The Frankfurt Major is upon us, with sixteen of the best teams getting ready to battle it out in Germany, between November 13-21, for the $3,000,000 prize-pool. Check out the Frankfurt Major schedule, format, talent list, prize-pool distribution and betting odds.
The first Dota Major will be held in Frankfurt, Germany, at the Festhalle Messe – a multi-purpose hall with an area of 6,000 square meters, which can accommodate up to 13,500 visitors. Sixteen teams will be competing for a total prize-pool of $3,000,000 and ESL Gaming will be in charge of production.
Unlike The International prize-pool, the Frankfurt Major prize fund is fixed at $3,000,000. Valve has released the Fall Season 2015 Compendium, however, purchases will not contribute to the Frankfurt Major prize purse.
Valve originally announced the implementation of the Majors system at the end of April 2015. The concept is believed to be a proper solution to some significant problems in tournament quality and control that had been voiced in recent times.
There have been three LAN events – ESL One New York, MLG World Finals and Nanyang Championships LAN – between The International 5 and The Frankfurt Major for teams to have an opportunity to face each other and develop strategies. Teams such as Team Secret, CDEC, LGD, and Virtus.Pro have attended all three LANs, while other teams such as Newbee, Newbee.Young, Unknown and Alliance have not faced any of their Frankfurt Major contenders in a LAN setting recently.
Frankfurt Major groups
Frankfurt Major groups format
The Frankfurt Major groups will be played in a classic GSL format. The 16 participating teams will be split up into four groups of four.
In each group, the teams will play a total of five best-of-three matches, as shown below:
- Match #1: Team A vs. Team B
- Match #2: Team C vs. Team D
- Winners’ match (WM): Winner of Match #1 vs. winner of Match #2 – Winner advances to the Upper Bracket
- Elimination* match (EM): Loser of Match #1 vs. loser of Match #2 – Loser drops to the Lower Bracket
- Decider match: Loser of WM vs. winner of EM – Winner advances to the Upper Bracket and loser drops to Lower Bracket
*The group stage will determine the seeding for the Frankfurt Major main event. Eight teams will be seeded into the main event Upper Brackets, while the remaining eight will start the main event in the Lower Brackets. No teams will be eliminated in the group stage.
Frankfurt Major schedule – group stage
The Frankfurt Major group stage will take place over the course of two days, between November 13-14, from 11:00 CET to 00:00 CET on both days. Just like in TI5’s case, no public access will be permitted during the Frankfurt Major group stage. The Frankfurt Major schedule has been recently adjusted. According to the latest changes, Groups A and B will be completed on Friday, while Groups C and D – including LGD and CDEC – will be played out on Saturday, in order to accommodate any necessary schedule changes prompted by the Chinese teams’ travel issues.
Frankfurt Major schedule November 13th – Groups A and B
- 11:00 CET – Group A: Evil Geniuses vs. Fnatic
- 11:00 CET – Group A: Virtus.Pro vs. Newbee
- 11:00 CET – Group B: ViCi Gaming vs. Unknown.xiu
- 11:00 CET – Group B: Vega vs. OG
- 14:20 CET – Group A: Winners’ Match (Winner advances to the Upper Bracket)
- 14:20 CET – Group B: Winners’ Match (Winner advances to the Upper Bracket)
- 17:40 CET – Group A: Elimination Match (Loser is seeded into the Lower Bracket)
- 17:40 CET – Group B: Elimination Match (Loser is seeded into the Lower Bracket)
- 21:00 CET – Group A: Decider Match (Winner advances to the Upper Bracket)
- 21:00 CET Group B: Decider Match (Winner advances to the Upper Bracket)
Frankfurt Major schedule November 14th – Groups C and D
- 11:00 CET – Group C: Team Secret vs. Newbee.Young
- 11:00 CET – Group C: LGD vs. Cloud 9
- 11:00 CET – Group D: EHOME vs. Alliance
- 11:00 CET – Group D: CDEC vs. Mineski
- 14:20 CET – Group C: Winners’ Match (Winner advances to the Upper Bracket)
- 14:20 CET – Group D: Winners’ Match (Winner advances to the Upper Bracket)
- 17:40 CET – Group C: Elimination Match (Loser is seeded into the Lower Bracket)
- 17:40 CET – Group D: Elimination Match (Loser is seeded into the Lower Bracket)
- 21:00 CET – Group C: Decider Match (Winner advances to the Upper Bracket)
- 21:00 CET – Group D: Decider Match (Winner advances to the Upper Bracket)
Frankfurt Major main event
The Frankfurt Major main event will take place from November 16th through the 21st, at the Festhalle Messe, in Frankfurt, Germany, from 10:00 CET to 23:00 CET. Viewers and visitors are in for dawn to dusk action. The Grand Finals will take place on Saturday, November 21st.
