What the Perfect World Masters Shanghai Minor Taught Us

The Perfect World Masters Shanghai Minor was our first taste of week long top Dota 2 action and boy was it a revelation. Although we’ve already seen quite a few Pro Circuit tournaments announced for next year with similar lengthy schedules, finally seeing it in action was just a joy.

From the 2-day group stages to the 4-day playoffs, both the audiences and the players themselves most likely walked away from the event satisfied.

Having said that, these are some of the things we learned from the entire tournament.

ViCi Gaming Are Good, Newbee Are Just Better

For whatever reason, everyone loves to sleep on Newbee. Even this season, where Newbee were fresh off a 2nd-place finish at TI7, most people were quick to crown talent-laden ViCi Gaming as the new kings of ChinaHowever, as Newbee proved with their run at the Perfect World Masters Shanghai Minor, only a fool would ever underestimate them again.

Prior to the tournament, ViCi Gaming had won all of their matchups against Newbee this month. But, when the two teams met in the playoffs, it was Newbee who looked like the team that had ViCi Gaming‘s number. After a close 2-1 series in the upper bracket finals, Newbee roared to a dominating sweep in the Grand Finals to take home their Pro Circuit LAN title this season.

Kudos to ViCi Gaming for finding success just months after they came together. We’ll likely see more of them in the months ahead. It’s just that we’ll probably see fewer people doubting whenever Newbee receives a direct invite from now on.

It Was Great Seeing More Than 8 Teams Play

Perfect World Masters Shanghai Minor

Image via Perfect World

As mentioned earlier, it was just a joy to see more than 8 teams playing in a tournament that lasted for more than a weekend. This is exactly the sort of Dota 2 action many fans were hoping to see once the Pro Circuit was announced a few months back.

On that note, kudos to Perfect World for a job well done. God knows just how much flack they received for just how bad the Shanghai Major back in 2015 was. Here’s to hoping that the next two Pro Circuit tournaments they’re set to organise next year will be just as good, if not better.

There’s No Clear Difference Between Majors and Minors

The main purpose of separating Pro Circuit tournaments to two categories was to give Tier 2 and Tier 3 teams a chance via Minors while leaving the Majors to Tier 1 teams. However, from what we’ve seen so far, there’s very little difference between Minors and Majors.

While it’s great for fans that there’s a lot of Dota 2 to watch almost every day, the teams themselves probably aren’t too happy about it. Because, really, who’s stopping  the top teams who didn’t receive a direct invite from qualifying for every pro Circuit LAN this season? Sure, the argument exists that the other teams will just have to “git gud” to qualify, but who are we kidding? The competitive scene suffers if the top teams are simply allowed to bully their way to LANs as they please while other lesser teams aren’t afforded a chance to compete and improve.

Having said that, Valve may want to start laying some ground rules going forward to prevent the top teams from abusing the current system and taking every Pro Circuit LAN berth for themselves.

Mineski Need to Let Jabz Draft Full-Time

Perfect World Masters Shanghai Minor

Image via Mineski

No offense to Chai ‘Mushi‘ Yee Fung. He’s a great player and all, if not one of the best of all time, and he’s definitely good captain who knows how to draft. But, he seriously needs to focus more on just carrying the team and just give over the reigns to Mineski to Anucha ‘Jabz‘ Jirawon, who have shown in more than one occasion throughout the season that he’s a phenomenal drafter who’s not afraid to experiment, even in crucial games.

Mineski is a talented team from top to bottom. In fact, you could argue that they’re the most talented in Southeast Asia and right up there worldwide. However, when Mushi drafts, captains and tries to carry the team all at the same time, all of that talent goes underutilized because they eventually become predictable and often settle for comfort picks. That was the case at the Perfect World Masters Shanghai Minor, where the PGL Minor Champions barely made it into the playoffs and then got outdrafted by both Newbee and CompLexity Gaming.

The so-called “Gatekeepers of Southeast Asia” are doing better with Jabz at the helm for now, but they’ll want to make this change permanent for them to have any chance of challenging the likes of Team Secret, Team Liquid, Virtus Pro and so on.

Perfect World Masters Shanghai Minor Final Placings

1st Place — Newbee ($150,000 / 150 QP)
2nd Place — Vici Gaming ($60,000 / 90 QP)
3rd Place — LFY ($30,000 / 45 QP)
4th Place — compLexity Gaming ($18,000 / 15 QP)
5th-6th Place — Team Kinguin / Team Secret ($12,000)
7th-8th Place — Mineski / Vega Squadron ($6,000)
9th-10th Place — LGD Gaming / SG e-sports ($3,000)

The win puts Newbee firmly in fourth place of the season standings with 1,035 QP. They currently trail Team Liquid (1,350 QP) for third place and are a few hundred points ahead of the 5th-place team, Mineski (720 QP)

What do you think was the biggest takeaway from the Perfect World Masters Shanghai Minor? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.

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