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    Dota 2 – MDL Chengdu Major Team Previews

    Image by @MarsMedia

    The first major tournament is finally happening and we’re taking a closer look at all the teams participating and their odds of winning it all. The winner is pretty much guaranteed a spot at TI10 with the amount of points they’re going to win.

    Which region will show up? Which player will dominate? Which hero will be deemed overpowered? And most importantly, which team will win it all?

    EHOME13.00 odds

  • vtFαded
  • 897
  • Faith_bian
  • XinQ
  • y`
  • One of the most recognized organizations coming out of China, this team has been missing from major tournaments in the past few years. The last major tournament they played in was Starladder Minor Season 2 where they failed to survive the group stage. That was a different team though and they’ve since changed their cores and are off to a great start this season by playing in the first major.

    This team features legendary Wings players, Faith Bian and y. y was the captain of the legendary Wings squad and Faith Bian was the offlaner who some hailed as the number 1 Dota 2 player during their reign. The team’s fall from the top is one of the saddest stories in Dota 2 history but these two players are back at a major tournament.

    At 13.00 odds, Unikrn puts this team in tier 2 of teams at this tournament. This team isn’t a safe bet because this group of players haven’t proven themselves on the big stage. Faith_Bian and y have proven themselves and may have to show the world that they shouldn’t have been forgotten by winning it all.

    INVICTUS GAMING19.00 odds

  • flyfly
  • Emo
  • JT
  • kaka
  • Oli~
  • This team won the Dota Summit 11 and only lost one game during the entire tournament. It was a pretty dominant run and they clearly proved they were the best team there.

    This is a team that didn’t even make the playoffs during the Chinese qualifiers for MDL Chengdu.

    Their mid player, Emo, is becoming a breakout star. He’s only 18 years old and was perhaps the most impressive part of IG’s run during the Summit 11. His potential was known for a long time though, earning a shout out from Sumail in June 2018. Half was his old name.

    Kaka is a TI7 grand finalist from the iconic Newbee squad. He played incredibly during the Summit 11, running from lane to lane to secure kills and the lane for his team.

    Now at this tournament they’ll be facing the top talents from the world and not tier 2 teams like at the Minor.

    The last time a Chinese team won a Minor to make it to a Major was Vici Gaming. That team won StarLadder Season 1 which qualified them for DreamLeague season 11. They won that tournament and then became one of the top tier 1 teams in all of Dota for the rest of the season.

    Can IG pull this off? They have the potential to do so. Their talent is a little bit behind the top tier teams but they can certainly pull off some upsets which will be required if they want to make a deep run. This team seems like they can finish anywhere from last to first but Unikrn put them at 19.00 odds which is around the middle of the pack.

    Team Liquid23.00 odds

  • m1CKe
  • Qojqva
  • Boxi
  • Taiga
  • iNsania
  • This is not the Team Liquid you’re used to, this is a completely new squad. These five players were formerly known as Alliance in the last year and now they’ve switched organizations and are the new face of Team Liquid.

    Not much has changed from this squad other than the organization change and changing coaches from Loda to Blitz. They’re still the same five players.

    They’re not interested in replacing the old Team Liquid squad, they want to carve out their own name. So far that hasn’t been off to a great start.

    They were at the bottom of their groups during ESL One Hamburg 2019 and placed 4th at the 6 team tournament: DreamLeague Season 12.

    At TI9 they infamously were knocked out in the first round of the lower bracket after accidentally picking Gyrocopter when they meant to ban him. But just before TI9 they won it all at Dota Summit 10 but they were the only team going to TI9 at that tournament.

    At 23.00 odds this seems oddly appropriate. They’ve yet to prove themselves against top tier talent but have shown that they’re able to compete at the same tournament. This could be the tournament they break out and show out but they’re just as likely to blow out and be the first team eliminated. Expect a low to mid-level finish for this team.

