On Thursday, Mars Media revealed on Twitter the schedule and the final seedings for the upcoming MDL Chengdu Major Dota 2 tournament.
The opening Major tournament of the 2019/20 Dota Pro Circuit season will kick off this Saturday in Chengdu, China, where we will see 16 elite Dota2 esports teams compete for the lion’s share of a US $1,000,000 prize pool and the largest chunk of 15,000 DPC points.
The lineup for the opening Major of the season was confirmed on Sunday, November 10, when Invictus Gaming won DOTA Summit 11 and claimed the final ticket leading to China. However, it was not until this Thursday that the group draw was finished and revealed to the public.
Team Unknown, TNC Predator, Fighting PandaS, EHOME
TNC Predator are by far the strongest team in Group A and should have an easy time advancing to the playoffs. The SEA juggernauts enter the Major fresh off their ESL One Hamburg title and will look to produce another big performance here.
While TNC look certain to progress, the second ticket for the playoffs is up for grabs among the remaining three teams. We can expect a fierce battle between EHOME and Fighting PandaS, who are seen as the most likely teams to join TNC in the second stage, while Team Unknown will have to produce something spectacular to join the race.
ViCi Gaming, Team Spirit, Fnatic, Alliance
Group B is regarded as the Group of Death as it features some of the strongest teams in the Dota 2 pro scene, including three of the top five favourites to win the Chengdu Major.
This group will force ViCi, Spirit, Fnatic and Alliance to find their form right from the start, as anything less could result in a premature exit from the tournament.
Whichever teams miss out on playoffs will curse their luck, as the title is anyone’s to win with OG, PSG.LGD and Team Secret skipping the trip to Chengdu.
Team Liquid, Team Aster, Evil Geniuses, Team Adroit
This will be an exciting group, as all teams possess plenty of potential. That said, it remains to be seen whether we see the best of these teams in the early stages of the tournament.
This is the official debut of the new-look Evil Geniuses, who will carry high expectations on their shoulders as the outright favourites. Team Liquid are in a similar situation, as their newly acquired roster has a lot to prove after making the switch from Alliance.
A lot can happen in Group C. If either EG or TL slip up, we can be sure Team Aster will take full advantage of the opportunity.
J.Storm, Invictus Gaming, Gambit Esports, beastcoast
The weakest group of the tournament might also be the most exciting, considering all four teams have a legitimate chance to advance to the playoffs.
A team that stands out here is Invictus Gaming, solely because they are entering the tournament fresh after winning the DOTA Summit 11 title. Gambit should not be ignored either, as the CIS powerhouse recently claimed a silver medal at ESL One Hamburg and will look to do some damage here as well.
Beastcoast, the former Infamous roster, turned heads with their impressive runs at The International 9, while J.Storm enter the Chengdu Major hungry for DPC points after missing out on TI9.