Dota 2 Asia Championships 2017 qualifiers and format revealed

by
Thumbnail image courtesy of Perfect World

The format for the Dota 2 Asia Championships 2017 regional qualifiers has been revealed, with teams playing through two GSL Group Stage Brackets in each regional qualifier in order to advance to the LAN finals.

Running between Feb. 3-Feb. 13, the eight teams competing in each qualifier will be divided into two groups of four teams. Teams will compete in a series of best-of-three matches in a double elimination group stage bracket, with the top two teams advancing to the next group stage. The advancing teams will then compete in another double elimination bracket in the second group stage, with the top team qualifying for DAC 2017 itself.

The LAN Finals of Dota 2 Asia Championships 2017 will take place from March 28 to April 4 in Shanghai, China.

Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports whose journalism idol is Dino Ghiranze. You can follow him on Twitter.

Team Faceless, Team Liquid qualify for Dota 2 Asia Championships 2017

by
Thumbnail image courtesy of Perfect World

The Dota 2 Asia Championships 2017 SEA and Europe Qualifiers have concluded, with Team Faceless and Team Liquid advancing to the main event in March.

Faceless began their run in the SEA qualifiers with little difficulty, sweeping Signature.Trust and WarriorsGaming.Unity in the group stage before defeating Mineski.GGNetwork 2-0 in the first round of the playoffs. But in their rematch against WG.U in the semifinals, Faceless were sent to the losers' bracket after a close 2-1 match. Fortunately for Faceless, they recovered from the loss to sweep TNC Pro Team and WG.U in their third rematch to qualify for their first tournament since Dota Pit League Season 5.

By contrast, Liquid qualified without losing a single series, defeating Ninjas in Pyjamas 2-1 and Cloud9 2-0 to advance to the playoffs. Though Liquid swept Team Secret in the first round, their biggest challenge came in the form of B)ears, headlined by former Liquid mid Adrian "FATA-" Trinks, who took the first game in the Winners' Finals to put Liquid on the defensive. Liquid persevered, however, and defeated B)ears 2-1 to move on to the finals, where they comfortably swept B)ears to secure a spot in the tournament.

The two teams join fellow qualified teams Invictus Gaming, Teaam VG.J, LGD.Forever Young and iG Vitality at the main event, alongside invited teams Evil Geniuses, Wings Gaming, OG and Newbee. Two spots remain, with the winners of the Americas and CIS Qualifiers set to be decided on Feb. 12 and 14, respectively

DAC 2017 is set to run from March 28 to April 4 in Shanghai, China.

Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports whose journalism idol is Dino Ghiranze. You can follow him on Twitter.

Team Secret, Team Onyx, six others qualify for The Kiev Major

by
Thumbnail image courtesy of Valve

After several days of qualifiers, Team Secret and Team Onyx are among the eight teams who have secured one of the final spots at The Kiev Major.

While the format for each regional qualifier was the same as past Valve events, the number of spots available for each region changed. With the creation of the CIS and South American Regional Qualifiers, only China and SEA had two spots up for grabs, with the remaining four regions having only one spot.

The European qualifiers, arguably the most stacked region, saw Secret return to the forefront of Dota after missing out on The Boston Major with a spectacular run where they only lost one game. Virtus.pro were on a similar path in the CIS qualifier, going undefeated in the group stage, but would lose a game to Natus Vincere and Team Empire in the playoffs before qualifying.

Both Invictus Gaming teams narrowly secured the Chinese spots, as both teams faced off in the Winners' Finals for the first spot, which iG Vitality won. The SEA qualifiers were very competitive, as Team Faceless and TNC Pro Team secured their spots with 2-1 victories over Mineski.

