As the DPC’s first season draws to a close, MDL Changsha Major marks the first of three majors that will decide the final invites to TI8. This $1,000,000 tournament has 1500 DPC points available for the twelve teams attending. Four teams were directly invited, with five regional qualifier teams and three Chinese teams from DPL standings.
Image courtesy of Wykrhm.
Team Newbee, Secret, and Vici Gaming were directly invited to the MDL Changsha Major. Virtus.Pro, the fourth invite, withdrew and were replaced by Mineski. Team Secret locked in their TI8 invite while these other three teams sit fifth-seventh in the DPC standings. Team Secret has continued to struggle, finishing 7-8th at Epicenter XL. Mineski also had a disappointing Epicenter XL finish, landing in 5-6th just outside of qualifying points. Newbee didn’t even make it out of groups at Epicenter XL while Vici Gaming’s last LAN (DAC) saw them finish in 5-6th outside of the points. Vici Gaming did win DPL recently, so they look strong against other Chinese teams (which are the majority of this tournament).
Overall the invited teams look a little weak, but without heavy hitters Liquid and VP there to challenge them, they may have a shot to prove why they deserved direct invites.
DPL Winners Fill Chinese Qualifying Spots
MDL Changsha Major used the normal qualifier system for five of the regions, but they did things a little differently for their Chinese qualifying teams. China has a regular league (Dota 2 Professional League - DPL) where the top three finishers earned their spots at MDL. Vici Gaming and Newbee finished first and second, so places three through five were awarded the qualifying spots. IG.Vitality have yet to see a LAN this entire season. Their sister team Invictus Gaming has only been at DAC. IG finished in 9th-12th after a 0-2 elimination at the hands of Optic Gaming. PSG.LGD is the only qualifier team that has a strong record. They won Epicenter XL 3-1 against Team Liquid and they came in second at DAC. PSG.LGD sits in fourth place on the DPC. If they finish top four at MDL, they are almost guaranteed a TI8 spot.
Additional Qualifier Teams
Southeast Asia will be represented by TNC. They earned themselves a few points with a fourth place finish at DAC, but otherwise they haven’t had much success. They sit in 12th place (of eligible teams, 14th overall) in the DPC standings and this is their last tournament of the season. Taking first would put them into the top 8, however with two majors still remaining, TNC has lost the ability to control their own fate. Vega Squadron is the only other team eligible to use DPC points. Similar to TNC, they could win this major and move into the top 8, however other teams could still easily displace them. OG, Infamous, and VG.J have all had roster changes that make them not eligible to use their DPC points. OG have been a little up and down, struggling to find a way to fit Mad onto the team and function without his outside coaching help. VGJ.Storm are coming off of a LAN win at GESC - the addition of Resolut1on has strengthened the team. Their competition will be stronger at MDL, but they could be poised to knock out some of the tournament favorites.
MDL Changsha Major features a bo2 round robin group stage with six teams in each group. The bottom team in each is eliminated while the winners are seeded into the second round of the upper bracket. Second and third place starts in the upper bracket while fourth and fifth places begin in the lower bracket. Those first lower bracket matches are bo1s, but after that all matches until the finals are bo3 with a bo5 finals.
MDL’s group stage featured a live drawing where Team Secret and LGD got first pick for who would be in their groups.
Group B looks the strongest based on recent results, but recent performances out of South America could see some surprise upsets in Group A.
Beyond the Summit will be covering MDL remotely from their studio. The first matches will be played at 10:00 China Standard Time on May 14th. This will be 7 PM PST / 10 PM EST (May 13th) / 4AM CET (May 14th).