The professional Dota 2 scene is an ever growing and changing beast, with each patch bringing about new teams that thrive and new ways to play the game.
With the release of the Summer Battle pass the International season is now upon us and we look towards Manilla for the next Dota 2 Major.
Now with that in mind, many people reading this may not follow the Dota 2 scene or are new to the game, you may have been away and are confused by all these big events and are not sure who’s doing what. So I’m going to give a sum-up of the last few months in professional Dota 2 and my own opinions on who is going to give us a show at Manilla
Lets go way back to last August at The International 5, The International being the biggest Dota 2 and Esports event of the year, boasting a massive $18,000,000 prize pool last year.
Team Evil Genius’ won in an epic finale that has given the North American Region an International winning team. Within the hype and the fanfare Valve announced that they were going to be bringing about more Valve Dota 2 events called “Majors”, these would be 3 events throughout the year that would display Dota 2 at it’s finest, having the best teams fight it out to get the trophy (and the substantial prize money).
This for all of us at the Dota 2 community was a welcome addition to the professional scene. It would make teams have to care and be consistent the whole year leading up to the next International, we now had multiple tournaments with massive prize pools and more stability in the game.
So Major number 1 comes around, the Fall Major, held at Frankfurt and presented by ESL, this was it, a new era of Dota 2, a massive tournament outside of the International, we were all exited and so were the teams, post International roster shuffles always bring something different to a team and this was the first time we’d see all of these big teams fight it out with their new line-ups.
The Frankfurt Major saw massive success, the winners, the then newly formed OG, had an amazing underdog story that by the end had everyone cheering them on.
The team itself was previously known as Monkey Business and after the Main Qualifiers changed their name to OG.
OG didn’t do well during the group stages and in such had to go down to the lower bracket, this is where our underdog story began, every match could’ve been their last in the tournament, the hosts, panellists, casters and viewers were saying they were going to go out on every match but each and every time they shocked us.
Their last 2 matches were ones nobody expected them to win, Evil Genius’ had been knocked down to the lower bracket for the finals against OG, so here OG were against the current International winning team, all odds against them and they come out on top with a brilliant victory.
So OG, who had fought from the start from the losers bracket, played more games than anyone else in the tournament were in the finals against the all star powerhouse Team Secret. We soon found out that OG were not going to be beaten at the end, the odds once again against them, they struggled and battled on to gain a 3-1 victory and winning the first ever Dota 2 Major.
The next Major was announced to be in Shanghai in February so the teams had 2 months to prepare and practice. These next few months saw a new patch and with it a team that had looked to have been down in the dumps was back.
The Alliance, The International 3 winners, hailing from Sweden were back in force, winning 2 Premier tournaments and gaining a direct invite to Shanghai, this team were something to be feared.
People were thinking that they were going to win Shanghai or that the Chinese team Ehome which had been looking strong and was also in their home turf would dominate. Then it happened, we were all proven wrong.
The Shanghai Major will forever go down in Dota 2’s history books, not for the outstanding level of play, not for the amazing people that came but rather for it’s shortcomings.
The Major was full to the brim with production problems, within 1 day the host of the panel got fired by Valve themselves and between this, delays, inconsistent streams, the Dota was overlooked.
Alliance, EG, Ehome. If you asked anyone before Shanghai who was going to win, those are the names you’d hear, oh how wrong we were. Ehome, the home team and favourites were showing no signs of life during the games, they were being beaten over and over, eventually going out in Round 2 of the Lower Brackets. Alliance had better success, actually doing well in the group stages but being beaten early on and eventually going out in stage 3 of the group stages.
EG managed to make it to the lower bracket finals where they were convincingly beaten by Team Liquid.
So who won? Team Secret, the team that people actually mocked coming into the tournament saying that they had a sub-par team and they would be knocked out right away, this team proved to be both consistent and devastating if left unchecked, they brought Liquid to their knees for the second time of the tournament in a 3-1 win for Secret at the grand finals.
So now we look forward, to Manilla, on what teams we think are going to win, Team Liquid are looking strong, having just won a $250,000 prize tournament will they carry on the tradition of the second place of the previous Major to win the next, well the group stages have started and so let’s enjoy.
The group stages have gotten started and already we’re seeing some brilliant Dota 2, from all the events throughout the year and the ups and downs of the Majors, Manilla seems to be running smoothly and professionally, so enjoy:
Who do you think is going to win? I’m going to call Team OG to win, I believe in Miracles.