Uphill battle for Chinese teams to qualify for The International 11

It’s never fun to have your major participation cut short due to external factors. Chinese teams experienced unfortunate circumstance twice at DPC (2021-22) due to lockdowns. The first Tour, which should have hosted the first LAN Major, was canceled due to concerns about the pandemic. While other regions flew to ESL One Stockholm 2022 for the second Major, Chinese teams once again had to withdraw due to the country’s lockdown.

Although Valve hosted the China regional finals as an alternative to still earn DPC points, it wasn’t as rewarding as attending the major. PSG.LGD, being the undisputed champions of DPC China bracket, essentially monopolized all the DPC points, landing first in two consecutive regional finals.

Aster DPC

While PSG.LGD fans can rest assured that the powerhouse likely secured a direct invite to the International 11 (TI11). We can’t say the same for the other prominent Chinese candidates, as even Team Aster, the runner-up of both regional finals, is currently at only tenth place. The other two candidates, Xtreme Gaming and team RNG are well behind the fifteenth place, which is concerning.

Chinese team supremacy in Dota Pro Circuit

Arguably the most consistent team in the scene, PSG.LGD has been a staple in International championships, securing runner-up victories across four iterations. While LGD is easily the poster boy of Chinese team supremacy, the recent rivals are nothing to scoff at. Team Aster is second only to PSG.LGD in the region, which is a testament to their bloated stack of prominent players. Du “Monet” Peng has been many Chinese teams’ power-forward due to his independent playstyle as a carry.

Then, there’s Xtreme Gaming, an all-stars squad comprises of Vici Gaming remnants. The team debuted in Division 2 but quickly made its way into powerhouse territory by placing top four in DPC China Tour 2 Division 1. Notable VG players, such as Zhang “Paparazi” Chengjun, Xiong “Pyw” Jiahan, and Ding “Dy” Cong, gathered to form a harmonic team, capable of overwhelming its former team.

Last but not least, RNG also played well to land them among the top four in DPC China. Once again, it is a team featuring high-profile players, specifically remnants of PSG.LGD, which played in TI8 and TI9. Lu “Somnus丶M” Yao, Yang “Chalice” Shenyi, and Yap “xNova” Jian Wei seemingly have phenomenal synergy among themselves, which is what RNG needed to be strong.

In hindsight, the DPC Chinese scene has always been prominent yet strict, hence why they are often the benchmark to measure another regional opponents’ performance.

No LAN Majors for China

While we certainly don’t hope for yet another no-show from Chinese teams at the third and last major, the Arlington Major. Sudden lockdowns over any surge in pandemic cases are enough to put any region in China into code red.

We can’t foresee whether that can happen, but if it does, then the DPC season as a whole, will not be fair for Chinese participants. Not only do they have fewer points to distribute in the regional finals, but major participants still get that share of points meant for eighteen teams, but only distributed to fourteen present participants.

As such, Valve will likely have to allocate more DPC points for the regional finals if it ever comes to that situation. Even then, we probably will have a conflicting debacle on whether the DPC season is fair or not. After all, even qualifying for TI11 is an exclusive experience, worth fighting over.

For the uninitiated, teams can get a direct invite to TI11 via securing the top twelve in DPC rankings. The rankings are global, so there’s no quota for any region’s teams to occupy the top twelve finishes. For instance, there were only two Western European teams, which qualified for TI10 via direct invite.

Hence, we envision a potential scenario where there might only be PSG.LGD, which makes up the top twelve in DPC rankings after the Arlington Major. Worst yet, it’s been ages since China last won the Internationals, which will definitely put pressure on PSG.LGD to bag the Aegis at TI11.