Perfect World Dota 2 League Season 3 is coming

Perfect World ventures into the Dota 2 competitive scene with a third season of the Perfect World Dota2 League. Notable for their extravagant splurge in advertising Dota 2 in the Chinese community, Perfect World has performed more marketing campaign for the game than yours truly, Valve.

Nevertheless, the Perfect World Dota2 League Season 3 is another one of their programs to further nurture the Chinese scene. The event will share a chunk of the 280,000 USD prize pool, distributed across three seasons to-date.

Perfect World Dota2 League Season 3 Format and Teams.

The event doesn’t have fixed winnings for any of the ranks won by the participants. Instead, it behaves more like spoils of war, where the more matches a team wins, the higher the winnings. That’s because for every opponent defeated, the victor takes a hefty 20 percent cumulative cut off the loser’s winnings. Hence, theoretically, the ideal route to take would be to place last in the group stage, securing a round 1 match. From there, it’s go big or go home as a single loss would spell the end of the team’s run in the tournament.

Speaking of group stage, matches will be best-of-two round-robin. There will only be five participants in the upper tier, Division A. Three teams from the previous Division A Season 2, being Team MagMa, For The Dream, and Galaxy Racer, while two remaining slots are reserved for the top two winners from the Relegation match.

Over at the lower tier, Division B, the unfortunate losers from the Relegation match shall take up two slots. Meanwhile, the other three teams to fill in are Rebirth, Access, and CICADA PUPA GAMING. The four participants playing the Relegation match on December 8 are Ink Ice, Phoenix Gaming, Forest, and LBZS.

The Relegation matches and playoffs in both divisions share a similar format, that is best-of-three series.

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The Relegation

Diving deeper into the Relegation bout, team Ink Ice and Phoenix Gaming managed to secure a fourth and fifth-place finish, respectively. Ink Ice had decent potential, as seen in their games during the second season, as they shared a second-place finish with Galaxy Racer in the groups.

Unfortunately, team Magma stole the show with an incredible underdog run. As they won all five matches in the second season, they raked a generous 23,000 dollars for their triumphant effort. Hence, we might not have seen the full capabilities of this newcomer team just yet.

On the other hand, team LBZS and Forest were the top dogs from the second season of Division B. LBZS does have several notable players, such as Tang “CatYou” Xiaolei, a former Newbee player, and several others from LGD.International, and Keen Gaming. Therefore, despite coming from the weaker iteration of the event, LBZS will indeed pose a threat to the other teams.

Team MagMa, the Rising Stars

Team MagMa might actually be the strongest team in the competition. Having played alongside other Chinese powerhouse teams does give them a distinct presence among the amateurs. While they are setting up to be the Vikin.gg of the Chinese scene, they still have a lot to improve if they hope to be in the spotlight.

Most of their underlying issues stemmed from the lack of a versatile hero pool. On top of that, team MagMa and the Chinese teams generally don’t play a similar meta that we witnessed from European and CIS teams. For instance, we just don’t get enough cheese picks such as Faceless Void, Sven, Phantom Assassin, or Spectre from the Chinese teams, as they prefer pushing heroes that rely on snowballing during midgame clashes. Drow Ranger and strong teamfight-oriented picks are the go-to strategies for the most part.

Perhaps there’s a silver lining behind their old-school alternatives. Despite the unconventional hero line-ups, Chinese teams still delivered thrilling matches for fans to watch. Furthermore, not continually relying on a month-old overpowered trick, will eventually pay off in terms of improving other aspects of the team, such as team synergy and quicker learning curve when the new update releases.

The SEA Pride

Galaxy Racer stood out among the participants as Malaysia’s only hope in the Chinese teams’ great battle. Housing several Malaysian veterans, such as Lee “kYxY” Kong Yang and Adam Erwann Shah “343” bin Akhtar Hussein are renowned players even on the Internationals’ playing field.

Notably, during the International 2013, kYxY led his team, Orange Esports, into the semifinals, securing the SEA team a second runner-up finish. As for 343, he shared a similar success story during his time in Fnatic at the International 2016, where they came in fourth place. Although the players aren’t making big waves anymore, the opponents opt to show them some respect for what they have achieved in the past.

Frankly, Perfect World’s decision to organize an event that supports the tier-2 scene on its own is a massive leap towards developing new faces for the upcoming Dota Pro Circuit season. Thus, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Chinese rivals outmatch the rest of the world.

Read next: China Dota2 Pro Cup Season 2 and seeing the roster shuffle in action