If we count their previous branding under Templar Esports, Fox Gaming has participated in every single season of AEF, dating back to October 2016. Finishing joint-6th in Season 3, they have approached the new season with a complete rehaul of their roster, replacing all but Lon and Jesus. Hopefully this change will be reflected in their results.
Cognus: Despite the roster changes, I don’t see Fox thriving in the ultra-competitive Div1 for Season 4. They are my 8th seed and my tip for relegation.
CeruleanBlue: Fox for me has always been a solid team. Maybe never having some of the raw talent of some other teams but the time they had been together solidified their teamwork in my eyes and made them strong contenders. Hopefully the mix of old and new Fox players will gel together and be strong contenders. 6th Seed
Yes, they really named their team that. Scene veteran Horus returns with a mix of competitive and pub players including Hayze and Trashboat. Their roster are all great players in their own right but we’ll have to see how well they work together as a team.
Cognus: An interesting roster I haven’t seen play together. Hard to say whether they can work together as a team or not. 7th seed.
CeruleanBlue: The leftovers may be just that, but the weight of some of the names on the roster are nothing to be left unnoticed. However the addition of new pub players to the roster could prove turbulent and for that reason I give them a tentative 8th seed.
Team Focus marks the return to AEF of the famously almost-7k Sacrifusion. This season he’s brought along most of the iClen stack. Team Focus is very strong on paper and with 3 ex-teammate Kiwis their teamwork should be on par with their individual skill.
Cognus: Keen to see this roster in action. Should be a strong team in their own right but I don’t see them beating the likes of N9 and 7th Heaven. 6th seed.
CeruleanBlue: In theory Focus should be blowing things out of the water. Previous teammates with the likes of Sacrifusion and Loseyourself should be a force to be reckoned with. But because of the sheer tough competition of Div 1 this season I can’t put them any higher than 4th seed.
Ponlul features SEA veterans Meracle and Ponlul and that alone shows them as not to be underestimated. They also have highly skilled players in Miguel (ex Skatemasters) and 123 (ex N9). However, with 3 of their stars playing from SEA, ping difference will likely hurt them against the top teams.
Cognus: Great players but ping will hurt. 5th seed.
CeruleanBlue: With a strong roster of mixed SEA and AUS containing Meracle who had a brief stint on Mineski Ponlul should be a good team. But with the ping differences on 3 out of 5 players they may lose out to similarly skilled teams from AUS. 7th Seed
When Sugoi split into 2 teams last year, they actually came 2nd and 3rd (Generation of Miracles and No Lich Gaming respectively) in Season 3. That the reformed Sugoi isn’t being rated to come higher speaks more to the quality of the rest of Division 1 rather than any fault on their part. Sugoi features competitive veterans all and we can expect great performances consistently from them.
Cognus: Well honed, experienced team with a knack for doing the unexpected. 4th seed.
CeruleanBlue: This reforging of an old team will hopefully make the whole stronger than the parts. Parts who placed 3rd and 4th in season 3 is going to be hard to top. But with crazy brothers Vynato and HUNG on top of sLiCKz’s raw performance they might just make it happen. 3rd seed.
The name suggests a PubG squad but no, this is actually a Dota team. Captined by Matino (ex Skatemasters), this lineup features veterans like Miggel.Z, Tekcor and Godot, as well as the return to competitive Aus dota of Splicko. Probably the highest average MMR of any team, this squad can go far as long as their teamwork trumps egos.
Cognus: Terrifying team on paper. Egos might need to be kept in check though. 3rd seed.
CeruleanBlue: Matino, Godot, Crazy high MMR stacks and some returning veterans from the scene. Do I have to say more? Only concern is the big personalities and potential lack of a clear leadership. 5th Seed
Reigning champions of AEF, Natural 9 hardly need an introduction. They made a single roster change, replacing 123 with RIzz (who was their preferred lan choice anyway). Watch out for the devastating support pairing of legendary captain Shatan and cas158, the man with the longest gaming tag in Dota (N9.D2TPAXZENMSIAEFDDDCHAMPcas158).
Cognus: Its N9. Unless a major patch change and meta shift hits them mid-season, they will do great. 2nd seed.
CeruleanBlue: If this season’s Div 1 wasn’t so Jam packed with potential I’d pin N9 to take the cake. But up against stiff competition as well as internationally successful teams the AEF reigning champs might be out of luck for an easy win this season. 2nd seed
Qualifying in 4th place for WESG above professional teams such as HappyFeet and EVOS, Seventh Heaven contains some of the brightest minds in Australian Dota, and represent the best chance the region has had in a overseas tournament in years. They are a highly motivated team with nothing to lose and everything to play for.
Cognus: Seventh Heaven are by results alone the most successful Australian team in international dota. According to Boonz they do best on lan so I’m tipping them to win the whole thing. 1st seed.
CeruleanBlue: What is there left to say about these guys. Crazy bunch of Aussies with unique playstyles and fluid teamwork. With a WESG main event qualification under their belt they are on a hot streak and it will take the unthinkable to shake these gods. 1st Seed