Talon Esports is entering the Dota 2 scene for the first time. The org is also making huge waves by signing a talented roster led by former Evil Geniuses captain Fly.
The Hong Kong-based organization, best known for its competitive teams in League of Legends, Overwatch, and Arena of Valor, along with hosting players in Street Fighter and Tekken, will compete in the upcoming Dota Pro Circuit via Southeast Asia. All of the newest team’s operations will be run out of Manila, Philippines.
“Dota 2 has been a game that we have long sought to enter and finally in 2021, we have arrived,” Talon Esports CEO Sean Zhang said. “The Philippines will be the home of our new squad and we look forward to embracing the passionate fan base of the country. We have put together a supremely talented roster with the goal of contending for majors and of course the International next year.”
Along with signing Fly away from EG, the team is bringing on former TNC Predator duo Gabbi and kpii, as well as former BOOM Esports standouts Rafli Fathur “Mikoto” Rahman and Brizio Adi “Hyde” Putra Budiana.
Fly helped lead EG for four years, bringing the team to three different iterations of The International, including a third-place finish at TI8, and dominating North America the entire time. EG were one of the top teams globally during the 2021 DPC, finishing second at both Majors. But they fell short at TI10 with a ninth-place exit that’s led to some restructuring.
BOOM and TNC had less successful DPC runs during the last season, with neither team making it to TI10 despite the SEA region as a whole being chaotic and only featuring one superpower in T1. Bringing in two separate cores from those teams, though kpii did spend the majority of the year with Team SMG, to play under Fly should shake up the region’s power rankings quite a bit.
The one factor that remains unclear is how Talon will approach the 2021-22 DPC season. As of now, it appears that the new team will compete in the open qualifiers for a spot in the first tour’s lower division. But there’s still the possibility that the organization may purchase another team’s slot in one of the two divisions, though Valve hasn’t openly made it known if that type of practice is allowed.
Considering the situation with Dendi and B8, which involved merging with another team to take on the team slot in the second season of the DPC in March, anything could happen. We’ll just need to wait and see what comes from this announcement, including who EG will sign to replace Fly.