MegaFon Winter Clash preview
MegaFon Winter Clash is an invite-based Dota 2 event scheduled to take place between December 7th – 9th in Moscow, Russia. The tournament is attended by 6 prestigious teams and offers a prize pool of 300.000 dollars.
MegaFon Winter Clash features just 6 teams from 4 different regions, which is considerably fewer than a typical event. However, the caliber of these teams is very high.
- CIS: Virtus.pro, Natus Vincere
- North America: Forward Gaming
- China: PSG.LGD
- Europe: Team Liquid, Team Secret
All of the names on this list are tier 1 competitors in terms of abilities and experience, but relative to each other they differ quite a bit. In that sense I would separate them into 3 skill groups.
- Tier 1: Virtus.pro, Team Secret
- Tier 2: Team Liquid, PSG.LGD
- Tier 3: Natus Vincere, Forward Gaming
Among these 6 teams, 2 of them, namely Virtus.pro and Natus Vincere will have the advantage of playing in their own region, where a lot of their fans will no doubt be present at the event.
MegaFon Winter Clash takes place in 2 stages: the Group Stage and the Playoffs Stage.
For the Group Stage, the teams are split into 2 groups of 3. Each group will consist of a series of Bo1 matches: one between every two opponents.
The winner of each group will then advance to the Winner’s Finals, which is the only Upper Bracket match of the Playoffs Stage. The other 4 teams will have to play in the Lower Bracket of this stage. Every Playoffs match is a Bo3. The tournament ends with a Grand Final (Bo5) between the winner of the Upper Bracket and the winner of the Lower Bracket.
The main contenders at MegaFon Winter Clash are Virtus.pro and Team Secret. Of course, Team Liquid and PSG.LGD also have their chance of winning, but it’s much lower compared to VP and Secret’s. As for the tier 3 teams, Na’Vi and Forward Gaming, I don’t think they stand much of a chance.
Going into MegaFon Winter Clash, I expect the tier 1 and tier 2 teams to occupy the first 4 positions at the end of the tournament, roughly in this order: Team Secret, Virtus.pro, Team Liquid, PSG.LGD.
The reason why I don’t believe that Virtus.pro can win here is because of the team’s past performances. Each time it wins a big event, VP tends to lose its focus and then completely mess up at the following event, especially if it’s a rather insignificant one. It has already happened many times before, so I do expect another team to win this tournament. Most likely Secret, but Liquid could also be the one.