With the result at The International 2018 back in August now a distant memory, the best Dota 2 teams in the world are gearing up for the new Dota Pro Circuit. Sixteen qualifiers will take part in the Kuala Lumpur Major from Nov. 9-18 to kick things off.
The full list of teams competing is as follows:
- European Qualifiers – Team Secret, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Alliance
- CIS Qualifiers – Virtus.pro, Gambit Esports
- China Qualifiers – PSG.LGD, Vici Gaming, Team Aster
- Southeast Asia Qualifiers – Fnatic, TNC Predator
- North America Qualifiers – Evil Geniuses, Forward Gaming, J.Storm
- South America Qualifiers – paiN Gaming, paiN X
- DreamLeague 10 Winner – Tigers
As with last year, there is a prize pool of $1,000,000 up for grabs at each of the five Majors this year. No team will be handed invites to a Major, with all teams competing forced to qualify. A Minor event will be held shortly before each Major, allowing one team to qualify for the larger event as well as the chance to earn Dota Pro Circuit Points for the season.
For the Kuala Lumpur Major, that Minor event was the DreamLeague Season 10 event in Stockholm from Oct 29. to Nov. 4 which saw $300,000 and 500 Dota Pro Circuit points up for grabs.
DreamLeague Season 10 Review
The tournament saw eight teams competing in a Group Stage followed by a double-bracket playoff system. The top two teams in each group earned places in the Upper Bracket and the bottom two teams placed in the Lower Bracket.
The results of the Group Stage were as follows:
- compLexity Gaming – 2-0
- Natus Vincere – 2-1
- Infamous – 1-2
- Vega Squadron – 0-2
- Tigers – 2-0
- Royal Never Give Up – 2-1
- The Final Tribe – 1-2
- ROOONS – 0-2
In the playoffs, it was Tigers that qualified from the Upper Bracket after wins over Natus Vincere and Royal Never Give Up. They were joined there by Natus Vincere, who defeated three teams by the same 2-0 scoreline to earn a finals place.
The final itself was a cracking match and a fitting way to start the Dota Pro Circuit season. Tigers took a 1-0 lead before Natus Vincere won two maps in a row to lead 2-1. However, Tigers, who were unbeaten in the tournament, produced some real quality play on the final two maps. They clinched a 3-2 victory and the $125,000 and 120 DPC Point first prize.
Natus Vincere earned $70,000 and 100 DPC Points for second, with Royal Never Give Up and Infamous finishing 3rd and 4th, respectively, earning $35,000 and $25,000, plus 90 and 70 DPC points.
Kuala Lumpur Major – Group Draw
The sixteen teams competing in the Kuala Lumpur Major will play through a familiar format: an initial Group Phase, which will see the top two teams in each group progress into the Main Event Upper Bracket; the two teams finishing bottom in each group enter the Main Event Lower Bracket.
The winners of both brackets will then battle it out in the best-of-five final on Nov. 18.
The draw for the group phase is as follows:
- A – Team Secret, paiN Gaming, Ninjas in Pyjamas, J.Storm
- B – Evil Geniuses, Vici Gaming, TNC Predator, Team Aster
- C – PSG.LGD, Fnatic, Gambit Esports, Tigers
- D – Virtus.pro, Forward Gaming, Pain X, Alliance
The draw matches up some very strong teams. All the action will unfold over the 10 days at the Axiata Arena in the Malaysian capital.
Kuala Lumpur Major odds
- pro – 13/4 favourites
- Team Secret – 4/1
- Evil Geniuses, PSG.LGD, Vici Gaming – 6/1
- Forward Gaming, Team Aster – 10/1
- Fnatic – 11/1
- Ninjas in Pyjamas – 14/1
- Tigers – 16/1
- TNC Predator – 32/1
- paiN Gaming – 40/1
- Alliance, Gambit Esports, J-Storm – 64/1
- Pain X – 249/1
Who do we think will win the Kuala Lumpur Major 2018?
Given their strong performances in the Dota Pro Circuit last season, it is unsurprising to see Virtus.pro, Team Secret, and PSG.LGD topping the above list. While Virtus.pro remain the favourites with the bookmakers, I think the location of the tournament will favour the Chinese and Southeast Asian qualifiers. PSG.LGD look like excellent value at 6/1.
I also feel that given their strong performance in Sweden last week, Tigers at 16/1 are a very good each way bet.