DreamHack brings one of its time honored events to Dota 2 Pro Circuit as organization hosts season’s second Major
The Pro Circuit is heating up once again, as teams and fans alike prepare for another exciting stretch of the Dota 2 season. The DreamLeague Season 8 Finals will serve as the keynote event of this stretch, as the qualifiers for the season’s second Major have now concluded and the field of participants is set. The latest tournament in the long venerated and legendary DreamHack series, the DreamLeague Season 8 Major will see 8 teams travel to the Elmia Exhibition and Convention Center in Jönköping, Sweden for a chance to stake their claim to a favorable position in the Pro Circuit standings. After the exciting games and massive impact of the first Major of the season at ESL One Hamburg, this second Major promises to both provide fans with top tier Dota and significantly shake up the Pro Circuit Standings. Scheduled to run from December 1st to the 3rd, the season’s second Major boasts a prize pool of $1,000,000 and 1500 Qualifying Points. With such a large quantity of money and points on the line in Jönköping, let’s take a look at just how those prize pools will be divided among the participants.
1st: $500,000(Total) and 750 Qualifying Points(per player)
2nd: $200,000(Total) and 450 Qualifying Points(per player)
3rd: $100,000(Total) and 225 Qualifying Points(per player)
4th: $70,000(Total) and 75 Qualifying Points(per player)
5th-6th: $45,000(per team)
7th-8th: $20,000(per team)
So, there’s quite a lot up for grabs at the DreamLeague Season 8 Major, and each of the participating teams will be looking to take advantage of this incredible opportunity to get a leg up on its competition. A top 4 finish in Jönköping could provide a powerful debut in the Pro Circuit standings for some teams, spark a drastic climb up the rankings for others, or cement a lead for the few already sitting in favorable positions. With that in mind, the time has come to focus on the teams that will be fighting for those prizes come December.
- Disclaimer time: this post will contain some brief and shallow details for each of the competing teams. A more thorough breakdown of the participating teams will come closer to the start of the event itself.
The Qualifier Winners
Team Secret(Europe) – European squad Team Secret has carved out a position as one of the Pro Circuit’s strongest teams this season. This appearance at the DreamLeague Season 8 Major will be Team Secret’s fourth Pro Circuit event, with its previous campaigns on LAN yielding some impressive results. With 1440 Qualifying Points to its name, Team Secret holds the 2nd place position in the Pro Circuit standings, and the squad will have a huge opportunity in Jönköping to improve that position and increase its lead over its rivals. With the team stringing together impressive performances one after another both at home in Europe and on the international stage, confidence must be at an all time high for Team Secret heading into the Major.
The last time fans saw Team Secret at a LAN event was at the ESL One Hamburg Major, where the team claimed a 2nd place finish after an 0-2 loss to Virtus.pro in the Grand Final. Since that time, Team Secret has maintained its high level of play, posting an 11-3 overall record in the combined Europe and CIS qualifiers for this DreamLeague Season 8 Major. Team Secret has a busy schedule on the horizon, as the team is participating in the Perfect World Masters Minor, and is set to take part in the Europe Qualifier for the Galaxy Battles II Major in about two weeks time. Between all of these events, Team Secret will have few days off in the coming weeks, but should the team play its cards right it could end in a nearly unrivaled position of strength in the Dota 2 world.
Natus Vincere(Commonwealth of Independent States) – The eternal question of the Dota 2 world rears it head once again heading into the DreamLeague Season 8 Major: Is Na’Vi back or not back? All jokes and memes aside, Na’Vi are looking like a more improved team following a somewhat inconsistent start to the season. The team will be attending its third Pro Circuit event of the season, and the CIS squad is hoping that this campaign will end with a more positive result than the previous attempts. Despite the team earning a spot at two Minors this season, Na’Vi has yet to come away with any Qualifying Points. The DreamLeague Season 8 Major will prove quite the test for a Na’Vi squad desperately searching for a breakthrough performance on the international stage.
Na’Vi’s previous performances on LAN have not gone as well as some may have hoped. The team finished in the 5th-6th position at the StarLadder i-League Minor, and came away with a 7th-8th place results at the PGL Open Bucharest Minor. Those results certainly don’t instill much confidence that Na’Vi can find success on the international level, but the team’s play since following those disappointing Minors is encouraging. Na’Vi posted a strong 10-4 overall record in the qualifier for this Major, beating out many top team from both CIS and Europe. The team also won the CIS Qualifier for the MDL Macau Minor, defeating M19, Effect, and Team Empire to claim the role of CIS representative in Macau. With these performances fresh in the mind, it appears that Na’Vi may be in a position to challenge the world’s best teams in Jönköping. It remains to be seen if this recent success represents a real change for Na’Vi or just a flash in the pan.
