Dota 2 is one of the most popular games around the world—so popular that it’s now being played competitively. One of its season’s biggest tournaments is being held here in Manila: the Manila Majors. With this big event just around the corner, let’s take a look at what the average Dota 2 player can expect to see.
The Manila Majors is the last in a series of three that Valve has conducted over this year. While the qualifiers and the group stages are now finished as of this blog post, many more are waiting for the main event. The main event will be held from June 7 to 12 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena; the top 3 winners of the tournament will split a hefty US$1,830,000 bounty.
For the main event, there are currently 16 teams who are going to battle it out to reach the finals. These 16 teams are a mix of top-tier teams invited to participate, plus the four winners of the regional qualifiers held in May. They were then assigned to upper and lower brackets based on their standings in the group stages.
There will be eight teams in the main event that will start in the upper bracket, and another eight in the lower bracket. For the first round of matches of the lower bracket, this will be set to a sudden death elimination. All other games will be played in a best of three, with the grand finals being played in a best of five format.
As such, fans have lined up months ago to buy tickets to the most anticipated gaming event of the year. However, for the benefit of those who won’t be able to watch the matches in person, live streaming is available on Twitch.tv.
Unfortunately, those without an internet connection at home are out of luck this time around. TV5, which aired the earlier ESL One tournament here in Manila on its sports affiliate AksyonTV, won’t be airing the Manila Majors. That has not deterred fans from asking the network to offer some sort of coverage.
That said, who are these 16 teams that will be competing in the Manila Majors? Let’s just say they’re the crème de la crème of the competitive Dota 2 scene. One is Team Liquid (TL), one of the biggest names in eSports. Fresh off a win at the Epicenter tournament in Moscow, TL is definitely looking forward to add another win to their name.
Meanwhile, the emerging rivalry between teams OG and Newbee is to watch out for in the upper bracket. After all, OG snapped Newbee’s record-setting, 29-game winning streak at Epicenter. Newbee then retaliated with a win over OG in that tournament’s lower bracket finals.
The Chinese team Wings Gaming is also back for the Manila Majors, after winning the ESL One Manila tournament earlier this year.
Of course, there’s a team representing the Philippines as well. Established in 2004 in Taft, Manila, Mineski is one of the local scene's most established competitive teams. While beginning this season with a 9th-12th midtable finish at the Frankfurt Majors, the group failed to make it out of the group stages of the ESL One Manila.
Mineski eventually made it to the Manila Majors through the Southeast Asian qualifiers as regional representative. However, a tight series of matches in the group stages against South Korean team MVP Phoenix and North American/Pakistani team Evil Geniuses (EG) both ended in losses. While Mineski may be starting from the lower bracket in the main event, we’re hoping for a great comeback.
With the world’s top teams and a big cash prize, the main event of the Manila Majors promises to be one of Dota 2’s most intense tournaments this season. So who are you cheering for? Let us know on our Facebook page.