The Shanghai Dota Major is upon us, with sixteen of the best teams getting ready to battle it out in China, between February 25 – March 6, for the $3,000,000 prize-pool. Check out the Shanghai Major teams, groups, format, schedule, streams, talent list, prize-pool distribution, and betting odds.
The Shanghai Dota Major will be held in Shanghai, China, at the Mercedes-Benz Arena – an indoor arena located on the former grounds of Expo 2010 in Pudong, Shanghai, China, with a seating capacity for 18,000 people. The total prize-pool of $3,000,000 is a fixed amount and Perfect World will be in charge of production.
The event will kick off with the closed group stage scheduled between February 25th-28th. It will then progress to the open main event set to take place at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, between March 2nd-6th.
The Shanghai Dota Major group stage begins tomorrow, February 25th, with two Group A series – EHOME vs. MVP.Phoenix and Team Secret vs. CDEC – scheduled at 09:00 BJT / 02:00 CET.
Shanghai Dota Major group stage
The Shanghai Dota Major groups were released on February 18th, leaving teams with one week to prepare their strategies and scouting reports in their efforts to secure an Upper Bracket placement going into the main event. The group stage will be played in a classic GSL format. The 16 participating teams have been split up into four groups of four.
Groups are a crucial part of the outcome for a major tournament. Teams seeded into the Lower Brackets immediately start off with the brutal, dream crushing best-of-one elimination matches. The Shanghai Dota Major will have two rounds of those do-or-die series.
At The International 5, both the championship team, Evil Geniuses, and the runner-up team, CDEC, started the main event in the Upper Brackets. They were both able to take the high road all the way through the Upper Brackets, until they faced each other.
Being seeded in the Lower Brackets doesn’t necessarily mean a death sentence for teams. As seen before, miracles do happen. OG defied the odds at the Frankfurt Major. Being seeded into the Lower Brackets, they survived their first best-of-one round, surged through the brackets and climbed into the Grand Finals. Once at the top of the ranks, they upset Team Secret, 3:1, and were crowned the Frankfurt Major champions.
Overall I think the Major groups are pretty fair, group D being the group of death
— Tal Aizik (@Fly_dota2) February 18, 2016
- The Shanghai Dota Major group stage 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
Losers’ 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 Shanghai 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.
Shanghai Dota Major group stage schedule
- The Shanghai Major group stage will take place over the course of four days, between February 25th-28th. Group A will be played on February 25th, Group B on February 26th, Group C on February 27th and Group D on February 28th.
- 09:00 BJT / 02:00 CET – two best-of-three matches
- 12:30 BJT / 05:30 CET – Losers’ Match
- 16:00 BJT / 09:00 CET – Qualification #1
- 19:30 BJT / 12:30 CET – Qualification #2
- No public access will be permitted during the Shanghai Dota Major group stage.
Shanghai Dota Major main event
The Shanghai Dota Major main event will take place between March 2nd-6th, at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, in Shanghai, China. Viewers and visitors are in for dawn to dusk action. The Grand Finals will take place on Sunday, March 6th.
Sixteen teams will play a double-elimination bracket.
Eight teams (top two teams of each of the four groups) will start the main event in the Upper Bracket. Eight teams (bottom two teams of each of the four groups) will start the main event in the Lower Bracket.
All the Upper Bracket match-ups will be best-of-three series.
The first two rounds of the Lower Bracket matches will be best-of-one elimination series. The following rounds will be best-of-three elimination series.
The Shanghai Dota Major Grand Finals will be best-of-five series, with no winners’ advantage.
Shanghai Major betting odds
The odds on betting sites such as bet365.com and bet-at-home.com seem to slightly favor Evil Geniuses over EHOME and Alliance – the teams that won the two premier tournaments that took place since the beginning of 2016. Team Archon is placed at the bottom of the list – least expected to win. The SEA contenders, Fnatic and MVP.Phoenix, are falling into the bottom ranks, as well.
