The Shanghai Major invites, both direct and regional, have been revealed by Valve, in partnership with Perfect World. Sixteen teams – eight directly invited and eight qualified ones – will travel to Shanghai to compete for a $3 million prize-pool in this winter’s Dota Major.
The Shanghai Major will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, between March 2-6, and will be organized by Valve and Perfect World. Sixteen teams will compete over six days in a double elimination tournament, using the same format as The International 5 main event and the Frankfurt Major.
According to Valve, the Shanghai Major will feature eight directly invited teams and eight teams coming from the Regional Qualifiers. A total of 40 teams will be competing in the Regional Qualifiers next week, with eight slots reserved to the winners of the Open Qualifiers that are set to start on Sunday, January 3rd.
True to intention, the Dota 2 Majors are creating a sense of consistency among the four Valve-sponsored event. From the direct and regional invites announcement timing and format, through the regional and open qualifier process, until the main event structure and production, the events provide a sense of structure and stability.
It also appears that the Dota 2 Majors are indeed putting emphasis on the LAN tournament results during the season leading to the next Major.
Six of the eight Shanghai Major Direct Invite teams were also directly invited to The Frankfurt Major. OG and Alliance have replaced LGD Gaming and Vega Squadron this time around.
Alliance have just taken first place at WCA 2015, while LGD have only taken second at WCA, after the Frankfurt Major, and Vega have struggled to secure consistent top results since ESL New York.
The eight teams that have received direct invites to the Frankfurt Dota Major:
- 1. OG
- 2. Team Secret
- 3. Evil Geniuses
- 4. EHOME
- 5. ViCi Gaming
- 6. CDEC
- 7. Virtus.Pro
- 8. Alliance
Forty teams will participate in the 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. In addition, Open Qualifiers will be held for all regions. The winners from the four Open Qualifiers will earn the 9th and 10th spots of 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 double elimination bracket.
The winner and runner-up of each region will receive Shanghai Major invites.
The Shanghai Major invites for the European Qualifiers (January 7-10):
- Fantastic Five
- Team Empire
- Natus Vincere
- Team Spirit
- Vega Gaming
- Team Liquid
- Hell Raisers
The Shanghai Major invites for the Americas Qualifiers (January 7-10):
- Digital Chaos
- Power of Friendship
- Void Boys
- Elite Wolves
The Shanghai Major invites for the Chinese Qualifiers (January 7-10):
- Wings Gaming
- Invictus Gaming
- LGD Gaming
The Shanghai Major invites for the SEA Qualifiers (January 7-10):
- Signature Trust
- First Departure
Shanghai Major invites: Direct invites
1. OG (Shanghai Major invites – direct invite, European region)
Only formed at the end of August, Team OG have already secured two consecutive LAN championship titles, including the championship title for the first Dota Major, in Frankfurt. Team OG 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 Frankfurt Major.
After the Major, Team OG proved their worth once again, by clearing through Team Empire, 3:0, in the DreamLeague Season 4 grand finals. They had cinched their second consecutive LAN.
During the season so far, the team has taken a commendable 3rd-4th place at the MLG World Finals and second at the Defense #5. The team took 4th at The Summit 4, most recently.
Guided by the need for transparency in the decision-making process and balanced with increased attention to the players’ rights, OG strives to be something more than a mere team. They reach for perfection and unity in their passion for gaming.
Team OG roster:
Johan “BigDaddy” Sundstein
Tal “Fly” Aizik
David “MoonMeander” Tan
Andreas “Cr1t-“ Franck Nielsen
Amer “Miracle-“ Barqawi
2. Team Secret (Shanghai Major invites – direct invite, European region)
After a disappointing eighth place finish at TI5, Team Secret announced a completely revamped roster on August 22nd. Clement “Puppey” Ivanov is the only original member remaining on the roster.
The team made their LAN debut in the fall season at ESL One New York, where they placed second, after being overpowered by Vega Squadron, 1:2, in the Grand Finals.
Team Secret roster:
Clement “Puppey” Ivanov
Omar “w33haa” Aliwi
Rasmus “MiSeRy” Filipsen
Jacky “Eternal Envy” Mao
Johan “pieliedie” Åström
3. Evil Geniuses (Shanghai Major invites – direct invite, American region)
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.
During the fall season, Evil Geniuses competed in three LAN events following their accomplishment in Seattle.
Evil Geniuses started off the fall season on the wrong foot, being eliminated in the very first round of the ESL One New York, their first official tournament of this fall.
They went on to take second place at the MLG World Finals and third at the Frankfurt Major.
Their first place finish at The Summit 4 gave the team bragging rights to be the first team to win the event twice.
Under the guidance of Peter “ppd” Dager, EG are able to adapt quickly and prepare for their opponents effectively.
