The Major League Asia Tournament Preview

While the Pro Circuit tournaments may take up most of the spotlight this year, smaller tournaments such as The Major League, which will be held at the EduCity Sports Arena in Iskandar Puteri, Malaysia, also deserve some much-needed attention.

The Major League will feature 8 Dota 2 teams — 7 direct invites and 1 qualifier team — from all over Asia fighting over a total prize pool of roughly around $70,000 (RM 300,000 MYR).

Participating Teams and Format

Since The Major League is not part of the Pro Circuit, the organisers were free to skip qualifier requirement and fill their lineup mostly with directly invited teams. However, they still gave other teams a chance to qualify for the event via the Malaysia Qualifier.

The amateur Dota 2 team, Team Highground, ended up taking the lone Malaysian Qualifier spot to round out the tournament’s eight-team lineup.

The other seven (7) teams are as follows:

  • iG.Vitality
  • WG.Unity
  • Fnatic
  • Execration
  • EVOS Esports
  • EHOME
  • Clutch Gamers

Fnatic will be playing with a stand-in in Wai Pern ‘Net’ Lim in place of their position 4 player Djardel Jicko B. ‘DJ’ Mampusti, who is out due to unspecified visa issues.

The Major League Tournament Format:

  • Double Elimination Bracket
  • All Upper Bracket matches will be a best-of-three
  • All Lower Bracket matches will be a best-of-one
  • Grand Finals will be a best-of-five

The Heavy Favourites

EHOME

Playing in a relatively stacked competitive field in China doesn’t excuse the fact that EHOME has, so far, failed to qualify for a Pro Circuit LAN. Not when they haven’t even come close to sniffing a spot, almost always bombing out in last place in the five tournament qualifiers they’ve participated in.

Still, despite their lack of success in the qualifiers, you can’t deny the fact that EHOME has a lot of talent on paper. And, lest we forget, Zhang ‘y`’ Yiping took nearly two years to take Wing Gamings from a relatively obscure Chinese team to a TI champion and one of the best Dota 2 teams in history.

Up against lesser teams in The Major League, EHOME’s talent-laden roster will have a chance to cash in and boost their confidence as they head for another set of Pro Circuit qualifier tournaments next month.

Fnatic

Even though they’re playing with a stand-in, Fnatic are still heavy favourites to take this LAN tournament. They need to win this, or at least, make a deep run; this is their last chance to soak up some much-needed LAN experience as a team before the ESL Hamburg Major next week.

Execration

After barely making it to The International 7Execration decided to shake up their roster by replacing the volatile Fernando ‘Nando’ Mendoza with the stable carry player, Kim ‘Gabbi’ Villafuerte.

So far, the move has yet to pay off for the team; Execration have yet to qualify for a Pro Circuit LAN this season. Although if it’s any consolation, it’s a distinction they share with just about every other non-Mineski team save for HappyFeet

In any case, Execration are a major threat to win The Major League and take home a huge chunk of the prize pool.

Teams to Watch Out For

The All-Filipino Clutch Gamers have flown under the radar since shaking up their roster at the start of the season, but make no mistake, they’re no pushovers. The addition of Jio ‘Jeyo’ Madayag at the position 1 carry role also makes them a legitimate threat to take games and even series off of just about anyone.

Also, keep an eye on the unproven mix of international players playing under the WG.Unity banner. You’ll never know what to expect from Galvin ‘Meracle’ Kang Jian Wen. Especially when you throw in players such as Feras ‘Feero’ Hroob and Kim ‘Velo’ Tae-sung into the same lineup as him.

Team Highground and EVOS Esports are relative unknowns and lack LAN experience, both as individuals and as a team. Meanwhile, IG.Vitality just are not the same team anymore after losing Zhang ‘Paparazi’ Chengjun and Yang ‘InJuly’ Xiaodong earlier in the shuffle.

The Major League Asia Tournament

The Major League Dota 2 tournament will run from October 20 (Friday) to October 22 (Sunday).

You can watch the games live using the Dota 2 in-game client or via Twitch.

Which team do you think will win The Major League? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below. 

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