Team Liquid(Europe) – The reigning TI7 champion has picked up right where it left off last August, with the European powerhouse quickly establishing itself among the Pro Circuit’s strongest teams. The DreamLeague Season 8 Major will be Team Liquid’s fourth Pro Circuit event of the season, and the previous three LANs have all been fruitful endeavors for the team. Team Liquid’s three top 4 finishes so far this season have netted the European squad 1350 Qualifying Points and a 3rd place ranking in the Pro Circuit standings. That level of consistently strong play makes Team Liquid one of the strongest and most formidable opponents in the field in Jönköping, and a stout challenge for any other squads looking to make a statement at the Major.
Team Liquid have participated in three Pro Circuit events so far this season, and the worst result the team has produced was a 3rd-4th place finish at the ESL One Hamburg Major. Interestingly enough, the team had managed to do this without having ever had to participate in a regional qualifier; one of the perks of being the defending TI champion. With the DreamLeague Season 8 Major having no direct invites, Team Liquid found itself a qualifier participant for the first time this season. The shift didn’t seem to phase the team much, as it went 10-4 in the combined Europe and CIS Qualifier and continued to play at the level we have come to expect from Team Liquid. With the team firing on all cylinders so far this season, and its proven track record at Pro Circuit LANs, Team Liquid heads to Jönköping with all the confidence in the world.
Virtus.pro(Commonwealth of Independent States) – The field of participants for the DreamLeague Season 8 Major is filled with titans of the Dota 2 world, and Virtus.pro certainly fit that profile as one of the Pro Circuit’s leading squads. This second Major of the season will be the third Pro Circuit event that the CIS squad has attended, with the previous two earning it 2295 Qualifying Points and the top position in the Pro Circuit standings. VP’s participation in this Major actually came down to a bit of good fortune, as the team’s status as a qualified team was determined in the final match of the round robin qualifier when fellow CIS squad Na’Vi managed to defeat OG. That win by Na’Vi denied OG a tiebreaker victory and locked VP in as the final qualified team in the combined Europe and CIS Qualifier. VP may certainly be thankful to Na’Vi for helping it reach the Major, but that doesn’t mean that VP is going to go easy on Na’vi, or any of the participants either.
Virtus.pro’s last LAN performance was a 4th place finish and a 0-1 Lower Bracket loss against Newbee at the Dota Pit Minor in Split, Croatia. Since then, the team has continued to maintain its considerable momentum in regional qualifiers. VP put together an 8-6 record in the qualifier for this Major, aided by the previously mentioned incidence with Na’Vi and OG. VP also earned itself a spot at the Dota Summit 8, defeating Vega Squadron and Na’Vi to earn a trip to Los Angeles in December. With these strong performances against CIS and European opponents, Virtus.pro come into the DreamLeague Season 8 Major riding a high of confidence.
Newbee(China) – With half of the spots at the DreamLeague Season 8 Major going to teams from the combined Europe and CIS Qualifier, this event has a decidedly Western tone. However, Chinese squad Newbee will be looking to remind the Dota 2 world of the strength of its home region on the big stage. Newbee will be attending its fourth Pro Circuit event of the season, having earned 585 Qualifying Points between the previous three Minors and Majors. That point total puts the Chinese squad in 5th in the Pro Circuit standings, but Newbee will be looking to improve that position with a solid run in Jönköping.
Newbee was last seen on the international stage at the Dota Pit League Minor, where the team earned itself a 3rd place finish. Since then, the squad has focused on competing at home in the Chinese region. The team has been performing consistently well at home since its last LAN event, but has fallen just short of total victory in three straight events. The team lost the Grand Final of the Top Division of the Dota 2 Professional League in a 2-3 series against LGD.Forever Young, missing out on a chance to earn a spot at the MDL Macau Minor. A 1-2 loss against LGD Gaming brought the team’s campaign in the the Dota Summit 8 China Qualifier short as well with a 3rd-4th place finish. Most recently, Newbee narrowly missed the mark again in the qualifier for the Captain’s Draft 4.0 Minor in January, losing 2-3 in the Final to Vici Gaming. The fact that Newbee hasn’t been able to close out these qualifiers with wins is a bit concerning, but it is also encouraging that the team consistently finds itself so close to success. We shall see if Newbee can overcome that last obstacle once again and produce another top 4 performance at the DreamLeague Season 8 Major.
