The Dota 2 DPC season has been a rollercoaster. The Regional Qualifiers have given a great insight into how well teams are performing and how the meta is shifting on the back of the Mistwoods Update, which came out in December of 2020. While some regions had clear-cut winners that were to be expected, even for those teams, the road to victory often wasn’t always smooth.
With a slew of upsets and disqualifications occurring throughout this Dota 2 DPC season as well, it would be wise to take a moment to process the results and see how each region is looking for the upcoming Singapore Major.
Team Secret took the top spot in Europe, winning all of their series and dropping only three games. Topping out the group in this stage of the Dota 2 DPC season means that they are automatically qualified for the Singapore Major’s playoffs, allowing them to skip the entire group stage of the competition. Alliance took second place in the round-robin and are therefore qualified for the group stage, while Team Nigma and Team Liquid will take the two Wildcard slots.
The Wildcard stage will consist of six teams playing in a round-robin for a spot in the Singapore Major’s group stage. Matches will be Bo2s, meaning that each match is going to be incredibly important for earning points.
Surprisingly, OG, the two-time winner of The International and one of the favourites for the European qualifiers, did not manage to qualify for the Major. They were knocked out of the 4th place spot in a three-way tiebreaker with Team Liquid and Fata’s Tundra Esports. While they managed to beat Tundra in a tight 47-minute match, they were quite convincingly defeated by Team Liquid, who pulled out a surprise Huskar and Bloodseeker to knock OG down to 5th place.
In the Lower Division, Hellbear Smashers and Brame managed to take the top two spots in Europe after yet another three-way tiebreaker saw them battle it out, along with Creepwave, in a series of best of 1 matches. More surprisingly, team Meta4Pro withdrew from the tournament after they conducted an internal investigation and determined that one of their players might have been guilty of match-fixing.
This was coupled with the disqualification of team Burjui. According to Dreamhack, the team, after using a substitute for the maximum number of matches, gave the organisation a falsified medical document claiming that one of their players was suffering from COVID-19, and requested an emergency transfer. Once the document was determined to be forged, Burjui were disqualified from the DPC season.
Dreamhack’s full statement on the disqualification can be found on their website.
The top spot in the CIS region has gone to Virtus.Pro, secured by their 2-0 victory over Na’Vi, who was predicted by many to win out the round-robin stage of the DPC. VP had a convincing run throughout the DPC season, never dropping a series and maintaining a 14-1 record —thus beating out Team Secret for the best Upper Division record in the DPC.
Na’Vi will still be going to the Major though, their 5-2 record carrying them through without the need for any tiebreakers. AS Monaco Gambit takes the region’s one Wildcard spot for the Major after winning their three-way tiebreaker with Extremum and Team Unique.
In the Lower Division, Puckchamp and Winstrike took the top two spots, qualifying them for next season’s Upper Division. Dendi’s new B8 roster, unfortunately, took the bottom spot in the region with a 1-6 record, winning only 5 of their 18 matches; a disappointing finish for a team that looked promising in some of their early matches.
The Chinese Upper Division was one of the most hotly contended of any qualifier in the DPC season. Aster, IG and VG duked it out for the top spot for most of the DPC, with Aster and IG pulling ahead and battling for 1st place in the last-minute tiebreaker. IG won out in the end, riding on the back of Emo’s Morphling to secure game 1 and stomping Aster with an offlane Alchemist in game 2.
One of the big stories to come out of the Upper Division was fy’s team, Elephant, losing their place in the Major in a tiebreaker with PSD.LGD. While the first game was a slow-paced, low kill match, with Paparazi’s Phantom Lancer giving PSD.LGD problems, game 2 was a much more convincing victory for the LGD squad.
This victory puts PSD.LGD into the wildcard round for the Singapore Major, along with Vici Gaming, while Aster’s 2nd place gives them a spot in the Major’s group stage and IG will go straight to the playoffs. It might seem insane that a team like Elephant (or even Ehome, who placed 6th) will not be attending the Singapore Major. They have some of the most talented Chinese players in the game at the moment and were considered by many to be a contender for the top spot this DPC season.
It just goes to show how high the level of talent is in Chinese Dota at the moment and how concerned other regions should be coming into the Singapore Major.
In the Lower Division, Sparking Arrow Gaming and Royal Never Give Up were the two teams to earn the Upper Division spots for season 2 of the DPC. These were the two teams we singled out as ones to look out for early on in the Lower Division, due to their strength in tournaments coming up to the DPC.
Dalanjing Gaming were disqualified from the season due to using more than their maximum number of allocated substitutes. This disqualification helped push Sparking Arrow Gaming into the top spot, thanks to Dalanjing’s automatic forfeiture of their match. Most would probably argue that Sparking Arrow Gaming were the favourites in that series anyway, so it is unlikely that Dalanjing being disqualified had too much of an impact on Major invites.