Frankfurt Major main event format
Sixteen teams will play a double-elimination bracket.
Eight teams (top two teams of each of the four Frankfurt Major groups) will start the main event in the Upper Bracket. Eight teams (bottom two teams of each of the four Frankfurt Major groups) will start the main event in the Lower Bracket.
All the Upper Bracket match-ups will be best-of-three series.
The first round of the Lower Bracket matches will be best-of-one elimination series. The following rounds will be best-of-three elimination series.
The Frankfurt Major Grand Finals will be best-of-five series, with no winners’ advantage.
Frankfurt Major schedule
Frankfurt Major prize-pool distribution
Unlike The International prize-pool, the Frankfurt Major prize fund is fixed at $3,000,000. Valve has released the Fall Season 2015 Compendium, however, purchases will not contribute to the Frankfurt Major prize purse. All sixteen teams will be receiving a piece of the prize-pool, with the first place being awarded $1,110,000 and 13th-16th places receiving $30,000.
- 1st place: $1,110,000 (37%)
- 2nd place: $405,000 (13.5%)
- 3rd place: $315,000 (10.5%)
- 4th place: $255,000 (8.5%)
- 5th-6th places: $202,500 (6.75%)
- 7th-8th places: $105,000 (3.5%)
- 9th-12th places: $45,000 (1.5%)
- 13th-16th places: $30,000 (1%)
Frankfurt Major tickets
Attendance to the Frankfurt Major main event will be open to the public and will not require a ticket for any day except for the day of the finals. The finals will take place on Saturday, November 21st. Tickets can be purchased from Eventbrite, for €50 each. No public access will be permitted between November 13-14, during the Frankfurt Major groups.
Odds for Frankfurt Major
The odds on the betting sites seem to slightly favor Evil Geniuses over both Team Secret and ViCi Gaming. However, Team Secret has won the last two consecutive LANs and finished second at the ESL One New York LAN, while ViCi Gaming managed to come in second during their LAN debut, at the Nanyang Championships. Although Fnatic have been struggling in TI5’s wake, betting sites favor them over their SEA counterparts, Mineski. Unknown is placed at the bottom of the list – least expected to win. Cloud 9 are falling into the bottom ranks, as well.
Frankfurt Major teams
1. Team Secret (Frankfurt Major direct invite, Europe)
After a disappointing eighth place finish at The International 5, Team Secret announced a completely revamped roster on August 22nd. Clement “Puppey” Ivanov is the only original member remaining on the roster.
There have been a lot of questions as to whether the newly created Team Secret roster should have received as many invites to LAN events as they have. Regardless, they have attended all three LAN events of the season so far, and walked away with an impressive record: two consecutive championship titles (MLG World Finals and Nanyang Championships) and a second place (ESL One New York).
So far this season, Team Secret have already faced 10 out of the Frankfurt Major participating teams. Team Secret managed to defeat ViCi Gaming (twice), Evil Geniuses, OG (Monkey Business), CDEC, Virtus.Pro, and Fnatic. They tied with EHOME and LGD in the Nanyang LAN group stages and only dropped series to CDEC (during the MLG World Finals LAN) and Vega Squadron (during ESL One New York).
All of Secret’s players have undoubtedly proven extremely valuable. During ESL One New York, the MLG World Finals and the Nanyang Championships, Omar “w33haa” Aliwi was decisive, especially on Meepo, Wind Ranger and Shadow Fiend. EternalEnvy and Puppey have shown impressive performances, as well.
