Dota 2 caster Austin “Capitalist” Walsh takes a look at ONE Esports Singapore Major Wild Card. 8K MMR but what about his prediction skills?
The ONE Esports Singapore Major is set to kick off on March 27 with the Wild Card Stage. The Singapore Major Wild Card stage features some of the best teams from the strongest regions.
Wild Card teams
The six teams in the Singapore Major Wild Card event are as follows:
- Team Nigma
- Team Liquid
- Vici Gaming
- T1 esports
- AS Monaco Gambit
The top three teams - originally two - from the Wild Card event move forward to the group stage. The Wild Card stage features a single-stage round-robin format where every team plays every other in the group. There are two European teams, two from China, one from Southeast Asia and one team from CIS.
Here’s a quick rundown of the Singapore Major Wild Card section of the first Dota 2 LAN event in over a year.
The European representatives: Nigma and Team Liquid
The European region was the most competitive in the Dota Pro Circuit. While Team Secret cruised through the DPC and remained undefeated, the remaining slots saw intense competition. Alliance secured second place with a 5-2 score and Nigma barely made it to the third position with a 4-3 score.
Nigma won 10 games and lost eight for its third-place finish, a not-so-convincing statistic. Kuroky and co. will be playing the Dota 2 Major without their offlaner, Ivan Borislavov "MinD_ContRoL" Ivanov. The team will be using its coach, Roman "rmN-" Paley, as a stand-in. MinD_ContRoL’s absence means a few role-changes within the roster which will inadvertently impact the overall performance. Nigma’s slow start to tournaments does not bode well for the Wild card format where every match matters.
Team Liquid is the other team from Europe and they barely made it to the Wild Card stage. The competitiveness of the European DPC mentioned earlier in this article was on full display for the final EU Wild card slot. Team Liquid, OG and Tundra esports were tied for the final slot with a 3-4 score.
Team Liquid’s matches are always interesting to watch because of the aggressive draft picks. The team’s strategies are extremely innovative and often bring new heroes and playstyles into the mix. With flexible hero pools for most of its players, Team Liquid has a lot of options in its games. It is also the only team outside of Virtus.pro and Team Secret to win a big EU Dota 2 event during the pandemic.
PSG.LGD and Vici Gaming bring the Chinese meta to the Major
Europe is currently considered the best region in Dota 2. However, the past year has seen no international LAN events and there have generally been very few cross-region online tournaments. These factors give Chinese teams a big advantage when it comes to facing off against their European counterparts.
Vici Gaming has traditionally been one of the strongest organizations in Chinese Dota 2. The team finished the regular DPC season third behind Invictus Gaming and Team Aster. With a 5-2 score, that includes losses against PSG.LGD and Invictus Gaming, Vici won every other series with a 2-0 score. The dominant nature of its victories highlights the team’s understanding of its own strategy as well as a good draft in most matches.
Three wild card teams move forward to the group stage. As one of the strongest Dota 2 teams in the world, Vici Gaming is the favorite to top the wild card segment.
PSG.LGD has placed in the top four of the last three International events. As one of the biggest organizations in the Chinese region, this team has picked up the best players in the region and helped build strong team synergy.
PSG.LGD has been one of the most successful Chinese Dota 2 teams during the lockdown. The team has had multiple top two appearances in regional Chinese events. With more wins than losses, it is foolhardy to discount PSG.LGD, even against stronger opponents.
The Wild Card stage is extremely tough and PSG.LGD has is not popular for its consistency in its recent matches. The team finished with a 11-7 record in the DPC, but Walsh believes the team has a higher skill ceiling.
The Challengers: AS Monaco Gambit and T1 esports
While the European and Chinese teams are favorites to secure the three spots available, AS Monaco Gambit and T1 esports can play spoilers. The two teams have displayed exemplary skill in the regular season. While their chances to make it to the group stage seem slim, more so for T1 than Gambit, they can cause a few upsets in the Wild Card stage.
The Singapore Major dark horse: AS Monaco Gambit
AS Monaco Gambit and T1 esports are undoubtedly the two weakest teams in the wild card stage. But it would be foolhardy for Dota 2 fans to disregard their potential to cause upsets and maybe, even qualify to the group stage.
AS Monaco Gambit, formerly Live To Win, started the DPC season on a strong note winning two of its first three matches. The team lost to Virtus.pro but was that was along expected lines. The series against Team Spirit was a relatively close one that could have gone either way.
The team’s understanding of its drafts and excellent execution is what gives them an advantage. As Austin "Capitalist" Walsh mentions in the Esports.gg video, Vladimir "No[o]ne" Minenko’s addition to the roster was a huge skill bump for AS Monaco Gambit. The team is still one of the underdogs in the Wild Card stage, but that is a testimony to the strength and depth of gameplay from other regions. But Dota 2 fans should not be quick to count out Gambit just yet. The team can throw up quite a few surprises at the Major, which could potentially hurt other team’s chances of moving forward.
Southeast Asia’s Wild Card Hope: T1 Esports
T1 entered Dota 2 in 2019 and the organization has seen constant changes to its roster. The team’s bid to become one of the strongest teams in the Southeast Asian region has seen a high churn rate of players. But it seems they have hit the sweet spot just ahead of the Dota 2 Major.
The Dota Pro Circuit Season 1: Southeast Asia was wide open till the very end. In fact, Fnatic secured its top spot only in the final wee. This was in contrast to most other regions where the top team was decided much earlier. T1 esports was tied with NEON in the group stage and the duo had to go to the tie-breaker segment.
T1 esports recently added Nuengnara "23savage" Teeramahanon to its roster. The first player to reach 12,000 MMR in Dota 2, has not had the most success in the professional landscape. There is no denying his skill and it will be interesting to see how he fits into the T1 roster.
The ONE Esports Singapore Major kicks off on March 27. Recently Netflix released DOTA: Dragon’s Blood, a Dota lore-based animation series that dives deep into the lives of some characters. In a recent update, Valve released a new player experience that should ease the transition of new players into the game. Valve also promised a balance update patch and a new hero after the Singapore Major.