The Manila Major invites, both direct and regional, have been revealed by Valve. Sixteen teams – twelve directly invited and four qualified ones – will travel to Manila to compete for a $3 million prize-pool in this spring’s Dota 2 Major.
The Manila Major – the third and final Major this season in advance of The International 2016 – will be produced by PGL, with the main event scheduled to take place between June 7-12 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines. Sixteen teams will compete over six days in a double elimination tournament.
According to Valve’s announcement, the Manila Major will feature twelve directly invited teams and four teams coming from the Regional Qualifiers. At the previous Majors, in Frankfurt and Shanghai, there were only eight directly invited teams and eight others coming from the main qualifiers, two from each of the four regions.
A total of 40 teams will be competing in the Regional Qualifiers next week, between May 3-6, with eight slots reserved to the winners of the Open Qualifiers that are set to start on Friday, April 29th.
Only four teams that got invited to the Shanghai Major have received direct invites for the Manila Major: Team Secret, Evil Geniuses, OG, and Alliance.
The teams that finished in top eight at the Shanghai Major were directly invited to the Manila one: Team Secret, Team Liquid, Evil Geniuses, MVP.Phoenix, compLexity Gaming, Fnatic, OG, and Alliance.
The rest of the four invites were given to ViCi Gaming Reborn – who have won the StarLadder i-League Invitational title; Wings Gaming – who have won the ESL One Manila title; Na’Vi – who have been doing especially well lately, earning qualifier spots in various tournaments and grabbing the runner-up place at StarLadder; and LGD Gaming.
Europe will have six teams at the Manila Major, followed by China with four teams, the Americas and Southeast Asia with three representatives each.
The twelve teams that have received direct invites to the Manila Major:
- 1. Team Secret
- 2. Team Liquid
- 3. Evil Geniuses
- 4. MVP.Phoenix
- 5. Wings Gaming
- 6. ViCi Gaming Reborn
- 7. Fnatic
- 8. OG
- 9. compLexity
- 10. Alliance
- 11. Natus Vincere
- 12. LGD
Forty teams will participate in the Manila Major Regional Qualifiers – 32 invited and 8 slots reserved for the winners of the Open Qualifiers:
Each of the four regional qualifiers (Americas, China, Europe, Southeast Asia) will feature eight invited teams. The Regional Qualifiers will take place between May 3rd and 6th. In addition, Open Qualifiers will be held for all regions, between April 19th and May 2nd. The winners from the four Open Qualifiers will earn the 9th and 10th spots in each of the four Regional Qualifiers. Registration is now open.
Each region consists of two Round Robin groups of five teams.
The top two teams from each group will advance to a Best-of-3 double elimination bracket, with the round robin first place teams facing the second place from the other group. The Grand Finals will be Best-of-5. The winners will receive Manila Major invites.
The Manila Major invites for the European Qualifiers (May 3-6):
- 1. Team Empire
- 2. Vega Squadron
- 3. Virtus.Pro
- 4. Team Spirit
- 5. No diggity
- 6. Polarity
- 7. Power Rangers
- 8. Ad Finem
- 9. Winner of Open Qualifier #1
- 9. Winner of Open Qualifier #2
The Manila Major invites for the Americas Qualifiers (May 3-6):
- 1. Digital Chaos
- 2. Shazam
- 3. Team Freedom
- 4. Enemy
- 5. Animal Kingdom
- 6. Infamous
- 7. Not Today
- 8. Evernovas
- 9. Winner of Open Qualifier #1
- 10. Winner of Open Qualifier #2
The Manila Major invites for the Chinese Qualifiers (May 3-6):
- 1. EHOME
- 2. Newbee
- 3. CDEC.Y
- 4. CDEC
- 5. Invictus Gaming
- 6. TongFu
- 7. IG.Vitality
- 8. FTD Club.B
- 9. Winner of Open Qualifier #1
- 10. Winner of Open Qualifier #2
The Manila Major invites for the SEA Qualifiers (May 3-6):
- 1. Mineski
- 2. Rave
- 3. Orange Taring
- 4. WarriorsGaming.Unity
- 5. Acion Arena
- 6. Signature.Trust
- 7. Execration
- 8. The Mongolz
- 9. Winner of Open Qualifier #1
- 10. Winner of Open Qualifier #2
Manila Major invites: Direct invites
Team Secret (Manila Major invites – direct invite, European region)
Team Secret had an incredible strong start post-TI5, with their revamped roster. Taking second in their debut tournament at ESL One New York, the Europeans then took possession of two consecutive LAN championship titles and the runner-up token for The Frankfurt Major.
