There’s plenty of Dota 2 to be had in the scene’s busiest time of the year
The most important tournament of the year for Dota 2 is little more than three months away – in the seventh iteration of The International, we will see another team raise the Aegis of Champions, and possibly, if the record is once again broken – the largest prize pool in esports.
But the road to The International is long and hard, paved with many challenges ahead. And while teams such as the four-time Major winners of OG are certainly looking to come into TI7 as a favorite once again (and maybe give Gustav “S4” Magnusson the honor of being the first player to win two Internationals), and CIS dream-team Virtus.Pro, who certainly looked top-form at The Kiev Major are probably guaranteed a Direct Invite (Valve has never failed to invite the Grand Finalists of a prior Valve event to the succeeding one, as long as no roster-lock violations have been incurred). Perhaps Evil Geniuses and Invictus Gaming will be granted invites as well for making it into the semi-final – certainly both teams are capable of taking titles or at least placing highly in the upcoming LANs to secure their invite.
However, for the other Kiev Major attendees, and especially for those teams on the near-fringes of making it to Valve’s LAN events, such as Regional Qualifier runners-up Natus Vincere, and The Alliance, certainly have a lot of work ahead of them if they’re hoping to skip the qualifiers by earning an invite. Valve has shown itself to value LAN results very highly, and there are five premier LANs in particular that will take place before The International 7 qualifiers begin on June 22.
StarLadder i-League Invitational Season 2 (May 18-21)
Taking place in Shanghai, China, the second season of the Invitational boasts a $100,000 prize pool and eight teams: Newbee, Vici Gaming.J, TNC Pro Team, Team Liquid, The Alliance, Invictus Gaming, Vega Squadron, and Team Faceless.
The Manila Masters (May 26-28)
Our hometown is gearing up for another premier LAN event – with certain big names and an impressive $250,000 prize pool, OG, EG, Team Secret, Newbee, NP, Invictus Gaming, Team Faceless and our representative from the Philippine Qualifier, Clutch Gamers, are sure to put forth their best Dota.
Zotac Cup Masters (May 30-June 3)
With a $100,000 prize pool and Cloud9, Fnatic, Invictus Gaming, is GG, and Team Singularity already securing their slots, there are two more Direct Invites to be announced and the qualifiers for SEA to be resolved.
Epicenter (June 4-11)
Perhaps the most prestigious tournament on the road to TI7, the second iteration of Russian LAN, Epicenter, also features the largest prize pool: $500,000. It also appears to present the highest level of competition – all of the Kiev Major semifinalists are present (OG, Virtus.Pro, Invictus Gaming, and Evil Geniuses), along with Epicenter 2016 defending champion, Team Liquid and another Direct Invite yet to be announced. They will be joined by four teams from the currently ongoing qualifiers. This LAN will surely give us a clearer picture of the scene’s power rankings leading up to TI.
The Summit 7 (June 14,18)
The last LAN before TI7 qualifiers, the more laid-back vibe at The Summit will be the final chance for teams to secure a LAN win before TI Invites roll out – defending champions from the Summit 6, Virtus.Pro will be in attendance, along with ViciGaming.J and two other Direct Invites. Clutch Gamers has secured the SEA Qualifier slot, and three more slots are to be filled up once the regional qualifiers conclude.
KaLeRei usually can’t shut up about video games, so she writes about them instead. Single-player RPGs or empire-builders/strategy games are her usual cup of tea, but she’s also been an avid follower of the Dota 2 and CS:GO professional scenes for a while. She has a fascination for old pros trying to prove they’ve still got what it takes, and cats.
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