The penultimate DPC event before The International 10, WePlay AniMajor, is just around the corner and is expected to be a splendid affair.
Teams having secured a TI berth will use the tournament as their playground to compete against stronger teams hailing from different continents, while those less fortunate will strive to inch a bit closer and qualify for a direct invite to TI.
In the meantime, let's try to decode the possible outcomes with our not-so-pro predictions. Shall we?
Tier S: Team Aster [CN], Evil Geniuses [NA] and Team Liquid [EU].
Personally speaking, I'm leaning more towards EG on taking down this whole shebang considering their performance this year in both; DPC S2 NA regional league and ONE Esports Singapore Major.
The addition of Daryl Koh "iceiceice" Pei Xiang to the roster has bode really well for the American organization, and adds to my conviction on them sweeping the Major.
Aster has been on a roll in the DPC S2 CN regional league and is well positioned to become a contender for the championship despite their disappointing performance at Singapore Major albeit with a last minute stand-in.
Never in a thousand years did I believe that I'd be rooting for Team Liquid to possibly take the cup. Syed Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan's temporary addition in place of Samuel "Boxi" Svahn has been nothing short of remarkable.
The former's addition has more or less eliminated the choke factor for the team who is notorious for their inconsistent form for many years.
Image Source: Evil Geniuses
Tier A: Virtus Pro [CIS], Quincy Crew [NA], Alliance [EU], and Team Nigma [EU].
VP, QC and Alliance are second in line for giving strong competition for the trophy.
While they have topped their respective regional leagues, their performance at LAN events have not been up to par, i.e., ONE Esports Singapore Major and that's the only reason I've not placed them at the top.
Nigma makes the cut as I expect them to come out swinging from the group.. oh wait.. the Wildcards stage. Nigma is looking better after adding Igor "iLTW" Filatov to the roster.
Honestly speaking, the wildcards group is stacked with strong teams and has the potential to be completely surprise us with no particular team having the upper hand except a select few.
Image Source: Alliance
Neutral: PSG.LGD [CN], Team Secret [EU], TNC Predator [SEA], Vici Gaming [CN] and Beastcoast [SA]
LAN is a completely different beast altogether and this group consists of teams which can do well but at the same time also be unpredictable.
Out of the lot, I fully expect Beastcoast, LGD and TNC to perform well as they are seeded in the groupstage, while I'm expecting VG to crash out of the tournament as they play the Wildcards in an already stacked group.
From my point of view, Secret and Nigma are most likely to proceed from the Wildcards to the groupstage.
Image Source: WePlay Esports
Tier D: Execration [SEA], ASM Gambit [CIS], Team Spirit [CIS] and Invictus Gaming [CN]
This group consists of the bottom-halfers, who'll crash and burn out during the early stages and occupy the last positions in the ladder.
- Execration - barely has any experience and will be heavily handicapped playing against stronger teams.
- ASM Gambit - due to the recent roster changes that saw Noone and Sonneiko leave, I doubt they'll be able to dish out something out of the ordinary.
- Team Spirit - They are pitted in a group against behemoths such as EG, TNC, Liquid, Beastcoast, and the others. Unless and until they have the grit to outperform their opponents, which seems unlikely, I don't see them doing well.
- Invictus Gaming - strongest out of the lot, and unfortunately seeded in the Wildcards groupstage albeit with a stand-in, I believe that we'll see the Chinese giants not make it out of the group.
Image Source: WePlay Esports
Underdogs: T1 [SEA] and NoPing Esports [SA]
T1 and NoPing Esports are a bit dicey choices for me and hence I'd categorize them as the underdogs.
The former has a lot to prove whilst the latter has had to deal with anxiety issues during the last leg of the online regional league.
Do keep an eye out on these two since they are fully capable of surprising us. We all want an underdog story, don't we?
Do you share the same opinion as mine? Well, we'll know only at the Major!