The squad took a surprising 9th place at the WCA 2015 LAN and 5th/6th place in the StarLadder i-League playoffs. They made a surprising early exit at MDL Winter 2015, after being eliminated by Newbee in the first round of the Lower Brackets.
However, under the guidance and leadership of captain Clement “Puppey” Ivanov, the team managed to outplay, outdraft and outmaneuver some of the best squads in the world to claim the Shanghai Major championship title.
News of Team Secret’s Manila Major and TI6 roster has once again shaken the Dota 2 scene. Omar “w33” Aliwi and Rasmus “MiSeRy” Filipsen were replaced by Artour “Arteezy” Babaev and Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora, both from Evil Geniuses, with only four days left before the rosters became locked for more than five months. In addition, Secret welcomed Theeban “1437” Siva to the team as coach.
The new roster has yet to prove itself, after failing to advance in the ESL One Manila playoffs, on April 23rd, in their seasonal debut.
The Manila Major invite is Team Secret’s third direct invite to a Dota 2 Major. They have placed 2nd at the Frankfurt Major and 1st at the Shanghai Major. They have been playing with their current lineup for a little over a month, since March 23rd.
Team Secret roster:
Clement “Puppey” Ivanov
Jacky “Eternal Envy” Mao
Johan “pieliedie” Åström
Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora
Artour “Arteezy” Babaev
Team Liquid (Manila Major invites – direct invite, European region)
This European mix immediately demanded attention when they appeared on the scene in the post-TI5 shuffle. Their performances and results in the next following months left a lasting footprint in their wake.
5Jungz walked away with their first victory only two weeks after their formation, when they defeated Golden Boys, 2:0, in the Alienware Summer’s End Cup Grand Finals.
Early October, Team Liquid grabbed the new squad, only weeks before the lineup took a commendable 4th place at the Nanyang Championships LAN.
Charging forward, the squad then seized back to back championship titles in D2CL Season 6 and in The Defense 5.
Although they only took fifth place at The Summit 4, they grabbed third place at the WCA 2015 LAN, demonstrating their incredibly strong will and talent to thrive in the international scene, qualified for the Shanghai Major and placed 3rd-4th at StarLadder i-League, in Minsk.
When Team Liquid seized second place at the Shanghai Major after taking down Alliance, MVP.Phoenix and Evil Geniuses, they also captured the favor and seal of approval from tournament organizers and fans around the world. Since the Shanghai Major, they were directly invited to participate in ESL One Manila, ESL One Frankfurt and assumed the place of EHOME when the Chinese team’s invite to EPICENTER Moscow was revoked due to roster changes.
On April 24th, Team Liquid went undefeated into the ESL One Manila Grand Finals, but ended up dropping three games, along with the championship title, to Wings Gaming.
This is the first time Team Liquid receives a direct invite to a Dota 2 Major and their second time competing in a Major, overall. The team has been playing with the same lineup for eight months, since their formation in September 2015, after The International 5.
Team Liquid roster:
Kuro “Kuroky” Salehi Takhasomi
Adrian “FATA-“ Trinks
Jesse “JerAX” Vainikka
Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen
Ivan “MinD_ContRoL” Borislavov
Evil Geniuses (Manila Major invites – direct invite, American region)
In August 2015, 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.
During the fall season, Evil Geniuses competed in three LAN events following their accomplishment in Seattle. The started the fall season on the wrong foot, being eliminated in the very first round of the ESL One New York.
They went on to take second place at the MLG World Finals, third at the Frankfurt Major and first at the Summit 4. The Summit 4 was EG’s fourth championship title last year, bringing their 2015 tournament winnings close to 8.7 million dollars.
They have since taken 2nd place in StarLadder iLeague and MDL Winter 2015, as well as winning their first championship title of 2016 when they outdrafted and outplayed Vega, 3:1, in Captains’ Draft 3.0. The team rounded out the top three on the Shanghai Major podium and placed second at DotaPit, in Croatia.
