professional level in Dota 2. Upon giving up on the Aegis of Champions in 2019, Gökhan started his writing career, covering all things gaming, while his heart remains a lifetime defender of the Ancients.