We took the time to break down each of the 16 teams and how they stack up against each other in our Chongqing Major power rankings.
On Saturday, 16 teams will begin their quest towards the championship trophy, $1 million prize pool, and perhaps most important of all, the 15,000 DPC points. A win here will likely guarantee team’s chances of getting a direct invite to The International 2019, while a deep run will help take a team one step closer to doing so.
Although each team battled tooth and nail to secure their slot at the second Major of the 2018-19 Dota Pro Circuit, not all of them are made equal. Some teams are simply better in every way and come in with a lot more firepower compared to others.
Having said that, we’ve created a Chongqing Major power rankings to help separate the contenders from the pretenders and the dark horses.
Click here for our complete tournament preview of the Chongqing Major.
Firmly at No. 1 are the proud owners of five Major titles.
Never mind that the Majors they won were not of the same caliber of the previous Valve Majors. A Major is a Major and Virtus.Pro have won five of them. And, sure, many may knock on their inability to show up at TI — to be fair, two 5th-6th place finishes at a TI is something most organizations could only dream of achieving –but, at their worst, Virtus.Pro remain arguably one of the five best teams in the world.
At their best? They’re as close to unstoppable as any team can get.
Virtus.Pro have maintained their success regardless of the state of the patch and meta, and despite having very little to lose or play for, there’s no reason to start doubting them now.
2. Team Secret
Team Secret would have had a strong case at the No. 1 spot had they won the Kuala Lumpur Major. Unfortunately, they didn’t, which is why they’ll have to settle for the No. 2 spot for now.
But hey, make no mistake, Team Secret could easily be the best Dota 2 team in the world on a good day. The problem is, their biggest enemies are themselves, with Clement ‘Puppey‘ Ivanov just as prone to winning games via drafts alone to throwing away entire series’ by experimenting for the sake of experimenting.
If Puppey can find a nice balance between playing to the meta and trying something new out to catch the team off their guard, Team Secret will be looking at at least another runner-up finish in Chongqing.
The TI8 curse seems to have bitten two teams this season with both OG and PSG.LGD struggling to keep up their form following their all-time showdown in Vancouver back in August. However, of the two, the TI8 runner-ups haven’t fallen too far off, still considered by many as the best Dota 2 team that China has to offer.
With coach Yao ‘QQQ‘ Yi finally back from vacation and the team likely excited to play in front of the homecrowd, expect PSG.LGD to try and lead China’s bid for a Major win.
4. Vici Gaming
A team filled with youngsters, the only thing that’s seemingly stopping Vici Gaming from beating just about every team is themselves.
Perhaps it’s the inexperience talking whenever Vici Gaming blows a lead. But, it’s the same youth that drives their success, with the hunger of their young superstar core duo, Zhang ‘Paparazi‘ Chengjun and Zeng ‘Ori‘ Jiaoyang, evident in each game they play.
If the rest of the team can only consistently rally behind these two, then Vici Gaming might finally be able to beat that second-place curse they have suffered from for so long.
5. Team Liquid
Feel free to disagree with us ranking Team Liquid so low. But, losing Amer ‘Miracle-‘ Al-Barkawi has to affect something, even if they are going to be playing with a capable substitute in Chu ‘shadow‘ Zeyu.
Make no mistake, even if Team Liquid find themselves this “low” in our Chongqing Major power rankings, they’re still one of the favourites to win.
With Miracle- out, Kuro ‘KuroKy‘ Salehi Takhasomi will have to exercise his drafting muscles a bit more. However, that also means we’re going to see Lasse Aukusti ‘MATUMBAMAN‘ Urpalainen playing mid more often, which bodes well for Team Liquid, especially if shadow can play just half as well as he did when he helped Wings Gaming win The International 2016 two years ago.
6. Evil Geniuses
For third-place finishers at The International 2018, Evil Geniuses aren’t really looking as good. For some reason, the lane dominant lineup isn’t dominating in a meta where lane dominators are supposed to win.
Even so, Evil Geniuses are to be feared, if only based on the talent on their lineup alone. If they can fix whatever it is that’s ailing them, then a championship run at the Chongqing Major will not be out of the question.
