The Perfect World Masters Minor is an important event for far more reasons than most people realise. Not only is it a Minor, with 300 Qualifying Points and $300,000 in prize money up for grabs, but it’s also the first Pro Circuit tournament with more than 8 participating teams and a schedule that actually stretches longer than an entire weekend.
Kicking off on November 19 and concluding on November 26, it will offer us our first glimpse of what a tournament this season could look like if it had more than eight teams participating and a lengthier schedule.
With that said, we present to you a quick rundown of everything you need to know about the Perfect World Masters Minor.
The Participating Teams
The Perfect World Masters Minor will mark the first time that LFY will appear in a Pro Circuit LAN this season. The TI7 Top 3 finishers received a direct invite, along with TI7 runner-ups, Newbee, and the European Powerhouse, Team Secret.
Joining the three direct invites are seven others who each made their way via their respective regional qualifiers:
- China — LGD Gaming and Vici Gaming
- North America — CompLexity Gaming
- South America — SG e-sports
- Europe — Team Kinguin
- CIS — Vega Squadron
- Southeast Asia — Mineski
The Prize Pool and Format
Official Stream: **Will update as soon as information is available**
Prize Pool: The Perfect World Masters Minor will feature a prize pool of $300,000 USD and 300 Qualifying Points. The point distribution is as follows:
- 1st Place — 150 Qualifying Points
- 2nd Place — 90 Qualifying Points
- 3rd Place — 45 Qualifying Points
- 4th Place — 15 Qualifying Points
Note: The organisers, Perfect World, have yet to release information regarding how the cash prize breakdown will turn out.
- For the first two days of the event, the 10 teams will be broken into two groups of five and will play each other in a round-robin format.
- All group stage matches will be a BO2.
- Only the top four teams from each group will advance to the playoffs. The bottom teams will be eliminated.
- Once the group stages are over, the tournament will take a one-day break before moving on to the double-elimination bracket playoffs.
- The first round of the lower bracket will be a BO1. The rest will all be a BO3, with a BO5 Grand Finals.
The Heavy Favourites
Team Secret are arguably the closest thing to a heavy favourite playing in the tournament.
Having shown a strong grasp of the current meta after being the first team to qualify for the DreamLeague Major, Team Secret will look to post a strong showing in their first LAN trip outside of Europe this season. And, without either one of Virtus Pro and Team Liquid to give them trouble, they’ll have a strong chance to build up some serious momentum before they head on over to Jönköping in Sweden for the ROG DreamLeague Major.
Unless Team Secret draft themselves into a corner or play to lose, they’re a solid choice to make a deep run at the Perfect World Masters Minor.
Since patch 7.07 hit, Mineski have looked a lot less like gods among mortals in Southeast Asia and more like just a very strong team. Mind you, that’s not an insult, and maybe, just maybe, it’s just a sign that TNC Pro Team and Fnatic, among others, are starting to catch up to the PGL Open Bucharest Champions. However, there’s a case to be made that Mineski have yet to fully figure out the patch just yet.
Again, that’s not an insult; it’s only been a month since the “Dueling Fates” update, so it’s no surprise that teams are still figuring things out. Besides, even at their current “vulnerable” state, Mineski are legitimate contenders, whose talent on paper and achievements so far this season — 2 Grand Finals in 2 LAN appearances — is enough to inspire confidence that they’ll bounce back sooner rather than later.
The best Chinese Dota 2 teams are so dead even against each other right now that it’s near impossible to predict who’s going to win in every one of their matchups. However, Vici Gaming make a very convincing case for being the region’s best team. At least, as of the moment.
Vici Gaming have secured the most qualifiers in China and are almost always in the running for the top spot whenever they do fall short. Also, they’ve rebounded quite well from their 0-4 performance at the Starladder Minor by making it to the Grand Finals of the Dota PIT LAN Finals where they were just one game short of taking down the reigning TI champions.
With a roster filled with some of the most talented players in China at their respective positions, Vici Gaming are a serious threat to win the Perfect World Masters Minor.
Had Vici Gaming gone 2-0 before finding themselves at the wrong end of a reverse sweep in the Grand Finals of a LAN tournament against any other opponent, they’d probably already been ridiculed for choking. But, Team Liquid aren’t just any other team — they’re the best team in the world.
So, instead of being shamed, they’re being lauded for nearly taking down Team Liquid and are now considered by many as the best Dota 2 team in all of China, over Newbee.
While it’s only fair to wonder if Newbee’s lineup have peaked, it’s also important to keep in mind that they’ve never been the dominant sort. Even when they spent the entirety of last season as legitimate contenders, Zeng ‘Faith‘ Hongda never really stood out and often took the back seat to the likes of Wings Gaming, Invictus Gaming, and the LGD Gaming squads.
With that said, however, only a fool would risk sleeping on Newbee.
The Biggest Storylines To Watch Out For
Will LFY Bounce Back?
LGD.Forever Young spent much of last season as nothing more than an afterthought, but they were anything but that as soon as they made their presence felt at EPICENTER and MDL 2017. They then further legitimized themselves as serious threats by going 13-0 during the group stages of The International 7, finishing with a 14-2 win-loss record overall and losing only to Newbee and Team Liquid en route to a Top 3 finish.
Since then, however, LFY have yet to make a LAN appearance. In fact, if not for their direct invite to the Perfect World Masters Minor, LFY would be making their season debut at the MDL Minor in December, three months since the season officially started back in September.
The roster is still the same talented stack of players that caught everybody by surprise at The International 7, but whether or not they remain on the same page is something we’ll find out soon enough.
How Different Will a 10-Team Tournament Be?
So far, we’ve only seen 8-team Pro Circuit LAN tournaments, which is something that hasn’t gone uncriticised by the Dota 2 community. This makes the Perfect World Masters Minor, the 5th Pro Circuit tournament of the season, the perfect chance to showcase just how big of a difference it makes to have more teams playing and a longer schedule.
The Perfect World Masters Minor
The first Pro Circuit LAN tournament of the season to stretch over an entire week, the Perfect World Masters Minor will kick off with its group stages on November 19 and 20, followed by the playoffs from November 22 to November 26.
For more information, be sure to head on over to the official tournament website.
Which team do you think will go on to win the Perfect World Masters Minor? More importantly, how differently do you think the tournament will go with its longer schedule and having more participating teams? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.