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With Valve’s The International 7 (TI7) tournament fast approaching, and the qualifier tournaments settled, now is the best time to take a look at each team that’s attending. For brevity sake, We’ll go over each team individually, given the rich history and wealth of information available for each team and each player attending.  Next up is a team that embodies their own name, Digital Chaos.

Team Digital Chaos

Team Digital Chaos (DC)’s current roster was only playing under the name since April-May of this year. DC’s previous roster, which played with the team since 2016, is now team Planet Odd. The majority of the current DC roster previously played together as Team Onyx, a team formed in January of 2017 to compete at The Kiev Major 2017. The only new addition to the lineup is Lee “Forev” Sang-don. Forev replaced Jimmy “DeMoN” Ho after the team finished in the 9-16th bracket at The Kiev Major 2017.

This current roster shows tons of promise. They finished in the 5-6th bracket at DotA Summit 7, losing 1:2 to Virtus.Pro (VP), who won first at that tournament. They also qualified for TI7 through the North America Qualifier tournament, finishing in Second Place. However, this roster hasn’t been together long enough to get a good read on their full potential. At least, not without taking a look at the individual players.

Kanisha ‘Sam’ “BuLba” Sosale

Kanishka ‘Sam’ “BuLba” Sosale is an Indo-American player and current captain of DC. His competitive career started back in 2007, playing in the original DotA. As DC’s coach, 10 years of Dota experience isn’t the only thing he brings to the table. BuLba participated in 4 previous TI events.  He’s been part of teams that won many major tournaments. He consistently ends up in the top 8 across his entire Dota 2 career. His consistency as a player has honed his tactical awareness. BuLba’s extensive experience playing with and against the vast majority of current top players makes him an ideal captain.

BuLba previously played the off-lane position for DC but rotated to support when Forev was signed, at least on the official roster. This transition landed BuLba a roaming/ganking support role.  Despite this, he still plays heroes such as Spirit Breaker, Slardar, and Nightstalker. They’ve made this work by having very non-traditional drafts. In their games against Team Freedom in the North American Qualifiers, they didn’t pick a traditional hard carry in any of their games and managed to win 3-0. The early and constant pressure applied by BuLba is what makes this playstyle work. By constantly putting heavy pressure on the opponent’s carry and high-value targets before they can ramp up in power, BuLba enables the team to make strong early engagements and get quick victories.

Mason “mason” Venne

Mason “mason” Venne is a North American Dota 2 pro who shines in his atypical carry role play. His career debut was in September of 2013 when he played for a team assembled by DeMoN to compete in RaidCall EMS ONE Fall Americas, a tournament they won. In March of 2014, mason was called in by Evil Geniuses to stand in for Clinton “Fear” Loomis, who had suffered an injury. Eventually, mason was made a full-time member when Fear’s injury made him officially inactive.

With Evil Geniuses, mason earned first place at MLG T.K.O. America, The Summit 1, HyperX D2L Western Challenge. They even took 2nd place at ESL One Frankfurt 2014, and 3rd place at The International 2014! After this, mason went inactive for a full year, returning in September of 2015. Experiencing mixed success over the next year and a half with various teams, mason finally joined Team Onyx in its initial conception.

As a core carry player, mason has played very untraditional heroes. Though one of his signature heroes is the tried and true Juggernaut, it seems almost coincidental. He’s been playing any hero that is fairly sturdy in the early game and can do lots of damage starting in the mid game. In the North American Qualifiers, in addition to the more traditional Sven, he’s also played lifestealer and a few games as a safe lane Bristleback. Against Planet Odd, he’s even played carry Venomancer. His ability to play a wide variety of strong carries, which have the ability to take reliable jungle farm and stay safe in the early game, is integral to DC’s current unconventional play style.

Kim “DuBu” Doo-Young

Kim “DuBu” Doo-Young is a South Korean player who started his professional career in late 2013 and was signed on to Team MVP in 2014. He’s played on both MVP Phoenix and MVP HOT6ix over his career. On these South Korean teams, Dubu started achieving premier level success in 2016.

