China Dota 2 Super Major 2018: Preview, Format, Favorites

Here’s everything that you need to know about the two-week long China Dota 2 Super Major 2018 — the last Dota 2 Major of the 2017-18 Dota Pro Circuit.

The final Major of the Dota Pro Circuit is about to begin, and the stakes have never been higher in China. The China Dota 2 Super Major 2018 will see sixteen Dota 2 teams duke it out with a lot on the line. Up for grabs are 2250 Qualifying Points and a huge $1.5 million USD prize pool. This should make for an excellent consolation prize, especially for the teams who won’t make it to The International 2018 in August.

Unsurprisingly, the tournament lineup is fit for a season ender. All the top four teams in the circuit, Virtus.Pro, PSG.LGD, Team Liquid, and Team Secret, are here. But, while the top dogs are all present and no doubt, all eyes will be on all four of them, they’re not without threats.

The Southeast Asian powerhouse Mineski and their hyper-aggressive neighbours TNC Pro Team are all here, with the latter looking to make a deep run in the tournament in the hopes of securing their spot in the upcoming Vancouver event. OpTic Gaming, who were invited to replace the crippled OG squad, are no slouch either as they look to make a run at the Top 4 to bump themselves a few spots in the season leaderboards. Not to be taken lightly as well are Evil Geniuses, who went through a rather unexpected roster change that, on paper, has them looking like one of the most talented and experienced teams in all of Dota 2. Then there’s VGJ.Storm, whose breakout performance at MDL Changsha 2018 turned a lot of heads.

Having said that, it’s now or never for a lot of the Dota 2 teams playing at the China Dota 2 Super Major 2018. Follow all of the action with our guide below.

China Dota 2 Super Major 2018: What’s at Stake?

China Dota 2 Super Major

The China Dota 2 Super Major 2018 marks the beginning of the end of the 2017-18 Dota Pro Circuit. (Perfect World)

The $1.5 million USD prize pool is nothing to scoff at. It’s nearly the same amount of money that TI gives annually, minus the crowdfunding. If nothing else, it would make for an excellent consolation prize. But, who are we kidding? For a handful of Dota 2 teams playing in the tournament, their eyes will be set on taking home a huge chunk of the 2250 Qualifying Points reserved only for the Top 4 finishers.

OpTic Gaming easily top the list of Dota 2 teams who have the most to gain at the China Dota 2 Super Major 2018. After finishing in second place at ESL One Birmingham 2018, OpTic Gaming bumped themselves up into ninth-place with 1800 Qualifying Points. With only 135 Qualifying Points separating them from VGJ.Thunder (1935 Qualifying Points), look to Peter ‘ppd‘ Dager and his team to put their best foot forward and play like their lives depended on it.

Mind you, they’re not alone. TNC Pro Team are still technically in the race. They may have only 495 Qualifying Points as a team, but a second-place finish will give them a total of 2520 Qualifying Points, which is enough to help them leapfrog both VGJ.Thunder and Newbee. 

For those interested to watch the China Dota 2 Super Major 2018, you can watch it for free via VODs and live streaming on Twitch, as well as the Dota 2 client.

China Dota 2 Super Major 2018: The Competing Teams

China Dota 2 Super Major 2018

For nearly half of the teams on the tournament pool, the odds have never been higher than at the China Dota 2 Super Major 2018. (Perfect World)

The final Major of the 2017-18 Dota Pro Circuit brings together sixteen of the world’s best. Of the sixteen, ten were directly invited to the event. This includes Virtus.Pro, PSG.LGD, Team Secret, and Team Liquid, who are the only Dota 2 teams so far to have mathematically secured their direct invite to The International 2018. The rest, save for OpTic Gaming, earned their respective slots via the Regional Qualifiers — OpTic Gaming were a last-minute substitute after OG dropped out of the event as a result of their recent roster change.

Here’s a complete list of all the teams who will be playing at the China Dota 2 Super Major 2018:

Direct InvitesNewbee (China); ViCi Gaming (China); VGJ.Thunder (China); Virtus Pro (CIS); Natus Vincere (CIS); Team Secret (Europe); Team Liquid (Europe); Evil Geniuses (North America); OpTic Gaming (North America); Mineski (Southeast Asia)

QualifiersPSG.LGD (China); Team Spirit (CIS); The Final Tribe (Europe); VGJ.Storm (North America); TNC Pro Team (Southeast Asia); Infamous (South America)

China Dota 2 Super Major 2018: Format and Prize Pool

Prize Pool: $1.5 million USD and 2250 Qualifying Points

1st Place — 1125 Qualifying Points
2nd Place —  675 Qualifying Points
3rd Place — 337 Qualifying Points
4th Place — 112 Qualifying Points

Group Stage: The sixteen participating teams will be split into four groups of four teams each. Teams will be playing in a best-of-three double-elimination GSL bracket. No team will be eliminated during the group stages. Instead, the top two teams from each group will advance directly into the upper bracket of the playoffs, while the bottom two will be seeded to the lower brackets.

Playoffs / Main Event: The six-day playoffs will be a double-elimination bracket. All games, except the Grand Finals (best-of-five), will be best-of-three.

