The much-awaited appearance of China’s finest teams in ESL One Stockholm Major came to a halt as strict lockdown restrictions and COVID regulations hampered travel and left PSG.LGD, RNG, Xtreme Gaming, and Team Aster face in a regional final, where PSG.LGD ultimately reigned as champions.
Much to the disappointment of many Chinese Dota fans, there is no Ame or Somnus who’ll get to prove their mettle against established powerhouses such as Tundra Esports and OG. But how exactly did these lockdowns affect the whole DPC system- and ultimately, trickled down to SEA teams?
Unable to compete in Stockholm Major, all of the Chinese team including PSG.LGD was forced to instead participate in another regional final to make up for the major.
Because of this, after recently claiming their win in China’s regional final, PSG.LGD currently holds the number 1 rank in DPC 2022 with a hefty 1400 points throughout the series, officially qualifying them for the next TI set to be held in Singapore. Should conditions not change for Chinese teams, PSG.LGD might just be the first team to qualify for TI without going through a single major.
Team Aster came in 2nd place after PSG.LGD in China’s regional finals and got to tie the points out with Eastern European stack BB Team at 640 points. BOOM Esports, on the other hand, settles at rank 12 with 622.5. It may be remembered that points were deducted from BOOM Esports due to replacing position 1 carry Tino with Jackky, who came fresh from Motivate.Trust gaming the same year.
If the current rankings remain the same until the end of third tour, Fnatic and Boom Esports get the qualification invites for TI, with T1 left to battle it out with other SEA teams in the regional qualifiers.
China’s server is isolated from the rest of the world because of the lack of competition with other regions ever since the beginning of the season. Given the circumstances, it is possible that the Chinese meta has diverged largely from other regions’.
While other regions have been starting to have a rough image of the current International meta ever since Galaxy Racer 2022 and recently Stockholm Major, the possibility of both other International teams and Chinese teams cannot compare their meta until TI is likely to happen.
Looking back at the previous TI, this proved to be one of many important considerations for upcoming competitions. Team Spirit came strong making players realize how deadly Magnus in that patch was and caught all other teams off-guard. Differences in meta wield changes in the gameplay of a large number of matches and also can be difficult to predict.
Chinese teams’ absence from the current and potentially the final Major leaves Chinese meta a mystery for many teams, given that comparative strategies cannot come head-to-head versus each other. With PSG.LGD flexing its muscle over the three-time TI winner region, it will surely be a blast to see Ame and NothingToSay go toe-to-toe with other regions’ best carries and midlaners.
Who knows, the Chinese meta might just come as a surprise to many at TI and give them an advantage over teams with well-known strats. After five years, we may just see another Chinese team holding up the Aegis of Champions.
Don’t forget to support the #HungryBeast squad and follow Rivalry’s articles about BOOM Esports here.