The Shanghai Majors
As the second of four Dota Major Championships is just around the corner, 16 teams will compete for the combined prize pool of $3,000,000. Will Chinese Dota be restored to its former superiority? Can the star-studded likes of EG and Secret take their first major glory? Or will a fresh force defy the odds, just like team OG have during the Frankfurt Majors? Only time will tell, but expect a full week of world-class mind blowing Dota coming your way!
The teams directly invited to the Shanghai Majors are the Frankfurt Major winners OG, TI5 champions Evil Geniuses, Frankfurt Major runner-ups Team Secret, EHOME, TI5 runner-ups CDEC Gaming, Vici Gaming, Virtus.pro and Alliance. Teams that earned their spot through the qualifiers are Team Liquid, Team Spirit, Team Archon, Complexity Gaming, LGD Gaming, Newbee, Fnatic and MVP Phoenix.
Speaking of the meta, gone are the days of Winter Wyvern, Tusk, and Windranger dominating the pick and bans and with the introduction of 6.86 comes the return of Invoker, Vengeful Spirit, Lone Druid and the implementation of Earth Spirit in Captains Mode (Finally). For the first time since 2013, the Shanghai Qualifiers have shown contrasting hero win rates across all regions. A prime example of this would be Earth Spirit boasting a 100%-win rate in Europe, while performing mediocrely in China and having 0% success in America. The same can be said for Bane, being utilized with great success in America, having mixed results in China and performing poorly in Europe. This means that teams from different regions will bring hero lineups that vary from each other, adding to the unpredictability of which pocket strategies they may have in store.
Based on performances of the past year, Chinese Dota has failed to live up to its expectations. Although they managed to place in the top 5 of major tournaments consistently, not a single one managed to reach the top (except for during the recent Mars Dota League). The Frankfurt Majors itself was a poor showcase for Eastern Dota, with questions being raised regarding whether the quality of Chinese Dota will ever be restored to its former glory. With the upcoming Majors being held in Shanghai, this is the perfect chance to bring Chinese Dota back to the top. For the first time since its revival, EHOME has brought back the fear factor into its opposition; coming into the Majors as one of the tournament favorites. Don't count out LGD either, the x-factor of rOtk adds a lot of unpredictability to the battlefield.
The Western scene on the other hand has had the upper hand, winning last year's The International as well as the very first Frankfurt Major. The biggest hype of the Majors coming from the Western Scene is the return of Alliance; boasting the same roster the won TI3 with. With patch 6.86 bringing the rise of heroes that are within the comfort zone of their selection pool, they too enter the tournament among the favorites. Evil Geniuses has seen some success against the Eastern Scene, as this time last year they won the Dota Asian Championships and put an end to the fairytale run of CDEC at TI5. Having analyzed their Chinese opposition so well, expect EG as a force to be reckoned with.
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