The DOTA 2 major circuit continues to chug along nicely, with the best of the best making a return to Stockholm. It’s not just the whopping $1 000 000 prize pool that the teams are competing for: 15 000 DPC (Dot Pro Circuit) points are also on the line for the sixteen participants, the second time a DreamLeague event became a part of the circuit this season and also their second Valve major overall.
What Is The DreamLeague DOTA 2 Tournament?
No one received a direct invitation to this one: all but one participants earned their right to show up in Stockholm through regional qualifiers (with 3×3 slots allocated to Europe, China and North America plus two to each of CIS, South America and Southeast Asia) with the winner of the StarLadder ImbaTV Minor, Vici Gaming rounding out the list of contenders. All but one (TNC Predator) of the current top twelve in the DPC 2018-19 rankings will make an appearance in Stockholm, guaranteeing an explosive event.
DOTA 2 DreamLeague Tournament Format
The tournament’s format mirrors the ones used at the earlier majors this season. It begins with a group stage where the teams are divided into four groups of four, fighting for the top two spots through a GSL bracket. Note that no one gets eliminated at this stage: the battle is strictly for playoff seeding.
Almost every match in the event is a best-of-three, apart from the first round of the lower bracket elimination match and the grand finals – the former is a best-of-one sudden death tussle while the series to determine the ultimate victor is a best-of-five. Format-wise, the group stage might feel like an afterthought at first – but trust us when we say that no one wants to immediately fight for their lives in the playoff stage.
DreamLeague Tournament Community & Valve Major
The DreamLeague events are also known for their fairy zany production – often referred to as “MemeLeague” –, something you can expect to continue in Season 11 even if they may scale it back somewhat now that the tournament is treated as a Valve major. It remains to be seen whether the infamous red button will make a return but it’s quite likely that some sort of shenanigans will occur during the broadcast.
If regular desk segments bore you to tears, the ones at this event might still be worth watching. The group stage matches will run simultaneously on multiple streams, but the playoff games will be given the usual treatment with every one of them broadcasted on DreamLeague’s Twitch channel.
Odds To Win The DreamLeague Season 11 Tournament
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Best Teams To Follow During DreamLeague Season 11
The International 2019 – Not Long Left
With only four DPC events (only two of which are majors) to go after this event leading up to TI9, there’s less and less room for error as the competitors begin to wrap up their campaigns for the twelve direct-invite spots. Of course, Team Secret and Virtus.pro are already confirmed to return to the biggest stage of DOTA play, and quite a few other teams could conceivably secure their spots with a good showing at DreamLeague.
However, the flipside of it all is that a poor performance here may very well force teams into roster changes and knee-jerk moves: certain players on the lower-rated teams may very well be playing for their lives here.
Team Secret – DreamLeague Favorites, It’s No Longer A Secret
It’s not like it’s a surprise that Team Secret are the favorites going into this event, but the current DPC leaders also have a really good set of results in this particular competition to lean on, holding the record-highest number of DreamLeague wins to date with three triumphs out of the ten such events held so far.
If that’s not enough for you, then how about their performance at Katowice just recently? Only losing a single map on their way to victory is a pretty damn impressive feat. They’ve also been handed a fairly light assignment in the group stage with J.Storm and Keen Gaming looking like the whipping boys for them and Team Liquid.
That being said, the Chinese side has managed to finish second at WESG’s recently concluded event, but even the +432 odds on offer for their opening match and the +900 for their group win don’t seem tempting enough considering their opposition. Of course, the potential Secret-Liquid tussle should also give you a good idea about how these two promising contenders could potentially stack up with the field going forward – it is very likely that these two will be battling it out for the top seed in Group A.
Virtus.pro – Ups And Downs In The CIS Region
In Group C, Virtus.pro are the runaway favorites, the second organization apart from Team Secret to already have secured their TI9 spot and, of course, the winners of the Kuala Lumpur major and the runners-up at Chongqing are likely going to be once again the ones to lock horns with Nisha and co. They have a long-standing and stable roster to call upon, a four-man core unchanged since 2016, VP are clearly the top-tier challengers of Team Secret in the current environment. Anything but an outright win in the group stage (-182) would be seen as a massive disappointment.
Contrast and compare this with the state of Natus Vincere, another one of those storied esport organizations from the region with a pretty monumental DOTA 2 history: they’ve really struggled out of the gates at the start of this DPC season – even though they clinched the runner-up spot at the previous edition of this very event, still classified as a minor, they didn’t even make it to the next pair of DPC events and are quickly running out of time to turn things around.
They are currently in sixteenth place in the Pro Circuit rankings and could really use a good performance in Stockholm. The odds are not in their favor: +257 in their opening match against Evil Geniuses and a whopping +1400 to win Group D, it seems like things will get worse before they get better for fans of the org that started it all with a win at the very first TI in 2011.
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