DreamLeague has come and gone with EG and Vici Gaming claiming two more of the invites for TI9 in Shanghai. The tournament had many surprises and upsets along with a number of great plays and great casts.
We'll break a few of the key story lines and moments down below.
One of the major talking points of the tournament is Liquid’s elimination in the 1st round of the Lower Bracket, as this was supposed to be Liquid’s comeback after missing the first Major and playing the second without Miracle. They did indeed come back to the spotlight but not in the way they were expecting. They were defeated by Chaos after dropping to the lower bracket after losing to Keen Gaming. Liquid arrived to this Major with a full and healthy roster and plenty of rest but left it with only mediocrity and disappointment, especially after their win at MDL Macau mere weeks before the Major.
Vici Gaming’s triumph at Stockholm brings a breath of fresh air to a DPC that was vastly dominated by VP and Secret. Although PSG.LGD and Misneki did decently during the previous season, the first half of the current one was looking way too grim for SEA and China.
It was thanks to VG, Keen, and Fnatic’s strong performances over the likes of EG, VP and Secret that the tides have started to turn. Even if they ended up being eliminated by them in the lower bracket, pushing Secret and EG out of the top 3 (and almost VP too) is a commendable performance for the Eastern Dota scene.
Even PSG.LGD managed to place top 6 while missing their star mid-laner Maybe. While it is possible that they may not be the strongest team in China anymore, as they were now bested by Vici Gaming and shared a finishing placement with Keen Gaming, they have remained the most consistent Chinese team.
South America and BO1’s
The iconic South America BO1 performance took Liquid and EHOME out of the tournament, granting Chaos and Infamous the same amount of points for two teams that might not have any use for them… or that’s what we thought. With the early elimination of Liquid and EHOME of the tournament an unexpected chance opened for Chaos (and maybe others). With a “new” contender coming to the EU qualifiers in the shape of OG with Ana, Liquid might not get a significant amount of points in the next round. On the other hand, EHOME might not recover quickly enough from losing basically all their roster. If there’s no new team to grab some points out of nowhere and if Liquid, EHOME and others like Alliance don’t recover quick enough, Chaos would only need to keep their 1st place in the South American scene to, maybe, grab an unexpected ticket to TI9.
NA Dota not Best Dota
With EG not doing so hot in the play-offs we saw NA Dota struggle in Stockholm. Although the victory of J.Storm over Na’Vi could be considered an upset, the defeat of EG meant that as a whole NA took a step back when compared to the previous Major. Now with Forward Gaming going through difficulties in consolidating a roster, the usual chaos in the lower tiers of competitive NA Dota is intensified as stacks are made and disbanded within days. If the strength of NA was built upon immigration, we can only hope that the constant flow of foreigners brings some stabilization to a region that badly needs it.