The first grand Dota 2 tournament of 2016 - The Shanghai Major

$3 million prize pool, 16 world-class teams, and a venue fit for The Rolling Stones.

The Shanghai Major is one of three official Dota 2 tournaments, and the only one hosted in continental Asia. Whether or not the Chinese people will withdraw from League of Legends tournaments and flip the channel is still unclear, but the stage is set for a great show!

Now, most of you probably know exactly what to expect. But in case you have missed out, I have put together a brief rundown. Here you can learn about the team lineup and current favorites for the $1 million grand prize.


Firstly, let us have a look at the tournaments schedule. In the first stage, the contestants will be split into four groups of four. The word around the campfire is that there are three main contestants for the grand prize -- these teams are bolded in the list below. Truth be told, any of these three teams could take the tournament by surprise.

As you can see, our three favorites will not meet in any of the first stage games coming over the next few days. At this very moment, Team Secret is already in a fight for the lead in their group. They won their first game against CDEC; however, Korean team MVP Phoenix proved to be a more than worthy competitor, beating Team Secret with a 2-0 record.

I will keep a close eye on the progress, and a full review along with highlights of the tournament will follow shortly after the final game.
At this point however, let us look at our three favorites and what we can expect in the tournament.

Team Secret

As most of you know, Team Secret was originally formed by legendary players from a couple of well-known teams, such as Fnatic, Alliance and the iconic Natus Vincere. In the past, this team's lineup has included such players as Arteezy and Zai. For this tournament, the team composition is as follows:

Note that the position column ranges the players' roles from hard carry players (1 - weak in the early game and very offensive in the late game) and support players (5 - providing resources, items and strategic support to the former, while getting less involved in direct combat).

As we can see, while Team Secret undeniably has strong players, due to frequent changes the team has spent only half a year in this lineup. Puppey is the senior player, with a year and a half under his belt. However, the rest of the field players have less than half a year of experience. On average, it works out at 7 months of experience per player. This is sure to be a painful drawback, as they will have nowhere near the level of coordination and amount of rehearsed strategies as the more experienced teams.

That said, this might be just what the doctor ordered when it comes to surprising strategies and breaks in the meta-game. Keep your eyes peeled, as Team Secret is sure to provide us with a good show.

Evil Geniuses

Evil Geniuses is where we find the previously mentioned players – Zai and Arteezy. While Zai is bogged down with high school, Arteezy is the clear favorite of the team, sharing the hard carry position with SumaiL. EG more than trumps Team Secret in terms of experience, with 22 months of experience on average. Moreover, Arteezy was only absent for half a year, bringing his total experience to well over a year. Evil Geniuses then have a clear advantage in terms of seniority. And with Arteezy and SumaiL in the offensive positions, it will take a miracle to stop the end game pressure from them.

Their first game will be on the 28th of February, against compLexity Gaming. This match will be the first indication of whether or not EG has the moves to steamroll this tournament and claim the grand prize.


OG is a very new team, composed of players from various backgrounds. The favorite player is N0tail, and many people expect great things from OG this tournament.

OG players have solid 4 months of experience of playing together, and this tournament is sure to make every minute of that practice count. Their lineup includes a similarly flexible strategy, having two possible hard carries.
Their first game will be on the 27th of February, against Team Archon. This then is a game to tune in for, as it will show what tricks OG has learned in the past 4 months.


In brief, The Shanghai Major will be a grand showdown of the greatest Dota 2 players. All the teams are strong, all of them are serious. And, while some have more experience than others, each has a secret trump card up their sleeves. If you want to tune in and try to pick up some cool moves, you can do so here.

The final games will take place on the 6th of March, and directly after that I will upload an overview of the main results and tournament highlights.

[Review Yobo]

Published Feb. 25th 2016
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