This coming weekend sees the start of the final Major of the Dota Pro Circuit Season. The EPICENTER Major calls the CSKA Arena in Moscow home.
As is customary for DPC Majors, 15,000 DPC points are up for grabs with a prize pool of $1,000,000 for the 16 teams.
The 2018-19 Dota Pro Circuit has certainly been evenly contested. At the moment, Team Secret, the only team to win two Majors this year, lead the standings.
Dota Pro Circuit 2018-19 – tournament results
- DreamLeague Season 10 (Minor) – Winners – Tigers
- Kuala Lumpur Major – Winners – pro
- Bucharest Minor – Winners – EHOME
- Chongqing Major – Winners – Team Secret
- StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 1 – Winners – Vici Gaming
- DreamLeague Season 11 (Major) – Winners – Vici Gaming
- OGA Dota PIT Minor 2019 – Winners – Ninjas in Pyjamas
- MDL Disneyland Paris Major – Winners – Team Secret
- StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 2 – Winners – Ninjas in Pyjamas
- EPICENTER Major – Winners – ?
Dota Pro Circuit – Rankings (After StarLadder Season 2 tournament)
- Team Secret – 14,250
- pro – 11,400
- Evil Geniuses – 6,750
- Vici Gaming – 6,300
- LGD – 4,140
- Fnatic – 3,525
- Team Liquid – 2,820
- Ninjas in Pyjamas – 2590
- Keen Gaming – 1,140
- OG – 948
- TNC Predator – 696
- EHOME – 629.6
- Storm – 576
- Alliance – 379
- Chaos Esports Club – 288
- Mineski – 286
- Gambit Esports – 228
- Forward Gaming -154.88
- Complexity Gaming – 153.11
- paiN Gaming – 150
It is not just the two wins at the Chongqing Major and the MDL Disneyland Paris Major that have made Team Secret the team to beat. They also finished as runners-up in the Kuala Lumpur Major.
No team can match that level of consistency across the four Majors. Only Virtus.pro approach anywhere near that, winning the Kuala Lumpur Major and finishing second in both the Chongqing and DreamLeague Season 11 Major.
Then, Evil Geniuses are yet to win a tournament or even reach a final, but their consistency in finishing third in three of the four Majors (all but DreamLeague where they were 7th/8th) means they have edged into third ahead of Vici Gaming.
With almost 5,000 points up for grabs for this weekend’s winner, any team involved could move up the standings and earn one of the eight qualifying spots available for The International 2019.
EPICENTER Major preview
The action kicks off in Russia on June 22 and will run until June 30. Sixteen teams have qualified from a number of regions, plus two qualifiers from last weekend’s StarLadder Imba TV Minor.
- Europe Qualifiers – Team Secret, Team Liquid, OG
- CIS Qualifiers – Gambit Esports, Virtus.pro
- China Qualifiers – PSG.LGD, Royal Never Give Up, Vici Gaming
- Southeast Asia Qualifiers – TNC Predator, Fnatic
- North American Qualifiers – Evil Geniuses, Forward Gaming
- South American Qualifiers – paiN Gaming, Infamous
- StarLadder Imba TV qualifiers – Ninjas in Pyjamas, Alliance
The teams have been drawn into four groups and a GSL format. The top two teams advance into the upper bracket of the playoffs, and the bottom two move into the lower bracket.
Group Stage draw & opening games
- Team Secret
- paiN Gaming
- Royal Never Give Up
Opening Matches in Group A
- Team Secret vs. paiN Gaming
- Fnatic vs. Royal Never Give Up
- Evil Geniuses
- Team Liquid
- Gambit Esports
Opening Matches in Group B
- Evil Geniuses vs. Infamous
- Team Liquid vs. Gambit Esports
- Forward Gaming
- Vici Gaming
Opening Matches in Group C
- Virtus.pro vs. Alliance
- Vici Gaming vs. Forward Gaming
- Ninjas in Pyjamas
- TNC Predator
Opening Matches in Group D
- PSG.LGD vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas
- OG vs. TNC Predator
Who will win EPICENTER 2019?
The latest odds provided by Betway are as follows:
- Team Secret – 5/2 favourites
- Evil Geniuses – 11/2
- pro – 6/1
- LGD – 9/1
- Team Liquid, OG – 10/1
- Vici Gaming – 12/1
- Ninjas in Pyjamas – 14/1
- Gambit Esports, Royal Never Give Up, TNC Predator – 16/1
- Fnatic – 20/1
- Alliance – 25/1
- paiN Gaming, Forward Gaming – 50/1
- Infamous – 100/1
As you can see, Team Secret are the clear favorites to win. Certainly, they should go deep into the tournament, and it would be a huge surprise if they don’t manage to attain at least a top-four finish.
As to who could challenge them, the smart money seems to be on Virtus.pro. The Russian team is playing on home soil, and after a less than stellar season so far, by their own high standards, they will want to put on a good display in front of their own fans.
Watch out too for OG, the 10/1 shots, who won The International 2018 but have not shone in the Dota Pro Circuit this season. But if they can find their best form, they could be a surprise contender here.