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This TI8 team profile focuses on Mineski, the only Southeast Asian team qualified for the biggest event of the year via Dota Pro Circuit points.

It’s been six years straight since Mineski haven’t attended The International, which is an incredible negative record for the biggest SEA organization. Before being a Dota 2 or even a DotA team, Mineski was an internet café. It was founded back in 2004 by Ronald Robins, a SEA Warcraft III veteran with a huge passion for esports. Since the very beginning, Ronald Robins and his partners have been driven by the desire of developing the professional gaming scene in Southeast Asia. The Mineski franchise grew over the years up to the point where they now hold over 100 internet cafes in the Philippines and are regarded as one of the biggest organizations in the esports field.


Mineski got invited at the very first International, back in 2011 where they finished 9th-12th and that’s exactly where their history with Valve’s biggest tournament ends. The team never qualified again for a TI and took them four years before they would attend another Valve sponsored event, namely the very first Dota 2 Major, in Frankfurt, Germany in November 2015. Nonetheless, the organization was always extremely active in the SEA scene, running multiple Dota 2 teams and never giving up on their quest for glory.


Last year in March they made waves when they brought in Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung from Fnatic. Since then, they did everything possible to create a team around the SEA legend, a team that will finally make justice to the Mineski name. The results didn’t come right away and Mineski had to adjust the roster a couple of times, ending up without qualifying for TI7. The International 2017 marked Mushi’s first time when he would not attend Valve’s annual event. At the same time, Mushi’s friend Daryl Koh “iceiceice” Pei Xiang who was running a squad of his own, Team Faceless experienced the same kind of disappointment.


Two days after TI7 was over, Iceiceice joined forces with Mushi and brought with him Anucha “Jabz” Jirawong from Faceless. The Mineski roster suffered a final last change and with the two SEA legends reunited the team started the DPC season in force.


Mineski roster:

 – Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung
 – Kam “Moon” Boon Seng
 – Daryl Koh “Iceiceice” Pei Xiang
 – Anucha “Jabz” Jirawong
 – Michael “Ninjaboogie” Ross Jr.


At the very first Minor of the season, Mineski finished second after losing the grand finals to the TI7 champions. Headed to the second event in the DPC schedule, they took the trophy home and they suddenly became the SEA team to beat.


After a top-four place at the Captains Draft 4.0 Minor from January 2018, Mineski didn’t find their stride anymore but stood committed to their line-up. Instead of swapping players in and out, Mineski worked on finding a coach who understands their players’ styles perfectly. This is when an old friend of Mushi and Iceiceice, and one of the most respected coaches in the entire Dota 2 scene, joined the team. Tang “71” Wenyi moved from China to the Philippines in January 2018 to join the two players he coached back in the 2013-2014 era when Team DK placed top four at TI4.


Two months later, Mineski wrote history and became the first SEA team to win a Dota 2 Major, at DAC 2018. “The credits go to our coach, 71,” said Mushi at the post-event press conference explaining that 71 had a huge impact on their performance. The victory in China cemented Mineski’s fifth place in the overall DPC rankings and brought them the tickets for The International 2018




Mineski by numbers in the 2017 – 2108 DPC season

  • Games played: 205
  • As Dire: 102
  • As Radiant: 103
  • Win rate: 59,02%
  • Wins: 121
  • Losses: 84


“We knew that we could have disbanded if we kept performing bad. We managed to spin it around with 71 joining us. […] He might have never played Dota in his life but the way he understands this game is truly unique,”  Ninjaboogie told us when we interviewed him at EPICENTER XL.


Through their few months of struggles, Mineski have also decided to relief the players from drafting pressure and assigned this duty to their new coach. 71 started to draft for them after SL i-League Invitational Season 4 and presumably, he will be the one who will do so at TI8 as well.


Before 71 joined the team, Mineski were playing around extremely aggressive heroes, a thirst for blood type of game, with hero combos that shine in early skirmishes and can create a lot of chaos with constant rotations. Moon’s start of the season can be associated with a lot of Mirana and Puck games and he would find the combos with Jabz’ Earth Spirit, Clockwerk or Tusk. At the same time, Iceiceice played a lot of Timbersaw, Monkey King, Brewmaster and even Visage.


Of course, the meta has changed a lot this DPC season since the bi-weekly patches were implemented, but the biggest change in Mineski’s game was the more team fight oriented and objective strategies used by the new coach. 71 is utilizing Iceiceice at his maximum potential and he kept on letting him play the more aggressive heroes while Moon’s most played heroes are now Death Prophet and Dragon Knight. Jabz’s pool also expanded into the team fight control area and his most played heroes are now Naga Siren and Sand King.


Mineski’s most played hero combos before and after 71 joined

Hero combo

September – January

Games Hero combo

February – June

Mirana + Naga Siren 8 Dragon Knight + Gyro 10
Puck + Night Stalker 7 Death Prophet + Disruptor 10
Lich + Earth Spirit 6 Death Prophet + Sand King 9
Mirana + Earth Spirit 6 OD + Disruptor 8
Mirana + Nyx Assassin 6 Disruptor + Naga Siren 8
Puck + Earth Spirit 6 Dragon Knight + Pangolier



Mineski’s players hero pool is quite vast and this is a team that excels at the versatility chapter as well. Mushi, Moon and Iceiceice can swap roles between themselves at any point. Jabz, although a position 4 support, is also known as a feared Meepo player. Mineski have one of all times best offlaner in the world in Iceiceice, who is known for his incredible plays, desire to surprise and extreme aggression. Icex3 can dominate a full trilane without any effort, but he can also crush the mid lane or challenge any carry in the scene if he is given the safe lane. The Mushi and Iceiceice chemistry was built back in 2013 when both joined Team DK and together make for an unique duo that can be quite daunting to figure out.


Without a doubt, Mineski is one of the teams to follow at The International 2018. The SEA  region comes to this year’s TI with three teams, all with their element of chaos. If TNC have the Armel surprise loading and Fnatic have the EternalEnvy factor, Mineski have the Iceiceice unstable concoction to fire up the games and I can’t wait to see Mineski’s return at The International after a six years long wait.

More TI8 team profiles:

– Beware of paiN Gaming
 – China’s Best Hope: PSG.LGD Gaming
 – Rise and Fall of a Chinese Giant: Newbee
 – On the Verge of Making History: Team Liquid


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