This weekend in Hamburg, eight teams including Evil Geniuses, Newbee and Team Secret have the chance to get everyone on notice and gain an early lead in the Dota2 pro circuit season.
Winning the first Major of the pro circuit season will give any team a great boost to their momentum going forward. This is especially true for teams such as Fnatic, Keen Gaming, and Virtus.pro, all teams who will be having their first Valve event of this season in Hamburg. They all share the opportunity to springboard their season with a Major win, but all hope would have to go through a wall of challenge from the favorites to win in the tournament.
Although former TI champions Newbee and EG haven’t been performing spectacularly well so far into this new season, they are still considered top contenders for this tournament. Joining them on the list of favorites is Team Secret, who have so far participated in all of the circuit’s tournaments and have accumulated 30 points for each of their members. These three favorites have, in spite of their overwhelming popularity, yet to find their groove in this new season. This will be Newbee’s second LAN outing for the season, but they failed to accrue any points on their first showing. EG, just like Secret, have also acquired 30 points as well, but there are higher expectations out of them, with fans begging them to prove that the Arteezy curse isn’t real.
SG-Esports from South America will also be playing their second Valve event of the season in Hamburg. Their first showing in StarLadder last month dashed their hopes of garnering any points when they were eliminated early in the tournament’s group stage. This second opportunity will allow them a very much needed recovery that could lead to greater confidence and support from fans. They have shown their capabilities before: after all, they were the ones who have eliminated Team Secret from the Kiev Major earlier this year.
But all eyes will of course be watching the monstrous Team Liquid who have not missed a single beat since their win at TI7. They have not been resting on their laurels, and have shown that their victory at TI wasn’t a fluke. They claimed victory at SLI, the first Minor of the season, and look viciously prepared to take on any adversary in this upcoming tournament. It would be hard to imagine Liquid not achieving at least a silver here.
A total of 1,500 Pro Circuit Points will be distributed to the top 4 competitors in this tournament. 750 points will be awarded to the champions, 450 points for the runner up, and 150 for the two other teams reaching the playoffs. Simply getting to the playoffs already gets you the equal number of points you get for becoming champions of a Minor tournament, which makes the competition ever the fiercer. Getting second place will immediately place you on top of the current leaders of the season, Mineski, who currently have only 240 points over two podium finishes. Gettinf first prize makes you unreachable for at least the next two Minors.
I would personally predict Team Liquid taking it all home in this tournament, with a Bo3 Finals against Newbee. I would think that Newbee might be able to get at least one win over Liquid before falling. Joining them in the playoffs would be EG and VP, although Keen might surprise everyone and sneak their way into the playoffs at the expense of VP. I’d be rooting for DJ and Fnatic, but I’m not getting my hopes up. They’re in a pretty tough group with EG, Newbee and Secret after all.
Regardless of the results, this pivotal tournament will surely affect the landscape of the Dota2 scene for months to come. Closing off a very packed October, this will be followed by the Dota Pit Minor starting on November 2.
Neutral has been playing video games since he was a little kid. He started being competitive when he and his brother would bet favors for each other depending on who wins at the PS2 game Naruto Shippuuden. Recently he has been playing Dota2 and Animal Crossing on his revived 3DS. It is his dream to be part of the formation of the eSports version of UAAP through UP Gaming Guild’s Impetus Intercollegiate Dota2 League.
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