EHOME are the dark horses to upset the status quo.
From top-to-bottom, this is a lineup filled with brilliant players. Whether it’s the former Wings Gaming standouts Zhang ‘Faith_bian‘ Ruida and Zhang ‘y`‘ Yiping, or their coach Zhang ‘xiao8‘ Ning, or the three up-and-coming players on the roster, this team has the potential to be a true contender, and their win at the Bucharest Minor could just be the first of many.
Cheese picks abound in a lineup with both Abed Azel ‘Abed‘ Yusop and Daryl Koh ‘iceiceice‘ Pei Xiang on the same roster. However, despite the sheer amount of talent on the lineup, Fnatic have not dominated as expected, and it’s likely because their captain, Anucha ‘Jabz‘ Jirawong, is still adjusting to his new role.
Expect Fnatic to go through even more growing pains this season, but if they can somehow find what works for them at the Chongqing Major, no team will want to be facing this collection of the finest talent that Southeast Asia has to offer.
9. Team Aster
The game plan is simple for Team Aster — make enough space for Liu ‘Sylar‘ Jiajun to help carry the team to victory.
It’s a fairly basic strategy that works mostly only because they have Sylar on their roster. But, if the rest of the team can’t make space, then Sylar can’t farm. That’s a huge problem in a meta where games are becoming much shorter and the pace of the game becoming even faster than ever before.
A lot will fall on the shoulders of the team’s other four players if Team Aster are to meet expectations.
10. The Pango
From a meme team to a legitimate team, the only transition for The Pango now is to become true contenders.
Can they do it? Well, that remains to be seen. But, there’s no denying the talent on this lineup, with the team already posting a number of deep runs against quality competition in online tournaments over the past few months.
If The Pango can avoid the same inconsistency issues that often befall CIS teams, they’ve got a fair chance against just about every other team in the tournament.
11. Forward Gaming
Forward Gaming were expected to take a huge leap forward now that Saahil ‘UNiVeRsE‘ Arora is on their roster. But, as it turns out, integrating a TI winner isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Still, Forward Gaming houses some of the best talent that the West has to offer. For that reason alone, their potential for upsets is huge. However, finding their stride will be paramount to Forward Gaming make a deep run in the main event.
J.Storm might just be the true dark horse of the tournament — a team that’s just as capable of surpassing their relatively low place in our Chongqing Major power rankings as they are of justifying their placement.
Even when filled with solid players, J.Storm’s success will be predicated on how well Jonathan ‘Bryle‘ De Guia can play against the best that the rest of the world has to offer.
For a team that qualified via arguably the most stacked region in Dota 2 right now, Alliance’s place in our Chongqing Major power rankings feels too low. But, then again, it also feels like it’s just right, especially when you look at how badly this team has performed over the past few months.
Of course, they can always turn things around, and if they can pull it together, a deep run at the Chongqing Major is possible. Although, as it stands now, it’s a pretty tall order.
14. TNC Predator
We’d have placed TNC Predator a lot higher in our Chongqing Major power rankings if they had Carlo ‘Kuku‘ Palad playing, but they aren’t, and though Ryo ‘ryOyr’ Hasegawa is a solid player, the team just lacks the kind of unpredictability with Kuku off the team.
At this point, TNC Predator are probably just happy to attend a Major and secure some points.
15. Chaos Esports Club
The former paiN Gaming squad are now playing under a new banner, and the hype that it created could very well be enough to propel this team to overachieve and pull off a couple of upsets.
Unfortunately, the honeymoon period doesn’t usually last long in Dota 2, and up against top-tier talent, the gap between Chaos Esports Club and the rest of the field is just too big and too wide to overcome, regardless of how Omar ‘w33‘ Aliwi plays.
16. Thunder Predator
Speaking of talent gap, Thunder Predator shouldn’t really expect to get much other than experience, a couple of points, and some prize money, from their appearance at The Chongqing Major.
Then again, we’ve seen bigger runs built on less, and it’s always nice to see our initial assumptions about a team proven wrong. It’s just that, there’s very little reason to suspect such a thing will happen to Thunder Predator.
What do you think of our Chongqing Major power rankings? Which teams do you think we ranked too high or too low? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.