The WESG 2017 Dota 2 Grand Finals comes hot off the heels of the Bucharest Major in Romania where Virtus.Pro became back-to-back Major champions and established themselves as the best Dota 2 team as of the moment. But none of the teams are back for this event. In fact, most of the teams playing in the tournament will be unfamiliar to the majority of viewers, save for a few exceptions.
You see, the WESG Dota 2 Grand Finals is not like any other event in Dota 2. For starters, the second in a series of Olympic style tournaments organized by Alisports is not part of the Pro Circuit. But, that’s not all. To play here, the teams here (all 32 of them) had to qualify via their respective Regional Qualifiers. Not only that, but to participate, they’ll have to be composed of players of the same nationality. This explains why who is playing with who and why they’re playing under another banner.
The recently-crowned Bucharest Major champions are back for the event, albeit in different teams. The entirety of Virtus.Pro sans Vladimir ‘No[o]ne‘ Minenko are all grouped together under Team Russia, easily making them the heavy favourites of the event. But, don’t count out the other teams just yet; EHOME and Keen Gaming retain their full rosters heading into the tournament, giving them a huge edge in chemistry over others. The same goes for Team Sweden, led by TI3 champions Jonathan ‘Loda‘ Berg and Joakim ‘Akke‘ Akterhall, as well as SG-esports, who have yet to change their roster since September 10 of 2017.
Who will come out on top and make their country proud? Follow the action this week more closely with our guide to the event.
Below is a complete list of all of the thirty-two teams who qualified for the tournament:
- China: EHOME
- Europe: Team Russia/AntiHype, Team Hellas, Team Ukraine, UAshki, Ultima Thule, Team Sweden, Unchained Esports, Team Romania, Team Germany, Team Finland, Team Netherlands, Team Serbia.
- North America: Volta7, Team Leviathan, Play 4 Fun, Learn2Gank
- South America: SG-esports, Team Peru
- APAC: Rock.Y, Keen Gaming, NiceOne, Seventh Heaven, Fire Dragoon, HappyFeet, EVOS Esports, Alpha Red, Entity Gaming, Eximious Esports
- North Africa: Slice n Dice Gaming
- South Africa: White Rabbit Gaming
The WESG 2017 Dota 2 Grand Finals will be split into three stages: Stage 1, Stage 2, and the Playoffs.
- During Stage 1, all the thirty teams will be divided into eight groups of four teams each. The teams will then play each team in their groups in best-of-one matches. The two teams with the most wins from each group will advance to Stage 2. The rest will bid their tournament lives farewell.
- During Stage 2, the remaining sixteen teams will be divided into four groups of four teams each. They will play each team in the groups in best-of-two matches. The two teams from each group with the most wins will advance to the playoffs. The rest will be eliminated.
- Finally, for the Playoffs, all the eight teams who will advance will play each other in best-of-three matches in a single-elimination format to determine who will go home with a huge chunk of the $1.5 million USD prize pool.
Who Are The Heavy Favourites?
Team Russia or AntiHype are easily the heavy favourites to win the WESG 2017 Dota 2 Grand Finals. The All-Russian squad is composed of four out of five members of Virtus.Pro, who recently went back-to-back at ESL One Katowice and the Bucharest Major. Though the loss of their midlaner No[o]ne stings, his replacement, the 18-year-old Igor ‘iLTW‘ Filatov, is no slouch.
Next in line are EHOME and Keen Gaming. Though both squads have not had much success at the Dota Pro Circuit, they’re coming into the tournament with both of their squads intact. The former, for one, has two members of the fabled Wings Gaming squad who won TI6 in Zhang ‘y`‘ Yiping and Zhang ‘Faith_bian‘ Ruida, and look like they’re on the up-and-up after picking up Zhai ‘荧‘ Jingkai to main their middle lane.
Other teams worth taking note of are Team Romania (headlined by Aliwi ‘w33‘ Omar and Pittner ‘bOne7‘ Armand), Team Sweden (headlined by TI3 champions Loda and Akke), as well as the former Mousesports squad who will look to bring back together the band, albeit under a different banner in Team Hellas.
Are There Underdog Picks Worth Considering?
Plenty, actually. The South American teams paiN Gaming and SG-esports arguably have superior chemistry than most of the teams playing in the WESG 2017 Dota 2 Grand Finals. The only problem is that they haven’t exactly had much success in the Pro Circuit, often bombing out in last place in the tournaments they have attended so far this season.
HappyFeet are another team to watch out for. Or at least, they were. Unfortunately, as things often go in Southeast Asia, teams don’t often last long together. Given that they haven’t played together as a five-man in a while, there’s no telling just how good (or bad) their chemistry is. But, if they remain as good as they were months ago, they’re a good pick to go on a deep run.
The rest just aren’t worth considering. Though some have notable names on their rosters, they have little to no experience playing together. They may have qualified for the main event, but it’s hard to expect anything more from them.
The WESG 2017 Dota 2 Grand Finals
Because of the tournament’s unusual requirements for participating teams, the competitive pool isn’t nearly as deep as in Pro Circuit tournaments. There’s a noticeable drop in talent from Team Russia or Antihype. Neither EHOME nor Keen Gaming can arguably go toe-to-toe with Antihype should they bring their A-game. Team Ukraine had a legitimate chance, with an equally star-studded roster. However, they were unable to secure visas for the event and had to drop out as a result.
Having said that, nothing is really over until it’s over, so we’ll just have to wait and see until the tournament actually begins less than 24 hours from now to get a better look at just how well the 32 teams will stack up against each other.
Which teams do you think will stand out at the WESG 2017 Dota 2 Grand Finals? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.