“Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose,” goes the famous Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr epigram. That was certainly the case with the first Dota 2 Major of the new season.
The teams that dominated the last Dota Pro Circuit tournament last season shone brightly in Kuala Lumpur.
With a total of $1,000,000 in prize money up for grabs at the Axiata Arena across the 10 days of action, the 16 teams battled for those crucial 15,000 DPC Points as well.
No teams were eliminated from the event in the group phase. However, the top two teams in each group would qualify for the Upper Bracket and have a potentially shorter route to the Grand Final than the bottom two teams, who would face a considerably longer route to the Grand Final. Here’s how the four groups turned out.
Team Secret qualified as the winners of Group A following two impressive victories over J.Storm and Ninjas in Pyjamas. The latter joined them in the Upper Bracket after winning their opening game over paiN Gaming and then defeating the same opponents in the Decider Match. paiN Gaming finishing third in the group and J.Storm fourth.
Group B saw Evil Geniuses come out as the winners with two wins over Team Aster and Vici Gaming. Vici Gaming came through in second with Team Aster and TNC Predator dropping into the Lower Bracket.
The form team of the latter part of the last Dota Pro Circuit Season, PSG.LGD were the winners of Group C following easy victories over Tigers and Fnatic. The latter earned the second spot in the group with wins over Gambit Esports and Tigers. The remaining two teams dropped into the Lower Bracket.
Virtus.pro didn’t have things all their own way despite winning Group D. They were taken to decider games in both matches with Alliance and Forward Gaming. Alliance overcame that opening loss to defeat pain X and Forward Gaming to claim the second spot.
Team Secret was the first to clinch a place in the Grand Final, defeating Vici Gaming and then PSG.LGD both 2-0. They also topped Virtus.pro 2-1, who arguably started that game the favorites.
In the Lower Bracket, Virtus.pro dug in and made it through as the Grand Final representative. None of the LB teams made it past Round 4, which left Evil Geniuses, who had beaten Ninjas in Pyjamas in Round 5, as Virtus.pro’s opponents in the Lower Bracket Final. At that point, the Russian side showed their class and earned a 2-0 victory to reach the final.
The Grand Final proved to be one of the most exciting matches in the tournament and gave fans a real treat to enjoy. Virtus.pro began strongly and took the opening game before Team Secret roared back and won the next two matches to earn a 2-1 lead.
Again the wall, Virtus.pro hung tough and won the crucial fourth game after 47 intense minutes to set up a final game. The Russian team, who finished as the top squad in the Dota Pro Circuit last season, confirmed they would be among the title chasers once again this year. They clinched the fifth and final game in 43 minutes to land the win, $350,000, and 4,950 DPC Points.
Dota Pro Circuit Rankings 2018-19
After the DreamLeague Season 10 Minor in Stockholm and the Kuala Lumpur Major this week, the new Dota Pro Circuit Rankings have taken on a familiar appearance:
Dota Pro Circuit Rankings
- pro – 4,950
- Team Secret – 3,000
- Evil Geniuses – 2,100
- Ninjas in Pyjamas – 1,350
- LGD – 900
- TNC Predator – 900
- Fnatic – 450
- Vici Gaming – 450
- Alliance – 150
- Forward Gaming – 150
- Storm – 150
- X – 150
- Tigers – 120
- Natus Vincere – 100
- Gambit Esports – 75
- Pain Gaming – 75
- Team Aster – 75
- Infamous – 70
- Royal Never Give Up – 54
- Vega Squadron – 24
Three of last season’s top four are already inside the top five after just two events. What’s more, with in-season player movement newly regulated this year via a 20 percent points penalty, it’ll be harder to teams to make giant leaps via new personnel.
The next relevant event will take place in Bucharest, Romania, from Jan. 9-13. That Minor is the prelude to the next Major in the calendar, the Chongqing Major in China from Jan. 19-27.