The SEA region had few surprises in its top 3, with Fanatic taking the prized 1st place position in the DPC and Neon beating out Kuku’s T1 for single spot in the Major Group Stage. This put T1 into 3rd and made them Southeast Asia’s wildcard team for the Singapore Major.
The tiebreaker between the Neon and T1 was one of the closest that the DPC has seen, going the full 3 games. Game 1 in particular was extremely back and forth, with Neon coming back from huge networth deficits many times throughout the match, only to lose after a botched initiation from PH’s Clockwerk. While T1 looked strong in game 1, Neon came back with a vengeance in game 2 and won an incredibly convincing match on the back of a core Io pick. Game 3 was even more convincing for Neon and proved that they were the stronger team on the day, with back-to-back stomps securing them the series and the spot at the Major.
TNC Predator fans will be disappointed with their 4th place finish, which excludes them from the Major due to the SEA region having 1 less wildcard spot than certain other regions, like China and Europe.
The placements in this DPC season’s Lower Division were much more surprising than the SEA region’s Upper Division. Two relatively unknown teams, Lilgun and Omega Esports, took the top two spots, beating out kYxY’s Galaxy Racers and the more established Cignal Ultra. Both teams had a 5-2 record and played convincingly throughout the tournament. What is more interesting is that the Lower Division had no tiebreakers. It also managed to avoid any disqualifications, making it one of the more stable Regional Divisions for this DPC season.
Unsurprisingly, Evil Geniuses topped out the North American region with a 13-4 record in the round-robin. What is surprising is that they had to play two tiebreaker matches against Quincy Crew and Undying in order to secure their position, with all three teams having equal standings before that point.
EG easily dealt with Undying in a 24-3 stomp that ended with an Arteezy rampage and a 30-minute gg. Quincy Crew didn’t go down without a fight however, with both teams enduring a back-and-forth slugfest that had EG on the ropes for a decent portion of the game.
While Quincy Crew has some strong players, such as Yawar and MSS, and have had a decent showing in the NA region throughout these DPC qualifiers, many are questioning whether EG should have had as much trouble as they did with the squad. This puts into question how the team will perform against tier 1 teams such as Secret and Nigma at the upcoming Major. Considering that this DPC season was the first time EG has played together as a full squad since picking up IceIceIce in November of 2020, this could simply be teething issues that will be ironed out with practice.
Monkeys-forever’s squad, simply TOOBASED, took the top spot in the NA lower division. They didn’t drop a series in their round-robin matches and finished with a 7-0 record. The Cut was the other team to make next season’s upper division, having only lost a series to TOOBASED in the third week of the qualifiers. A team of relative unknowns, it will be interesting to see how they perform against more formidable teams in season two of the DPC.
The Upper Division for South America was mostly unsurprising, with Beastcoast heading to the Major Playoffs and Thunder Predator heading to the Group Stage. Beastcoast topped the regional league for the entirety of the season, only dropping two games in the 5th week against NoPing Esports. Infamous had a rather lacklustre performance, finishing 6th in the group after their strong start against Thunder Predator in week one of the DPC.
South America’s Lower Division had some controversy, with Madara’s 0-900 squad being disqualified after one of their players was caught betting on league matches. Dotapit released a statement on their website on the issue, stating that:
“The integrity of our tournaments is of paramount importance to us. Prohibited activities such as betting on matches is both undermining to that integrity and wholly unacceptable.”
0-900 were the clear favourites in the group before the scandal, and their disqualification cleared the way for Infinity Esports and Hokori Esports to take the top two spots. Of course, in keeping with the other regional qualifiers, this required a three-way tiebreaker between Hokori, Infinity and Incubus. Incubus lost out in the end, with Hokori and Infinity getting the better of them in two close best of one matches, giving both teams a 13-4 record and a spot in the Upper Division for season 2 of the DPC.
Roat To The Dota 2 Singapore Major
With the Dota 2 DPC season finished, we will finally get the opportunity to see Dota 2’s top competitive teams playing at the highest level at the Singapore Major. The event will run from March 27 until April 4 and will be the first Major of the Dota 2 DPC season.
With a Wilcard round-robin that contains teams like PSG. LGD, Team Nigma and Team Liquid, and a Group Stage housing Alliance, Na’Vi and Aster, the initial matches of the Singapore Major are going to be thrilling. Seeing some of these teams eliminated so early from the tournament will surely be a blow to fans, but to have this level of competition in the beginning stages of a Major will only make the main event that much sweeter.