Shanghai Major 2016. The main event will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, China – 2nd through 6th of March, whereas the group stage matches begin a bit sooner than that – February 25th. The prize pool for this major is fixed at $3,000,000, a sum equal to that of Frankfurt’s and upcoming majors as well.
As always, the tournament’s competitive lineup consists of the world’s finest, a total of 16 top of the line Dota 2 teams – 8 of which are direct invites, while the rest had to battle it out through the qualifiers. With the tournament launch date drawing close soon, teams should already be hard at practice in their boot camps.
Shanghai Major – Betting Odds
If you asked us 3 months ago, Team Secret or EG would be clear favorites, but recent events unfolding heavily shook up the scene, so much that nobody can reliably predict what will happen in Shanghai. Alliance bounced back in spectacular fashion after winning WCA and Starladder, whereas European OG, alongside EHOME and other Chinese giants are still more than capable contenders. Also, Secret have been far from their form of utmost dominance as of late.
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It comes as no surprise that following recent tournaments results, Alliance are deemed as favorites by a fair margin. They are of course, followed by EG – the next logical contender in line, right above OG and Secret.
We always like having this betting market available, as the value you can get is potentially high. Dota 2 tournaments are always unpredictable, and that’s the most exciting part of spectating them. The competitive scene is far from dull, and top teams trade blows with each other from tournament to tournament. Moreover, it’s far from uncommon for an underdog to rise from the shadows and start dominating to everyone’s surprise, as was OG’s run from the qualifiers to tournament winners at The Frankfurt Major, as well as CDEC’s inspiring run at TI5 – earning 2nd place. Placing a mere £1 on Fnatic could net you £200, but you can consider other underdogs as well for a low risk, high reward wager of this type.
Here are our safest picks for winning the Shanghai Major with an explanation of each, in no particular order of importance.
|Evil Geniuses||Team Spirit|
|Team Secret||Team Archon|
|CDEC Gaming||LGD Gaming|
Team performance and outright winner predictions
EG have been a dominant force on the scene for over a year now. The fearless lineup of Fear, Ppd, Universe, Sumail and Arteezy has been large and in charge at most tournaments they’ve attended. Even if you don’t seem them lifting the trophy, they’re usually battling it out in the finals. Despite a few roster changes, the strongest American squad remains one of the most consistent teams on the Dota 2 scene, and we expect them to earn at least a top 3 spot in the upcoming Shanghai Major – without a doubt.
Their most recent loss to Alliance in the Starladder final where they got demolished 2-0 must’ve hurt, but Ppd’s drafting prowess along with the pure skill and dominance Arteezy and Sumail are capable of outputting are never to be taken lightly. They’ll be looking for vengeance and their more than capable of earning it.
Backtracking to 2015, Secret came in as TI5 favorites, only to fall short to everyone’s dismay and drop out to VP, earning 7th place. Prior to the Frankfurt major, the teams’ reshuffle resulted in Puppey bringing in fan-favorite EternalEnvy, who in turn brought in former C9 players Misery, PieLieDie and pub star W33ha. Many were fearful the good old Team Secret would never be the same, but the risk surely paid off for Puppey, as Secret took the scene by storm – winning tournament after tournament. Their run continued in the Major, only to be taken down by the ingenious OG in the final itself.
Their run at WCA fell short as they dropped out in the early stages of the tournament. At Starladder, they lost to Alliance and failed to go through the finals, but not without putting up a fight as the match ended 1-2. In 6.68, Team Secret have 6 wins and 8 losses – far from what we’re used to seeing of them in recent times. Although recent results point to instability, when it comes to a tournament of this size, we have no doubts Secret will bounce back and attain a top 4 spot. As for tournament winners, we wouldn’t recommend betting on Secret.
Team OG was formed not long before The Frankfurt Major, and they had to earn their entrance to the tournament through the qualifiers. The lineup of N0Tail, Miracle-, MoonMeander, Fly and Cr1t showed marvelous success to everyone’s surprise. Their teamwork and drafting versatility is at an outstanding level.
However, we haven’t seen much of OG in 6.68 and recent times overall. Their last professional matches were at The Summit 4, where they ended up on 4th place. Prior to that, they played in The Defense Season 5 finals and ended up as runner-ups, having lost to Team Liquid in the final itself.
Nonetheless, this team does have a strong factor of unpredictability. Their versatility is hardly matched, and the players’ individual skill is among the highest in their respective positions. Purely because of this, we expect OG to be strong contenders for the Shanghai Major title itself.
The fabled TI3 winners struggled for more than two years after winning the International in 2013, going through a hiatus and multiple reshuffles. Many fans came to peace with the fact that Alliance would never return to their former glory, but that small glimmer of hope always remained for this Swedish roster. They never stopped trying, and as 6.86 hit the spotlight Alliance reformed the TI3 winning roster of S4, Akke, Loda, EGM and AdmirallBulldog, in what was perceived as a last ditch attempt to go back to their winning ways.
The Alliance were helped by a few minor buffs of their core heroes, in the likes of Puck, Nature’s Prophet and Lone Druid. However, their triumphs in the two latest Dota 2 tournaments (WCA and Starladder iLeague 13) must be largely attributed to their remarkable team synergy and skill. We are in a time that heavily reminisces of 2013, where teams are fearful of the Alliance’s split pushing and team fighting prowess, and by winning two big trophies in a row – that fear is instigated even more. They took everyone by surprise, and they are most certainly back to their former glory of 2013.
A few months ago, or weeks even, nobody would have thought Alliance to be considered as the favorites for winning The Shanghai Majors, but nobody can dispute that fact right now. However, the game has changed a lot since 2013. If a few years back only a handful of heroes were first pick material, the picture in 2016 is quite different as Dota 2 is more diverse than ever. This leads us to believe that while the Alliance shows remarkable strength through their favorite heroes, the ability to counter them via innumerable strategies and hero picks is far greater than what it used to be. Moreover, the competition among teams is at all-time high. When all is said and done, we wouldn’t be surprised if Alliance reach top 4, but we do not see them as tournament winners.
Vici Gaming have always been a consistently strong team throughout Dota 2 history. Historically, they don’t show strong performance throughout the entire year, as they do know to fall short among minor tournaments. However, Vici Gaming always seem to bounce back in full force as the biggest tournaments approach.
Overall, the star studded lineup of Iceiceice, Burning, Super, Fy and Super is capable of great things, and winning major tournaments is definitely one of them. EHOME is the arguably leading Chinese team at the moment, but in our opinion, if one Chinese team has the potential ability to make it all the way through and reach the finals on home turf in Shanghai – it’s Vici Gaming.
Do you know who will win?
Our number one prediction for winning The Shanghai Major
…is Evil Geniuses, and surely this comes to no one’s surprise. In a time of remarkable team variance and inconsistent performances, EG are the ones that always stay true to their powers. The odds of them winning at Bet365 are 4.00, which is a fantastic value bet. However, we recommend you don’t bet big on this market, as historically Dota 2’s tournaments are vastly unpredictable.