DPC Week 5 separated the best from the mediocre in Dota 2. Esports.gg presents a recap of the week that was in Dota 2 esports.

As the Dota Pro Circuit 2021 Season 1 comes to a close, Dota 2 fans are slowly getting a clearer understanding of the final standings. Esports.gg presents you with a quick DPC recap of the week that went by. 

Dota 2 teams all over the world are competing for a spot at the upcoming Dota 2 Major in Singapore. The ONE Esports Singapore Major will be the first Dota 2 Major in a year. The tournament holds significance as it acts as a stepping stone towards the upcoming Dota 2 International featuring the biggest prize pool in esports. There are six regions in Dota 2 esports and the top two teams from each region earn a spot at the next Major. There are also limited Major Wild Card slots on offer for some regions. 

Europe - The Best of Dota 2 Live in Action

Europe has been the centerpiece of Dota 2 esports for a long time. The region is host to some of the most popular and biggest names in Dota 2 such as OG, Team Secret, Liquid, Alliance and more.

Team Secret has been undefeated in the 2021 DPC season. The team started the week with a 5-0 score and continues its stellar form with a 2-0 victory over High Coast esports. Matumbaman did not die even once in the entire series and Team Secret was in complete control of the match. 

The biggest storyline of the past week was Vikin.gg’s double loss and subsequent relegation to the lower division. Vikin.gg had to face off against Alliance and Tundra esports, both tough but equally important matches. The first game was relatively close, but the second game resulted in a 41-9 loss for Vikin.gg. The team used Maurice "KheZu" Gutmann as a stand-in and the change in its playing lineup meant the players did not have the necessary synergy and coordination. 

OG and Team Liquid were tied in the series, but a costly mistake saw Team Liquid march ahead in the game. As OG waited for Topias Miikka "Topson" Taavitsainen to pick up the Aegis, Max "qojqva" Bröcker denied it with Lycan’s Wolves. It was at a crucial juncture in the game, where OG could have managed a comeback. It was not the sole reason for OG’s loss, but it was an event that could have changed the outcome of the game. 

What’s Next for Europe DPC 2021?

The final week will see intense competition between the middling teams of the European leaderboards. Alliance, Team Liquid, OG and Nigma are strong contenders for a slot at the next Dota 2 Major. The top two slots in the European DPC go to the Major playoffs and group stage. The next two teams earn a slot at the Major Wild Card. 

Alliance stands above the pack with a 4-2 score, but Team Liquid, OG and Nigma are 3-3. The final week matches are an opportunity for every team in the EU DPC to possibly earn a slot at the next Major. A single unexpected victory or loss can alter the balance of the European DPC rankings. Right now, Secret and Alliance are at the top of the table. Things might look very different at the end of the season.

Southeast Asia - Headed for an Exciting Final Week

After a tumultuous few weeks, TNC Predator fans could finally breathe a sigh of relief. The team had two straight wins over 496 Gaming and both victories were relatively comfortable victories. Despite being one of the most popular SEA Dota 2 teams, TNC Predator’s 2021 DPC performance has left a lot to be desired.  TNC players have brought back games from near-impossible victories. While the players’ late-game awareness is to be lauded, their inability to earn and build a good early-game lead is worrisome. TNC Predator’s victory gets the team closer to the top of the table but it still stands behind NEON Esports and Fnatic.

Fnatic and NEON faced off against each other this week in a battle for the top spot. Fnatic won the series, tying NEON esports for a 5-1 score in the leaderboards. However, Fnatic is currently ranked #1 in SEA due to its better game difference. Fnatic will face TNC Predator while NEON will play T1 esports in the teams’ final matches of the season.

What’s Next for SEA DPC 2021?

The top three teams, Fnatic, NEON esports and TNC Predator, are all in competition for the top spot. Fnatic and TNC Predator will face off against each other in the group stage and this is the most important match of the final week. A win for TNC Predator coupled with a NEON esports victory could see TNC Predator secure a group stage slot. At the same time, if NEON esports loses its match, the group’s top slot will be up for grabs with TNC Predator and Fnatic both in contention. TNC Predator has had some really close calls in the group stage. The team has had several close calls in this tournament with the players pulling off some near-impossible victories. While the players’ resilience is noteworthy, their repeated inability to secure and strengthen a mid-game lead is a cause of worry. 

