Viva Peru! All-Peruvian squad Infamous carrying hopes of South America as region’s sole representative
With this year’s iteration of The International fast approaching, it seems appropriate to offer fans both new and old a breakdown of who it is they’re going to be watching in Seattle. This series of posts will each be dedicated to one of the 18 teams that will be participating in The International 2017, with the aim of giving readers a brief overview of the teams, their position coming into TI, and what their expectations might be. Please note that these posts will not contain a comprehensive history of the teams, nor will they go into minute detail for each of the players. There are more thorough breakdowns for teams and players available out there, a la SirActionSlacks’ “TI Down Low” series. This final post in the series will focus on our final TI team and the sole representative for the South American region – Infamous
This year’s International introduced a separate qualifier for the South American region, making Infamous the first official TI South American Qualifier winner. Infamous is an all-Peruvian squad, as well as the only team at TI to have any Peruvian players on the roster. This in an of itself allows Infamous to serve as a rallying force for an entire nation of Dota fans, but the appeal of Infamous doesn’t end there. As the South American Qualifier winner, Infamous stand as the only team at The International 2017 representing the South American region. Infamous could come into TI7 with the support of an entire region, and the hopes and pride of South American Dota will be with the squad.
If there’s one thing that we’ve learned looking at the Ti participants, it’s that no one is safe from roster changes, and Infamous is no exception to this. The squad added both “Timado” and “Matthew” to its roster in March of this year, then decided to double down on the roster changes and add its final player, “Kingteka” in May. All of these players bring something to the new Infamous roster, but “Timado” has had a particularly interesting impact on the team.
One of the standout players for Infamous is its midlaner, “Timado”. Timado has not been in the Dota 2 scene long, having emerged about a year ago on a minor South American squad. He spent some time with North American squad Team Freedom before its disbanding in March, and has been playing for Infamous ever since. This year’s International will mark Timado’s first chance to show his skills on the Dota world’s biggest stage, which is a lot of pressure to put on someone so young. Timado is officially the youngest player at The International this year, being just sixteen years old and younger than Digital Chaos’ midlaner “Abed” by about a month. The young standout has a chance to put himself, his team, and his region on the Dota 2 map at TI7.
The expectations are not high for Infamous, and in all honesty it wouldn’t really be fair to set them all that high to begin with. This is the first year that the South American region has received its own qualifier and by extension, its own spot at TI. In previous years, those South American teams that did attend TIs or Valve Majors came through a unified “Americas” qualifier. Many people may argue that South America is a weaker region than the others, and they may be right. However, this opportunity for Infamous opens to the door and provides a way for the region to improve and slowly begin competing with the rest of the Dota 2 world, much in the same way that similar qualifiers and events have shaped the landscape of the NA and SEA Dota scenes. As the only South American representative at TI, Infamous will be leading the charge for the entire region, and while it may not be a threat to win the Aegis of Champions, any and every victory in Seattle will a step forward for a region that previously has had little to no representation at all. With all of this in mind, it’s easy to forget one final detail: Infamous are actually a very good team, and the Peruvian squad will be looking for any opportunity to show that to the fans in Seattle and around the world.
Recent results for Infamous are pretty much par for the course for a team that is confined to its home region for almost all of its matches. The squad has shown impressive wins within North and South America, while its international experience has been limited and less impressive. The team has participated in four regional qualifiers or tournaments, beginning with the Dota 2 BEAT Invitational Season 8. Infamous managed to make it to the lower bracket finals before losing to Complexity Gaming 1-2 to finish 3rd overall. A week later, the team came back stronger to win the Galaxy Battles American Qualifier, posting a perfect 7-0 record in the process. The team rounded out its qualifier schedule with a 2nd place finish in the Peruvian qualifier for The Final Match LAN, followed by its victorious run through the TI7 South American Qualifier. Outside of the Americas, things have been a bit harder for Infamous. At the Galaxy Battles event in China, the squad posted a 1-2 group stage record before losing a best-of-one elimination match against TNC Pro Team to finish in the 7th/8th place in the tournament. The same story unfolded at The Final Match LAN hosted in Peru, with Infamous going 1-2 in the group stage before losing a best-of-one match against Team Spirit.
Overall, Infamous does not necessarily present an imposing figure on paper. The team comes from a traditionally weaker region, has made some recent roster shifts, and hasn’t performed particularly well against team outside of North and South America. While all of these factors do not paint a pretty picture for Infamous in Seattle, The International tends to bring out the very best from its players. The Peruvian squad may have found its key to success, or may even benefit from the small amounts of attention that are usually paid to its region. At The International no one is untouchable, and we’ve seen juggernauts of the scene and so called “super teams” fall by the wayside before. A single mistake or underestimation could open the door for Infamous to make a statement in Seattle, and at The International a single victory could make the difference between fame, and infamy.