Valve recently announced the location for the upcoming Major, only a few days after the conclusion of MDL – the first premier tournament post TI6. However, they were able to catch a majority of the community off-guard by picking the city of Boston – effectively hosting 2 consecutive events in the same region/country. While this is indeed the first time a Major will take place in America, it is still a controversial decision given that Seattle had been TI’s venue by default, which will give us two of the year’s four major tournaments being held in the US.
The tournament will take place from the 7th to the 10th of December in the Wang Theater, featuring 16 top DOTA teams from across the world via direct invites and qualifiers. The prize pool remains unchanged compared to the previous Major at $3 million, however the distribution has not yet been disclosed. PGL appears to have gained Valve’s trust by carrying out a very successful Manila Major, as they are again entrusted with the task of hosting Boston 2016.
Bracket brawlers like Digital Chaos will not be happy with the new format
The most notable change for this upcoming Major is that it will take up the single elimination format. After a group stage which will take place from 3-4th of December, teams will go head-to-head against each other in a Best of 3, and the loser will have to go home without a chance for redemption – unlike the double elimination format. The stakes of the main event will be much higher, and there will not be a miracle story from the lower bracket like OG of the Frankfurt Major or Digital Chaos of TI6. This will be a significant blow to teams that tend to have a slow start and pick up the pace later such as Evil Geniuses. On the other hand, BO3s guarantee that there will not be any intense deathmatch where a cheese strategy can turn the tables. The structure seems to be highly experimental, and it will decide whether or not Valve will adopt it for future tournaments.
Can Wings Gaming continue their dominance?
As far as participants go, we can expect to see a lot of competition from regions around the world with a variety of new rosters trying to make a name for themselves like OG did last year. Aside from Wings Gaming who won The International 6 in a convincing fashion, Digital Chaos and Evil Geniuses also have a high probability of receiving a direct invite for their top 3 placings in August. The rest of the slots are up for grabs, as a lot of teams are looking very strong on paper, and some have even proven themselves in recent tournaments. Secret, Liquid, OG, Newbee, LGD.fy, EHOME and Team NP are all names to look out for, and let’s not forget underdogs like Unknown.Xiu, Mineski or the recent TNC Gaming who always pack an interesting surprise.
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