Just as things were looking good for the Dota Pro Circuit this 2018, Valve rocked the entire Dota 2 community when they announced they were pulling their support from the Galaxy Battles 2 LAN. This effectively meant that the event would lose most of its appeal. Unsurprisingly enough, this resulted in half of the teams dropping from the event. This included fan favourites such as Team Liquid, Virtus Pro and Team Secret, among others.
Despite this, the organisers Fallout Gaming decided to push through with the event. As a result, we now have a former Major featuring an eight-team lineup fighting for a $500,000 prize pool set to take place in the Philippines.
OG and Evil Geniuses are seen by many as the front-runners in this event. However, from what they’ve shown so far, they’re not invulnerable. This paves the way for upsets from the likes of TNC Pro Team, Team Spirit, or even paiN Gaming, who will play in the Galaxy Battles 2 LAN Finals with Aliwi ‘w33‘ Omar standing in for the team.
So, who will emerge as victors in what has to be one of the most controversial Dota 2 events in recent memory? Who knows! For now, what we can do is to get ready for the Galaxy Battles 2 LAN Finals with our quick guide.
Galaxy Battles 2 LAN – Participating Teams
From a 16-team event, we’re now down to a 10-team tournament with 7 going to the main event directly and the other three having to fight it out in the wild cards first for the final, eight spot.
Of the teams who received a direct invite to the event, Evil Geniuses, OG, Infamous and TNC Pro Team decided to stay, with OG saying that they owe it to their fans.
Joining the four direct invites are the following teams:
- CIS Qualifiers — Team Spirit
- South American Qualifiers — paiN Gaming
- North American Qualifiers — VGJ.Thunder
- Wild Cards — Team Kinguin, Skyville and PG.Barracx
Galaxy Battles 2 LAN – Format and Prize Pool
Official Streams: TBA
Prize Pool: $500,000 USD. Prize distribution remains unknown as of the moment.
Format: The Galaxy Battles 2 LAN Finals will forgo the group stages completely. Instead, the main event will follow a double-elimination format and will start right after the wild cards have concluded. Each match will a best-of-three, including the lower bracket matchups. Grand Finals will be a best-of-five.
Galaxy Battles 2 LAN – Heavy Favourites
Favorite place to go for tournaments and best fans in the world, hope we get to go to the Philippines regardless of the circuit points and valve support.
— Cr1t- (@Cr1tdota) January 4, 2018
Evil Geniuses‘ newly revamped roster got off to a less than ideal start with an early exit at the Captains Draft 4 Minor earlier this year. They’ll look to rinse off the bitter taste of that loss from their mouths with a huge win in their return to the Philippines. Though a deep run here won’t yield them any Qualifying Points, Evil Geniuses need not worry as much; they’re currently in 7th place with 765 Qualifying Points.
What arguably matters most to Evil Geniuses now is to have their latest lineup play in as much LANs as possible. And with the ESL One Genting 2018 taking place just next week, Evil Geniuses will want to make use of this event to build up steam, as well as some much-needed chemistry and confidence before the next big event.
— OG (@OGDota2) January 13, 2018
Are OG the best team playing in the ex-Major? Arguably. They have the winning pedigree for sure. However, without Johan ‘N0tail‘ Sundstein and Gustav ‘s4‘ Magnusson skipping the event, they just feel like half of the team that they should be. No offense to Sébastien ‘7ckngMad’ Debs and Maurice ‘KheZu‘ Gutmann, who each are capable stand-ins, but they haven’t exactly played in the game’s highest level in a while. Especially 7ckingMad, who has spent the past two years watching from the sidelines as OG’s coach.
Still, given the relatively shallow competitive pool, OG, despite playing with stand-ins, remain favourites to win big once again in the Philippines.
This year we decided to support the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity (WOŚP) The winner of the auction: https://t.co/fESTS8ga1E will receive a t-shirt signed by the DOTA2 team as well as a possibility to visit us in Warsaw and learn the ropes of Esport. GL in bidding! #WOŚP pic.twitter.com/SgJhHsT5kn
— 🐧 Team Kinguin (@teamkinguin) January 14, 2018
With excellent showings in the two Pro Circuit LANs they’ve attended so far, Team Kinguin are one of the biggest surprises of the season. Though they’re not exactly new to the scene, they’re the perfect example of how the Dota Pro Circuit can give Tier 2 and 3 teams a chance to improve when it’s working right.
While Team Kinguin’s spot in the main event aren’t secure just yet — they still have to make their way out of the wild cards — they will prove to be a tough match once there. Especially against Evil Geniuses, the same team, albeit with a slightly different lineup, they eliminated from contention at the Summit 8 Minor back in December.
Galaxy Battles 2 LAN – Storylines to Watch Out For
I’ll be standing in for the brazilian squad paiN Gaming at the Galaxy Battles Major https://t.co/eyslx0UGPf
— Aliwi Omar (@w33haa) December 30, 2017
Is W33 Bound for South America?
A former pubstar once considered by many as one of the best Dota 2 players in the world, w33 decided earlier this season that it was time for a change as he made the transition from a core to a support role. Seeing that he has yet to appear in a Pro Circuit LAN for the season, it only made sense for him to go back to the middle lane that he once terrorized.
How well he will he in his return is a question that most would love to answer. More importantly, if he does have a good showing, does it mean w33 will pack his bags and make his way to South America to join paiN Gaming permanently?
Winning smiles as we secure a top 4 slot and we're going to the playoffs semifinals at MDL Macau! Thank you for your never ending support and thank you Lord for the win! #SummonYourStrength #Niugame #TNCDota2 #RiseofthePhoenix pic.twitter.com/D7oV3ruOxS
— TNC Pro Team (@TNCProTeam) December 9, 2017
Can TNC Pro Team Defend Their Home Town?
They can. In fact, they should. The Philippines likely won’t see a huge Dota 2 event anytime again soon and a lackluster showing here from TNC Pro Team will likely make organisers (and fans) lose interest in pushing for one. On the other hand, if they make a deep run (or even win), it should be enough to help make organisers (and maybe even Valve) to do a double take and consider the Philippines as a possible venue for a Dota Pro Circuit event sometime in the future.
Though they are arguably the third best Dota 2 team in Southeast Asia, TNC Pro Team have proven many times over that they know what it takes to win when it counts the most.
Fallout gaming strikes again
"technical issues" aka "we didn't apply for an event license"https://t.co/Ey88HWMNvl
— Andrew Campbell (@ZyoriTV) October 29, 2017
Will Fallout Gaming Sink or Swim?
This is perhaps the question on everybody’s mind right now. Given all the controversies that organizers have been through over the past few weeks (and months even), the Galaxy Battles 2 LAN Finals will be huge for them.
Should they happen to pull it off despite Valve’s support, or lack thereof, then they’ll have earned their spots in the hearts of some of the most loyal Dota 2 fans in the world in the Philippines. But if they fail and production quality is meh, expect the resulting backlash to be even much worse.
The Galaxy Battles 2 LAN Finals
Less than a week till the big day! #FalloutGaming #PurposeWin
Posted by Galaxy Battles on Saturday, January 13, 2018
What was supposed to be a week-long event as the first Dota Pro Circuit Major of 2018, the Galaxy Battles 2 LAN Finals will only be available for public viewing during the main event from January 19-21.
For more information, be sure to visit the official tournament website at www.galaxybattlesmajor.com.
What are you looking forward to the most at the Galaxy Battles 2 LAN Finals? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.