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Top
Dota 2

DPC 2021 Singapore Major Viewer’s Guide

Patrick Bonifacio

We are now just about a week away from the first Major of the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit season. As it will be the first Dota LAN in more than a year, the DPC ONE Esports Singapore Major promises to bring back the familiar hype and excitement.

TI7 arena shot

Though the DPC Singapore Major won't take place inside an arena, the return of Dota LAN events is definitely welcome.

International play will make its much-awaited return with this event. 18 teams from six different DPC regions will play for $500,000 in Singapore after a long stretch of exclusively in-region play. We here at Hotspawn can’t wait for the games to begin—so here’s your viewer’s guide to the highly-anticipated event!

What is the DPC Singapore Major?

The ONE Esports Singapore Major is the first Major of the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit season. The event itself will take place at the Fairmont Hotel in Singapore, instead of a sports arena. The Major will also be the first in-person DPC event in more than a year. The last one was the StarLadder ImbaTV Minor in Ukraine, which took place on March 5th, 2020.

Dota: Dragon's Blood splash image

Dota: Dragon’s Blood premieres on Netflix two days before the Major (Image via Netflix)

The fact that we’re also getting an important LAN just two days after Dota: Dragon’s Blood premieres on Netflix is also great. There’s expected to be an influx of new viewers coming from the anime, who might not be familiar with the competitive scene or even Dota itself. Perfectly timed right after a drought of offline tournaments, for sure.

Given that the tournament is taking place in a hotel, it is unlikely that organizer ONE Esports will allow live spectators in the venue. . Instead, the event will be viewable exclusively through its official streams. So not quite the return to LAN events fans might have been hoping for, safety definitely comes first right now.

What’s On the Line?

A total pot of $500,000 and 2,700 Dota Pro Circuit points are at stake at the DPC Singapore Major. The winners will receive $200,000 (40 percent of the prize pool), as well as 500 DPC points. The runners up, on the other hand, will bag $100,000 and 450 DPC points—which is not a bad haul at all considering the 50 point difference.

TI6 arena shot

The DPC Singapore Major is the first step towards participating at The International 10. (Photo courtesy Valve)

For the uninitiated, DPC points are what will eventually determine which teams are invited to The International 10 later this year. DPC points are awarded to the top five squads in each regional league season, as well as the top eight teams in each Major. There will only be two Majors this year, however, which makes point-scoring opportunities rare outside of the regional leagues.

What is the Format of the DPC Singapore Major?

The tournament itself consists of three phases: Wild Card, Group Stage, and Playoffs.

Wild Card — March 27th – 28th

The Wild Card stage serves as the play-in phase of the DPC Singapore Major, and is there to fill out the two remaining slots. Two teams from Europe and China, as well as one each from Europe and CIS, will play in a six-team round-robin group to determine the final two participating squads.

Note that all the teams seeded in the Wild Card stage were ones that did not place well enough to make it into the group stage right away. The teams in the Wild Card stage are as follows:

  • Team Nigma (Europe)
  • Team Liquid (Europe)
  • Vici Gaming (China)
  • PSG.LGD Gaming (China)
  • T1 (Southeast Asia)
  • AS Monaco Gambit (CIS)

Each series in the Wild Card stage will be a best-of-two. The top two teams after March 28th will advance to the Group Stage, while the rest are eliminated. No prize money or Dota Pro Circuit points are awarded in this stage.

Group Stage — March 29th – 30th

Once the Group Stage rolls around, the event proper begins. Teams that did not secure first place in their respective regions will begin their tournament runs here. Eight teams—two of which will come from the Wild Card stage—will play for the remaining six playoff berths.

This phase will feature another round-robin, with each match likewise being best-of-two affairs. The teams seeded in the Group Stage so far are as follows:

  • Alliance (Europe)
  • Natus Vincere (CIS)
  • Neon Esports (Southeast Asia)
  • Quincy Crew (North America)
  • Team Aster (China)
  • Thunder Predator (South America)

The top two squads from the group will advance to the upper bracket, while those who finish in third to sixth will start in the lower bracket. The bottom two teams will be sent home.

Playoffs — March 31st – April 4th

The playoff bracket is the final stage of the Singapore Major. This stage will feature a double-elimination bracket, with best-of-three matches all the way until the best-of-five Grand Final. The winners of each regional league await their eventual challengers here.

