Support players got a boost in the first mini-patch of Valve's two week cycle. The largest change was that the hero stacking a camp now receives a bonus 15% gold bounty for clearing it. While it can be a boon to mid players who often stack their own camps and support heroes, like Keeper of the Light, who can clear his own stacks later in the game, the resulting gold may not be as great as it seems. We'll be looking back on the impact of this patch with a trends look later this week.
VGJ.Storm, after dissolving its roster due to a lackluster start, reassembled this week with Sneyking, Yawar, MSS, SVG, and Timado. Nearly half a year ago we interviewed Timado about his rise from pubstar to the pro scene. Check out his story, which runs from aspiring to be a Starcraft 2 pro, barely making 5k MMR to play in NEL, and then qualifying for TI7 at 16 years old.
ESL One Katowice starts this week in Spodek. ESL has since announced the addition of a 3rd place match to appease fans who were upset that only 4 teams would be featured at the live event. The event features the top teams of the Pro Circuit--Secret, Liquid, and Newbee--and two brand new CIS rosters, Na'Vi and Virtus.Pro.
I have no further intents to cast/analyze Dota 2. I have decided that at this juncture in my life, casting does not align with what I want from my future. I am a bit sad, but we must keep forward facing. Big thanks to all who have supported me, especially when times were tough!— Ben Wu (@MerliniDota) February 13, 2018
Both Merlini and LD announced their exit from the Dota casting scene this week. The two legendary casters have been part of the Dota pro scene for more than five years. Merlini expounded on his decision in a reddit post, citing financial security and the alignment of life in esports with his personal goals: "And then even heavier issues. What about when I get married? Do I want to see my wife/kids half the month and live out of a hotel the other half? What if I want to purchase a modest house at some point. Can I take on a mortgage in good faith that I’m going to have steady income for 20-30 years?" While Merlini seems to be pointing towards a complete exit from Dota, LD writes that he's transitioning from casters to producer at BTS.