The Kiev Major, set to start on April 24, will convey the very best Dota 2 teams collectively to compete within the first event of 2017. However there’s more than a $3 million prize pool, as teams try to show that they will overcome their legacies, in addition to attempt to benefit from their second shot at Major glory. Moreover, the shadow of TI7 looms ever nearer, and Kiev would be the greatest shot for most of the teams competing to safe a coveted invite to the best match in Dota 2.

For these wanting ahead to the upsets and pleasure that may certainly develop within the Ukraine, listed here are 4 storylines to follow at The Kiev Major.

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Old Digital Chaos vs. New Digital Chaos

Welcome to Dota 2, the place teams swap up their rosters 10 days earlier than a $3 million tournament.

In a transfer that shocked the Dota 2 world, Digital Chaos introduced that their former roster could be leaving the team and compete on the Kiev Major as Thunderbirds. On the similar time, DC signed team Onyx, an unsigned roster that fashioned in January who had additionally certified for the Major, to exchange their former roster.

As sudden because the change could also be, each the previous and new DC squads are in robust positions heading into the Major. Onyx had been arguably probably the most promising team on this planet because of their hard-fought victories over team NP and compLexity Gaming within the North American qualifier for the Kiev Major. With the mixed skills of BuLba and DeMoN, two of probably the most clever gamers taking part in Dota 2 in the present day, Major the staff, they’re poised to additional DC’s status at Kiev.

Alternatively, Thunderbirds are nonetheless a high tier staff which have loads of expertise at Valve occasions and usually are not going to disintegrate just because they do not have a serious team backing them. Bear in mind, this staff positioned second at TI6 after a grueling run by the decrease bracket the place they had been on the verge of elimination a number of instances, and reached the High four on the Boston Major in a single elimination bracket. You may debate their relative energy in comparison with different teams, however you may’t deny that Thunderbirds have seen repeated success at Valve occasions.

Whereas a match between these two teams could be wonderful to observe, there’s extra that these teams are taking part in for than simply prize cash. If DC goes additional than Thunderbirds, the team will retain a spot amongst the most effective Dota teams and their status will stay intact. However Thunderbirds need to present that they do not want DC with the intention to win, and will definitely search to show that they’ll make it on their very own.

The format of the team|team stage and the playoffs makes it extremely unlikely these teams will play in opposition to one another. But, you must keep watch over these two teams, as their respective runs shall be one of the fascinating storylines at Kiev.

Greater than the cash: OG, Evil Geniuses and Newbee look forward to TI

OG, Evil Geniuses and Newbee are arguably the three greatest teams heading into the Kiev Major. Because it stands, these three teams have greater than sufficient momentum to hold them by to a TI7 invite. But, in contrast to different teams, they are not simply preventing to win all of it — they’re preventing to not lose.

There is a distinction between preventing to win and preventing to not lose. These preventing to win will usually cease at nothing to achieve victory, utilizing no matter unorthodox methods and ways they’ll to take action. These preventing to not lose will ceaselessly play it secure, counting on confirmed and well-tested methods to hold them ahead.

You possibly can see this in Ad Finem’s run at The Boston Major, as they resorted to extraordinarily aggressive ways to take them to the Grand Finals, catching the likes of Newbee and DC off guard. Presumably due to that efficiency, Ad Finem had been invited to Kiev once they in any other case would could have sat it out. Performing nicely at Kiev can hand a team an invitation to TI7, whereas performing poorly can wreck months of success with a single match.

What this implies is that whereas none of those three teams must win the Major to stay a high tier squad, in addition they must advance far sufficient to satisfy expectations. Although no teams shall be eradicated within the upcoming team|team stage, their document will finally decide whether or not they go up in opposition to a staff like SG e-sports or in opposition to an enormous similar to Thunderbirds. That is made worse by the one elimination format of the playoffs, which beforehand induced TI6 champions Wings Gaming to fall to EG within the first spherical of the Boston Major.

Although there could also be different tournaments for these teams to attempt to earn an invitation to TI7, the Kiev Major represents the most effective shot for them to retain their standing on the high of Dota 2. Expectations are excessive for OG, EG and Newbee at Kiev, and their choices will vastly impression each their reputations within the coming months, and their shot at incomes a coveted invite to TI7.

mousesports’ second shot at glory

One of the thrilling storylines that unfolded on the Boston Major was the regular climb of Greek staff Advert Finem to the Grand Finals. Their unbelievable run to the Grand Finals, coupled with their charisma, garnered them a legion of followers on the match. Although they might finally fall to OG 3-1 ultimately, their efficiency and wonderful comeback in Recreation Three was sufficient to immortalize them in Dota 2 historical past.

However the next months haven’t been form to the Greeks.

Removed from persevering with to construct off of their efficiency at Boston, Ad Finem didn’t qualify for any Major match within the winter season. Their strongest efficiency was a disappointing fourth place on the StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3 European Qualifier, with worse outcomes following within the Dota 2 Asia Championships 2017 European Qualifier and Elimination Mode 3.0. Although they might obtain an invitation to Kiev, Ad Finem had been a disappointment to many.

Nonetheless, shortly after the invitations for the Kiev Major had been introduced, Advert Finem introduced that their Dota roster determined to not renew their contracts and would depart the team. After reMajor|Majoring in limbo for simply over a month, the roster was picked up by mousesports, who returned to Dota 2 for the primary time since 2015.

In some ways, the Kiev Major would be the second likelihood for the mouz roster to show that they’ve what it takes to compete on the high of Dota 2. A powerful efficiency in Kiev will present a powerful counterargument to those that dismissed them as a one hit roster, and would return them to relevance as The Worldwide 2017 looms forward. As well as, good outcomes will undoubtedly please the team, who took a danger in selecting up a staff who solely have one good consequence to their identify.

For the gamers on mouz, it will likely be their second shot at glory on the Kiev Major. By subsequent week, we’ll discover out if they’ve efficiently capitalized on it.

Growth or Bust — SEA fights for relevance

Southeast Asia shall be represented by two teams on the Kiev Major — team Faceless and TNC Professional team. Each teams certified for the match, with no SEA teams receiving an invitation to the Major. Judging by the efficiency of the area at tournaments over the previous few months, this isn’t a shock.

Faceless and TNC are presently the 2 most outstanding teams in aggressive Dota, and so they haven’t carried out nicely since Boston. Faceless, who’ve frequently certified for tournaments solely to fall out of them early, haven’t been capable of set up themselves as a drive to be reckoned with for different teams outdoors of their area. They are a gifted staff, however their continuous lack of robust outcomes offers trigger for concern.

TNC has had higher outcomes, successful World eSports activities Video games 2016 and inserting third/4th at SL i-League Season 3. However their competitors was noticeably missing at WESG, with few robust teams standing of their means, and so they had been crushed by Liquid within the semifinals at SL i-League.

When the Kiev Major begins, each Faceless and TNC shall be preventing to not solely stay related amongst their opponents, however to outlive the match intact. A poor displaying within the team|team stage will nearly actually doom them to going through a excessive caliber staff like EG when the playoffs start. And as soon as the match concludes, they should cope with a reforged Fnatic, who’ve spent the previous a number of months rebuilding their roster in anticipation for publish Kiev-Major tournaments.

They have the most effective of the most effective in opposition to them, and it’ll take a number of laborious work and extra impressed play to flee Kiev intact.