There will be a total of fourteen teams when the Playoffs begin, which means that it is still possible for teams to get this far and come out empty-handed. At any rate, the teams seeded in the playoffs so far are as follows:

  • Team Secret (Europe)
  • Invictus Gaming (China)
  • Fnatic (Southeast Asia)
  • Virtus.pro (CIS)
  • Evil Geniuses (North America)
  • beastcoast (South America)

Who Are the Teams to Watch?

With a total of 18 teams to look out for, there’s quite a lot to take in the moment the tournament starts. But we’re here to give you the lowdown on which teams we think will make for the best viewing experiences. Read on to know which teams you should put on your watchlist!

beastcoast

South America has long been considered one of the least competitive regions in Dota. True enough, SA teams don’t appear nearly as often in the top spots of premier tournaments compared to other regions. On the flipside, though, they have always been touted as having incredible potential—which is obvious to those that follow the scene.

But the members of SA regional league champion squad beastcoast are familiar even to those that don’t watch the region closely. All five players were part of Infamous at TI9, where they placed eighth. This was of course a very impressive showing for them, given that they came into the event predicted as bottom-feeders.

So it’s pretty clear that they’re capable of hanging with the best out there—at least when their confidence is up. The pressure will be on them to perform in Singapore, which will make following their journey exciting.

Alliance

Good ol’ Alliance. The former International-winning organization has enjoyed a serious resurgence in the last few years, especially with their current roster. With star carry Nikolay “Nikobaby” Nikolov on their side, and season MVP Gustav “s4” Magnusson, Alliance are very much capable of besting even the strongest teams at the event at any given day.

Alliance.Nikobaby at StarLadder

Alliance are one of the teams most likely to at least make the top six. (Photo courtesy StarLadder)

They may not be Team Secret, but they’re certainly good enough to upset the likes of Team Secret. Their 5-2 record from the EU regional league attests to this notion, and so do their results from the previous season. Don’t sleep on Alliance; we think they’ve got what it takes to win the tournament.

Virtus.pro

Ever since the legendary roster captained by Alexei “Solo” Berezin broke up in 2019, Virtus.pro had to take the rocky path to get here. The organization elected to sideline their post-TI9 lineup last year after some poor showings, substituting them for academy squad VP.Prodigy.

They’ve risen back to the top of the CIS region since then. VP posted a near-flawless record of 14-1 in maps in the CIS regional league, automatically giving them the playoff berth in Singapore. And what great timing, too — given that the players in this roster have been looking for their breakout moment for some time now. We think this might finally be it.

Evil Geniuses

The Boys in Blue are back. After spending a few months not playing in their home region of North America, Evil Geniuses returned to NA for the DPC regional leagues. They immediately went to work upon getting back, beating perennial NA champions Quincy Crew in the tiebreakers. This earned them the top seed in their region as well as the playoff berth in Singapore.

EG.Fly at DreamLeague Season 13

Under the veteran captaincy of Tal “Fly” Aizik, there is nothing that Evil Geniuses can’t do. (Photo courtesy DreamHack)

There’s not much else that needs to be said about this fan-favorite squad. Artour “Arteezy” Babaev is as sharp as ever, and forms a deadly combination with Azel “Abed” Yusop. New recruit Daryl “iceiceice” Koh Pei Xiang has taken no time at all to gel with the rest of the team either. Though the likes of Team Secret and Invictus Gaming might be stronger than them, they are still one of the favorites at this event.

Neon Esports

All-Filipino squad Neon Esports definitely made their mark in the SEA regional league in a hurry. Though they weren’t able to clinch the top spot, they held onto first place for the first four weeks of play. They were eventually knocked off their perch by Fnatic, but it was nonetheless apparent that Neon was a force to be reckoned with.

Mid laner Erin Jasper “Yopaj” Ferrer deserves mention among the rest in the lineup. At the age of 19, he has already shown skill and confidence beyond his years. There is no doubt that Neon will have their work cut out for them in Singapore—but Yopaj is the x-factor that they need to make a deep run.


The first Major of the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit season is fast approaching. You can catch the Wild Card stage and the rest of the event over on ONE Esports’ official Twitch channel. We’ll also be covering the event as it happens, so make sure to check back here at Hotspawn for the latest on the Major!