Shanghai Dota Major streams
- DotaMajor 1 (EN)
- DotaMajor 2 (EN)
- DotaMajor 3 (EN)
- DotaMajor 4 (EN)
- DotaMajor 1 (RU)
- DotaMajor 2 (RU)
- DotaMajor 3 (RU)
- DotaMajor 4 (RU)
Shanghai Dota Major participating teams
Shanghai Dota Major – Group A
CDEC (direct invite)
CDEC made headlines as the first Wild Card team to make it to the International Grand Finals. They advanced without dropping a match and, without a single championship title under their belt, they became the first team to secure a spot in The International Grand Finals.
Since that monumental occasion, expectations have been placed high on their heads. While placing in the top fifth/sixth of major and premier tournaments is certainly a step down from second at TI5, it is barely indicative of a meltdown.
Signature style: Despite the decline in their tournament placements since TI5, CDEC are still playing in top form with their signature aggressive style and team coordination.
Sun “Agressif” Zheng
Huang “Shiki” Jiwei
Chen “Xz” Zezhi
Liu “Garder” Xinzhou
Fu “Q” Bin
EHOME (direct invite)
EHOME made their debut with their new roster at the Nanynag Championship LAN, where they took third place and then followed up at the Frankfurt Major with an impressive fourth place position. Their remarkable results continued, as EHOME took first place in the Shanghai Dota 2 Open in early January and in the Dota 2 Radiant & Dire Cup 2015 at the end of December. The MDL Winter 2015 championship is their third major championship title in one month.
Signature style: EHOME have had some spectacular moments in recent months with stand out performances by every member of the team. However, Chen “Cty” Tianyu is probably the most influential and consistent play maker in their games.
Chen “Cty” Tianyu
Wang “old chicken” Zhiyong
Ren “eLeVeN” Yangwei
Hu “KaKa” Liangzhi
Zhang “LaNm” Zhicheng
With a commendable 6th place finish at TI5, MVP.Phoenix won the hearts and respect 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 even a 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 at WCA 2015. They were able to emerge from the Shanghai Major SEA Open Qualifiers with a second place finish in the Regional Qualifiers, and thus a spot in the Shanghai Major.
With clearly better results lately, their participation in various events has been minimal compared to their opponents. They have had a relatively quiet and low key presence lately.
Signature style: MVP.Phoenix tend to start out aggressively and choose heroes that are current and in the meta. Usually, they have a roaming support giving them gank potential and vision.
Kim “Febby” Yong-min
Kim “QO” Seon-yeob
Lee “FoREV” Sang-don
Pyo “MP” No-a
Kim “Dubu” Dooyoung
Team Secret (direct invite)
Team Secret received their direct invite after 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.
Lately, the team has had some inconsistent results and performances. Originally being chalked up to adjusting to strategies and metas, their overall achievements have remained a series of disappointments.
Team Secret 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.
Signature style: Captain Clement “Puppey” Ivanov has the leadership and the strategic sense to lead his team to glory. Individual talent and versatility create a devastating mix for any opponent to overcome.
Team Secret roster:
Clement “Puppey” Ivanov
Omar “w33haa” Aliwi
Rasmus “MiSeRy” Filipsen
Jacky “Eternal Envy” Mao
Johan “pieliedie” Åström
Shanghai Dota Major – Group B
Alliance (direct invite)
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, bidding welcome to former teammate and longtime friend, Jerry “EGM” Lundkvist, that they began to surge forward again.
The Swedish team qualified for the Frankfurt Major, where they placed 9th overall. They then seized 4th place at DreamLeague Season 4, went undefeated in their StarLadder iLeague StarSeries group stage, and topped their group in The Defense 5, leading to a third place at the LAN finals.
Then, Alliance proved they were back indeed. When the WCA 2015 Grand Finals concluded, Alliance took their first championship title in one year and a half. The Swedes bested LGD Gaming in the best-of-five Grand Finals to place their mark on the international scene once again.
Signature style: “Rat” Dota has come to be associated with Alliance’s play-style. Their specialty is to split push and put pressure on all towers. Their most favored hero selection to accomplish their goals consists of new meta favorites, which gives them an advantage.
Gustav “s4” Magnusson
Jonathan “Loda” Berg
Joakim “Akke” Akterhall
Henrik “AdmiralBulldog” Ahnberg
Jerry “EGM” Lundkvist
Fnatic still have a lot to prove and a lot of ground to gain after releasing German carry player Dominik “Black^” Reitmeier unexpectedly in December.