China Dota 2 Super Major 2018: Heavy Favourites

Virtus.Pro

China Dota 2 Super Major

Virtus.Pro are the winningest Dota 2 team of the 2017-18 Dota Pro Circuit. They have a chance to make history once again with a win at the China Dota 2 Super Major 2018 (ESL)

Outright Odds to Win: 4.00 odds

I don’t really know how you can criticize Virtus.Pro‘s performance anymore. They’re good, and they know it. Are they the best Dota 2 team in the world right now? Maybe. It’s hard to come up with an argument against a team that just won their fourth Major title in one season without even dropping a single game.

Either way, look for Virtus.Pro to try and end their season with a huge bang at the China Dota 2 Super Major 2018.

PSG.LGD

China Dota 2 Super Major

With a winning record against both Team Liquid and Virtus.Pro, PSG.LGD are easily the biggest threat to fulfil the East-West TI cycle in August. (LGD Gaming)

Outright Odds to Win: 5.00 odds

PSG.LGD asserted their dominance over their own backyard with a win at MDL Changsha 2018, just mere weeks after they won EPICENTER XL. The fact that they boast winning records against Virtus.Pro and Team Liquid only makes them even scarier.

With every member of the team well rested and in absolute peak form, expect PSG.LGD to wreak some havoc.

Team Liquid

China Dota 2 Super Major 2018

For all the success that Team Liquid have had, the glory of raising a Major trophy continues to elude the reigning TI champions. (Team Liquid)

Outright Odds to Win: 7.00 odds

Team Liquid have already had their shot at winning a Major this season. Seven times, in fact. Will the China Dota 2 Super Major be yet another missed opportunity for the reigning TI champions?

This may be “first world problems” at its finest, but you can’t really blame Kuro ‘KuroKy‘ Salehi Takhasomi and the rest of his team for wanting this. As a competitor, you want to win everything. This is why it’ll be foolish to sleep on Team Liquid as they try to win their first Major in team history.

Team Secret

China Dota 2 Super Major 2018

Team Secret’s performance this year has been a story of two halves, with the latter portion being filled with disappointing finishes and performances against quality opponents. (Mars Media)

Outright Odds to Win: 11.00 odds

For a team once considered as the best Dota 2 team in the world as recently as a few months ago, Team Secret have definitely looked far from peak form.

Could they possibly be saving strats for The International 2018? Maybe. You can’t exactly put something like that past Clement ‘Puppey‘ Ivanov. But still, their problems extend far beyond their drafting woes, as even their play has been off for months now.

While it would definitely be a total opposite of Team Secret’s MO if they ended up unperforming before TI — Team Secret have had a reputation for entering TI on a high note only to bomb out early at the event itself — it would be a huge boost to team morale if they could at least go on a deep run for the first time in a while.

China Dota 2 Super Major 2018: Storylines to Watch Out For

Just How Good Is the New Evil Geniuses Dota 2 Roster?

China Dota 2 Super Major 2018

A deep run here could give the all-new Evil Geniuses Dota 2 squad some serious momentum heading into the TI qualifiers. (Evil Geniuses)

Two TI winners. Two Major winners. The ultra-talented Artour ‘Arteezy‘ Babaev.

That’s basically the new Evil Geniuses Dota 2 roster, which, on paper, look like one of the most stacked teams in all of Dota 2. 

Adding Tal ‘Fly‘ Aizik to the roster gives Evil Geniuses a proven, steady hand that could right the sinking ship that has been Evil Geniuses’ lacklustre season. Meanwhile, Gustav ‘s4‘ Magnusson is a world-class player that’s just as successful manning the middle lane as the offlane, giving Evil Geniuses a strategic advantage heading into drafts. Although we can’t really expect much from the team in such short time — they most likely have had only two to three days to practice together — all eyes will still be on how well they perform at the China Dota 2 Super Major.

Which Team Will Squeak into the Top 8?

China Dota 2 Super Major 2018

OpTic Gaming will need at least a Top 4 finish to have a chance at receiving a direct invite to TI8. (ESL)

There are only four non-guaranteed spots left for a direct invite to TI8, but realistically, only two of them are available, with Newbee and VGJ.Thunder in real danger depending on how things will play out at the China Dota 2 Super Major.

For example, if TNC Pro Team finish in second-place and OpTic Gaming finish a spot below in third, and neither one of Newbee and VGJ.Thunder wins the tournament, both teams will drop out of the Top 8. Of course, these aren’t sure things just yet. However, the fact that a team’s possible fate for the entire season could ultimately depend on how well they perform at the China Dota 2 Super Major raises the stakes of the final tournament of the season even higher.

Who’s The Best Dota 2 Team Right Now?

We probably shouldn’t expect any of the top Dota 2 teams to fight over this proverbial title, but we do know that they’re probably thinking which of them is better. Virtus.Pro, for sure, would love to finally take a series against the latest iteration of PSG.LGD, who joins them and OG as the only Dota 2 teams to win multiple Majors in a single season.

If we see these Dota 2 teams clash in the Grand Finals, then that would be great. But, with every matchup being a best-of-three, we’ll take whatever we can get.

All odds courtesy of ArcaneBet unless otherwise stated. 

Which Dota 2 team do you think will win the China Dota 2 Super Major? What do you think are OpTic Gaming’s chances of finishing in the Top 4? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below. 

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest on your favourite Esports titles.