21 Dota Majors have been played since the very first Major was played back in November 2015. Out of those 21 Majors, 12 have been hosted in Europe, six in China, two in South East Asia, and only one in North America. The upcoming Singapore Major will mark Dota’s 22nd Major and the third hosted in SEA.

The last time a Major was held in SEA was the Kuala Lumpur Major in 2018, and before that, it was the Manila Major in 2016. Join me for a stroll down memory lane as we look back at what happened at SEA’s previous Dota Majors.

The Manila Major

Dota 2, Manila Major Splash
Credit: Valve
  • Date: June 7-12, 2016
  • Location: Mall of Asia Arena, Manila, The Philippines
  • Champions: OG
  • Prize Money: US$3,000,000

The Manila Major was the largest and most prestigious Dota 2 tournament ever held in South East Asia at the time. The event itself took place in the Mall of Asia Arena which could seat 16,000 Dota fans at max capacity. And yes, tickets sold out for the grand final weekend. To top it all off, the Manila Major had a whopping USD$3,000,000 prize pool! Who wouldn’t want a slice of that pie?

Whilst also being the last Major for the 2016 DPC, many teams saw this as their last opportunity to receive a direct invite to TI6 instead of playing the dangerous game called TI qualifiers.

Over the course of the event, the world learned of SEA’s passion for Dota 2 through Jake “SirActionSlacks” Kanner’s fan segments that were peppered into the main broadcast. 

You thought that was impressive? To this day, fans still reminisce of the legendary Manila crowd who frequently overshadowed even the casters during main stage matches. Later on during the main event, event organizers PGL had to lower the volume of the crowd mic because it was so deafening! Turn down your volume before watching the clip below, you’ll thank me later.

The Major also stands out for a few moments that will go down in history as some of the greatest to ever happen in the Dota 2 esports world. First up, the world learned of Djardel Jicko B. “DJ” Mampusti’s fabled Enigma whose devastating Black Holes knocked Chinese powerhouse LGD down to the lower bracket.

That wasn’t all. Actor Kristian Nairn, who played Hodor in Game of Thrones, LITERALLY held the door open for the Manila Major finalists, OG and Team Liquid!

The Major ended with OG proudly clutching the trophy in front of a full house. This was a momentous occasion for the team as OG became the first team to win two Majors in a competitive season after their dream lower bracket run at the Frankfurt Major.

Dota 2, OG, Manila Major
Credit: Valve

The Kuala Lumpur Major

Dota 2, Kuala Lumpur Major Splash
Credit: PGL
  • Date: November 9-18, 2018
  • Location: Axiata Arena, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Champions: Virtus.pro
  • Prize Money: US$1,000,000

It was Kuala Lumpur’s turn to host a Major in 2018, making Malaysia the second SEA country to host a Major. The event took place at Axiata Arena and boasted a US$1,000,000 prize pool. Unlike the Manila Major, the KL Major was part of the new DPC system that was implemented back in 2017. Teams were no longer competing for a direct invite but instead DPC points that would determine who would qualify directly into TI9.

The KL Major birthed some of the greatest side content to grace the Dota 2 scene. Back in 2017, Henrik “AdmiralBulldog” Ahnberg was denied entry into the US for TI7, due to not having the correct Visa to work in the country. Since then, the community has turned the event into a meme where Bulldog would never be able to leave Sweden. Yes, PGL went along with the meme and yes, it’s worth watching.

The spotlight wasn’t just on Bulldog either. Shoutcaster Owen “ODPixel” Davies used the KL Major to show off just why the Dota 2 community calls him the “Rap God”.

Fans at the Major witnessed a European grand final between Virtus.pro and Team Secret. Leading up to the grand final, Team Secret had beaten VP 2:1 in the upper bracket final. Yet, during the bo5 grand final, Secret went on to draft midlaner Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng, core Shadow Shaman.

An unconventional hero to put in the midlane, Team Secret wanted to overwhelm Virtus.pro with Terrorblade and Shadow Shaman’s pushing capabilities. The CIS team weren’t going down easily however as they had drafted a superior team fight lineup that halted any kind of aggression Secret tried to apply. In game one, at 34 minutes, Team Secret were the ones to call gg.

The teams continued to go back and forth in the grand final but with the score tied 2-2, only one would emerge victorious. It all came down to the fifth game.

Game five looked like it was in the bag for Team Secret. The panel praised Team Secret’s Timbersaw pick, which theoretically should destroy VP’s Dragon Knight, Tiny, and Magnus. And all was going well for Team Secret until VP’s Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev revealed the Black King Bar on his Terrorblade.

With Clement “Puppey” Ivanov’s Global Silences now nullified by the Black King Bar, there was nothing stopping RAMZES666 from steamrolling Team Secret with his mighty Terrorblade. At 42 minutes, Secret conceded the match and Virtus.pro became the champions of the Kuala Lumpur Major.

Dota 2, Virtus.Pro Kuala Lumpur Major Champions
Screenshot by Danelie Purdue/ ONE Esports

The Singapore Major

ONE Esports Singapore Major
Credit: ONE Esports
  • Date: March 27 – April 4, 2021
  • Location: Singapore
  • Prize Money: US$500,000

Dota will return to SEA with the ONE Esports Singapore Major presented by PGL. The Singapore Major will feature 18 of the best teams from around the world, and will be the first Major broadcast in glorious 4K resolution at 60 fps.

Be sure to bookmark this page for the latest updates and information on the Singapore Major, including participating teams, schedule, tournament format, and more.

READ MORE: Every team that has qualified for the ONE Esports Singapore Major