With a few months left before the International, teams already started fighting harder for a slot in the most prestigious tournament. This March, fans were not only given intense tournaments, but also a lot of updates for the dota scene; let us look back into this jam-packed month.
Kuku-less TNC bags back-to-back WESG titles
After having Nico “eyyou” Barcelon stand-in for TNC after Kuku’s incident, the Philippines-based team dominated the World Electronic Sports Games 2019 last March 7-10 in Chongqing, China.
In the group stage, TNC came out of top on their group against five other teams. In the playoffs, TNC took down Brazil’s Team Canarinho in a 2-0 victory to advance them in the semi-finals. Facing Russia’s Team White-off (four VP and one Gambit Esports player), the WESG champions struggled to get the 2-0 win after a 56-minute match. In a battle of experience, TNC capped off their WESG run by defeating the veterans of Keen Gaming in a 2-0 grand finals.
Bagging back-to-back titles of two WESG’s, TNC announced later this month that Gabbi, Armel, Tims, Kuku, and eyyou will contend for TI9 wherein the ex-lotac player will assume the role of captain.
Vici Gaming wins the Minor and Major to secure TI slot
Before they qualified for the Dreamleague S11 Stockholm Major, Vici Gaming (VG) went through a needle as they seven other teams in the Starladder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor, March 7-10 held at Kiev, Ukraine, while the major took place from March 14-24 at Stockholm, Sweden.
Obtaining the one of two slots for the China region, VG secured a playoff slot after sweeping the group stages. For the playoffs, VG took down Old but Gold in a 2-0 semi-finals win, and defeated Gambit Esports with a 3-0 grand finals victory.
Winning $125k USD, 120 DPC points, and a slot for the Stockholm Major, VG finished second in the group stage against EG, Na’Vi, and Chaos Esports Club which was enough to place them in the upper bracket.
During the playoffs, VG held on 2-1 victories against Team Secret, PSG.LGD, and Fnatic to face VP in the grand finals. Going against the first-place holders in the DPC ranks, the Chinese team did not back down from the challenge and managed to win the deciding game in the BO5 grand finals series.
Getting the $350K cash prize and 4950 DPC points, VG brushes past EG to be the third team who is already qualified for TI9 alongside VP, Team Secret, and EG.
Ana is back and the battle vs OpenAI
After their successful stint in TI8 and Ana’s temporary departure, OG failed to secure a slot for the Stockholm Major with their standin iLTW. Despite their poor performance in the recent tournaments, OG had a good run with iLTW, but OG officially announced on March 12 that iLTW leaves the team to make way for Ana’s return that was announced the next day.
On March 26, the OpenAI Five team announced on twitter that they will be hosting an exhibition match against TI8 champs, OG. The famous AI development company that was behind the 1v1 exhibition matchups also assured fans that they will still continue on using dota 2 as an avenue to improve artificial intelligence for the benefit of all. Along with this announcement is an invitation for this coming event that will be held on April 13.
A new DPC app
Announced last March 15, Valve launched the Dota Pro Circuit companion app. To give Dota Plus users an exclusive feature, this mobile app allows them to bet tournament games using their shards, updates on DPC related events as well as fantasy challenges for the users.
7.21d and MDL
Just after the tournaments and before the MDL Disneyland Paris Major closed qualifiers, Dota 2 updated 7.21d.
This patch included changes on items such as Aeon Disk, Guardian Greaves, Rod of Atos, and Solar Crest. On the other hand, the most notable changes for the heroes are Pangolier’s Lucky Shot and Rolling Thunder wherein the disarm and silence debuff cannot occur at the same time and his ult has its manacost increased. Oracle’s False Promise was nerfed in terms of cooldown, mana cost, and cast range. Lastly, Viper’s agility gain was decreased and Nethertoxin’s cooldown was increased from 5 to 6 seconds.
Being the fourth major and one of the last four DPC tournaments of 2018-2019, MDL announced on March 7 an all new major that will be held in Disneyland, Paris in France wherein teams will compete for $1M USD and 4950 points to qualify for the International.
The Main Tournament will be held at May 2019 which will consist of 16 teams that will is currently undergoing the closed qualifiers.
Are you enjoying this current patch? Which teams do you think will qualify? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!