After several weeks of anticipation (and speculation), the final invites for the EPICENTER XL Major 2018 have finally been revealed.
— EPICENTER (@epicentergg) February 12, 2018
Team Secret, Newbee, and Natus Vincere will join Virtus Pro and the defending champions, Team Liquid, in a clash of titans on May 4-6 at the VTB Palace, Moscow.
The EPICENTER XL Major 2018 will be the first Dota 2 Major to be hold in Moscow. So, it’s only fitting that such big names headline the list of participants. But, then again, it’s not like they did not earn their invites; Team Secret are currently ranked first in the season leaderboards with 4,260 Qualifying Points; Newbee are ranked fourth 1,725 Qualifying Points and are one of the four teams to have won multiple Pro Circuit tournaments this season; Natus Vincere are currently in fifth place with 1,109 Qualifying Points and are huge fan favourites.
With five of the top Dota 2 teams so far this season heading into the tournament, the other seven teams who will make their way to the event via the Regional Qualifiers will face the daunting task of matching up with the best of the best.
The EPICENTER XL Major 2018 Madness Qualifiers
Tournament organizers take note: if you want to appeal to the Dota 2 community (or pretty much any other community for that matter), you’d have to be mad enough to do something that EPICENTER did.
The EPICENTER XL Major 2018 made headlines throughout the weekend, but it’s not because of the games played. Instead, EPICENTER made headlines for what they announced. With only five slots reserved for direct invites and 6 more for each of the main competitive regions, EPICENTER decided to give the last and 12th slot to any interested team.
Yes, you heard it right, ANY.
Atypical of other regional qualifiers, it’s open to any interested team. Additionally, every game, including the Grand Final, will be a single-game series. Fittingly enough, they named it as the Madness Qualifier. They also introduced it via the YouTube video above. Teams can register via the FACEIT page linked on the said video.
The only drawback with the Madness Qualifiers is that all the teams will have to play the matches on the European servers. This can be a huge disadvantage. Especially for those playing from across the globe. But hey, no one’s exactly stopping teams from flying to Europe and playing there.
Having said that, prepare for what has to be one of the most must-watch Dota 2 events this year outside of The International 2018.
Are you excited for the EPICENTER XL Major 2018? Which other teams do you think will make it to the main event? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.