In North America, Onyx upset both Team NP and compLexity Gaming, both of whom competed at The Boston Major, to qualify for their first Major. Lastly, the South American qualifier saw SG e-sports exact revenge on Not Today in the Grand Finals to qualify for Kiev, as they had previously lost to Not Today in the Winners' Finals

Including the invited teams, the full list of teams competing at The Kiev Major is as follows:

Invited Teams Qualified Teams
Wings Gaming OG Team Onyx SG e-sports
Ex-Ad Finem Team Liquid Team Secret Virtus.pro
Evil Geniuses Digital Chaos iG Vitality Invictus Gaming
Newbee Team VG.J Team Faceless TNC Pro Team

The Kiev Major Main Event is set to run from April 27-30, and will feature a $3 million USD prize pool.

Correction: A previous version of this story stated that Virtus.pro went undefeated in the CIS qualifier. In fact, their undefeated streak was only in the group stage. theScore esports regrets the error.

Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

Several Dota 2 teams still awaiting payment from Northern Arena; casters, organizers allege they have yet to be paid

by
Thumbnail image courtesy of Northern Arena/Twitter

Update: In an email to theScore esports sent on March 9, Andrew "Zyori" Campbell said that all of the English talent supplied by MoonduckTV for Northern Arena have been paid in full by the organization.

Original Story: A number of Dota 2 teams that participated in November's Northern Arena Beat Invitational have not been paid prize money they are owed, several teams and Northern Arena confirmed to theScore esports. Representatives from compLexity Gaming, Alliance, and Team NP all told theScore esports that they have not been paid the money they were owed for the tournament.

When reached for comment, Northern Arena CEO Carl-Edwin Michel confirmed to theScore esports that his organization has yet to pay some of the teams, but added that the company is committed to paying all of the remaining teams. It is unclear exactly which teams have been paid and which are still awaiting payment.

"We have already paid most of the teams," Michel said in an email to theScore esports. "We are in touch with the remaining ones and made payment arrangement with them. One thing for sure is that we are committed to pay all the remaining teams and move on to our next events. We want to make good on our word and deliver even greater events this year."

Team NP are owed $20,000 for their second place finish while Alliance are owed $4,000 for finishing in 5th-6th. compLexity Gaming are owed $2,000 for placing 7th-8th, and a representative from the organization alleges that, after asking for a payment timeline, they were told that they would be paid that day or week. Combined, the teams that confirmed they have not been paid yet are owed a total of $26,000. Northern Arena set a $100,000 total prize pool for the event.

Michel also noted that, due to the organization's nature as a startup, they relied mostly on sponsorship money for their inaugural year.

"We are a small startup company that relied heavily on sponsorships for the first year," Michel said. "That's the reason why we are now on the verge of signing a big investor to sustain the future of Northern Arena. Northern Arena is the only Canadian company that is trying to build something sustainable for esports in the country and that's the reason why we have the support of Bell Canada and other large Canadian and international companies."

Additionally, MoonduckTV's managing director Andrew "Zyori" Campbell told theScore esports via email that he and the rest of the talent for the event have not been paid. Talent that participated in Northern Arena's Dota 2 tournament who are affiliated with MoonduckTV include Zyori, Jake "SirActionSlacks" Kanner, Annie "AnneeDroid" LeClair, Jonathan "PimpmuckL" Liebig, Travis "Maut" Bueno, Kevin "Purge" Godec and Trent "TrentPax" MacKenzie.

Zyori told theScore esports that MoonduckTV plans to send a legal notice. Michel did not provide comment on Zyori's allegations.

A representative for BEAT Gaming also alleged that that organization was not paid. BEAT organized the tournament, ran its qualifiers, and the company told theScore esports that they paid administrative fees and salaries for statisticians, tournament admins and a translator out of pocket with the understanding that they would be reimbursed for those expenses.

Michel says that BEAT Gaming's allegations are false, and added that the two organizations are currently in a legal dispute over a breach of contract. He declined to further comment on the matter.

"BEAT Gaming has paid staff wages and various expenses out of pocket for admins," a representative for BEAT Gaming told theScore esports via email. "This being said, the responsibility for payment of expenses related to the event, including payment of prize pools and the expenses of the teams in attendance, lies with Northern Arena.

