The Kiev Majors – 27th to 30th April 2017
Dota 2’s $3 million Kiev Major is fast approaching. The first-place prize is a staggering $1 million, and there is even more than this reward sum at stake; honour, integrity, reputations, win streaks – they’re all on the line. The qualifiers are over, the group stages have come to a close and the main event is now in reach. Ultimately, 16 teams will be whittled down to one. A fever pitch atmosphere is set to sweep over the National Palace of Arts in Kiev, Ukraine on Thursday. Spanning from April 27th to the 30th, proceedings for the Kiev Major will get well underway and craft competitive gaming history. The stage is set for an explosive tournament.
Teams from around the world have a chance to impress the entertainment juggernauts that are Valve, with success granting a hot ticket to The International. Other teams will be left behind in the dust to pick up the pieces, as they brave yet another series of pressure fueled qualifiers for scraps. With such high stakes alongside a rocky road to glory, one thing is abundantly clear. It’s not a game anymore.
Dota2 specialists Team Secret to storm ahead
Team Secret are the clear front-runners in this battlefield. The Turkish team have won 3 matches over the course of 6 games, sweeping the standings. Not only this, but they scored first place in the Shanghai Major last year and are perfectly poised to replicate their success. They’ve had five tournaments in four months, and they’ve ranked consistently high despite a few slip ups. Secret rarely rank lower than 3rd, with a string of 2nd places under their belts. Based on a mostly stellar play history and the looks of their performance this time round, it is highly likely that Team Secret shall no more be a secret after they again achieve worldwide recognition in Kiev, Ukraine this year.
SG e-sports look to fall at the first hurdle
On the other end of the spectrum, SG e-sports have won 0 matches out of 3, and have only won a single game out of the 7 they’ve played this tournament. While SG e-sports may have performed well in the qualifiers, matching every task set before them head on, they are now faced with bigger hurdles and tougher opponents. The team will have to work hard, and play harder, to catch up if they hope to turn things around, with a learning curve hopefully looming on the horizon. Additionally, Wings Gaming are an embodiment of the unpredictable waves of performance, this time performing under the suitable name Team Random. The International 6 winners have won one match and lost three, and won four games to seven in the Kiev so far. They’ve faced tough times, rebranding, and reportedly finding new headquarters after breaking up with their prior organisation. Despite falling short at the Boston Major in a whimsical 9th-16th finish, they snagged an invite to Kiev and are presumably on the hunt to redeem themselves.
However, if a tournament is a testament to anything, it’s that play history is not always a precursor to future glory. Team OG are sitting comfortably at the top of the Dota 2 standings, but they aren’t the top dogs in Kiev Major – having succumbed to two back-to-back defeats against 2nd placers Invictus Gaming, while vanquishing 3-0 in the DAC finals additionally. It was without doubt a crushing blow, and has set an unpredictable tone for the tournaments to come. Leaderboards can alter, weaknesses can be exploited, and underdogs can triumph while champions can fall.