They continue to struggle in finding their groove in LANs and even in minor tournaments. Their newest member, Zheng “Miduan” Yeik Nai, is new to the professional scene and is still adjusting to the intensity of the competitive scene.
Signature style: Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung is versatile not only in hero pool but in role, as well, but those features have not necessarily transferred over to their drafting as of yet. They are good at picking off heroes, waiting for opportunities to gank, and helping their new mid player Zheng “Miduan” Yeik Nai get setup, or make space for him.
Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung
Chong “Ohaiyo” Xin Khoo
Djardel “DJ” Mampusti
Zheng “Miduan” Yeik Nai
Wai Pern “Net” Lim
Team Spirit (qualified)
It wasn’t until they qualified for the Shanghai Major and started appearing in premier tournaments that they really gained traction on their fan base and acknowledgement of their potential. They were able to qualify for the MDL Winter 2015 LAN in China, where they eventually placed 9th-10th and took 7th-12th place in the Starladder iLeague playoffs LAN.
Biggest strength: Being able to play offensively well, they can also play defensively with equal skill. The ability to balance and juggle both styles makes them unforeseeable in any situation they encounter.
Signature style: The team tends to like early game dominance and favors heavy team fights. Artur “Goblak” Kostenko is well known for his drafting capabilities and being able to switch his strategies mid draft based on his opponents’ direction.
Team Spirit roster:
Roman “Ramzes” Kushnarev
Bogdan “Iceberg” Vasilenko
Andrey “ALWAYSWANNAFLY” Bondarenko
Artur “Goblak” Kostenko
Vasily “AfterLife” Shishkin
ViCi Gaming (direct invite)
When ViCi Gaming failed to advance into 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.
Their new roster made a late debut, only showing the first time at the Nanyang Championships LAN – where they managed to come in second. They followed suit with a 6th place finish at the Frankfurt Major. They took 3rd at The Summit 4 and in the Dota 2 Radiant & Dire Cup 2015, 3rd-4th at the Shanghai Dota 2 Open and a slightly less than expected 5th-6th place at the MDL Winter 2015.
Signature style: Xu “BurNIng” Zhilei and Xie “Super” Junhao are ViCi Gaming’s two most aggressive players. They have a tendency to change the course of any match and surprise everyone, striking out from behind. They are able to adapt quickly to new patches, opponents and unique strategies.
ViCi Gaming roster:
Xu “BurNIng” Zhilei
Xie “Super” Junhao
Daryl “iceiceice” Koh
Lu “Fenrir” Chao
Xu “fy” Linsen
Shanghai Dota Major – Group C
LGD Gaming (direct invite)
Despite an incredible third place result at The International 5, the team was still subject to significant roster changes. EHOME’s captain, Fan “rOtk” Bai and player Liang “DDC” Faming both joined LGD Gaming, while Zhang “xiao8” Ning and Yao “Yao” Zhengzheng stepped back from the active roster.
It took some time for the new roster to gel together and find their niche. Starting with a few lackluster performances, they took seventh place at the MLG World Finals and eighth at the Frankfurt Major.
However, the team picked up their momentum and seized second place at the WCA 2015 with very well executed strategies and stellar performances. They were quick to follow up with an impressive 3rd-4th place finish at the StarLadder iLeague LAN.
Signature style: Liu “Sylar” Jiajun tends to be able to outfarm opponents bringing his heroes to the forefront and often becoming an unstoppable beast. They seem to focus on creating the space that Sylar needs and extending the game into the time frame that will give them their peak performance. Unlike many other teams, LGD are able to play patiently and restrain themselves from playing defensively into enemy hands, maintaining control of the game and momentum.
LGD Gaming roster:
Liu “Sylar” Jiajun
Lu “Maybe” Yao
Liang “DDC” Faming
Bai “rOtk” Fan
Lei “MMY!” Zengrong
Despite being The International 4 championship team, this “Dream Team” struggled to maintain a presence and results following the event. Stability became a factor and the team suffered from it. Besides a sub-par performance at TI5, the team then had an equally lackluster performance for the Frankfurt Major, taking 15th place.
