Dota 2 Asia Championships 2018: Contenders, Dark Horses, and Weaklings
Dota 2 Asia Championships 2018 is an upcoming Dota Pro Circuit LAN event and the 5th Major of the season. The tournament is organized by Perfect World in association with PGL, has a prize pool of $1 million and is scheduled to take place in Shanghai between March 29th and April 7th.
Teams and tournament format
Dota 2 Asia Championships 2018 brings together 16 teams from six regions:
- China: VGJ.Thunder, Vici Gaming, Keen Gaming, Invictus Gaming, Newbee, LGD Gaming.
- North America: OpTic Gaming, Evil Geniuses.
- South America: PaiN Gaming.
- Europe: Team Secret, OG, Team Liquid.
- Southeast Asia: Mineski, TNC Pro Team.
- CIS: Virtus.pro, Effect.
For the Group Stage, the teams will be divided into two groups of eight. Each team plays a Bo1 match against every other opponent from its group. The teams placed 7th-8th from every group are eliminated. The next five teams from bottom to top qualify for the Breakout phase of the main event, which consists of four Bo3 elimination matches. The top two teams qualify for the first round of upper bracket matches.
After the Breakout phase, the main event is played in a GLS format (double-elimination bracket). With the exception of the first round of lower bracket matches (Bo1s) and the Grand Finals (Bo5), each match will be a Bo3 series.
- Team Liquid
- LGD Gaming
- Vici Gaming
- TNC Pro Team
- OpTic Gaming
- Keen Gaming
- Team Secret
- Invictus Gaming
- Evil Geniuses
- PaiN Gaming
The main contenders for winning the Dota 2 Asia Championships 2018 Major are Virtus.pro, Team Secret, VGJ.Thunder and Team Liquid. All of these teams have strong rosters that perform well on a consistent basis and achieve great results in tournaments. Until they start facing each other, these four participants should be regarded as favorites in all of their matches.
These are little known teams that have looked quite strong recently and might produce some serious upsets. OpTic Gaming and Effect are the tournament’s dark horses in my opinion. Both of them have a very unique way of approaching the current meta and exceptional players in their roster.
OpTic has ppd (former TI champion with Evil Geniuses) in the captain role and his strategic brilliance often secures his team a better draft.
At the recent MDL Changsha Major NA qualifiers, OpTic defeated Evil Geniuses with the score of 2 – 1.
Effect has Resolut1on playing for them as a stand-in, and that alone will boost the team’s strength. Let’s not forget that another CIS squad, namely Team Empire, played with Resolut1on as a stand-in at The International 2017, and managed to get a surprising 7th-8th place finish mostly thanks to his performances.
These are the teams that are very likely to do poorly, especially against tough opponents. In this category I would put OG, who recently lost Resolut1on and are currently playing with their coach 7ckngMad as their 5th player, and PaiN Gaming, who almost always gets a last place finish at Dota Pro Circuit LAN events.