Evil Geniuses roster:
Clinton “Fear” Loomis
Syed Sumail “Suma1L” Hassan
Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora
Peter “ppd” Dager
Artour “Arteezy” Babaev
4. EHOME (Shanghai Major invites – direct invite, Chinese region)
Although EHOME is one of the oldest Dota 2 organizations in China, their inconsistent rosters have created difficulties. 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 fall 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.
They took third at the Nanyang Championships LAN and fourth at the Frankfurt Major – both performances indicative of their blossoming future and the possibilities for championship titles that is brewing under the surface.
With a minor set back, taking sixth at The Summit 4, EHOME made an impressive comeback to seize the championship title at the Dota 2 Radiant & Dire Cup 2015 LAN.
Chen “Cty” Tianyu
Wang “old chicken” Zhiyong
Ren “eLeVeN” Yangwei
Hu “KaKa” Liangzhi
Zhang “LaNm” Zhicheng
5. ViCi Gaming (Shanghai Major invites – direct invite, Chinese region)
With some of the most exceptionally talented players, ViCi Gaming’s recipe for success has been set. When ViCi Gaming have 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. They followed suit with a 6th place at the Frankfurt Major.
The Chinese team always seems to have a way to change the course of a story and surprise the audience and their opponents, striking out from behind.
Xu “BurNIng” Zhilei’s and Xie “Super” Junhao are ViCi Gaming’s two most aggressive players.
ViCi Gaming roster:
Xu “BurNIng” Zhilei
Xie “Super” Junhao
Daryl “iceiceice” Koh
Lu “Fenrir” Chao
Xu “fy” Linsen
6. CDEC (Shanghai Major invites – direct invite, Chinese region)
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.
Since then, the roster remained intact and, although they seem to have slipped a bit from their former heights, they placed third at ESL One New York and fourth at the MLG World Finals.
They continued on placing fifth-sixth in the next four major tournaments, including sixth at the Nanyang Championships LAN, fifth at the Frankfurt Majors, sixth at WCA 2015 and fifth at Dire & Radiant Cup.
The team continues to display aggression, solid team cohesion and unyielding effort. There should be little to no problem for the Chinese sweethearts to advance into the playoffs.
Sun “Agressif” Zheng
Huang “Shiki” Jiwei
Chen “Xz” Zezhi
Liu “Garder” Xinzhou
Fu “Q” Bin
7. Virtus.Pro (Shanghai Major invites – direct invite, European region)
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 premium 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, but have appeared to struggle obtaining top placements.
On December 2nd, Virtus.Pro replaced Ilya “Illidan” Pivcaev with Airat “Silent” Gaziev, most recently of Team Empire. The change was made in the hopes to give VP the push they need to take a few more steps forward.
The strategy and the new chemistry seems to have worked for the team. Since then, the CIS squad has taken hold of the second place finish at The Summit 4 and the championship title at the D2CL Christmas Charity Magic tournament.
Artsiom “fng” Barshack’s strong drafting and aggressive tendencies were decisive for the CIS team during the fall season.
Airat “Silent” Gaziev
Sergey “God” Bragin
Alexander “DkPhobos” Kucheria
Artem “fng” Barshak
Ilya “Lil” Ilyuk
8. Alliance (Shanghai Major invites – direct invite, European region)
Alliance recreated the lineup which brought them the Aegis of Champions at The International 3, by bidding welcome to former teammate and longtime friend, Jerry “EGM” Lundkvist.
Alliace qualified for the Frankfurt Major, where they placed 9th overall. They then seized 4th place at DreamLeague Season 4, went undefeated in their StarLadder i-League 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 indedd. When the WCA 2015 Grand Finals concluded, Alliance took their first championship title in one year and a half. The Swedish team bested LGD Gaming in the best-of-five Grand Finals to place their mark on the international scene once again.
The team is looking for their former glory days of International fame and domination with the new roster.
Gustav “s4” Magnusson
Jonathan “Loda” Berg
Joakim “Akke” Akterhall
Henrik “AdmiralBulldog” Ahnberg
Jerry “EGM” Lundkvist
The second Dota 2 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.
Perfect World and MarsTV had partnered up to organize The Dota 2 Asia Championships (DAC) in January-February 2015, known to some as “The International of the East”. The tournament was set up to be very similar to The International. The starting prize fund was set at $250,000 USD, but through crowdfunding of compendium sales, the prize-pool reached $3,057,519.
Perfect World also hosted the The International 5 Chinese qualifiers.
Dota 2 Majors
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.
Over the last five years, The International has become the pinnacle moment for the world of professional Dota. Now the excitement of the biggest event in esports is coming to the Majors, a series of seasonal marquee tournaments, which will take place throughout the year and around the globe. Dota’s newest tradition begins this fall with the Frankfurt Major.
The first Dota Major was 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 competed for a total prize-pool of $3,000,000, with ESL Gaming in charge of production. OG made history when they took the championship title, becoming the first qualified team to clinch a Valve-sponsored championship title.
Featured image courtesy of ESL Gaming