WePlay AniMajor sets up potential Chinese dominance at TI10

WePlay AniMajor concludes with a tinge of bittersweet memorial for the Dota Pro Circuit 2021 (DPC 2021). For one, watching PSG.LGD sweep the floor against Evil Geniuses showed us how terrifying of a force the Chinese powerhouses are. EG’s lower bracket journey has also garnered support and hype over the team’s all-star roster. Twice now the EG boys are reaching a Major final, only to lose to a Chinese team.

With four teams and a fifth guaranteed already securing an invite, is this a foreshadowing of what will happen at TI10, with Chinese teams leaps and bounds ahead of the competition?

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PSG.LGD takes a clean 3-0 finale

It has been a hard-fought journey for EG, who, mind you, played 25 matches before reaching the grand finals. Contrary to PSG.LGD’s journey in the upper bracket, EG clearly had more battle scars than any other team in the tournament. Yet, when faced with PSG.LGD, they did not stand a chance at all.

PSG.LGD only tied three series in total and won everything else at the Major. Even in their ties, it looked like they were the better team and could easily win if it was a best-of-three series. Zhang “Faith_bian” Ruida and Zhang “y`” Yiping constantly redefine how peak Dota 2 play looks like, and Animajor was no exception.

All said and done, EG shared many crucial moments throughout their journey, most notable during their semifinal series versus T1. It was a nail-biting 2-1 victory that could have gone both ways if EG wasn’t careful. The storyline seems to be all over Andreas Franck “Cr1t-” Nielsen being EG’s mastermind all this time. He has spammed Lion almost every other game it wasn’t banned, and everybody loved it.

We have to give a proper shoutout to Tal “Fly” Aizik as well, whose Elder Titan gave everyone goosebumps. Those 5-man Earth Splitters occurred too frequently for us to keep track of, but it did break T1 physically and mentally. Of course, the star carry players themselves have been the talk of the town, too, for their consistent performance. In hindsight, EG was a solid team altogether, which explains why they made it to the finals.

The Unsung Heroes from SEA

Yet, behind every winning moment, there are losers who pay the price. We dedicate our cheer to both T1 and TNC Predator for delivering rollercoaster series against the best. Both T1 and TNC Predator played series against Aster, EG and T1 was close to challenging PSG.LGD for the final spot.

Lighthearted banter between former teammates “Armel” Paul Tabios and “Abed” Azel L. Yusop made watching some of theis series quite wholesome. Despite TNC Predator’s best efforts, their journey in WePlay AniMajor came to a halt. Without enough DPC points, TNC Predator settled with their top-eight finish proudly.

T1 on the other hand deserves all the praise that can be given. They have shown up in full force taking series and games from the best of teams. While SEA Dota largely focused on Fnatic, TNC and Neon, we finally have a team that SEA can stand firmly behind.

Fiasco at Europe

Despite Nigma’s incredible showing at the WePlay AniMajor, it’s a slap back to reality as they missed out on qualifying for TI10. Furthermore, there is only one regional qualifier spot for the European scene, making it a dbattle royale between Liquid, OG and Nigma.

Before the AniMajor concluded team OG was the main protagonist at the upcoming regional qualifiers. Now, with Nigma back in the mix and knowing that Ana is retiring for good, things are not so clear. Nigma and OG will most likely be the stars of the European qualifiers, but Team Liquid or Tundra Esports are potential candidates as well.

It will be hard for EU to make a good showing at TI10 with only tree teams in the competition, especially if the bracket ends up forcing an elimination match.

South America’s biggest year

On the other side of the globe, South American teams are making local fans proud as they secure two direct invite spots for TI10. Both beastcoast and Thunder Predator have delivered promising results to make it thus far, so it’s time for a trip down memory lane.

Back in Singapore Major, Thunder Predator rose up to our expectations, upsetting big-name opponents to claim a top-six finish. Although TP did not make it into WePlay AniMajor, their regional brethren, beastcoast, and NoPing Esports still showed what SA Dota is made of. Needless to say, we are pretty eager to see who will be the third SA representative to debut at TI10. That said, we do have our hopes high for NoPing Esports being the top candidate from the SA region.

It has been an excellent season for regions like China, North America, South America, and even SEA had their moments. Despite that, we have yet to see the European titans deliver what they were expected of. Sure, Team Secret and Alliance officially secured their tickets to TI10, but they were literally no-shows at the WePlay AniMajor.

Until we watch TI10 kickstart later this August, we will have to keep our fingers crossed about Europe being a top-tier region at all. Because as far as overall performance is concerned, there’s no EU at the WePlay AniMajor.