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    Dota 2 – 5 Questions DAC could answer

    Image by Valve on Flickr

    Back in 2015, DAC was a huge tournament. It was crowdfunded, and it was the first time a TI-like event was hosted outside of the TI cycle. Now with the Major system in place, DAC, despite its prizepool of over 500k USD, doesn’t feel as big anymore.

    It’s still important enough for Valve to push their Kiev Major dates for teams to attend, despite playing the Major just two weeks after. 9/12 of the attending teams are also competing in Kiev, and since PGL will produce both events, in many ways DAC could be a little bit of a rehearsal for both teams and the production.

    Will wings shape up in time for Kiev?

    TI6 champion wings.gaming shook up the Dota world in 2016. Out of the sheer blue, the 5 players came and conquered. Their victory at ESL One Manila seemed to be a fluke when they fell down to last place at the Manila Major, but a victory at The Summit 5 paved the way for the Chinese squad to take TI. It seemed as if their streak continued as the team managed to win two more LANs right after TI, but ever since then wings have been unable to take off. They followed their bottom 8 finish at Boston with mediocre results and performances at both ESL One Genting and StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3. Even online, wings don’t seem to fare as well against the other Chinese teams as they used to, and it begs the question which kind of wings to expect in the coming weeks.

    DAC’s format (bo2 round-robin groups into double elim playoffs) allow wings to play a variety of opponents, something that will work very much in favor of the team, which has proven to be full of various strategies and drafts.

    Will the EG/OG dominance continue or is there another challenger?

    Image by Valve on Flickr

    Boston Major champion OG and North-American powerhouse EG are the two top favorites going into this event. There’s a bit of a rivalry between the two teams, with OG eliminating EG in Boston and EG returning the favor by winning the Dota Pit title against them a few weeks later, the first LAN event where they were able to beat OG.

    DAC will be the 2nd LAN since Boston where both teams will play against one another, and it will be the last time for them to measure their respective strengths before things heat up for Kiev.

    As this rivalry develops, other teams will be hard pressed to shake things up and force themselves between these two teams. VG.J eliminated OG at StarLadder, but as long as these results remain the exception, OG and EG will remain favorites. For EG especially, playing against Chinese teams has mostly ended well for them, so it seems unlikely that any of the Chinese teams will pose a threat to the North-Americans.

    The one team that looks to reclaim a top 3 position in the world is Team Liquid, who were a dominating force from the Shanghai Major onwards, up until their mediocre TI performance. They too have a rivalry with OG, one that runs a bit deeper and is more personal since the two teams traded players last summer.

    DAC will be a chance for teams to establish themselves as favorites for Kiev. Liquid, Newbee and VG.J seem like the most suitable candidates to seize this opportunity, but teams like iG or iG.V have demonstrated online that they are worth considering as well.

    Is the 7.03/4 meta going to be substantially different than 7.00-7.02?

    Roughly a month before the Kiev Major, Valve has released two balance tweaks. 7.03 and 7.04 address many of the popular and successful heroes and have also implemented Monkey King into Captain’s Mode, adding another viable hero to the already broad hero pool. Even without balance changes, we would’ve likely seen different picks and strategies, but these changes have of course sped up the process. There is a definite trend towards newer hero picks, such as Abaddon, Magnus and Troll Warlord.

    LAN events always have a meta of their own, and so it seems likely that anything we’ve seen until this point will be shaken up a bit. The meta at DAC will be a good indicator of what kind of Dota to expect from the Kiev Major. Heroes who have become the best in their roles may not be as relevant anymore in a week’s time, but that just paves the way for new heroes to emerge in the meta.

    Has Perfect World learned their Shanghai Major lesson?

    The Shanghai Major was the 2nd Major in Dota 2 history, but while every other Major will largely be remembered for its competition, the Shanghai Major will likely be remembered for anything but.

    In the history of Esports, one would be hardpressed to find many premier events that fired their host after just a few days. In February of last year, it seemed like Valve didn’t hesitate to let go James ‘2GD’ Harding after controversial remarks. Alongside Harding, Valve also let go of the English production team, KeyTV. The English broadcast was plagued with lags, delays and other issues, ranging from simple overlay mistakes to severe audio issues.

    Many believe that the poorly run event resulted in the lack of a Chinese Major this year, and bringing back DAC fills that void. The first DAC was a great event after all, at least from a viewer’s perspective.

    Perfect World seems to have taken steps into the right direction to ensure the quality of the event. PGL will be in charge of the English broadcast, though that will be the extent of their involvement. They will not be in charge of stage production, hospitality, and other things, all of which have also been subject of criticism during the Shanghai Major.

    Depending on how well DAC will be run, there could be another Shanghai Major next year. Most importantly, however, Perfect World would be able to recover from a horrible reputation that they currently hold in the Western community, even if it’s just by a little bit.

    Did China deserve 5 spots for Kiev?

    Out of the 16 teams attending the Kiev Major, 5 will be Chinese. The community has been debating whether or not China deserved the amount of spots they did, especially with poor performances at the Boston Major, which saw only one Chinese team in the top 8, and none in the top 6.

    Historically, Chinese teams have rarely done well in the few months after TI and usually started shaping up after Chinese New Year. In fact, it was DAC 2015 that displayed some of the worst Chinese performances and results on LAN, with devastating placements for many established teams, some of which were done up even by the then “retired” stack of pros, aka Big God.

    DAC 2017, being a Chinese event after all, also consists largely of Chinese teams, with two direct invites and three qualifier spots. 4 of these teams will also play in Kiev, while LFY failed to qualify. These 4 teams will be poised to prove the rest of the world that they are no pushovers and that the Chinese scene is strong enough to field these many top contenders.

    One of these contenders is iG. The organization that took home the TI2 title has been absent from the international scene for a while, as they struggled to find a roster that could compete with the best. This current roster around veteran BurNing has been doing very well in China, and in national competitions, iG usually places among the top spots. Their last international performance however, during Dota Pit Season 5, was rather lackluster. A strong performance allowed them to edge out Secret and they held their own against OG, but it still felt like the team had more to show. DAC may be the time for them to do so.

    The next week will hopefully provide fans across the world with a lot of entertaining Dota, but even more so it will hopefully answer these questions going into the Kiev Major.

    As seen on Dotabuff

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