On May 14, the fifth Valve Dota 2 Major this year kicks off. With a reduced number of teams in attendance and Virtus.Pro pulling out, the potential for a team to make a name for themselves is higher than usual. Who will seize this opportunity? Read on for insight into the format and teams.
The Mars Media tournament held in Changsha, China features an impressive $1 million prize pool and 1500 Pro Circuit points. The event is the perfect opportunity for teams to grab the much-needed points to earn a spot at this year’s International as only 12 teams attend.
Four Chinese teams were invited, five achieving qualification through regional qualifiers and three from the Dota2 Professional League (DPL). One of the original invited teams (Virtus.Pro) was unable to attend due to health reasons, with Mineski participating in their place.
The regions with qualifiers were Southeast Asia, North America, South America, Europe and CIS. With EPICENTER ongoing, teams who didn’t attend such as Vici Gaming will feel confident they’ve had plenty of time to adjust their strategies and compositions in preparation for MDL Changsha.
The four teams who received direct invites to the MDL Major:
- Team Secret
- Vici Gaming
The three teams who achieved qualification through DPL:
- iG Vitality
- Invictus Gaming
The five teams who achieved qualification through their regional qualifiers:
- TNC Pro Team (Southeast Asia Qualifier)
- VGJ.Storm (North America Qualifier)
- Infamous (South America Qualifier)
- OG (Europe Qualifier)
- Vega Squadron (CIS Qualifier)
MDL Changsha Major betting: Tournament structure
Split into two groups of six in a round-robin format; teams play a single match versus each team in their respective groups. The initial games are best-of-twos (BO2), with the playoffs being best-of-three (BO3) and the final being a best-of-five (BO5). Teams want to avoid coming fourth or fifth as losing a single game after this point would mean elimination from the tournament.
The group winners advance to the second round of the upper bracket and second and third-placed teams to the first round of the upper bracket. Teams finishing in fourth and fifth move into the lower bracket and the bottom teams in each group are eliminated from the tournament.
- Find out more about Dota 2 betting
The initial BO2 matches are good news for bettors as stakes are refunded on the chance of a draw, ensuring initial bets on the group stage come with a safety net. The top teams are aiming to defeat the lesser opponents 2-0 as all points are essential and a slip up can be the difference between progressing to the playoffs and going home.
As the tournament moves into the playoffs, fewer upsets occur due to lesser teams needing two map wins to secure a victory. Teams are short on time to obtain points to secure a spot at The International so risk-taking will be lower than usual. Looking towards the favourites as the upper bracket progresses could be a smart move.
MDL Changsha Major odds: Who are the favourites?
Despite their shaky form at EPICENTER, Team Secret(4.330*) is one of the favourites for this event. Virtus.Pro’s decision not to attend could prove to be a blessing in disguise for this mixed nationality roster. One more high finish would secure their position at The International and a tournament against some lesser sides could be the perfect event to build confidence.
The event is the perfect opportunity for teams to grab the much-needed points to earn a spot at this year’s International as only 12 teams attend.
Newbee(9.000*) are disappointed with their elimination from EPICENTER in the group stages, with their 2-0 defeat to paiN Gaming being way below their usual level. Their position at The International isn’t guaranteed and another below-par performance at MDL Changsha could increase the pressure on this team, moving onto ESL One Birmingham with one eye over their shoulders.
LGD, known as PSG.LGD(4.330*), announced they’ve merged with soccer giants Paris-Saint Germain. Their results at EPICENTER have been impressive, securing a spot in the upper bracket with victories over Mineski, FlyToMoon and Team Empire.
Sitting in the last available spot for The International, securing Pro Circuit points at this stage is essential. With PSG.LGD not attending ESL One Birmingham, this event is one of their last chances to achieve the points needed. With increased attention and pressure on their shoulders due to their connections with PSG, nothing short of a top-four finish is acceptable.
After their victory at the Dota 2 Asia Championship, Mineski(5.500* to win the tournament outright) expected to perform better at EPICENTER. Their inconsistency has been their downfall and rectifying this is essential if they are to compete with the top sides.
Mineski’s stable roster for a year suffers from the same problems since their inception. However, on their day, they can compete with anyone.
Are any outsiders worth considering?
Infamous(101.010*) cannot qualify for The International as they have zero Pro Circuit Points. The best result in their history is their 13 – 16th placing at The International 2017. They only managed to secure a single victory, although had some decent draws against Fnatic and Team Secret.
With PSG.LGD not attending ESL One Birmingham, this event is one of their last chances to achieve the points needed.
Infamous’ chances of winning MDL Changsha are small and unless their players can achieve a level they haven’t reached so far, passing the group stages should be their primary goal.
The last Major Vega Squadron(67.000*) participated at was The Bucharest Major, where they lost all three of their games. The level of competition at MDL Changsha is lower, so they are confident they can secure some victories. As with Infamous, they need to show a level they haven’t demonstrated to progress in the playoffs and their chance of achieving this is slim.
*Odds subject to change