Then, in a surprising move, Wong “ChuaN” Hock transferred to Newbee in time for the Shanghai Major, in December 2015.
With the addition of one of the most popular and talented Dota 2 players, the team started to make strides in their performances, seizing 2nd place at the Shanghai Dota 2 Open, qualifying for the Shanghai Major and MDL Dota 2 Winter event, where they eventually took a commendable 5th-6th place finish.
Signature style: The team is known for engaging in early ganking and being aggressive. Wong “ChuaN” Hock is well known for his aggressive support style, applying a lot of pressure all over the map and farming quickly. They excel at the high risk – high reward play-style.
Chen “Hao” Zhihao
Zhang Mu Pan
Meng “Xiao2le” Lei
Wong “ChuaN” Hock
Zhang “le” Xuanhao
OG (direct invite)
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.
Team OG proved to the world that their dramatic victory at the Major was not just a fluke of luck. They once again proved their merit when they obliterated Team Empire, 3:0, in the DreamLeague Season 4 grand finals. They cinched their second consecutive LAN in a matter of a week.
During the season so far, the team has taken a commendable 3rd-4th place at the MLG World Finals and 2nd at the Defense #5. They rounded out the winter major season with 4th at the Summit 4 and an impressive 3rd place at MDL Winter 2015.
Signature style: Tal “Fly” Aizik’s drafting is considered genius by many. His strategic planning and unique drafts are complimented by the team’s versatility and large hero pool, which gives them a broad range of choices and approaches. This European squad favors team fights due to their incredible synergy, communication and coordination.
Johan “BigDaddy” Sundstein
Tal “Fly” Aizik
David “MoonMeander” Tan
Andreas “Cr1t-“ Franck Nielsen
Amer “Miracle-“ Barqawi
Team Archon (qualified)
Team Archon had an impressive run in the Shanghai Major Americas qualifiers. After an incredibly intense and long series, Team Archon were able to prevail over Digital Chaos, 2:1. The deciding game of the series took almost one hour and was a complete roller-coaster of leads. An epic base race closed out the game, with Team Archon closing the deal first.
Brian “FLUFFNSTUFF” Lee and Jio “Jeyo” Madayag reinstated team FIRE just prior to the roster lock deadline and then quickly swept compLexity Gaming, 3:0, in the ESL One New York Americas qualifiers’ grand finals.
Team Archon picked up FIRE on the eve of ESL One New York, October 3rd. The team’s impressive qualification for the event had been rewarded with a new sponsorship, adding to the hype of their first LAN together as a squad.
The team placed 6th at the event and continued to yield similar placement results following – 8th in Dota 2 Canada Cup, 4th in ProDota Cup, 2nd in BTS Americas.
Signature style: Team Archon seem to be focused on their mid game often. Starting out more passive and quiet, they usually turn into a full team push mid game.
Team Archon roster:
David “Moo” Hull
Brian “FLUFFNSTUFF” Lee
Bryant “Whitebeard” Lehwald
Jio “Jeyo” Madayag
Jaron “monkeys-forever” Clinton
Shanghai Dota Major – Group D
compLexity Gaming (qualified)
After coming in a commendable 11th place at The International 5, compLexity Gaming suffered roster changes. The team had a series of stand-ins and try-outs to replace both Tal “Fly” Aizik and David “MoonMeander” Tan, both whom parted ways with the team following The International to form OG.
Following a rather lackluster start to the fall season and their failure to qualify for the Frankfurt Major, the team underwent further roster changes, 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.
The mixed European and American roster seems to have reignited an old chemistry that has been nothing less than outstanding. The bonds of brotherhood and the past experience of playing together in StayGreen give this team the advantage in cohesion and synergy.
Their premier tournament participation has yielded finishes around the 7th-12th place marks, however they continue to dominate, taking first place in the Dota 2 Canada Cup and clinching the only Americas spot for the ESL One Manila event.