After the unanticipated departure of both Artour “Arteezy” Babaev and Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora to Team Secret towards the last days of the team registration period, the future of Evil Geniuses seemed uncertain. Evil Geniuses have officially welcomed back both Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling and Sam “BuLba” Sosale to the organization, on March 26th. Aui had previously been a member when the team seized the Aegis of Champions, while BuLba – who played for the organization during The International 2 – coached the TI5 winning squad to success.
The Manila Major invite is EG’s third direct invite to a Dota 2 Major. They have placed 3rd at both the Frankfurt Major and the Shanghai Major. They have been playing with their current lineup for one month, since March 26rd and are scheduled to make their seasonal debut at WePlay, in Kiev, between April 28th and May 1st.
Evil Geniuses roster:
Clinton “Fear” Loomis
Syed Sumail “Suma1L” Hassan
Sam “BuLba” Sosale
Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling
Peter “ppd” Dager
MVP.Phoenix (Manila Major invites – direct invite, SEA region)
With a commendable 6th place finish at The International 5, MVP.Phoenix won the hearts of fans all over the world. Following the post-TI shuffle, the two MVP teams merged rosters and created an all-Korean lineup.
Although the mix of rosters was expected to make them an even stronger force, they were unable to attain the same results. The full Korean lineup failed to qualify for the Frankfurt Major.
Another roster change took place in time for the winter season and the December roster lock period. They have since taken 5th-6th at the MLG World Finals 2015, 4th at the Game Show Global eSports Cup Season 1 and a disappointing 9th-12th place at WCA 2015. They qualified for the Shanghai Major and placed 4th in the main event, then went on winning the Dota Pit championship title.
This is the first direct invite to a Dota 2 Major for MVP.Phoenix and their second time competing in a Major. MVP.Phoenix have been playing with their current lineup for five months, since December 2015.
Kim “Febby” Yong-min
Kim “QO” Seon-yeob
Lee “FoREV” Sang-don
Pyo “MP” No-a
Kim “Dubu” Dooyoung
Wings Gaming (Manila Major invites – direct invite, Chinese region)
After TI5, Wings Gaming made a 100% turnover and has welcomed all new players. The team has stuck together ever since.
They took 4th at WCA 2015, where they demonstrated impressive skill and talent and began to win over fans worldwide. They were the first team to take two games from Team Secret in the group stage of the event and quickly made a name for themselves. Having minimal official games on record, they did manage to stun many when they snatched the Chinese qualifier spot for ESL One Manila by sweeping ViCi Gaming Reborn, 3-0.
In a spectacular run at ESL One Manila, the Chinese team made a clean sweep over Team Liquid, 3:0, in the Grand Finals to win their first championship title as a team.
This is Wings Gaming’s first direct invite to a Dota 2 Major and the first time the team is competing in a Major. Wings have been playing with their current lineup for eight months, since August 25th, 2015.
Wings Gaming roster:
Zhou “bLink” Yang
Zhang “bian” Ruida
Chu “Shadow” Zeyu
Zhang “Innocence” Yiping
Li “iceice” Peng
ViCi Gaming Reborn (Manila Major invites – direct invite, Chinese region)
In March 2015, ViCi Gaming announced the addition of a new youth squad called ViCi Gaming Potential. The team participated in several major and premier events but was never really able to earn any solid achievements. Throughout the last year, the second squad had maintained a low profile, playing under the radar.
Towards the end of March 2016, big changes hit the ViCi Gaming Potential squad. The team was rebranded into ViCi Gaming Reborn. Xu “fy” Linsen, Liang “DDC” Faming and newcomer Wang “NoNo” Xin from CDEC.Avengers were added to the mix, while Yang “Zyf” Pu moved from the substitute role and Zhou “Yang” Haiyang retained his position.
VG.R grabbed the Chinese qualifier spot for the StarLadder iLeague Dota Invitational LAN – the team’s first major LAN with the new lineup. They ended up clinching the championship title, after overtaking Natus Vincere, 3:1, in the Grand Finals, on April 18th.