That year, with MVP Phoenix, he placed 4th at The Shanghai Major 2016, 5-6th at The Manila Major 2016, and 5th-6th at The International 2016. Despite achieving consistent top 8 placement at many other tournaments, DuBu left MVP at the end of 2016 to join Team Onyx early in 2017.

DuBu is a support player that used to play active, ganking heroes, but on Onyx he has transitioned to playing Position 5 support. Despite this, on heroes like Disruptor, and Dazzle, he has played an effective zoning support. He was no doubt selected for the team due to his experience with a high aggression playstyle, and as a position 5 support, he does a great job synergizing with the team effectively. DuBu is effectively able to rotate lanes early and give help when needed, disrupting enemies when needed, as well as helping to set up ganks or follow up plays.

Lee “Forev” Sang-don

Lee “Forev” Sang-don is another former MVP player who’s career started in late 2013. While having also been on Team Secret and team B)ears, the vast majority of his professional career was spent on MVP team Phoenix. With MVP, Forev dominated the South Korean Dota 2 scene throughout 2014, and in 2015 attended Dota 2 Asia Championships 2015, and The International 2015. However, his teams finished in the 13-16th place bracket at both.

Since then he has only climbed higher throughout the next year. With MVP Phoenix still, he placed 4th at The Shanghai Major 2016, 5-6th at The Manila Major 2016, and 5-6th at The International 2016 along with DuBu. However, after The Boston Major 2016 where MVP Phoenix placed 9-16th, most of the roster left the organization and the team disbanded. After a short stint with B)ears in which they qualified for, but didn’t achieve top 8 placement in, major tournaments, Forev joined team DC.

On DC, Forev is a position 3 off-lane player. He’s been playing high utility heroes such as Faceless Void, Enigma, or even Puck. These heroes with strong AoE lockdown ultimates helps the team’s effectiveness really kick in the midgame, and helps carry them through to the late game. Forev’s ability to expertly position himself to engage in the middle and late game. If the team were to adjust their playstyle, Forev is also an extremely skilled timbersaw player. Timbersaw’s ability to be independently powerful, deal pure damage, and be highly mobile would allow him to synergize with other team mates’ while still giving them an entirely different approach to mid and late game engagements.

Abed “Abed” Azel L. Yusop

Abed “Abed” Azel L. Yusop is one of the youngest Dota 2 pros attending TI7. Given his birthday is August 2nd, he’ll be 17 when he attends TI7. He’s only been playing Dota 2 since about 2014, but quickly made a name for himself on the South-East Asian leaderboards playing Invoker and Meepo, 2 of the most complex heroes in the game.

When he was only 14 he started playing competitively with an Australian based team. He was even soon invited to join team Execration. However, he declined, citing school commitments. Execration reached out to him again in 2016, and with encouragement from his father, he joined the team.

With Execration, Abed achieved high placement in many Major and Minor tournaments. He even attended the wild card round at TI6. On the ladder, he also rocketed up to 8000 MMR, a ranking that less than .01% of players have achieved. After being picked up by Team Onyx in early 2017 he not only surpassed this by becoming the first Filipino player to pass 9000 MMR, On June 25th of 2017 Abed became the first player in the world to reach 10,000 Solo MMR.

Abed is a highly skilled mid-lane player who has quickly become one of the top players in the world. At the wild card stages of TI6, Abed played Meepo mid, and was able to obtain an 18 kill streak against Complexity, and completely demolished the team, not getting killed once the entire game.

Lately, he’s been playing much more reliable mids, such as Lina and Queen of Pain. These high burst damage heroes with powerful AoE potential allows him to work effectively with both Forev’s and DuBu’s AoE utility heroes in team-fights, while still being able to take down single targets effectively. Also, Abed has continued to play Meepo consistently in ranked games to this day and even played it at Kiev against NP. If he decides to play Meepo at TI7 this year, we’re certainly in for a treat!

Team DC is one of 18 teams playing at this year’s DotA 2 The International 2017 for a prize pool of over 22 million USD at the time of writing this article. Will their unconventional play style, experienced leadership, and raw talent carry them to the finish to claim the Aegis? Or will more tested and refined styles win out? Tune in to The International 7 from August 7th to 12th to find out!

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