The Major cancellation was really sad news. Not only did it mean that, once again, Dota is left without a LAN tournament for a prolonged period of time, but it also meant that the International qualification process would theoretically lose some of its integrity. Valve were quick to respond with regional finals to replace the Major and a pre-TI LAN into a 20-team The International later this year. This addresses most spectator concerns in regards to the DPC Tour One, but spectators are only half of what makes Dota the best esports. The second half, the teams themselves? Some of them are probably happy the Major got cancelled.
Western Europe: Team Secret
Team Secret are, without a doubt, the biggest winner of the Major cancellation in the WEU region. They were under no threat of relegation, but a top6 placement in an 8-team regional league is far from what is expected from a TI 3rd place finisher.
With the roster as stacked as Team Secret’s, the only thing they need is time: losing Zai and MATUMBAMAN was a heavy blow, but both Sumail and Iceiceice are definitely on par skill and consistency-wise. On top of it, Puppey is well-known for being one of the better strategists and captains in the scene and this might give the squad an edge in the next tour on a new patch.
Eastern Europe: Virtus.Pro and CIS Rejects
Two teams and nine current or ex-Virtus.Pro players are definitely happy about the absence of Major this winter. The current Virtus.Pro roster started to find its footing only three or four weeks into the Tour: over the course of six play weeks, they went from a team that would lose to HellRaiser to a team that would 2:0 them in under an hour. It is more or less safe to assume that Virtus.Pro is back as one of the CIS powerhouses and, with a patch before the next tour that will level the playing field a little bit, it wouldn’t surprise us if they even made Team Spirit work for it.
Speaking of new patches: one notable CIS captain finally returned home and has led a squad of legends to the division two victory. The path certainly wasn’t easy, but a last-minute roster isn’t expected to start doing well straight away and might do significantly better once the game rules change. CIS historically lacks leadership and strong captains are going to be in high demand in the region next tour. CIS Rejects already have one of the best captains in fng, giving them a headstart this Spring.
China: Xtreme Gaming
Paparazi wasn’t about to miss a Major appearance, so he made sure that there is no Major. The best mid player in China and possibly the world is finally back to playing the central lane with a squad that had slightly more trouble getting out of Division Two than we expected, but made it to Division One nonetheless. Perhaps next Tour they will take the game a little bit more seriously.
Truth be told, Paparazi/Eurus had a disastrous last year and the Elephant superstar squad never took off. This evidently made him and Somnus/Maybe very hungry and we can’t wait to see the clash between them next Tour.
Southeast Asia: Neon Esports
The current Neon roster is the most inconsistent roster in the whole DPC. One day they can win a Bo5 against RNG, the next they lose to the new TNC Roster, who were already relegated to Division Two. They are inconsistent, but they are also undoubtedly the team with one of the highest potentials when they are at their best.
With Chuan taking over the role of coach, we expected great things from Neon in time. It could be a very risky bet, for sure, but the raw talent exuded from every single player is awe-inspiring. If this energy gets tamed and tapped into, without losing its chaotic nature, we might get a very fierce and very unpredictable competitor next Major.
North America: Evil Geniuses
EG wouldn’t make it to the first Major, if there was a Major. There are two possible ways to think about the situation: either Evil Geniuses are now weaker than they were, which, in our opinion, is quite unlikely given how they managed to get Jerax as their position five. Or the level of competition in North America is rising, which is both plausible and pleasant.
Undying and Quincy Crew are a force to be reckoned with and would probably be very successful on the international stage as well. They are possibly the biggest victims of the Major Cancellation disaster. Evil Geniuses, on the other hand, should be celebrating, since they are on more or less an equal footing with their compatriots come Spring Tour. With only two Major slots for NA, the competition in the region is going to be fierce.
South America: Beastcoast
Beastcoast were the most successful SA team last TI and is still one of the biggest names in the SA scene. Them losing to SG esports after the no-Major news came to light could be a result of losing motivation and the desire to compete: with almost nothing at stake, what was the point of playing?
That said, while Beastcoast did get a second chance to stay on par with Thunder Predator, Infamous and APU, they will really need to up their game next Tour if they want to fully utilize it. We can blame lack of morale for Beastcoast losses in the later portions of the Tour, but it doesn’t look good when the team that once put SA on the Dota Map is not taking the game seriously.