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Dota 2 Champions
White Rabbit Gaming (WRG) is South Africa’s undisputed Dota 2 champion for 2017. The team’s phenomenal performance has seen them win numerous tournaments, including the VS Gaming Masters, and hold an excellent win/loss ratio over their nearest rivals.
The all-star team consists of Ryan Lancaster (ChiDoWi), Charl Geldenhuys (Welp), Travis Waters (CastawaY), Wesley Rose (oDu) and Nicholas Dammert (Schlinks). Ranging in age from 19 to 24 years old, the team has collectively earned the highest prize money by far compared to their closest competitors, xTc Gaming and Energy eSports.
The secret is in their synergy
“When we picked up the team, they were really good as a unit and over time, just became a lot better,” says White Rabbit Gaming Managing Director, Alwyn “SwiTch” Venter. “The players are confident in their roles and have focused on improving their individual gameplay to help lift the overall team skill even further. The team really has great synergy.”
Sponsored by ASUS Republic of Gamers (hardware), CoolIdeas (fiber internet solutions) and Logix Design & Development (Teamspeak server), WRG has come a long way in a short time. At the end of 2016, the team beat long-time champions Bravado Gaming at the Dota 2 Masters Championship at rAge and the local multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) landscape was irreversibly changed.
SA’s Dota 2 scene is building
“It’s always great at the top but the challenge is staying there,” adds Venter. “The Dota 2 scene in South Africa is still growing and we hope it continues. The rise of teams like Sin5, Goliath Gaming and Leetpro in the scene really gives us confidence in the community and competitive environment moving forward.”
The biggest challenges the team face relate to their future career paths with some players wanting to commit to their studies while others are keen to migrate to other regions to have a better shot at entering the international eSports arena.
WRG’s performance at WESG
White Rabbit’s Dota 2 team live in the team house in Johannesburg and, for the first part of 2018, were focused on qualifying for the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG), wanting to take a shot at the champion’s title in China.
Straight off the bat, WRG beat the Romanian team in their group but went on to lose to Pain Gaming and Keen and were unfortunately out of the competition.
In an interview with Tech Girl post-tournament, Venter had the following to say: “For all titles, playing on LAN is very difficult when facing teams from established regions. WESG once again showed how important it is for Africa to establish itself. We really need to start hosting more international standard competitions or start sending teams overseas to compete at more LAN events. It is a major challenge for all team owners now but a critical requirement.”
WRG Dota 2 team in top 1% globally
Looking at Dota 2 Matchmaking Rating (MMR) which determines the skill level of each player, the White Rabbit gaming team sits in the top 1% of players in the world, based on average team MMR.
“With the gaming house and more practice time, their skill has definitely improved as they constantly practice against other international teams and players,” says Venter.
“Looking at tier 1, tier 2 and tier 3 international teams, I would rank the team as a mid-high tier 2 team purely based on the latency disadvantage.”
How to build a winning team
Commenting on what makes White Rabbit Gaming so successful, Venter says: “We value team synergy a lot more than individual skill. Dota 2 is very much a team sport and although you might have situations in which one player can make a significant difference, it mostly revolves around how the team works together.
“My advice on building a winning team is simple: don’t rotate your player base often. It is a similar strategy to the one the All Blacks use which has kept them at the top of the international rugby rankings for so long.”
We salute the White Rabbit Gaming Dota 2 team and look forward to seeing how they perform in Asia later in the year.
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