Eyes are looking to Macau as teams gear up to make the move to Macau, China for the next tournament on the Dota 2 Pro Circuit. This Minor, organized by Mars Media, in the “Las Vegas of Asia” promises to deliver an exciting sixth season of the Mars Dota 2 League (MDL) from December 8th to 10th. This tournament promises to deliver some exciting games as nine teams from around the world battle for their share of the $300,000 USD prize pool and 300 Pro Circuit Points. The nine teams will compete in a best-of-one round robin with the top four teams advancing to the playoffs. The top four teams will then compete in best-of-three single elimination games that will force teams to think fast and draft well.
Valve surprised fans and spectators when it announced that it was instructing Mars Media, the organizers of MDL Macau, to invite EHOME to the Valve sanctioned minor MDL Macau. After being excluded from the Chinese qualifiers, EHOME was added to the list of teams attending the MDL Macau. This meant that instead of 8 teams, this minor would see 9 teams competing for the fame, Pro Circuit Points and the prize pool of $300,000 USD.
Invited along with EHOME were LDG Gaming, Virtus.Pro and previous Dota Pro League Season 4 winners LDG.Forever Young. Coming from the Southeast Asia regional qualifiers is TNC Pro Team who beat out Mineski to make it to Macau. VGJ.Storm will be representing North America and Infamous will be representing South America. OG went undefeated in the Europe qualifiers to earn their spot in Macau and Natus Vincere will get to play in MDL Macau after an exciting win against Team Empire in their CIS Final qualifiers.
In MDL Macau’s round robin, each team will play against the other to get the best record to move to the Playoffs. Each game in the round robin will be a best-of-one. This means will teams will have to create flawless drafts and execute their games flawlessly in order to secure their win. One loss could mean the difference between making it to the Playoffs and going home.
Favourites of the tournament
Virtus.Pro sits in a comfortable third place on the Dota Pro Circuit more than 1200 points above fourth place and it’s well deserved. They are a CIS powerhouse that has consistently demonstrated their superior drafting abilities and total game domination. They’ve consistently placed well in each tournament they’ve qualified for and have earned close to 600,000 USD since the end of October. I’ll be interested to see if VP can continue their in-game rhythm with the replacement of Solo with ArtStyle for this tournament. A lot will be riding on ArtStyle’s shoulders as they face off against some fierce competition.
OG hasn’t been able to recreate the dominant season they had in 2016 but that shouldn’t discredit them from being a major threat at MDL Macau. OG is known as being a team that if they are able to take control of a game, they able to snowball out of control. It’s why heroes like Alchemist and Naga Siren are banned so frequently against OG. If OG can secure farm for their players who are playing farming intense heroes, an OG speciality, they very quickly take the lead and the game. Watch to see teams ban OG’s favourite heroes like Alchemist, Invoker, Io and Earth Spirit.