"Anyone who was brought under the BEAT Banner was paid wages by us out of pocket. This included stats, admins for the event and our translator. Northern Arena is responsible for reimbursing us for those wages."

Northern Arena has also run two other CS:GO tournaments in Toronto, though those tournaments are not directly connected to the Montreal event, and representatives for several teams that participated in those events told theScore esports they have been paid their prize money.

This story last updated on March 10 at 10:16 AM EST

Daniel Rosen is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

10 invite predictions for The Kiev Major

by
Thumbnail image courtesy of Valve

It's been relatively quiet in the Dota 2 scene since The Boston Major, but with The Kiev Major Qualifiers on the horizon, that's about to change.

With the first matches set to begin on march 6, Valve has yet to announce which teams will secure a coveted invite to the Major and avoid the ever-perilous qualifiers.

Compared to past Major qualifiers, two additional regions will be competing for a spot at Kiev. The South American and CIS Qualifiers have been split off from the North American and European ones, creating six qualifying regions.

Keeping that in mind, here are the 10 teams we think will be invited to the Kiev Major. For this prediction, we'll be working under the assumption that one team from each region will qualify for the Major, resulting in a total of 10 teams to receive invites

OG

OG ended 2016 by proving that even with a new roster, the team was just as strong as they were before. With their win at Boston, OG have won three of the four Majors Valve have hosted since the introduction of the system, and they show no signs of stopping their domination anytime soon. OG will be at Kiev, and every other team should be prepared to face this juggernaut.

Reasons why they might not make it

As the champions of The Boston Major, OG will receive an invite to Kiev. If they don't, heads will roll.

Evil Geniuses

As competitive as North American Dota is at the moment, Evil Geniuses are still the undisputed kings of the region. Placing 3rd/4th at The Boston Major, EG followed that strong performance up by winning the invite-only China Top 16 in December and Dota Pit League Season 5 in January. By winning both LANs they played in following Boston, EG are all but guaranteed to attend the next Major.

Reasons why they might not make it

Valve forgot to push the correct button and accidentally invited another team instead. Once again, this team is a near lock for getting an invite.

Digital Chaos

From Top 4 at The Boston Major to their first premier LAN win at ESL One Genting 2017, Digital Chaos have had a good couple of months. While there's been some losses along the way, DC have proven to be a tier 1 team that is fully capable of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the greats. And while we are far removed from The International 2016, DC's runner-up status may still hold some sway over whether they receive an invite to Kiev.

Reasons why they might not make it

Though DC won ESL One Genting, their results since have left a lot to be desired. The team fell to last place at Dota Pit League Season 5 and StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3, and failed to qualify for Dota 2 Asia Championships 2017. If DC were to receive an invite, it will be primarily based off of their Boston Major finish and win at Genting.

Team Liquid

Team Liquid have recovered from a terrible October that saw them fail to qualify for Boston and The Summit 6 and are now one of the stronger teams in Europe. They have just won their first LAN since DreamLeague Season 6 at SL i-League Season 3, and if that momentum continues to build, Liquid will rightfully secure a spot as one of the best teams in the world at Kiev.

Reasons why they might not make it

Beyond their win at SL i-League Season 3, Liquid's only other notable accomplishment was to qualify for DAC 2017. But as we've seen in the past, LAN wins are far more likely to get a team an invite to a Major than anything else.

Ad Finem

The Greek team's stellar performance at The Boston Major catapulted them into a solid second place, earning the underdog team plenty of fans along the way. As the runners-up to Boston, Ad Finem stand a strong chance of receiving an invite based solely off of their performance at the last Major, though time will tell if Boston was more than just a one-off performance.

Reasons why they might not make it

Ad Finem's performance at Boston is the biggest argument for the team to receive an invite. They've had disappointing placements in the qualifiers they've competed in since, struggling to carry their momentum at Boston into other tournaments.