Fnatic(Southeast Asia) – With Mineski getting off to such a dominant start within the Southeast Asian region, little attention has been afforded to struggling Fnatic. The addition of Abed “Abed” Yusop has reinvigorated a Fnatic lineup that looked a bit out of sorts in the early stages of the season. The SEA squad will be making its third appearance on the Pro Circuit in Jönköping after a somewhat rocky start to the season. Despite these early struggles, recent times have seen the team elevate its level of play and begin competing on a more consistent basis in the Southeast Asian region. In order to truly catch up to Mineski in the region though, Fnatic needs Qualifying Points, and the DreamLeague Season 8 Major provides the team with a prime opportunity to claim those much needed points.
Fnatic’s previous performance at a Pro Circuit LAN came at the Dota Pit Minor in Croatia a few weeks ago. The team’s performance at this event was poor, with the SEA squad finishing in the 7th-8th position. However, the team’s recent performances provide some encouraging examples of its ability to compete in the SEA region. Fnatic’s run in the qualifier for this Major saw it take a series against Mineski and two series against TNC Pro Team, both leading teams within Southeast Asia. Prior to this, the team managed to win the qualifier for the Dota Summit 8 Minor, defeating Entity Gaming, Execration, TNC Pro Team, and Mineski to earn itself a trip to Los Angeles. These performances are certainly not be enough to portray Fnatic as a favorite in Jönköping, but they do instill a sense of hope and optimism for a team that has shown significant improvement from the beginning of the season. Time will tell just how far Fnatic’s improvements will carry it, as the team will look to make its debut on the Pro Circuit a memorable one.
Evil Geniuses(North America) – The North American region has grown increasingly competitive this season, and Evil Geniuses finds itself facing a tougher group of regional rivals than in years past. The team has attended two Pro Circuit events so far, taking away a single top 4 finish that earned it enough points(90) to put it in a 3 way tie for 8th place in the Pro Circuit standings. With this third Pro Circuit LAN, Evil Geniuses are hoping to climb those standings and put some distance between itself and its regional rivals in North America. EG will have its work cut out for it against a field of tough opponents, but the DreamLeague Season 8 Major represents a significant opportunity for the NA squad.
EG’s last foray on the Pro Circuit was a somewhat disappointing 5th-6th place finish at the ESL One Hamburg Major. After falling just short of a top 4 finish, the NA squad has looked like a much stronger team, at least within its home region. The team’s only performance since that last Major was in the qualifier for this DreamLeague Season 8 Major, where EG appeared strong and confident against its NA rivals. EG won its initial series against Digital Chaos, and then proceeded to win back to back series against compLexity to lock in its spot for the Major. These victories have EG looking like an improved squad, but time will tell if it can convert that regional success into commensurate results on the international stage.
Infamous(South America) – The South American region has been largely controlled by SG e-sports, but recent times have brought a new surge of challengers in the region. Infamous stands as one of those teams looking to take control in South America and make a statement on the international stage. The team’s appearance at the DreamLeague Season 8 Major will be its second at a Pro Circuit event , and Infamous will be attempting to earn the first Qualifying Points for a South American team this season. The squad will be in for a difficult campaign in Jönköping, as the team will be facing off against some of the best teams in the world at the Major.
The team’s previous, and only, appearance at a Pro Circuit LAN this season was at the PGL Open Bucharest Minor, though the result was disappointing to say the least. The team was eliminated in the group stage of the event, failing to win a single game in a group that included Team Secret, Immortals, and LGD Gaming. Since then, the team has been making strides in the South America to establish itself as a leading team in the region. Infamous finished 3rd in the South America Qualifier for the Captain’s Draft 4.0 Minor, defeating Team Unknown but falling in series against both Midas Club Elite and Luccini. The team followed up that performance with a win the regional qualifier for the MDL Macau Minor, claiming wins against SA rivals Sacred and SG e-sports in the process. The most recent qualifier run for Infamous saw it reach the Finals for a spot at the Dota Summit 8, losing to Sacred in a 1-3 series. Infamous may have only qualified for one event out of its recent qualifier campaigns, but three straight finishes in the top 3 shows that the team is beginning to find more consistent success within its region. That consistency will be key in the team’s attempt to take the lead in South America, a goal that could be accelerated by a solid performance at the DreamLeague Season 8 Major.