PPD breaks down S1 of the DPC, Sadboys' disappointing results, and what to look out for at the upcoming Singapore Major.
Season 1 of the DPC has just come to a close. Well, except for China, which is behind due to Chinese New Year celebrations. China isn't set to finish until March 14th, but I’ll be discussing how things are going so far. I wanted to do a writeup to, not only share my thoughts on how my season went, but also to talk about how the other regions and teams did.
I’ll start with SA.
Unsurprisingly, beastcoast absolutely dominated this region. They continue to demonstrate that they are a level above their opponents, having a nearly perfect season. Their only 2 individual game losses were against NoPing e-sports and their Keeper of the Light. This hero has proven to be very strong this patch in the right hands and I expect to see many 5 players continue to practice it. Thunder Predator takes the 2nd spot and I’m really happy for the players on this team, as they're a hardworking bunch. They are some of my favorite SA players to have in my matchmaking teams. Being super tryhard in pubs leads to better tournament results, who would have guessed? Mnz is a high quality carry and MoOz, the new addition, is a student of the game who proves it with his drafting and calculated laning phase. Predictably annoying, not a bad quality to have as a 4 player.
Next up is CIS.
As you can see, Virtus.pro demolished this round-robin and, to many of you, that’s no surprise. Without seeing any international competition, it’s tough to say how good the CIS scene is, but I’d argue it looks a bit like NA. 2-3 quality teams and… the others. Virtus.pro flaunting the best new CIS talent and dominating is a great sign for them and I expect them to do very well at the Major. NAVI, who lost to VP during the final week of games, represents some of the older CIS talent, but their young new carry player V-Tune combined with their experience appears to be a winning formula. It’s tough to say how they will do at the Major, but they have a very unique hero pool and could surprise a lot of people who aren’t used to playing versus them. A fun team to watch nonetheless.
Any SEA fans reading?
With Abed and IceIceIce leaving for NA, the SEA title was ripe for the taking. Fnatic stepped up unsurprisingly and had a great tournament. I believe Raven is currently the best player in SEA and will think that until proven otherwise. Raven has bounced around a bit, but I think it’s safe to say that this guy is just really good. For whatever reason, I have the idea in my head that SEA teams are full of individually skilled players, but lacked teamwork. I used to think that this scene was the best place to import players from to either NA/EU, but with the lack of professional investment in NA and the overly-skilled competition for the Major in EU, I think that the SEA scene will start to grow. How will they do at the Major? I'm not sure… Right now, I think that Fnatic, Neon, and T1 will likely place low at the Major. Fnatic might be interesting, but the lack of experience on Neon worries me. T1 could be a dark horse, however. They have Kuku, who somehow always finds a way to top results, and Whitemon who is one of my favorite 5 players at the moment.
Here in China, there are 1-2 games left for everyone. It seems like iG will surely make it, but the rest is a tossup. I’d say that the top 6 are very well established names and with 4 headed to the Major, we will see some big names left out. MagMa and LBZS are mostly newcomers who will fight well in the lower division. There are some big matches coming up, so stay tuned if you enjoyed the high stakes Dota that these final weeks have brought.
Behold the greatness that is EU DOTA 2.
Europe, Europe, Europe. Without a doubt, the most entertaining Dota to watch. Stacked rosters from team 1-8, the upper division of EU had huge matchups virtually everyday. Unsurprisingly, Secret dominated. With 5 huge names and only 4 spots, similarly to China, someone had to be left out. The biggest loser was OG, who lost out in the tiebreakers to a dominant Team Liquid. The 2-time back-to-back champs will miss out on the first DPC event since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. They have 2 new players in Saksa and MidOne, who are outstanding players, but OG is missing that ana/JerAx magic. I still expect OG to make it to TI, probably through the open qualifier, but they’ve got their work cut out for them if they are hoping for an invite to TI. Alliance was one of my favorite teams to watch this season as they finished 2nd. They have a unique playstyle that is held up on how good Nikobaby is playing this season. If they manage to put him in a position to make a game-winning play, he makes the play. As good as they were, it’s hard to think Secret isn’t going to win the Major, but if anyone was to beat them, who would you pick? My bet is on Team Nigma. These guys, who occasionally struggle in online Dota, are unbelievable LAN performers. I think that their drafts can be a bit bullish, especially in regards to w33’s hero, but if they get him one of his heroes in the right game, then he can dominate. I wouldn’t be surprised to see EU take all 3 top spots at the Major. In fact, I think it’s likely.
Last but not least, the best region of them all. NA
I’ll start off with addressing my team and our performance. We finished 5th after fighting for our D1 spot in the tiebreakers. It was a rough season for us, and as optimistic as we were to start the season, that quickly declined as weeks went on. We lost our first match against EG, but managed to take a game. We then won our next 2 matches against the bottom teams and then proceeded to lose every remaining series 0-2. It was incredibly frustrating, and I think that we never really managed to figure out the best way for us to play, instead focusing on what we felt was the best way to play Dota. With the new patch, it’s easy to get caught up in what others are doing and with a new mid player who switched from carry, we had to rely on intuition rather than experience in a lot of our games. I think that we did a good job of focusing up and getting some good practice in before the tiebreakers, so we at least keep ourselves in the running for the 2nd Major. Hopefully, next season will be ours.
Moving on to the teams actually going to the Major, it was a tight race between the 2 favorites (EG & QC) and Team Undying. A lot of people weren’t sure what to expect from Undying, but I could tell early on they were quite good. I think that MoonMeander had one of his best seasons yet, but in the end it wasn’t enough. With only 2 spots for the Major, EG defeated QC and Undying, securing them a playoff spot while QC will have to start in the group stage. I expect QC to do well, while I think EG could struggle in their first round. I think that these two teams are very evenly matched and believe that they will represent NA well. I could see both teams placing in the top 8. Unlikely to win, it would still be very entertaining if one managed to make a deep run.
I casted many NA DPC games, but honestly not many are worth going back to watch. NA is in a tough spot with the lack of professional investment, but this season was all about turning pub stacks into teams and hopefully we’ll see some positive progress going into Season 2. It’ll be interesting to see how The Cut and simply TOOBASED do coming out of Division 2, but at first glance, I’d expect similar results for Season 2.
Thanks to everyone for reading this and watching DPC this season. The major is going to be incredibly hype and I can’t wait to watch. Who knows, maybe I’ll make the trip and do some casting...
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Peter Dager, aka ppd, is a former professional NA Dota 2 player. He was the former CEO of Evil Geniuses, where he also won The International 2015 as a player-captain, later playing for OpTic Gaming and Ninjas in Pyjamas.Read all articles from Peter "ppd" Dager
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