Dota 2 AniMajor Grand Finals: LGD Cement Chinese Supremacy
The Chinese Dota 2 juggernauts in PSG LGD Gaming have conquered the WePlay AniMajor, held in Kiev, Ukraine. Coming all the way from the group stage, the runners-up of the Chinese Dota Pro Circuit regional league dominated the competition, dropping just five maps out of the 22 they played.
Captain Zhang “y`” Yiping and the rest of his squad simply looked like they were a league above everyone else. Not even Evil Geniuses, who placed second at the Singapore Major in April, could put a stop to them in the grand finals.
LGD ran roughshod over the fan favorite squad, sweeping the series with a flawless performance. They had no glaring errors to speak of in their drafting or execution, and overall looked more than ready to claim the trophy at the end.
Key Takeaways for TI10
The Beasts in the East
This result naturally cements the Chinese scene’s rule over the Dota 2 world. China is now without a doubt the strongest region out there, with a serious chance at winning the title at The International 10 in August. LGD’s compatriots in Vici Gaming also put in a great run, placing fourth overall and securing an invite to TI10.
Team Aster did the same by winning DPC China Season 2, although they looked frankly pathetic at the Major. They managed to win just one map after falling to the lower bracket early in the event. TNC Predator would go on to eliminate them in the first lower bracket round. Aster’s performance at the Major was actually the first indication of any sort of flaw in the DPC system, as they were the first playoff-seeded team to be bounced out of the tournament so unceremoniously.
Casters, analysts, and fans alike pointed to the lack of warmup for seeded teams as such, because they played far fewer games than wild card/group stage squads. Given that Aster and the rest of China hold the keys to the Dota 2 kingdom right now, though, it’s safe to say that they won’t be wanting for practice and scrims before TI10.
Europe Still in Trouble
Out of the 12 clubs qualified for TI10, only three are from the European region. Two, namely Team Secret and Alliance, placed in the bottom half of the DPC standings. Virtus.pro did place third overall in the DPC, but were eliminated from the Major in much the same way as Aster. Western Europe champions Alliance also suffered the same fate in Kiev.
Team Nigma made it all the way to the upper bracket from the wild card round, but ultimately had to settle for top six. This was the best result for any European squad at the event — but it still wasn’t enough to give Nigma the points they needed to qualify for TI10. This outcome will render the WEU regional qualifiers an instant bloodbath, with teams like OG, Team Liquid, and Vikin.gg in the mix as well.
Overall, this is the weakest that both sides of the European region have looked in a long time. Team Secret didn’t even make it into the group stage of the Kiev Major, after being such a dominant force in all of Dota last year. It’s clear that the big players in the region have a lot of work to do in order to catch up.
North American Pride
We know that Evil Geniuses will always show up at an event, given how much sheer talent and experience is on their roster. But the real standout from NA was of course Quincy Crew, who are still unsponsored despite finishing in the top six in Kiev. Though they were knocked down into the lower bracket by T1, pretty much all of the games they played were close.
They looked like they had much better chemistry and a higher understanding of the game as a whole. If they can take what they’ve learned at the Major and work on their weaknesses going forward, it’ll be safe to bet on their success in Sweden in August.
EG, meanwhile, fought tooth and nail to make it to the grand finals after a shaky start in the group stage. Though they could not finish the job against LGD in the final round, it’s clear that they’re still the second-best team in the world. They just need to solve a few issues from here, such as their drafting and their unsteady late-game decision-making. Should they patch up their faults, perhaps Artour “Arteezy” Babaev can finally break his International duck.
T1’s Surprise Run
Though they did come out of the second regional league season as the top seed, few probably expected Southeast Asian team T1 to get as far as they did in Kiev. Third place is definitely above and beyond where many thought they would end up, especially for a squad that got crushed in the Singapore Major wild card stage.
There’s something to be said about the beautiful balance that T1 possesses across all five positions in their roster. New recruit Nuengnara “23savage” Teeramahanon is hands down the best carry player in their region. Karl “Karl” Jayme has come into his own as a premier mid laner, second perhaps only to TNC’s Armel “Armel” Tabios. Carlo “Kuku” Palad is as stable as ever from the offlane position. Support duo Kenny “Xepher” Deo and Matthew “Whitemon” Filemon also showed fans a new level of skill and game sense.
They have since locked down their International invite. This is an extremely exciting team to watch, and we expect great things from them at TI10. TNC, meanwhile, will have to contend with some real killers in the SEA regional qualifiers, including the revitalized Thai team Trust.
South American Slowdown
Unfortunately, the South American teams didn’t exactly impress at the Major. After all the rave reviews of Thunder Predator’s play at the Singapore Major, the region’s potential went unfulfilled this time around. Top seed NoPing e-sports kept it close against Quincy Crew and Evil Geniuses, but could not follow through to close either series out.
Beastcoast on the other hand flubbed out of the tournament after placing dead last in the group stage. They were slated to be the flagbearers for SA in Singapore, but ended up skipping the event due to a positive COVID test. It looks like it’s back to the drawing board for South America, though at least they’ll have three whole teams playing in Sweden.