Last weekend saw the proper start to this year’s Dota 2 season as the first Major of the competition – the Boston Major – had its group stage with 16 qualified teams playing in matches to find out who will face who.
There was a lot of great competition on show during the weekend’s matches, with some surprising results and upsets along the way.
For many Group A was one of the most thrilling since Digital Chaos – once upon a time underdogs – managed to top the table with two clean victories – not a single match in both series were lost.
Many were hoping for a rematch between Wings Gaming – 2016’s The International winners – and Digital Chaos, who had surprised many when the team made it to the finals of last year’s TI against WG.
But Wings failed to win its first game against WarriorsGaming.Unity, while Digital Chaos won both – first against LGD.ForeverYoung and then against WG.U. In the end it was Digital Chaos that topped the table, with Wings following in second place, WG.U in third and ForeverYoung in fourth.
Group B saw the dominant return of Virtus.Pro, who won both its games against upstart Team NP and regular Dota 2 competitor Newbee.
Newbee followed in second place, losing its second game of the group stage against VP before earning second place in its tiebreaker with Team NP who then came in third. It was MVP.Phoenix that surprised most though, managing to only win one match of its series’.
Group C had the potential for some shakeups, with Team Faceless coming in as one of the potential upstarts to the more familiar names.
Sadly that never happened, however, with LGD Gaming coming in the top slot after two comfortable victories against Team Faceless and Complexity.
It was Complexity Gaming who came in second, however, just managing to achieve victory over Evil Geniuses after a tiebreaker that began with an hour-long match that EG eventually managed to win.
Group D, however, saw a return to form for OG, last year’s two-time Major winners who – with the confidence they’ve shown – could be going on to challenge for a third Major.
OG was spared a challenge, though, since it was pit against iG Vitality and Ad Finem, arguably dodging the bullet that was EHOME who ended up coming in second.
Many expected Ad Finem to challenge a little more during the group stage, but though it scored a victory against the strong Chinese team that is EHOME it still came in third with 1-2.
Boston Major Main Event
With the teams now organised for the main event it’s a little more possible to predict who might be challenging for the first Major victory of the Dota 2 season.
It’s easy to predict a scenario where Virtus.Pro makes it to the grand finals here. The team has been on something of a hotstreak of late, and its performance in the group stage certainly showed a good deal of confidence.
But more than that, it first faces iG Vitality – who came in last in its group and doesn’t have quite the same experience at this level of competition as VP does. Outside of some unexpected drama, it’d be a safe victory for Virtus.Pro.
After that it’ll face either Evil Geniuses or Wings Gaming, and while both teams can be considerable threats – making it a hard one to predict who might win between the two – based on recent performance it would be a safer bet on Virtus.Pro between either of the two.
The next set of four is a little tougher to predict, but confidence in OG suggests that this will be the team to make it to the semi-finals to face off against Virtus.Pro – at which point both sides will have it tough to make it into the grand finals.
MVP Phoenix’s performance of late has been really quite lacklustre, and though it has made it to the Major it’s not likely to be able to create the opportunities against a much stronger side in OG.
That means it’ll likely be OG versus Complexity (who has a fairly safe first game against WG.Unity) in the round of 8 before one team can make it into the semi-finals. OG is our choice here, but Complexity is no slouch of a team when it needs to step up.
On the other half of the round of 16 there are some strong competitors, but with recent results it’s rather easy to pick out those that will likely make it to the grand finals.
Despite Digital Chaos’ heritage as an underdog, its recent performance – especially at The international 2016 – has proven it to be a team keen on earning itself some trophies.
With its first game against Team Faceless, it’s perhaps a safe assumption that we’ll see DC progress with a likely round of 8 game against EHOME (who, despite the promise of Team NP, will likely win its own initial round of 16 series).
From here Digital Chaos will face a challenge. The Chinese side of EHOME has long been competing at a high level, and such games can be catalysts for the team to come together.
Beyond that we’ll see Ad Finem up against Newbee and LGD Gaming versus its rival team LGD.ForeverYoung. Ad Finem is a strong new competitor that can’t be counted out, but the history of Newbee gives it the advantage. Based on the group stage alone, Newbee will likely be the one to edge out Ad Finem and make it further into the tournament.
The game between the two LGD sides, however, will likely be a bit more clear cut. LGD Gaming has long been the stronger side of the two, and though ForeverYoung has qualified for such tournaments before, it rarely has the skill or composure to make it very far in many
Assuming it’ll be a round of 8 between Newbee and LGD Gaming, then, should give an interesting match, but one that will ultimately end with LGD Gaming’s victory.
A match between Digital Chaos and LGD Gaming will be a tough one to predict. Both sides have proven experience with challenges, and neither one is exceptionally stronger than the other.
A grand final match-up will be impossible to predict with this line-up of teams, but if we were pushed then we’d have to pick an exciting series between OG and Digital Chaos – but really it could be close to call.