This is the first time ViCi Gaming Reborn receives a direct invite to a Dota 2 Major and their first time competing in a Major, overall. VG’s main squad has attended both the Frankfurt Major and the Shanghai Major. VG.R has been playing with the current lineup for a little over a month, since mid-March.
ViCi Gaming Reborn roster:
Yang “Zyf” Pu
Wang “NoNo” Xin
Zhou “Yang” Haiyang
Liang “DDC” Faming
Xu “fy” Linsen
Fnatic (Manila Major invites – direct invite, SEA region)
Fnatic struggled to find their groove in LANs and even in minor tournaments before the Shanghai Major. However, they decided to keep their roster intact and pushed forward.
Showing up to the Shanghai Major in a completely different form, Fnatic started to take on a new life. In the last few months, they secured three LAN spots through victories in the regional qualifiers: ESL One Manila, EPICENTER Moscow and, most recently, ESL One Frankfurt 2016. They won BTS Series 4 SEA and followed up with a championship title at the SEA Kappa Invitational Season 1. The Malaysian team has been on a dominating streak lately, securing back-to-back victories, titles and LAN spots.
Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung has been on medical leave recently and his role has been filled by the substitute player Adam Erwann Shah “343” bin Akhtar Hussein. Mushi is expected to return before the Manila Major.
The Manila Major invite is Fnatic’s first direct invite to a Dota 2 Major. They have qualified for both the Frankfurt Major and the Shanghai Major and placed 13th-16th and 5th-6th, respectively. Fnatic have been playing with their current lineup for five months, since December 2015.
Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung
Chong “Ohaiyo” Xin Khoo
Djardel “DJ” Mampusti
Zheng “Miduan” Yeik Nai
Wai Pern “Net” Lim
Adam Erwann Shah “343” bin Akhtar Hussein *sub
OG (Manila Major invites – direct invite, European region)
Since the European team materialized at the start of the fall season during the Frankfurt Major registration period, in August 2015, the squad has continued to evolve and flourish with the same, unaltered lineup.
The independent European team defied the odds when they rose through the lower brackets, bested The International 5 champions, Evil Geniuses, and upset favorites Team Secret to rocket to the top and claim the championship title and the staggering 1.1 million dollars prize at the first Dota Major, in Frankfurt.
They then proved to the world that their dramatic victory at the Major was not just a fluke of luck. Once again, OG proved their merit when they obliterated Team Empire, 3:0, in the DreamLeague Season 4 grand finals, clinching their second consecutive LAN in a matter of a week.
OG slid into the 5th-8th place at the DotaPit Season 4 LAN. They were the second team eliminated as the rising SEA team MVP.Phoenix overwhelmed them, 2:1. Stepping back up, they secured the fourth place position at StarLadder iLeague Dota Invitational after being bested by Na’Vi, 2:1, in the lower brackets.
The Manila Major invite is OG’s second direct invite to a Dota 2 Major. The team has competed in both the Frankfurt Major and the Shanghai Major. OG have been playing with their current lineup since their formation, six months ago, on October 31st, 2015.
Johan “BigDaddy” Sundstein
Tal “Fly” Aizik
David “MoonMeander” Tan
Andreas “Cr1t-“ Franck Nielsen
Amer “Miracle-“ Barqawi
compLexity Gaming (Manila Major invites – direct invite, American region)
compLexity Gaming underwent roster changes in November 2015, as they welcomed Swedish brothers Rasmus “Chessie” Blomdin and Linus “Limmp” Blomdin for the new season, reviving most of the HoN StayGreen roster from 2013-2014. Simon “Handsken” Haag also joined the mix.
compLexity’s run at the Shanghai Major was a phenomenal one. The team showed remarkable coordination, synergy, team leadership, adaptability and individual skill. They fell to Evil Geniuses in Round 4 of the lower brackets, taking 5th place.
Following up shortly after, at the DotaPit LAN, the team reached a noteworthy third-fourth place.