    TNC Predator6.00 odds

  • Gabbi
  • Armel
  • kpii
  • TIMS
  • March
  • This is a new look from the TNC team that fans are used to. They’ve replaced KuKu and eyyou with Kpii and March and immediately found success. Fresh off their ESL One Hamburg 2019 tournament win, this team is ranked 3rd most likelly to win it all at 6.00 odds.

    The competition at ESL One Hamburg was strong but not the strongest. They beat Gambit Esports 3-2 in the grand finals, a series that could have gone either way.

    Gabbi and Armel are considered top tier cores and many analysts compliment their skill and talent level.

    Kpii is consistently a strong performer in any team he’s on. He’s a TI7 grand finalist for a reason.

    Tims is the longest tenured member of TNC, joining in 2016. They’ve stuck with him this entire time for a reason and often makes huge jaw dropping plays that you expect out of a position 4.

    March has had a tumultuous Dota 2 career. One of the few South Korean Dota 2 professionals, he’s had a long career before leaving to serve in the South Korean army. Since he’s been back in 2018, he’s been jumping around in North American teams but since joining TNC, he’s never lost in any tournament and won MVP for ESL One Hamburg 2019.

    Since TI9 where TNC finished 9-12th, this team hasn’t lost any LAN event with their new squad. They played in 4 events, 2 minor tournaments, 1 major tournament, and 1 qualifier. Is this team the real deal?

    Maybe the leadership of Kpii and March is what this team needed and so far the results have been number one. This tournament will be a true test of this team’s capabilities but if they can carry on their momentum then this tournament is theirs to lose.

    Alliance13.00 odds

  • Nikobaby
  • LIMMP
  • 33
  • Handsken
  • Fata
  • The latest iteration of the Alliance is a bunch of European talent banded together under the leadership of Dota 2 veteran Fata. Forming in October 2019, this team wasted no time in winning. The first LAN tournament they played in, DreamLeague Season 12, they won it all. At their next LAN, ESL One Hamburg 2019, they placed 3rd. Despite not playing together for a long time, they’ve gathered a ton of experience as a team.

    This is Fata’s first time captaining a team but after playing under the leadership of some of the top captains Dota 2 has ever seen, Fata is doing an excellent job. He’s played with Kuroky at Team Liquid, Puppey at Team Secret, and PPD at Ninjas in Pajamas.

    This team is loaded with European talent who before joining Alliance, were standout players with their old teams. Now playing together under an iconic Dota 2 organization and the leadership of Fata, they’re showing the world they’re next up for greatness. At 13.00 odds this team is in the 2nd tier of teams ranked at this tournament.

    Can they pull off some upsets? Perhaps it should be expected. Perhaps it shouldn’t. It’s hard to tell with this team and the level of competition at this tournament.

    J.Storm41.00 odds

  • Moo
  • Nine
  • controller player
  • KIM
  • Fear
  • J.Storm, the North American team that does not give up. This team hasn’t seen tremendous success in the past but they never stopped trying or disbanded. Their first LAN win was at WSOE 6: Dota 2 – Serenity’s Destiny, a private tournament by a 3rd party organizer.

    This team was founded in September 2018 and their first LAN win was in April 2019.

    This team features a sort of rag tag bunch of players who are making it work together.

    Moo is a 2nd place TI6 player who was known for playing offlane but is now the carry.

    Nine is a German player who saw some success on his former teams of Team Spirit and PENTA Sports. Now he’s the mid player for J.Storm.

    Brax is the offlane player and he’s been playing professionally since 2012 but his tournament results aren’t elite.

    MoOz is a Peruvian postion 4 player who used to be a player for Infamous.

    Fear is a legendary Dota 2 player and TI5 champion. He famously carried for EG but now is playing position 5 for J.Storm as his mechanical abilities has declined but his game knowledge keeps growing and growing and that plus his age makes him best suited for position 5 at this stage.

    At 41.00 odds, not much is expected from this team. Their talent level doesn’t stand out and Fear hasn’t shown any magic as a captain. This team hasn’t had deep runs in many tournaments but who knows, maybe this will be the one.

    Trivia fact: this team is Jeremy Lin’s team. This organization was also known as VGJ.Storm before they parted ways with Vici Gaming.