According to the Frankfurt Major schedule, Team Secret will play their first series against Newbee.Young, on November 14th, at 11:00 CET.
Team Secret roster:
Clement “Puppey” Ivanov
Omar “w33haa” Aliwi
Rasmus “MiSeRy” Filipsen
Jacky “Eternal Envy” Mao
Johan “pieliedie” Åström
2. ViCi Gaming (Frankfurt Major direct invite, China)
When Vici Gaming failed to advance to the Upper Brackets of The International 5 main event, they fought valiantly in the brutal best-of-one elimination series and progressed all the way to the semifinals to claim fourth place.
Following the event, Chen “Hao” Zhihao returned to Newbee and the squad recruited Xu “BurNIng” Zhilei as a replacement.
This season, ViCi Gaming have made a slightly late debut, at the Nanyang Championships LAN, where they managed to come in second. ViCi Gaming faced 5 out of the Frankfurt Major participating teams. They managed to defeat EHOME (twice) and Mineski. They tied with Virtus.Pro and CDEC, and dropped two series to Team Secret.
Xu “BurNIng” Zhilei’s and Xie “Super” Junhao are ViCi Gaming’s two most aggressive players.
According to the Frankfurt Major schedule, ViCi Gaming will go up against Unknown.xiu on Friday, November 13th, at 11:00 CET.
ViCi Gaming roster:
Xu “BurNIng” Zhilei
Xie “Super” Junhao
Daryl “iceiceice” Koh
Lu “Fenrir” Chao
Xu “fy” Linsen
3. CDEC (Frankfurt Major direct invite, China)
A true Cinderella story in the making, CDEC have gone from rags to riches in a surprisingly short period of time. Without a single championship title under their belt, they have become the first Wild Card team that has ever advanced into The International Grand Finals.
They did not lose a single match until the TI5 Grand Finals, taking down Cloud 9, LGD and even future champions Evil Geniuses along the way. They eventually lost to EG in the Grand Finals, 1:3, and walked away with $2,848,562.
This season, CDEC faced 7 out of the Frankfurt Major participating teams: Team Secret, EHOME, Evil Geniuses, Virtus.Pro, ViCi Gaming, Mineski, and Cloud 9. They managed to defeat Team Secret, LGD Gaming and Cloud 9.
Aggresif and Shiki continue to be key factors in CDEC’s team coordination.
According to the Frankfurt Major schedule, CDEC will face Mineski on Saturday, November 14th, at 11:00 CET.
Sun “Agressif” Zheng
Huang “Shiki” Jiwei
Chen “Xz” Zezhi
Liu “Garder” Xinzhou
Fu “Q” Bin
4. Evil Geniuses (Frankfurt Major direct invite, Americas)
In August, Evil Geniuses managed to turn the odds to their favor and claim the coveted TI5 Aegis of Champions and $6.6 million in prize money, thus becoming the first American team to win The International.
In a surprising turn of events, Kurtis “Aui” Ling was let go and replaced by Artour “Arteezy” Babaev not long after EG became The International 5 champions.
Evil Geniuses started off the new season on the wrong foot, being eliminated in a clean 2:0 sweep by Vega Squadron from the very first round of ESL One New York, their first official tournament of this fall.
This season, Evil Geniuses competed in two out of three LAN events and faced six teams that will be present at The Frankfurt Major. They managed to defeat CDEC, Virtus.Pro and LGD and dropped their series against Team Secret, Vega Squadron and OG (Monkey Business).
According to the Frankfurt Major schedule, Evil Geniuses will face Fnatic on November 13th, at 11:00 CET.
Evil Geniuses roster:
Clinton “Fear” Loomis
Syed Sumail “Suma1L” Hassan
Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora
Peter “ppd” Dager
Artour “Arteezy” Babaev
5. Vega Squadron (Frankfurt Major direct invite, Europe-CIS)
Vega Squadron surprised many when they surged forward, showing strong performances in the TI5 European qualifiers and grabbing the Wild Card Series slot for the biggest tournament of the year.
Although they failed to advance in the main event of TI5, the squad remained committed to each other and did not fall victim to post-TI roster changes.