Newbee

As competitive as China has been in recent months, Newbee has been one of the few to have strong results against both Chinese and international teams since Boston. At ESL One Genting, Newbee handily defeated Team NP, Virtus.pro and Wings Gaming before falling to Digital Chaos in a close 3-2 series, which speaks well to the strengths of both teams. More importantly, Newbee won the Chinese-only Dota2 Professional League Season 2 - Top League, placing them above the other Chinese teams who are also gunning for an invite.

Reasons why they might not make it

Newbee have not played a single professional match since Genting. Taking their performance at DPL into account, it seems unlikely for Newbee to miss an invite to Kiev, but it is not outside the realm of possibility.

Virtus.pro

Virtus.pro came out of the post-TI6 shuffle as one of the hottest teams in Europe, qualifying for tournament after tournament and winning The Summit 6 in short order. After they fell out of Boston in the Top 8, VP went on to take a comfortable 3rd/4th place at ESL One Genting in January. With the introduction of a CIS qualifier and the fact that the next Major is taking place in that very region, VP are a sound choice to represent CIS at the tournament.

Reasons why they might not make it

VP have not done much to inspire confidence in them since January. Besides Genting, they performed poorly at Dota Pit League Season 5 and very quickly fell out of the qualifiers for DAC 2017. VP's invite to Kiev is contingent on a CIS team receiving an invite, as they are the most logical choice.

Team VG.J

It took several months, but Team VG.J are finally showing just what their stacked roster is capable of when everyone is playing at their best. It started with a DPL Season 2 - Secondary League win in December, followed by successful qualifications to both DAC 2017 and SL i-League Season 3 in January. It was their second place finish at the latter event that solidified VG.J as being one of the most promising team deserving of an invite in China.

Reasons why they might not make it

SL i-League Season 3 was the only premier tournament VG.J competed in this season, and while their performance was strong, it was not a LAN win. Their performance against other Chinese teams may very well be what makes or breaks VG.J's chances at getting an invite.

TNC Pro Team

Put simply, TNC Pro Team's fall season was abysmal. The post-TI6 roster shuffle did not work out in their favor, as their dismal placements at qualifiers show it. But in the winter, TNC returned to prominence by winning World Electronic Sports Games 2016. Coupled with their wins over Team Secret and iG.Vitality at SL i-League Season 3, and TNC have the best shot at receiving a coveted invite out of all the other SEA teams.

Reasons why they might not make it

Due to the rules at WESG, TNC did not face a high level of competition on their path to victory. Furthermore, their placement at SL i-League Season 3, while strong, may not be high enough to warrant Valve's attention when it comes to invites.

Wings Gaming

As the current TI champions, the absence of Wings Gaming at Kiev would be surprising. Since Boston, Wings' greatest accomplishment has been Top 4 at ESL One Genting, and they haven't played a game in the time since. But with their past record to look at and no roster changes in the months since, an invite for Wings would be a safe bet for Valve, who have invited far worse teams to past Majors.

Reasons why they might not make it

Were Wings to receive an invite to Kiev, it would more than likely be based off of their status at TI6 champions rather than anything else. If Wings did not win TI6, it would be very difficult to justify why they should be invited over other Chinese teams.

Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports whose journalism idol is Dino Ghiranze. You can follow him on Twitter.

Manager of Virtus.pro departs roster following DDoS controversy

by
Thumbnail image courtesy of Virtus.pro

Following Virtus.pro's elimination from the Dota 2 Asia Championship CIS Qualifiers due to internet connectivity issues, manager Andrey "Kimi" Kvasnevsky was dismissed on Tuesday for unspecified reasons.

"On Monday, we were the target of a DDoS attack that was also preventable," said Virtus.pro's General Manager Roman Dvoryankin in their press release on Tuesday. "As head of the organization, I bear the responsibility for this, and would like to apologize to the team’s fans and shareholders."

"We have also decided that our Dota 2 roster manager, Andrey Kvasnevsky, will be leaving the team," Dvoryankin continued. "I’d like to wish Andrey all the best of luck in the future. It wasn’t an easy decision to make."

Kristine "Vaalia" Hutter is a news editor for theScore esports. You can find her on Twitter.

related articles