T1 esports is in the same boat as TNC Predator. The team will play NEON Esports and could also catapult itself into a Major berth in the final week. T1 esports entered Dota 2 last year and is already in close contention for a slot at the next Dota 2 Major.

CIS - Na’VI Suffers First Loss, Falls Behind VP

Dota 2 is extremely popular in the CIS region and borrows heavily in playstyle and meta from neighboring Europe. Before last week, Virtus.Pro and Natus Vincere remained undefeated and were in tough competition for the top spot. 

However, Na’Vi suffered its first loss against Team Spirit, falling behind Virtus.Pro but very much still in contention for the top spot. Na’Vi has often taken off-road with its drafts and sometimes puts itself at a disadvantage when its drafts don't play out to their strengths. Na’Vi picked heroes like Lycanthrope, Enigma and Bloodseeker against Team Spirit, but these picks backfired earning Na’Vi its first loss of the season. 

Screengrab via Dotabuff.com.
Screengrab via Dotabuff.com.

Team Spirit had a huge comeback in the first game against Natus Vincere.  After securing an early lead, Natus Vincere tried, in vain, to breach the radiant high ground. Na’VI faced a ‘spirited defense’ as tey could not deal with V-Tune’s Anti Mage. 

Despite the loss, Na’Vi is still second in the group stage and is almost guaranteed a slot in the next Dota 2 Major group stage. The team also has a chance to claim the top spot as it faces Virtus.Pro in its last match. The final week of the CIS region will see the battle between the two top teams. Virtus.Pro and Natus Vincere have the best chance to qualify to the next Dota 2 Major, but the final week will determine which team gets to the playoffs and which remains in the group stage of the next Dota 2 Major.  

North America - Is Quincy Crew the Best NA Dota 2 Team?

Quincy Crew took down Evil Geniuses and took the lead in the North American segment. After going back and forth in the series, Arteezy picked up the Rapier on his Medusa. But Rodrigo "Lelis" Santos’ Beastmaster was quick to react and QC started the fight refusing to give any space to Arteezy’s Medusa. Meanwhile, 4Zoomers had an opportunity to get ahead but fell short partly due to Kim "DuBu" Doo-young’s tanky roaming hero in Ogre Magi.

With Quincy Crew’s victory over Evil Geniuses, the team is now 6-0 in the group stage. Evil Geniuses is not far behind at 5-1 but the final week will determine the best team in the lot. EG will face 5ManMidas in its last game of the season and fans can expect an easy victory for Arteezy and co. Meanwhile, Quincy Crew will face Team Undying and a victory here will secure the Major playoffs spot for Quincy Crew.

North America will only send two teams to the next Dota 2 Major. EG, Undying and Quincy Crew are all valid contenders for these two slots.

South America - Beastcoast Suffers First Loss in DPC 2021

The mighty Beastcoast faced its first defeat in the Dota Pro Circuit 2021. The team lost 0-2 to NoPing esports bringing it within the reach of other group stage teams. Beastcoast lost multiple lanes in Game 1 and could never recover from the disastrous start. NoPing esports pressured Jean Pierre "Chris Luck" Gonzale and Adrián "Wisper" Céspedes Dobles and stopped Beastcoast from coming back into the game. 

NoPing esports went 4-0 in the week, with 2-0 victories over Beastcoast and Team Unknown. Despite the strong performance last week, NoPing still is fourth in the group stage with a 4-3 score. The team’s chances are significantly better compared to before, but its chances of qualifying to the Major depend on other results. Beastcoast will face SG esports in the final week, a battle that will shape the final table standings in South America. 

There were no Chinese games scheduled last week. Chinese Dota 2 esports will return with top-tier Dota 2 action for fans. The ONE Esports Singapore Major 2021 kicks off on March 27 and will run through April 4 2021. The Major has a $500,000 prize pool and 2700 Dota Pro Circuit points for the top-placed teams. 

Featured Image Courtesy of Valve.