They managed to upset TI5 champions Evil Geniuses in a clean 2:0 sweep and cruised to the ESL One New York grand finals to defeat Team Secret, 2:1, and claim the championship title.
According to the Frankfurt Major schedule, Vega Squadron will go up against OG (Monkey Business) on Friday, November 13th, at 11:00 CET.
Vega Squadron roster:
Semen “Cema” Krivulya
Pavel “9pashaebashu” Khvastunov
Vladimir “no[o]ne” Minenko
Andrey “Mag” Chipenko
Aleksey “Solo” Berezin
6. Virtus.pro (Frankfurt Major direct invite, Europe-CIS)
A team that has historically had struggles with consistent achievements due to frequent roster and structural changes, Virtus.Pro has broken free of the ill fated-pattern and has soared to great heights with their stable roster.
Since they found stability in the spring of 2015, their results have been undeniable: top three finishes in numerous major tournaments in the months leading up to The International 5.
They came in a commendable 5th-6th place at this year’s International championship and walked away with close to 1.2 million dollars.
Virtus.Pro was one of the few teams to keep their rosters intact at the height of the post-TI5 reshuffle period and they have continued to show strength in their recent official matches.
In the LAN events leading up to the Frankfurt Major, Virtus.Pro faced Team Secret, Evil Geniuses, LGD Gaming, OG (Monkey Business) and Mineski. They only managed to defeat LGD and Mineski.
Artsiom “fng” Barshack’s strong drafting and aggressive tendencies were decisive for the CIS team during the fall season.
According to the Frankfurt Major schedule, Virtus.Pro will face Newbee on November 13th, at 11:00 CET.
Ilya “Illidan” Pivcaev
Sergey “God” Bragin
Alexander “DkPhobos” Kucheria
Artem “fng” Barshak
Ilya “Lil” Ilyuk
7. EHOME (Frankfurt Major direct invite, China)
EHOME is one of the oldest Dota 2 organizations in China. With their inconsistent formation and rosters, the team had to battle their way through the qualifiers in order to obtain their place at TI5. They then impressed fans as they finished the group stage second in their group and 5th overall in the main event.
Despite being subjected to some of the roster changes that always follow The International, EHOME have been demonstrating top performances ever since.
The Chinese team claimed back to back qualifier spots, since the beginning of the season. EHOME were forced to withdraw from the ESL One New York LAN, due to unfortunate visa issues. They made their LAN debut later, during the Nanyang Championships, where they went up against Team Secret, LGD and Fnatic, and showcased steady and promising performances.
According to the Frankfurt Major schedule, EHOME will play their first series against Alliance, on Saturday, November 14th, at 11:00 CET.
Chen “Cty” Tianyu
Wang “old chicken” Zhiyong
Ren “eLeVeN” Yangwei
Hu “KaKa” Liangzhi
Zhang “LaNm” Zhicheng
8. LGD Gaming (Frankfurt Major direct invite, China)
LGD came in third at The International 5 and walked away with a $2,205,338 share of the prize pool.
The Chinese team has undergone significant roster changes following TI5.
EHOME’s captain, Fan “rOtk” Bai, and player Liang “DDC” Faming have both joined LGD Gaming, while Zhang “xiao8” Ning and Yao “Yao” Zhengzheng have stepped back from the active roster.
The team has had a rather lackluster start to the new season.
According to the Frankfurt Major schedule, LGD Gaming will face Cloud 9 on Saturday, November 14th, at 11:00 CET.
Liu “Sylar” Jiajun
Lu “Maybe” Yao
Lei “MMY!” Zengrong
Bai “rOtK” Fan
Liang “DDC” Faming
Yao “Yao” Zhengzheng – Substitute
Zhang “xiao8” Ning – Substitute
9. Mineski (Frankfurt Major qualifiers, Southeast Asia)
Mineski is a gaming organization focused on building the Philippine Esports scene by providing coverage and events within the Philippines. The Mineski organization was founded in 2004. Over the past 10 years, the organization branched out into other areas in SouthEast Asia. Their CyberCafé franchise is called Mineski Infity. They have two DOTA teams. In 2014, three team members came forward and admitted to being involved in match-fixing and were removed from the team.