Signature style: This team has a lot of flexibility in both drafting and hero assignments, making it difficult at times for opponents to read the strategy. Although their early game may come across as weak, compLexity Gaming seems to thrive on pressure and high intensity situations. They are able to funnel the intensity into energy and never give up. Led by the dynamic Kyle “swindlemelonzz” Freedman, the team seems to gain momentum easily. Zakari “Zfreek” Freedman is able to create a lot of time and space for the team to gain their needed levels and farm.
compLexity Gaming roster:
Kyle “swindlemelonzz” Freedman
Zakari “Zfreek” Freedman
Rasmus “Chessie” Blomdin
Linus “Limmp” Blomdin
Simon “Handsken” Haag
Evil Geniuses (direct invite)
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.
Despite the fact that they started off 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 and third at the Frankfurt Major.
Ending the year, Evil Geniuses defeated Virtus.Pro in a decisive game five of the Summit 4 Grand Finals, 3:2. The Summit 4 was EG’s fourth championship title last year, bringing their 2015 tournament winnings close to 8.7 million dollars.
They since have taken 2nd place in StarLadder iLeague and MDL Winter 2015, as well as taking their first championship title of 2016 when they out-drafted and outplayed Vega, 3:1, in Captains Draft 3.0.
Signature style: Under the guidance of Peter “ppd” Dager, EG are able to adapt quickly and prepare for their opponents effectively. The team tends to farm aggressively and seems to always have their needed items quickly. Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora often creates the much needed space and setups in team fights that are needed for the team to excel and showcase their incredible individual talent and skills.
Clinton “Fear” Loomis
Syed Sumail “Suma1L” Hassan
Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora
Peter “ppd” Dager
Artour “Arteezy” Babaev
Team Liquid (qualified)
To many fans’ surprise and disappointment, Team Liquid was denied a direct invite. However, they easily took the European Qualifier spot and found their way to the main event anyway.
This European mix immediately demanded attention and respect 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.
Although they missed out on the Frankfurt Major, they took an impressive 4th place at the Nanyang Championships LAN, seized the championship titles in D2CL Season 6 and in The Defense 5, back to back, took fifth place at The Summit 4, grabbed third place at the WCA 2015 LAN, and placed 3rd-4th at StarLadder iLeague.
Signature style: Liquid are able to create unique strategies around their hero pool and find ways to incorporate at least one or two of their signature heroes into matches to grab the victory. While the team tends to go for fast pushes, their dominating presence in the mid lane forces opponents to focus their energy there, while freeing up the space needed for the rest of the team to push and farm.
Team Liquid roster:
Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi
Adrian “FATA-“ Trinks
Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka
Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen
Ivan “MinD_ContRoL” Borislavov
Virtus.Pro (direct invite)
Although they came in a commendable 5th-6th place at last year’s International championship and walked away with close to 1.2 million dollars, they struggled after that to find acceptable results moving forward.
On December 2nd, Virtus.Pro replaced Ilya “Illidan” Pivcaev with Airat “Silent” Gaziev.
The strategy and the new chemistry seemed to have worked for the team for some time. Immediately following the changes, the CIS squad took the second place finish at The Summit 4 and the championship title at the D2CL Christmas Charity Magic tournament.
Lately, they have slipped back, claiming 7th-12th place at StarLadder iLeague and 7th-8th place in Captains Draft.
Signature style: Artsiom “fng” Barshack’s strong drafting and aggressive tendencies are decisive for team victories. The team favors high aggression starting early game and focuses on team fights. They work fast and hard to shut down opponents early and even break high ground quickly.
Airat “Silent” Gaziev
Sergey “God” Bragin
Alexander “DkPhobos” Kucheria
Artem “fng” Barshak
Ilya “Lil” Ilyuk
Shanghai Dota Major prize-pool distribution
Shanghai Dota Major talent
Shanghai Dota Major tickets
Unlike for the Frankfurt Major, in which tickets to the main event were open to the public and did not require a ticket for any day except for the day of the finals, the Shanghai Major will be charging admission for all of the main event days.
A variety of tickets are available, ranging from single day purchases starting at $15 (¥99) to VIP seats with access to all days and a gift package for $150 (¥999).
- Single day ticket for March 2d, 3rd or 4th – $15 (¥99)
- Single day ticket for March 5th or 6th -$25 (¥169)
- General Admission Pack (access for all days)- $75 (¥499)
- VIP Pass (access for all days)- $150 (¥999)