    Vici Gaming5.00 odds

  • Paparazi灬
  • Ori
  • Yang
  • Pyw
  • Dy
  • This team has a long history of success and deep runs at tournaments. They’re one of the top elite teams that always have a chance at winning it all at any tournament they play in because they’re so talented, have a great coach, and play well together as a team.

    They finished 5th-6th at TI9 and won 2 majors last DPC season at EPICENTER and DreamLeague Season 11.

    Their most recent outing was at ESL One Hamburg 2019 where they finished 5th-6th. They lost two series in a row during the main event. They were arguably the favorites to win it all that tournament.

    At 5.00 odds, this team is rated the 2nd most likely team to win it all. It makes sense considering the other teams participating and how much more successful Vici Gaming is compared to them.

    They have the talent and experience to win it all as they’ve done in the past. Pyw will have to fill some big shoes since he’s replacing Fade who was one of the breakout players in the past DPC season.

    Team. Spirit23.00 odds

  • iLTW
  • Ergon
  • Ghostik
  • Immersion
  • Misha
  • A new team but not a new organization. Team Spirit was founded in 2015 but hasn’t managed to make themselves a recognized name in the world of Dota.

    This squad was put together in September 2019 under the name “Positive Guys” and after qualifying for the MDL Chengdu Major tournament they were picked up by Team Spirit.

    At 23.00 odds, Unikrn thinks this team is more likely to win it all than teams like Fighting PandaS and J.Storm. While this team does have talented players, they haven’t proven themselves at all. Since playing together in September 2019, they finished 2nd at the Reshuffle Madness tournament, losing to Navi 3-2. That was a good run but the competition wasn’t fierce like it will be at MDL Chengdu.

    This team will have to pull out some impressive strategies and plays in order to upset the competition. Expect a finish in the low to mid area for this squad.

    Evil Geniuses4.50 odds

  • Arteezy
  • Abed
  • RAMZES666
  • Cr1t-
  • Fly
  • It is hard to tell whether Evil Geniuses won or lost in the aftermath of the post-TI shuffle. On one hand they’ve lost Sumail, who was an integral piece of their roster for the last several years. On the other, we feel like Ramzes and Abed are better suited to enable Arteezy and his playstyle and allow him to go absolute ham in his games on the back of an economic advantage he can create out of thin air.

    Perhaps considering Evil Geniuses the favorites of the tournament is a bit premature, but it is definitely the biggest name on stage at the first Major of the season and the roster does look good on paper. Their convincing run through the qualifiers bolsters this idea and with the amount of LAN experience and LAN Championship titles in mind, the 4.50 odds start to make a lot of sense.

    Evil Geniuses was and still is North America’s biggest hope and their incredibly multi-national squad can be off to a great start in this DPC season, especially considering the absence of the strongest contenders.

    Fnatic9.00 odds

  • 23savage
  • MooN
  • iceiceice
  • DJ
  • J
  • Fnatic is a team that is always close to the top, but rarely gets the elusive title. We also didn’t get to see them play against TNC during the SEA qualifiers, so it is incredibly hard to gauge their current strength.

    It is an incredibly strong team on paper: DJ, Jabz, Iceiceice and Moon are the veterans of Dota who were always among the best on their positions. That means that the 9.00 odds are more than justified.

    23Savage, however, is an unknown and it is going to be his first LAN of this caliber. Will the pressure get to him? Or, as it is frequently the case with the younger core players, the stage is going to fuel his prowess? We don’t know, but we know that Fnatic’s success will certainly depend on that.

    Team Aster13.00 odds

  • 烈烈风中丶
  • ChYuaN
  • Xxs
  • BoBoKa
  • Frisk
  • Ex-VG Fade has a lot to prove. He left his former team in a rather dramatic fashion, but now has a chance to make his strategies do the talking—with Sccc and Boboka on his team, there is certainly no lack of skill and play-making potential, so his ability as a captain will be tested in a somewhat controlled environment.