After many reshuffles, the last roster changes came in March, when Mineski added Jessie Cristy “JessieVash” Cuyco and Carlo “Kuku” Palad. In August, the team added Ryo “ryOyr” Hasegawa, formerly of Rave Dota.
This season, Gigabyte.Mineski qualified for the Nanyang Championships, after taking down Signature.Trust, 3:0, in the Southeast Asian qualifiers’ finals.
According to the Frankfurt Major schedule, Mineski will go up against CDEC on Saturday, November 14th, at 11:00 CET.
Ryan Jay “Bimbo” Qui
Carlo “Kuku” Palad
Jessie Cristy “JessieVash” Cuyco
Ryo “ryOyr” Hasegawa
Julius “Julz” De Leon
10. Fnatic (Frankfurt Major qualifiers, Southeast Asia)
Although Fnatic’s revamped post-TI5 roster attended both ESL One New York and the Nanyang Championships LAN, they have only competed against LGD, EHOME, Team Secret, and LGD. Fnatic have made another role switch recently, putting Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung back to the support role. The team has been struggling to find their groove in the LANS. Most of their successful initiations seem to have been contingent on Dominik “Black^” Reitmeier getting good farm.
According to the Frankfurt Major schedule, Fnatic will go up against Evil Geniuses on Friday, November 13th, at 11:00 CET.
Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung
Chong “Ohaiyo” Xin Khoo
Djardel “Chrissy” Mampusti
Dominik “Black^” Reitmeier
Wai Pern “Net” Lim
11. Cloud 9 (Frankfurt Major qualifiers, Americas)
After their previous Dota 2 squad disbanded on August 14th, Cloud 9 have decided to pick up the North-American team “Dark Horse”, just in time to meet the registration deadline for the first Dota 2 Major. The announcement about the Cloud 9 new roster was made by the team’s captain, Theeban “1437” Siva, on his Facebook page.
Cloud 9 has been demonstrating steady performances, quickly establishing themselves as a top NA team.
This season, the team has qualified for the Nanyang Championships LAN after taking down Digital Chaos, 3:0, in the Americas qualifiers’ finals. They also qualified for the MLG World Finals, on September 27th.
According to the Frankfurt Major schedule, Cloud 9 will go up against LGD on November 14th, at 11:00 CET.
Cloud 9 roster:
Theeban “1437” Siva
Arif “MSS” Anwar
Braxton “Brax” Paulson
Ravi “Ritsu” Kodippili
Avery “SVG” Silverman
12. Unknown.xiu (Frankfurt Major qualifiers, Americas)
The Peruvian team is the first South-American to ever qualify for an event organized by Valve. Unknown.xiu managed to move forward into the Americas qualifiers from the Open Qualifiers and grab one of the two available spots for the Frankfurt Major.
According to the Frankfurt Major schedule, Unknown.xiu will face ViCi Gaming on Friday, November 13th, at 11:00 CET.
Alonso “Kotarō Hayama” Lion
Juan “AtuuuuuuN” Ochoa
Alexis “Greedy” Ventura
Jesus “Ztok” Carhuaricra
Christian “Accel” Cruz
13. OG (formerly known as Monkey Business) (Frankfurt Major qualifiers, Europe)
After The International 5, Johan “BigDaddy” Sundstein rejoined forces with longtime former teammate and friend, Tal “Fly” Aizik. The duo played together in Fnatic’s Heroes of Newerth team, which then made the transition to Dota 2.
One of the steadiest teams to come down the pike in the new season, Monkey Business have had a strong presence in the Dota scene ever since their inception. The squad has recently placed 3rd-4th at the MLG World Finals and have secured the top Frankfurt Major spot in the European qualifiers.
On October 31st, Monkey Business have officially launched OG, a new brand created by the players, in collaboration with a small group of industry professionals and HitBox.tv. The new organization will be guided by the need for transparency in the decision-making process, balanced with increased attention to the players’ rights.
The Frankfurt Major will be the team’s first LAN event under the new banner.
