Well, this isn't really how we expected this to go down, but here we are anyway. The LA Major has been canceled entirely due to Coronavirus and thus we have been left with no Major at all. Fear not though, because we have brought you this power rank nonetheless. Given our stellar track record, you can safely assume that the order in which these teams were ranked is how the tournament itself would have played out.
We considered not releasing these rankings for obvious reasons but decided without the games we might as well still give people the opportunity to tell us how wrong + Show Spoiler +
we are. So go ahead! Tell us how you would have ranked these teams, tell us where we went wrong, or where you agree. Let's talk about how this Major could have played out while we wait for Valve to tell us what is in store for the future of Dota 2.
or maybe even how right
13th-16th: Geek Fam, Navi, Team Adroit, Thunder Predator
The bottom of the pack has never had such a good chance at diving deep into a tournament. Every team here has a shot of upsetting multiple teams and claiming greater glory in LA. Usually there’s room for an upset or two amongst the four of them, or maybe they’ll be able to win a bo1 against some of the other weaker opponents but this time around Geek Fam, Na`Vi, Adroit, and Thunder Predator are all threats in their own way. Each of these teams have the element of surprise on their side. While it isn’t enough to move any of them up our rankings, it would be a mistake to count them out, especially at a Major where quite a few of the major players are absent. Facing off against an unpredictable opponent can be one of the hardest things in competitive Dota, and while they don’t have the skills of Wings behind them, catching their opponents off guard could be all it takes to claim a few wins and suddenly be looking at a great Major run for any of these four teams.
9th-12th: EHOME, Fnatic, Virtus.Pro, Chaos
At the time of writing this, we expected more from EHOME, Fnatic, and Virtus Pro than to be sitting so far down in our rankings. We know these teams are more than capable of dominating their competition, we’ve seen it before from all of them over the years. Perhaps it’s unfair to place Fnatic among the others, they have at least made it to the first two Majors of the year and avoided defeat in the bo1’s. While all of these teams can be expected to do more, so far this year they haven’t shown us that they can and so they sit at 12th-9th overall.
It’s really easy to diminish NiP’s performance in the EU qualifier. You could say that the only reason they made it here was that they won a Bo1 against Liquid. You could talk about how Alliance didn’t show up and how they only had to beat A.Mode, a team that disbanded shortly after. That’s not a fair assessment of the situation though. NiP got to the Major by beating out the number 6 and 7th ranked teams in the world, right now. PPD’s squad has issues to work out. While that became apparent at WePlay: Mad Moon, they still beat everyone they had to in the Major qualifiers. They directly qualified for the Major and, seeing as how they did so through the EU qualifiers, that means they can’t be counted out. NiP is a top 5 team in Europe and that’s good enough to put them in the upper half of our Power Ranking.
We’ll just come out and say it: beastcoast is the most exciting team on the DPC at the moment. Sure, this is OG’s first event back and Secret looks unstoppable. However, both those teams are expected to do extremely well. This is normal. With bc, you just can’t tell. We’ve placed them in the middle of the pack but frankly, we’ve no clue how they’re going to do. In Leipzig they threatened Vici Gaming with a standin, who’s now a full member, and knocked out Nigma. A performance of that caliber at this weaker Major could take them far. That was all before the SA regional qualifier. We won’t say that bc embarrassed themselves but they were nowhere near the team we saw in Leipzig. If they can’t break that trend they’ll be out way before they’ll get to play on stage.
On Paper, RNG should be ahead of Aster as they had a qualifier run similar to Aster’s at Kiev: they only lost one map in the whole qualifiers - against Aster. Yes, transitivity dictates that RNG should be ranked above Aster as they defeated EHOME, who knocked Aster out of the qualifier. But in a region with such a tight competition, one should never rule out a team by transitivity or other indirect relations. After Aster and RNG drew their match, RNG moved on to the Major while Aster proceeded to win a Minor with an impeccable performance. Taking down some of the strongest tier 2 teams in Europe and CIS without breaking a sweat is quite the feat for any team outside the Majors.
In the end the logic is pretty simple: either the Chinese team that got 2nd place in the qualifier or the chinese team that won the Minor will follow IG as the second strongest chinese team coming to the Major. RNG won’t be leaving that position to random chance.
5th: Team Aster
We’ve rarely witnessed such a performance in a Minor: only 1 map lost in the whole run (in which they picked AM+SF). This can only mean that Aster is ahead of most of the directly-qualified teams as they had to beat teams that are not strangers to Majors, such as Gambit and Alliance.
