The Frankfurt Major, which is organized by Valve and will feature a $3.000.000 prize pool, will bring to battle 16 teams from all around the world. We now know the 8 teams that won’t need to qualify to participate: EG, CDEC, Vega Squadron, Secret, Virtus Pro, LGD, Vici Gaming and EHOME. Now that the ESL One New York 2015 is over, it is time for a bigger tournament to take place. This time the participating teams will have to give their best for a chunk of the big 3 million prize pool. We had already one surprise with Vega being directly invited thanks to their performance in New York, where they beat every other team and became ESL One champions for the first time. The Frankfurt Major will be a big test for a lot of teams after their roster changes; this is the case for the TI5 champions EG.
Invited Teams | Performance & Expectations:
There are quite some things we could say about each team and their performance after TI5. We could start by talking about Evil Geniuses (EG), the TI5 champions. They were the objective of a lot of criticism and drama just hours after they won the championship; kicking AUI_2000 and inviting Arteezy back was not a decision well received by a lot of fans. This decision is still being questioned since they couldn’t win a single game in the ESL One New York 2015. They lost 2-0 against a Vega Squadron that looked really strong throughout the entire tournament. Nevertheless, we must not forget that this was their first match after TI5. They might need some more warm up before they are in full shape again. Their test in the Frankfurt Major will be about showing they didn’t lose a lot by letting AUI_2000 go.
On the other hand, CDEC did not look bad in their first match against Fire in New York, which they won 2-0. However, they couldn’t win the Bo3 against Secret. CDEC is one of the few teams that decided to remain with the same roster after TI5. What a lot of fans fear is that they might need to adapt their style to what this new patch is setting. Also, it seems that other teams are figuring them out; their aggressiveness is being punished by high-controlling lineups. They will need to prove in Frankfurt that they can adapt to new styles and can win against drafts that exploit their weaknesses.
Team Secret began to perform great again after TI5. They had the chance to play some matches for the WCA Europe Pro Qualifier, where they took the 1st place. Later, they took second place in ESL One NY 2015. It seems like the new lineup commanded by Puppey and formed by EternalEnvy, w33, Misery and Pieliedie is working out. They are already having a better performance than what the original team showed in TI5, where they finished 7-8th place. They are experimenting a lot and are choosing heroes that have not been part of the Meta for quite some time. They will need to keep this rhythm going for Frankfurt, where they will be facing truly big rivals they haven’t had the chance to play against after TI5. We will see if their Meepo and Alchemist picks will still work against more experimented lineups.
Virtus Pro (VP) is another team that didn’t want to change roster after TI5. They eliminated Secret during that tournament and finished 5-6th. This was actually a surprise because we did not expect them to do that well at TI5. They later finished second in the WCA Europe Pro Qualifier in Europe, making them the second best team in Europe after Secret. However, they lost 2-1 against the Chinese team IG. They couldn’t secure the second game against a team that didn’t qualify for the tournament and was just filling a missing spot EHOME had to leave because of Visa issues. VP will need to regain confidence if they want to do well in Frankfurt. They will have more chance since there will be more matches played. Sometimes a Bo3 is not enough for a team to show their whole potential. We can expect VP will have a better performance in this first Major because of this.
LGD were between the favorites to win Ti5, and they got pretty close to it. They looked unbeatable until the finalists EG and CDEC took care of them. They finished 3rd, which earned them more than 2 million dollars. Their new roster is formed by the captain rOtK and the 5th position DDC. They have only played two matches series in China after TI5: one against DUOBAO, which they won, and a lost against IG. They have not been performing like it was expected for them after their success in TI5. However, this is a new roster with a new captain that is probably still adapting. This is something pretty common between new rosters and only time can make them improve. Frankfurt Major will be a great place to show they are the same strong team that made many people believe they would win TI5.
Vici Gaming has been a scary team for a long time. They are one of the proud creations of China. They finished 3rd in TI5 after losing to another Chinese team, LGD. They are one of the best teams in the world, and they are under the command of a young player who is one of the best: Fy. Their new roster is now formed by BurNing, who replaced Hao. This roster change looks really scary on paper; BurNing is one of the most experienced, reliable and best carry players in the world. He’s been in the scene since the first years of Dota 1. Even though they haven’t had a great performance after TI5 (they lost 2-0 against the new EHOME), they haven’t had the time and engaging atmosphere to show their true value. This team could end top 3 easily if they are as good fighting for the Ancient as they look on paper.
EHOME just like Vega and Secret is looking really strong after TI5. Sadly, we couldn’t see them at ESL One NY 2015 due to Visa issues; if they would’ve gone, results might have been different. Anyway, what we know is that they completely dominated the ESL One Chinese Qualifier. They have also played a lot after TI5 with their new roster formed by Cty, old chicken, eLeVen, KaKa and LaNm. They’ve won against Team DK, TongFu, VG, CDEC.Youth and IG. Against this last team, they lost a Bo3 but won two Bo5 in a row after that loss. This says a lot about their strength. This is going to be one of the scariest teams for Frankfurt. On the other hand, they have not played against any non-Chinese team, so we don’t know yet if their game style is strong against other teams. Nevertheless, it’s probable they will reach a high place in Frankfurt.
Finally, we’ll talk about the biggest surprise of this post-TI5 Meta: Vega Squadron. This team has been considered a tier 2-3 team for a long time until now. Their strength remains in that they haven’t had a roster change since April. This makes them different from the other teams, which are constantly making changes. They managed to win the ESL One NY 2015, and they even dominated against the TI5 champions EG. This Russian squad is looking stronger than ever. They have the typical aggressive style that is common in CIS teams, but at the same time they know when to stop, farm and wait for the right team fight. Their nice drafting is also doing a lot of work for them. The will have to prove they can keep this pace in Frankfurt, where they will play a lot of matches against different styles and really strong and experienced teams. This will be the true test they will have to endure if they want to be considered a tier 1 team and get invited to TI6.