The Winter Major is almost here! It feels like the Frankfurt Major was ages ago – I’m looking forward to some top-caliber tournament play from my favorite teams.
Current Prize Pool: 3 Million Dollars
- Virtus Pro
- Evil Geniuses
- Vici Gaming
Format: Teams will play five best of three matches within their groups. The group stage only determines seeding for the main event, no teams will be eliminated during group play. The top eight teams will be seeded into the upper bracket and the remaining eight into the lower bracket. The main event will be double elimination style. Upper bracket matches are best of three, lower bracket first and second rounds are best of ones, then best of threes for the remaining rounds. Lastly, the grand finals will be a best of five without a winners’ advantage.
Group Stage Bracket & Analysis:
|A||CDEC, EHOME, MVP.Phoenix, Secret|
|B||Alliance, Fnatic, Spirit, Vici Gaming|
|C||Archon, LGD, Newbee, OG|
|D||Complexity, Evil Geniuses, Liquid, Virtus Pro|
First Matchups: EHOME vs. MVP. Phoenix and Secret vs. CDEC
EHOME has been dominating lately and is currently ranked #2 in the world. Team Secret hasn’t been performing well in the last few months and CDEC is a little unpredictable despite being TI5 runners up. MVP.Phoenix is a solid team from the SEA region, unfortunately SEA teams rarely seem to do well in big tournaments. My prediction: EHOME at the top of the group. I don’t think they’ll drop a single game. For second place I’m going to hope pick Secret.
First Matchups: Alliance vs. Spirit and Vici Gaming vs. Fnatic
General consensus is the top spot will be going to Alliance or Vici. I think Team Spirit has a chance to pull off an upset as Alliance have lost to them on this patch. If Spirit can pull out a pocket strat or two, I think they have a shot at placing second in group. I’m still going to say Alliance takes first place here.
First Matchups: OG vs. Archon and LGD vs. Newbee
OG’s been fortunate enough to placed in a group with three qualified teams and no invited teams. I think they won’t have too much trouble winning the group stage, but LGD is pretty consistently a top Chinese team and might take a game off them. Some would argue that even though LGD and Newbee were qualifier teams, they are looking better than Secret and CDEC right now. I’m predicting OG wins the group with LGD in second place.
First Matchups: Evil Geniuses vs. Complexity and Virtus Pro vs. Liquid
Is Group D the toughest of all? EG is currently ranked #1 by GosuGamers but has a habit of not always starting out strong in group stages. They seem to need to be kicked down to the lower bracket to have a “comeback story.” That being said, I think they’ll still manage to win the top spot here. All four teams in this group have been looking pretty good lately. Second place could realistically go to any of the other three, but I’m going to back Liquid here.
If you haven’t filled in your compendium predictions yet be sure to get them done!
Here are some of mine:
Overall Winner: Alliance. I was torn between [A], EG, or EHOME, but I think Alliance has momentum right now. Although EHOME’s 3:0 victory over EG in MDL was pretty impressive…
Team with most Kills: Spirit. CIS Dota, ’nuff said.
Team with most Assists: Evil Geniuses. All PPD.
Most Banned Hero: Earth Spirit. I think teams just don’t want to deal with ES right now and will prioritize banning him out.
Most Combined Total Kills in a game: 81-90. I think we’ll have at least one slugfest that extends over an hour with kill scores in the 40s.
Group Stage Matches start at 8pm EST on Wednesday the 24th. The main event takes place from the 2nd-6th of March.