In their current shape Aster might want to keep Lanm close as he was replacing QQQ in the minor. Form is temporary and class is permanent, but in an environment as competitive as the DPC, and especially the chinese scene, one could make the debate that Aster is the currently strongest chinese team active in the DPC. IG, RNG and EHOME have to be very careful in this Major: this is not the same Aster that they defeated in the qualifiers.
Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. That about sums up IGs DPC-Season so far. Consistently performing as the second best team from China, they had to watch on as Vici Gaming garnered all the attention. With Vici taking some time off and PSG.LGD’s continued woes in the open qualifiers, they now find themselves finally taking center stage as China’s Top Dog. They have not disappointed. Swatting aside the local competition, they only dropped a single map in the notoriously cutthroat Chinese Qualifiers. They found themselves with plenty of time to prepare for ESL One Los Angeles.
As the frontrunner from China we can be sure that IG will be extra motivated to show the rest of the world that there are more threats from the East besides Vici Gaming. While we ranked them just outside of the top 3, they are more than capable of just taking the entire thing.
Little less than two years ago, our Power Rankings were elevated to an infamously heinous level for ranking this team last, only for them to win it all, twice. I was the minority, and I find myself in the same position again (Editor’s Note: maverick_2009 wrote this section). Thus, it falls to me to contradict my colleagues and put on the record that I believe OG deserving of a higher placement than this power rank would suggest i.e. 3rd.
Memes aside, OG now boasts a superstar lineup including three cores with matching aggressive playstyles, backed up by reliable supports. With little to show beyond the regional qualifiers to this event, everything said about their performance is to be taken with a grain of salt. The groups were odd, to say the least, and we were unable to see them take on Secret, indisputably the best team in the world right now. Nonetheless, they rose above the likes of Alliance, Nigma, and NiP, while dropping only a single game throughout the qualifier to Liquid. This result almost scoffs at the retirement of Ceb and JerAx, who have both chosen to focus on other projects. Even with only two of their champions remaining, OG is still a force to be reckoned with.
Based on the current dominance of Europe, and the lack of rustiness despite a five-month professional break, there is no doubt in our minds that OG will place Top 3 at ESL One Los Angeles. I certainly remain excited to see how this team will continue revolutionising Dota. It didn’t take Topson long to determine the meta build for Void Spirit, after all.
2nd: Evil Geniuses
The boys in blue are back again. It’s shaping up to be another good year for EG as their TI-shuffle trades for Abed and Ramzes have paid off in spades. At the Chengdu Major they almost managed the most stereotypical EG performance possible, but fell just short of their beloved 3rd place. EG almost always make it through groups, win a round in the upper bracket, then play through the lower bracket and secure a bronze (but never gold) medal. It’s a tale as old as time.
This tale was almost disrupted at Leipzig, though. After going through their standard playoff bracket routine, they surprisingly made it past the lower bracket finals by taking out Vici Gaming. And so they continued onward with only one team left standing in their way. It was the final boss of countless tournaments, Team Secret. Would EG finally end their curse and win their first Valve tournament, or would Team Secret prove too strong, winning their first post-TI tournament as is tradition? Unfortunately it was not EG’s day. They came as close as they ever have, even holding a 2-1 lead over Secret at one point. Sadly though the curse continues and Arteezy must look forward to Los Angeles for another chance at glory.
With their TI attendance all but secured at this point, EG’s only motivations are pride and glory. Will that be enough for Arteezy to finally win a Valve event?
1st: Team Secret
The least controversial decision in these rankings: Secret on top. They’re currently the undisputed #1 team in the world and we’d like to say it’s not even close. While they (surprisingly) lost the grand finals of the recent WePlay tournament in Kiev, that loss has to be put in perspective. For Secret, this was just another tournament. A bit of sparring. For Nigma, anything but a win could’ve had huge implications.
It’s currently extremely hard to find any weakness in Secret’s gameplay. Nisha has handled the transition back to mid as well as anyone could have. Matumbaman looks reinvigorated in the safelane, Zai somehow keeps on getting better and better, and the Puppey/Yapz0r support duo looks sharper than it has in years. You also can’t forget that we’re still over 5 months away from TI, so there’s literally zero chance Secret will mess up in LA.
Writers: uberXD, ShiaoPi, jdc214, OmniEulogy, Julmust, Maverick_2009
Graphics: The Fairly Oddparents
Writers: uberXD, ShiaoPi, jdc214, OmniEulogy, Julmust, Maverick_2009
Graphics: The Fairly Oddparents