This is compLexity’s first direct invite to a Dota 2 Major and their second time competing in a Major. The team has been playing with the current lineup for five months, since November 25th.
compLexity Gaming roster:
Kyle “swindlemelonzz” Freedman
Zakari “Zfreek” Freedman
Rasmus “Chessie” Blomdin
Linus “Limmp” Blomdin
Simon “Handsken” Haag
Alliance (Manila Major invites – direct invite, European region)
Alliance had been marred by a long period of instability and disappointing results. It was not until they recreated the lineup which brought them the Aegis of Champions at The International 3 that they began to surge forward again. In December 2015, the Swedish squad welcomed former teammate and longtime friend, Jerry “EGM” Lundkvist. They have had a stable roster ever since.
Barely two weeks after they finalized their lineup, the Swedish sweethearts nailed down their first championship title in one year and a half, at WCA 2015.
Less than a month later, they continued to sizzle, burning down the North American TI5 champions, EG, to take their second consecutive premier LAN championship title at the StarLadder iLeague StarSeries. Their games featured perfect execution and optimal team coordination, expected of a team that was once considered a western juggernaut.
Alliance slipped a few notches, taking 7th-8th place at the Shanghai Major, where they were eliminated in a major upset by compLexity Gaming, 2:1. They then took the 5-6th place position in Starladder iLeague Dota Invitational when they were bested by OG, 2:1.
This is Alliance’s second direct invite to a Dota 2 Major and their third time competing in a Major. Alliance have been playing with their current lineup for almost five months, since December 2015.
Gustav “s4” Magnusson
Jonathan “Loda” Berg
Joakim “Akke” Akterhall
Henrik “AdmiralBulldog” Ahnberg
Jerry “EGM” Lundkvist
Na’Vi (Manila Major invites – direct invite, European region)
Going into 2016, the team has high hopes to rekindle that “Born to Win” rally cry and once again achieve greatness. In the last four months, the Ukrainian team has been proving, one step at a time, that they are indeed back on a hopeful path.
After trying out and then finalizing their roster in February with Viktor “GeneRaL” Nigrini, the team began to surge forward with positive results
In the DotaPit Season 4 LAN, Na’Vi secured an impressive 3rd-4th placement after a long stint of struggles. Na’Vi ended their run at the DotaPit LAN finals with a journey, having bested the Shanghai Major champions, Team Secret, and pushing the TI5 Championship team, Evil Geniuses, to a deciding third match.
At the SL iLeague Dota Invitational LAN, the Ukrainian team was on fire in front of their hometown audience. Spectacular performances led the squad to the grand finals against ViCi Gaming Reborn where it took four incredibly intense, hair-raising matches for VG.Reborn to take the championship title.
This is Na’Vi’s first direct invite to a Dota 2 Major and the legendary team’s first time competing in a Major. Natus Vincere have been playing with their current lineup for two months, since February 24th, 2016.
Danil “Dendi” Ishutin
Akbar “SoNNeikO” Butaev
Dmitry “Ditya Ra” Minenkov
Ivan “Artstyle” Antonov
Viktor “GeneRaL” Nigrini
LGD (Manila Major invites – direct invite, Chinese region)
The once Chinese Dynasty ended their Shanghai Major run with a 9th-12th place finish. LGD was eliminated in the second round of the main event’s brutal best-of-one Lower Brackets by compLexity Gaming. The organization looked towards changes for the upcoming events in hopes to improve their recent results and regain some of their former glory.
LGD Gaming announced their new roster for the upcoming Manila Major and TI6 season in mid-March. On the heels of the public departure of Liu “Sylar” Jiajun and Fan “rOtk” Bai, Zhang “xiao8” Ning returned from being inactive. CDEC’s famed Sun “Agressif” Zheng and CDEC.Avenger player Xue “September” Zhichuan joined at the same time, as well.
Having a lower profile than other teams since then, they have competed in the weekly H-Cup series with not so favorable results, leaving many to question their performance in the upcoming StarLadder iLeague Dota Invitational. In Kiev, LGD Gaming were able to surmount Alliance, 2:1, to continue on their path in the upper brackets. They finished the event on the third place after being bested by ViCi Gaming Reborn, 2:1.
This is LGD’s second direct invite to a Dota 2 Major and their third time competing in a Major. LGD Gaming have been playing with their current lineup for a little over a month, since mid-March, 2016.
Sun “Agressif” Zheng
Lu “Maybe” Yao
Zhang “xiao8” Ning
Lei “MMY!” Zengrong
Xue “September” Zhichuan