As the end of February approaches, a number of high rollers are making their way to Macau for the grand prize of 300K USD and the bragging rights that go along with it. Can one of the three foreign challengers steal away the jackpot or will the Chinese teams prevail? Let’s take a closer look at the hands each team has been dealt.
Of Aces, Kings and Queens...
Ruling supreme with a couple of millions from Majors in the bank (although Puppey stole the Chongqing title away) are Virtus.Pro. The CIS-team is most certainly the strongest of the attendees and the safe and easy bet for the championship. They cruised through the Dreamleague 11 CIS qualifiers without a single map loss, as expected, and they will be looking forward to collecting another trophy for themselves. However, in order to secure that they will have to fend off the opposition waiting for them on the Turn.
Nipping at the polar bear’s heels are Team Liquid and EHOME. Although they only finished in the Top 8 and 6 respectively in Chongqing, the following qualifiers for Stockholm had us see them both turn on the heat. Reinvigorated by Miracle-’s return after he was sorely missed during their last trip to China, TL have much to play for; “only” qualifying for Dreamleague as third in the field of Europe with occasional shaky play, the TI7 winners are not yet back to form. Macau will be the ideal warm-up before the next Major beckons.
EHOME can be considered the strongest Chinese team right now, especially keeping in mind how their last direct duel with TI8 silver medalists PSG.LGD went in their favor during the qualifiers for Stockholm. China’s new top dog has come to Macau to defend the prize from foreign whales, and they are more than ready to put up a fight.
What could possibly go wrong in a casino?
The representatives from the gambling dens of Las Vegas have come to their Chinese counterpart with a special surprise in their luggage; instead of one of the usual suspects they have brought someone Cool, Calm and Collected to help them out. With Sumail taking a well-deserved break after EG’s bronze medal in Chongqing, EG’s threat level has unfortunately taken a slight step down. I am not saying this just to be mean to CCnC, but more to highlight how exceptionally good Sumail is. It is difficult to say how well (or poorly) EG will play due to their stand-in, so if you want to have a solid bet with just the right amount of thrill to it, NA Dota has you covered!
“I will surely win next time!”
As the odds go lower we meet Vici Gaming, who have hit quite the rough streak recently. Two Top 8 finishes at the past Majors were nothing to scoff but also not quite results to write home about; soon after their middling record nose-dived on the road to Stockholm as they fell to EHOME and Royal Flush Never Give Up, missing out on direct qualification. Fortunately for them, they at least made it to the StarLadder Minor and will therefore have another shot. MDL Macau will be difficult ground for them as their recent performance does not bode well for their upcoming matches against the top tiers of competition. A lucky shot might see them triumph here, but they are nothing more than a dark horse at this event.
Another team desperately in need for a boost in confidence are Royal Never Give Up. True to their name they are still trying, but at this point they have been rocked hard by the whims of fate. With a third place during the first Minor of the current season as their only highlight the lineup has not lived up to expectations at all, but their recent qualification for the Kiev Minor may just mean that they have braved the worst for now. In all honesty, one really should only bet on them if they like high-stakes games with low probabilities of success.
Ooooh, it’s so shiny in here!
Rounding out our 8 attendees are Newbee and iG, two TI-winning names that once inspired fear and respect. Nowadays there isn’t much magic left from that era as both teams boast a sad 0 attendances at this season’s DPC events; and there isn’t much that makes one believe that better times are ahead for them. The odds of either team picking up more than a couple Bo1 wins in the group stages are already astronomically low and I highly recommend even the most hardcore gambler to stay far away from betting on wins for these matches.
Then again, some people just like to see the world (or their money) burn…
However you choose to enjoy this event, get your chips ready and prepare your champagne bottles for some action-packed Dota 2 in China’s casino paradise!
Editors: OmniEulogy, Ceribai
Editors: OmniEulogy, Ceribai