A storm is brewing in Paris as the MDL Disneyland Paris Major is set to kick off on May 4.
From May 4 to May 12, the MDL Disneyland Paris Major will see sixteen Dota 2 teams try and stake their claim as the fourth Major champions of the 2018-19 Dota Pro Circuit. So far, no Dota 2 team have won more than one Major this year. Every Major has seen a different winner emerging, with Vici Gaming being the latest Major winner after taking home the title over the five-time Major champions, Virtus.Pro at the CORSAIR DreamLeague Season 11.
With all of the title contenders and powerhouses gathered at the MDL Disneyland Paris Major, along with a couple of hopefuls, the tournament should make for a brawl of epic proportions.
Join us as we do a quick breakdown of which teams are competing, as well as who the oddsmakers think are worth keeping an eye on.
Who Are The Teams of the MDL Disneyland Paris Major?
A total of sixteen Dota 2 teams will be playing at the MDL Disneyland Paris Major. Fifteen of the participating teams qualified via each of their respective regional qualifiers, while Ninjas in Pyjamas earned their spot by winning the OGA Dota Pit Minor this past weekend.
Here is a complete list of all the teams playing at the MDL Disneyland Paris Major:
- Team Secret — Europe
- Team Liquid — Europe
- OG — Europe
- Evil Geniuses — North America
- compLexity Gaming — North America
- Team Team — North America
- Keen Gaming — China
- PSG.LGD — China
- Vici Gaming — China
- Virtus.Pro — CIS
- Team Empire — CIS
- Fnatic — Southeast Asia
- Mineski — Southeast Asia
- paiN Gaming — South America
- Chaos Esports Club — South America
- Ninjas in Pyjamas — OGA Dota Pit Minor
That’s probably the best word to describe the competition over at the MDL Disneyland Paris Major. With Dota 2 teams now having had more than half of the season to try and find their form, every team playing at the Major has had months of practice to try and build their chemistry, making this arguably the most competitive tournament to-date.
Despite the parity, however, there remains a handful of teams that stand out from the rest of field.
According to the oddsmakers over at ArcaneBet, these five Dota 2 teams are the betting favourites to win the MDL Disneyland Paris Major.
Team Secret (3.75)
Team Secret may have “only” placed fourth at the CORSAIR DreamLeague Season 11, but keep in mind, the only team that beat them at the said tournament were Vici Gaming and Virtus.Pro, who both eventually duked it out in the Grand Finals that lasted all five games.
Outside of their losses to both Dota 2 teams, Team Secret have been looking nigh unstoppable. They’ve been styling on their opponents most of the time. When they aren’t, they’re winning games when they shouhldn’t, and taking a mile every inch that their opponents give them. Not to mention, because of each individual member’s mechanical skill and talent, Team Secret can make whatever kind of weird concoction Clement “Puppey” Ivanov comes up with work, which is probably the scariest thing about Team Secret.
As Michal ‘Nisha‘ Jankowski improves and matures, Team Secret can only get better, making them a big threat at the MDL Disneyland Paris Major.
Only one Dota 2 team in history has won at least five Majors, and that’s Virtus.Pro.
This fact alone warrants them status as a heavy favourite to win any tournament they are playing in until otherwise proven. But, despite having already won so much, critics and pundits continue to bash Virtus.Pro, and they’ll likely keep at it until the CIS powerhouse wins a TI.
Virtus.Pro’s shot at proving their doubters wrong and winning a TI will have to come later this year in August. For now, Virtus.Pro will have to set their eyes for something smaller first — another Major.
After losing to OG in five games in the Grand Finals of The International 2018, PSG.LGD decided to run it back with the same roster this season, and so far, they haven’t really disappointed. Sure, they haven’t really followed up their TI performance with a tournament win, but it’s not like PSG.LGD are known for playing well in the first half of the season. It’s usually in the second half that PSG.LGD really starts taking things seriously, and with Lu ‘Maybe‘ Yao fresh from vacation, PSG.LGD are primed to take the competitive Dota 2 scene by storm.
With all of the top Dota 2 teams in attendance, PSG.LGD will have their chance to upstage everyone else with a win at the MDL Disneyland Paris Major.
PSG.LGD’s cohesive teamplay and aggression, with Maybe at the helm, makes them the sort of team no one would want to face at the Major.
Team Liquid (8.00)
How and why Team Liquid find themselves up this high as the heavy favourites is questionable, especially when you consider their recent performance. But, then again, Team Liquid deserves the benefit of the doubt, and it’s not just because they are The International 2017 champions. It’s also because they are statistically, the best Dota 2 team in history, and their current form doesn’t really change the fact that this lineup is stacked with championship-caliber talent and skill, as well as experience.
Having suffered through most of the 2018-19 Dota Pro Circuit without really anything of significance to show for their roster, Team Liquid arguably have the most to lose at the MDL Disneyland Paris Major.
Vici Gaming (9.50)
Last year, Vici Gaming‘s lineup featured a mix of young stars in Zhang ‘Paparazi‘ Chengjun and Zeng ‘Ori‘ Jiaoyang paired with a couple of scene veterans. That lineup made it to a couple of second-place finishes before bowing out in 9th-12th place at The International 2018. This year, Vici Gaming decided to double down on the young talent, with none of their players older than 22, and so far, the results have been better.
Already, Vici Gaming have won a Major. More importantly, they look like a team that still has a lot of room to improve, which is important, because, as big of a win a Major is, TI is still where it’s at, or so to speak.
Until then, Vici Gaming will have to prove that their performance at the CORSAIR DreamLeague Season 11 is replicable, and if it is, just how much better they can be before TI9 starts.
The Honourable Mentions
In case you missed it, OG (15.00) qualified for the MDL Disneyland Paris Major. The reigning TI8 champions spent much of the season as a B-tier team that it’s been hard to hold out hope that they’ll break through and qualify for a Major eventually, but they have, and with Anathan ‘ana‘ Pham back in their lineup, it’ll be interesting to see just how much better OG will play now that their TI-winning lineup is complete.
Ninjas in Pyjamas are not to be taken lightly either. Yes, they qualified via the Minor, which isn’t ideal. However, the last time this happened, the team who won the Minor (Vici Gaming) ended up winning the Major (CORSAIR DreamLeague Season 11).
Are Ninjas in Pyjamas as good as Vici Gaming? Probably not. But, we’ve seen weirder things happen, and with Peter ‘ppd‘ Dager at the helm, Ninjas in Pyjamas are not to be underestimated.
Other teams worth taking note of are Fnatic (17.00) and Evil Geniuses (12.00), two Dota 2 teams who have spent the entire season flashing a lot of potential but almost always seem to fall short when it counts the most.
As the penultimate Major of the 2018-19 Dota Pro Circuit, the MDL Disneyland Paris Major will be where we’ll see which Dota 2 teams will be making it to The International 2019 later this year via direct invite, and which are better off changing their rosters. Sure, there’s still one more Major to go, and a lot can happen until then, but, with four slots already taken, the race for the TI invite is tighter than ever.
Hopefully, that leaves us fans with the best Dota 2 action we’ve seen this season. If not, then we can at least hope that all teams try their best to take home the trophy.
Which Dota 2 team do you think will end up taking home the title at the MDL Disneyland Paris Major? Do you think one of the heavy favourites will end up winning it all? Or will another team snatch the trophy right up under their noses? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.