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Manila Major: History was made

Fri 17th Jun 2016 - 4:49pm Gaming

The 3rd ever Dota 2 Major is behind us. This marks the first season of Majors in Dota 2 as the only Valve event left is the annual International. The Manila Major was truly unique in many ways and will go down in history as a one that should be remembered.

OG - the first team to ever win two Valve events

OG Dota 2 was formed little under a year ago, right after The International 5. The team shocked the world coming all the way from the Losers Bracket to take the title at the Frankfurt Major. One Major later, in a different style, this time going only through the Upper Bracket OG won their 2nd Major in Manila.

Both times not many people talked about OG as a potential winners of the tournament. Both times they were nothing special during the group stages. But when it came to the Main Event they have delivered. They crushed opponent after opponent with all the players truly stepping up their game and showing the elite level they can play on.

A lot was talked about their star, 9000 MMR player. However, the real key is knowing how to play around someone like that. It is Fly and N0tail who are the best in the world at that. If you look back to the days of old Fnatic and Xcalibur standing in for Era you will see that they knew how to do it back then already. Fly understands how to draft for such player and N0tail understands when to make space for such star and when to utilize the space given to him because the focus of the opponents is on “the key player”.

OG is rounded up with two very stable and solid players - Moon and Cr1t-. Both always provide the team with what is asked of them, making a strong foundation for the others to shine. However, when they see an opportunity they are more than capable of making huge plays and carrying the team on their back.

Team Liquid - second for the second time

Team Liquid went to the Manila Major as the big favourite. And it is hard to say that they disappointed. They placed second for the second consecutive time, to be fair the rode to the finals was different than most would expect. However, while they did not disappoint over all the team is surely disappointed.

It looked like winning the EPICENTER could be a breakthrough for them. That they could stop the string on second places and become the best team in the world if they could finish it up in the Grand Finals. However, yet again they failed. Once again they looked godly throughout the tournament but were not up to the challenge in the finals themselves. They have won a tournament so it is hard to call them Cloud 9 v2.0 but one might see similarities in both teams.

China back in the game

Before the Major I wrote that it was a tournament for China to take. Well, that did not happen but the CN squads have clearly showed they have left their Shanghai level behind. Three out of four Chinese teams placed in Top 8. Two of those three squads finished in Top 4. A bit worst than I expected but still way better than they have performed since The International 5.

Quite interestingly Chinese teams that haven’t won LANs before Manila Major did better than those who did. However, when you look more closely it’s not a surprise. I talked about the potential of LGD Gaming before Manila Major. Trust me, they will be even more scary at TI, xiao8 always is. NewBee on the other hand has been shredding everyone else outside of OG and Liquid. They faced one of those teams in the finals of EPICENTER and lost.

Welcome to TI open qualifiers, enjoy the experience

It’s not an everyday sight to see the first and third team of the previous Major finish last on the next one. Well, that is exactly what happened at Manila Major. Both Team Secret as well as Evil Geniuses got eliminated in the very first round of the Lower Bracket. Their performance wasn’t very promising if promising at all.

The event didn’t even manage to finish and the squads were already playing tennis with the players yet again. Team Secret director revealed that “UNiVeRsE abandos Secret to come back to EG”. His place was taken by the former EG offlaner Bulba. Recently it was also reveled that Aui_2000 got replaced by Zai, but that’s another story…

As a result, because of violating the roster lock, both The International 5 and the Shanghai Major are forced to go through the Open Qualifiers and then if they win, through the Regional Qualifiers to play in Seattle. That’s something completely unprecedented.

SEA consistently strong

Something is to be said about the consistency of Southeast Asia teams. They were the local boys in Manila and they have performed on the same level as they did in Shanghai. Both Fnatic and MVP placed in Top 6 yet again.

With that they most likely secured their invites to The International 6. From this tournament we know that they are capable of taking down some of the best teams, after all MVP dropped Liquid to the Lower Bracket and Fnatic did the same thing to LGD. However, now for them to step up they need to be able to do that in elimination matches rather than Winners Bracket. Regardless they are a solid pick for top placings in Seattle.

Who will represent America at their home ground?

With EG losing their right to be invited to The International there will be probably only one American team that will get a straight ticket to Seattle. All the rest will have to face a incredibly scary prospect of competing against Evil Geniuses in the qualifiers.

However, the Manila Major didn’t give a clear indication which one of the two potential American invites is stronger. Both Digital Chaos as well as compLexity Gaming finished 9th-12th. That begs the question, does Valve value the recent results and level of play more than the results over the year or not. If they do then DC is a clear invite, if they don’t then coL should take the honours. We will find out soon enough, but there is something to be said about having to speculate on such things rather than just knowing. Please Valve give us some clear informations on what the invites are based…

PGL proved they are up to the challenge

PGL is a new tournament organiser when it comes to the Dota 2 scene. Although they are known from other titles like CS:GO they definitely needed to prove themselves. They did more than that. They conducted a great event with minimal technical issues. From what we know the players were treated great and they were really happy with the Manila Major.

As a result PGL most likely secured themselves the right to organise a Major next year. Maybe with this experience and with how happy the community was with PGL they will try to organise some events of their own. Maybe some more in SEA? We will have to wait and see.

Looking ahead

Now everyone's eyes will be set on Seattle where The International 6 will take place in less than two months. With the rate in which the prize pool is growing we are likely to see the biggest prize pool in eSport history yet again. Most definitely another huge spectacle with ridiculous amounts of money on the line.

The Invites are likely to go out after this weekend and then the qualifiers start right after. It is what we all have been waiting for, and it’s coming! Soon!

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