    Top it with a legendary coach, Mikasa, and you potentially get the next big Chinese team in the making. Team Aster shared the first place with Vici Gaming during the qualifiers, but didn’t get a chance to play against them, so there are still a lot of questions. Questions that will hopefully get answered during the tournament.

    Unikrn certainly believes in this new team, putting them on par with both Gambit and Alliance, and even ahead of Beastcoast.

    Unknown Team67.00 odds

  • BernaBerna
  • vacio
  • Greedo
  • wij
  • shccD
  • South America is one LAN win away from finally getting the respect it deserves. The current Beastcoast roster showed everyone at TI that SA is not to be trifled with and guess who they were training against? While Team Unknown is definitely not among the favorites of the tournament, we feel like they aren’t as clear of an outsider either.

    This team is also quite interesting in how it is assembled. Most conventional teams focus on getting older, more experienced supports and young, flashy cores, but Unknown is kind of an opposite of that. We rarely get to see truly unique teams on the big stage and team Unknown might be able to scratch that itch.

    Adroit41.00 odds

  • Natsumi-
  • Lelouch-
  • Bok
  • Xavius
  • mavis
  • The third SEA slot is a very young team with some rather old players. Both Boombacs and cml have been in the scene for a very long time, finding success in the local tournaments, but rarely getting outside of the SEA. Given the level of competition in the region and how, until recently, it was considered “weak” when it came to qualifier slot allocation, it is understandable and we feel like Adroit might be a lot better than all of us assume.

    Unikrn agrees with us, putting the team on par with J.Storm. Neither team is expected to win the tournament, but both of them have a real chance of getting into top8. They have some pretty tough competition during the group stage and might have trouble getting into the upper bracket, but long lower bracket runs is nothing new for the SEA.

    beastcoast21.00 odds

  • K1
  • C. smile <
  • Wisper
  • Gōjira
  • XstiNgerX
  • These odds are possibly the only ones we fully disagree with and can’t quite understand. Beastcoast was a team that got top8 in the International 2019. If we take former Liquid, Team Secret, PSG.LGD and OG out of the equation, since they are not attending the first Major, Beastcoast is one of the top 3 teams attending the tournament. Yet, they are valued below iG, Aster, and EHOME, who are all yet to prove themselves.

    Moreover, in the recent ESL One Beastcoast handily beat Fighting Pandas and managed to win their series with Vici Gaming. The latter was playing with a stand-in, certainly, but the core of the team was intact and it still crumbled under the pressure of the South American superstars.

    This can realistically be the first South American international LAN victory and perhaps it will finally end the under-appreciation of the region, which has essentially created the templates for farming on certain heroes that are now used ubiquitously.

    Fighting PandaS34.00 odds

  • EternaLEnVy
  • Bryle
  • MoonMeander
  • Sneyking
  • Aui_2000
  • Joined by a TI winner Aui_2000 and multiple Major winner Moonmeander, Envy finally gave up on trying to foster new talent and went for reliable players, hoping to secure some DPC points early in the season. And we have to be fair: in theory, this team does look good.

    It is also the return of Envy to the carry position, a very welcome one since Envy playing carry is always entertaining. Can the stability and experience of his teammates carry him to victory? The odds of it are probably around 50%.

    Gambit Esports13.00 odds

  • dream`
  • gpk~
  • Shachlo
  • king
  • Fng
  • The only team Gambit lost more than one game to in the ESL One was TNC, who took the first place in a brutal, full best of five. That means that Gambit, by all means, is a good team and objectively the best team in the CIS.

    We don’t know whether being the best in the CIS will amount to anything on the international stage and ever since the former Virtus.Pro disbanded the region looked like it is in a disarray. This same state of uncertainty is probably the biggest factor when it comes to Unikrn odds for the team: 13.00 is higher than Fnatic, TNC, Vici Gaming and Evil Geniuses and on par with Alliance, Aster and EHOME.

    Gambit won a bo3 vs. both Vici Gaming and Alliance during ESL One and could probably take on Fnatic as well, since we feel like it is weaker than TNC, but only time will tell. We are, however, pretty hopeful.



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