According to the Frankfurt Major schedule, OG will go up against Vega Squadron on Friday, November 13th, at 11:00 CET.
Johan “BigDaddy” Sundstein
Tal “Fly” Aizik
David “MoonMeander” Tan
Andreas “Cr1t-“ Franck Nielsen
Amer “Miracle-“ Barqawi
14. Alliance (Frankfurt Major qualifiers, Europe)
After much speculation and anticipation, Alliance released their new lineup at the end of August, welcoming back Gustav “s4” Magnusson and Johan “Mynuts” Andersson.
s4 has replaced Per “Pajkatt” Olsson Lille, who parted ways with the team on August 18th. He resumed his role as team captain. Johan “Mynuts” Andersson returned to the team in the support role.
According to the Frankfurt Major schedule, Alliance will go up against EHOME on November 14th, at 11:00 CET.
Gustav “s4” Magnusson
Jonathan “Loda” Berg
Joakim “Akke” Akterhall
Henrik “AdmiralBulldog” Ahnberg
Johan “Mynuts” Andersson
15. Newbee (Frankfurt Major qualifiers, China)
Team Newbee erupted onto the Dota 2 scene in 2014, having emerged from nowhere to claim the most sought after glory of being crowned the Champions of The International. The Chinese “Dream Team 2″ shocked the world with their victory and then disappeared from the scene.
In the past, Valve had been perfectly clear about inviting the previous year’s winners to The Interantional, as Defending Champions. Three of Newbee’s TI4 members were still on the team for TI5: Mu Zhang Pan, Banana Wang Jiao and SanSheng Wang Zhaohui. They were joined by Rabbit Wang Zhang, who placed fifth at TI4 with LGD, and rising talent June Lin Shiyang. There was little doubt that the squad would fight valiantly to defend their title, however they fell short.
After placing 13th at TI5, Chen “Hao” Zhihao returned to the team, while Wang “Rabbit” Zhang and Lin “June” Shiyang departed.
According to the Frankfurt Major schedule, Newbee will go up against Virtus.Pro on Friday, November 13th, at 11:00 CET.
Chen “Hao” Zhihao
Zhang Mu Pan
Meng “Xiao2le” Lei
Wang Banana Jiao
Li “chisbug” Chen
16. Newbee.Young (Frankfurt Major qualifiers, China; replacing Invictus Gaming)
Newbee Young – Newbee’s youth squad, was established in October 2014.
With only two of the members who participated in the TI5 Chinese qualifiers, the team is mostly reformed and looking to make a name.
The team finished third in the Frankfurt Major Chinese qualifiers. They made the participating teams’ lineup after Invictus Gaming were forced to withdraw from The Frankfurt Major due to complications in obtaining required travel documents for Su “super” Peng.
According to the Frankfurt Major schedule, Newbee.Young will face Team Secret on Saturday, November 14th, at 11:00 CET.
Newbee Young roster:
Tan “JiaJia” Lijia
“Sccc” Song Chun
Zhang “le” Xuanhao
“Mrrr” Meng Duo
Frankfurt Major casters, analysts, hosts
The Frankfurt Major talent lineup consists of 22 staff total, 12 casters and analysts, five hosts and five observers, as well as stats staff to cover both the group stages and the main event.
Casters and analysts
- Andrew “Zyori” Campbell
- David “Godz” Parker
- Andy “Draskyl” Stiles
- Chan “WinteR” Litt Brin
- Toby “Tobiwan” Dawson
- Austin “Capitalist” Walsh
- David “LD” Gorman
- Own “ODPixel” Davis
- Troels “SyndereN” Nielsen
- William “Blitz” Lee
- Ben “Merlini” Wu
- Kevin “Purge” Godec
Hosts and panelists
- Ted “PyrionFlax” Forsyth
- Paul “ReDeYe” Chaloner
- Jacob “Maelk” Toft-Andersen
- Alan “Nahaz” Bester
- Dakota “Kotlguy” Cox
Observers and stats
- Johan “Weppas” Westberg
- Rikard “skrff” Melin
- Johnathan “PimpmuckL” Liebig
- Ben “Noxville” Steenhuisen
- Bryan “Kpoptosis” Hierren