The first major of 2021/2022 DPC is about to take place in Sweden’s capital, Stockholm. The event will gather fourteen of the best teams from all regions except China. Unfortunately, the Chinese powerhouses will have to compete in a separate event due to the COVID pandemic.
Following our overview of the five teams who some consider the favorites to win, it's time to look at the other side of the coin.
Even though this Major consists of the best teams in each region, some might have difficulties. The fact that they're the underdogs doesn’t mean they won’t succeed, but it definitely won’t be easy. Let’s not forget that Team Spirit also was an underdog at TI 10, but Yatoro and co. won the event.
We are yet to see which team will shine, but until then, here are a couple of names that we think might have problems.
The first team we want to include on this list is from Southeast Asia, and it barely made it to the Major. Karl and the rest managed to bounce back after the shaky start before they conceived a few additional losses. This placed them in a very bad position because they had to play against Polaris in the Tiebreaker.
After two epic games with Storm Spirit and TA, T1 secured the third slot for ESL One Stockholm 2022. Now that we know the groups, T 1 will have to go against BOOM, BC, BetBoom, EG, OG, and Tundra Esports. This puts them in a bad position because several names stand out.
Despite their shaky performance through the DPC, T1’s roster consists of some of the best players in the region. Therefore, they have a chance of exiting the group in the top four.
Let’s face it; the South American Dota 2 region is not as famous as the rest. Even though it consists of numerous teams that know what they’re doing, players from other regions underestimate them.
With that being said, one team has proved itself several times. Thunder Awaken finished Tour 1 and 2 without losing a single match (besides the Regional Final’s final). Even more impressive is that they’ve always dominated in their matches against their opponents.
If there is one team from South America that could upset its opponents, this is it. TA will have to compete against Mind Gamines, Liquid, TSM, Team Spirit, Gaimin Gladiators, and Fnatic. This group definitely looks “easier” on paper than the first one, but we have yet to see whether this will be the case.
Some teams earned a Major sport after proving themselves against the best in their region. Mind Games is not one of them because this was the luckiest team in Eastern Europe.
After winning against Puck Champ, MG lost against Outsides in two easy games. However, Outsiders were disqualified, which automatically gave MG the victory. After the free win, the team lost two consecutive games against BetBoom and Spirit. They won the Third Slot decider seminal final without playing (again vs. Outsiders) and then won the final against CIS rejects.
To make a long story short, MG earned a Major slot after losing three games in total. Some people think that the team does not deserve a Major slot, so it will be interesting to see whether Mind Games have what it takes to put up a fight. The team is in Group B, so it will have the chance to play against Team Spirit yet again.
Despite not having big names on its roster, Gamin Gladiators proved to the world that they deserve respect. Following the team’s epic victory in Tour 1, GG continued to dominate in Tour 2. In fact, the team has only lost one game, and it was against OG. This was a clear sign that it knew what it was doing.
The good news for Ace and his teammates is that GG is in Group B, which seems like the less dangerous one, at least on paper. We are yet to see this team in action against the top squads from other regions, so it will be fun to keep an eye on them and their progress.
The first match again of GG will be against TSM. If the team survives in the Group Stage and finishes in the top 4, it will advance to the playoffs of the Upper Bracket.
Last but definitely not least, we have the most dominating team in Eastern Europe who even defeated the powerful Team Spirit. Winstrike’s ex-team — an entirely Russian roster led by SoNNeikO — ripped through their competitors. The team won first place in Eastern Europe after winning three games in a row.
We haven’t seen this roster in action in the international Dota 2 scene for some time now. However, the team’s most recent dominance is a sign that SoNNeikO and the rest are not coming on vacation. They will do everything in their power to gain as many DPC points as possible.
Sadly, the team is in Group A alongside the likes of OG, EG, and BOOM, so securing a top 4 finish won’t be easy.
The first Major of this DPC will be really important for every team because it will give tons of DPC points. As you know, the new DPC rules do not include that many tournaments. Consequently, teams will have fewer opportunities to get points for the upcoming TI 11.
Unless Valve changes its rules, ESL One Stockholm 2022 will give 3530 points in total. Interestingly, only the first eight teams will receive points (the last two ones will get 240). The winner will get a total of 680 points.
We don’t have any information regarding the prize pool distribution yet, but the total prize pool is $500,000 USD. Usually, the winner gets at least half, but you never know.