This is part of “Regional League Roundup“, a series on the teams competing in the DPC 2021 Regional Leagues.

We’re back with yet another breakdown of the teams that’ll be competing in the Dota Pro Circuit 2021. This time, we’re going through all 16 teams that’ll be competing in the South East Asia divisions and why they deserve to be here.

SEA is one hell of a region to follow so without further ado, let’s get started with the upper division!

Upper Division

The teams to receive direct invites to the SEA upper division are none other than SEA monsters TNC, Fnatic, T1, and BOOM Esports.

To many, BOOM were a surprise invite as the team had not played since November last year and had yet to announce their fifth member to the roster. It was later announced that former Reality Rift player, Andrew “Drew” Halim would finalize the roster.

The first team to receive an invite was TNC. Fresh off winning the BTS Pro Series last year, many expect TNC to be one of , if not THE frontrunner going into the upper division.

The team has had a smooth transition going into the new patch as the team’s tendency to snowball through lane domination and typical midgame aggression was indirectly buffed. Thanks, patch 7.28!

Joining TNC in the upper division as a direct invitee is Fnatic. Fans were a little disappointed when fnatic finished fourth in the BTS Pro Series last year after acquiring both Marc Polo Luis “Raven” Fausto and Natthaphon “Masaros” Ouanphakdee.

To be fair, not only did the team need to mesh with their newer players but they also had to learn the new patch on the fly during playoffs. We’ll have to wait and see whether things work out for Fnatic once the matches begin.

Another team to receive a direct invite is T1. After a third place finish at the BTS Pro Series, T1 will be strong contenders in the SEA upper division. As usual, expect the squad to lead the scene by innovating new strategies and trying new things in their matches. You know a team is confident when they can deviate from the region’s meta.

BOOM Esports’ direct invite also came as a surprise to the SEA community. Randy Muhammad “Dreamocel” Sapoetra left the team back in December 2020 and the team hasn’t competed together since November. To be fair, the Indonesian team was still one of the better candidates in the region to receive an invite. It’ll be interesting to see how well the team does under the new patch with their newly acquired carry.

The remaining four teams to qualify for the SEA upper division are Neon Esports, 496 Gaming, Execration and Vice Esports.

There was a very clear power dynamic in the SEA closed qualifier with Neon Esports 2-0ing 496 Gaming for first place whilst 496 2-0ed Execration for second place. The competition is still going to be very stiff considering the even bigger power gap between the closed qualifier teams and the invited teams. We’re in SEA however so anything can happen really.

Teams will be gunning for top four in the upper division if they want a chance at the first Major of the DPC 2021 season. The top team will automatically qualify for the Major playoffs while the runner-up will be slotted in for the Major group stage. Third and fourth placed teams will be wild card teams and will have a long road ahead of them if they want to make it to the playoffs.

Lower Division

The eight teams to qualify for the SEA lower division include Omega Esports, Yangon Galacticos, Hoyo, Galaxy Racer, Cignal Ultra, Lilgun, Assult and ZeroTwo.

Look out for Omega Esports, Hoyo, Galaxy Racer, Cignal Ultra and ZeroTwo in the lower division matches as these teams boast rosters with plenty of talented players. No folks, the matches don’t get any easier down here.

There isn’t too much information on Yangon Galacticos, LilGun and Assult so these teams will likely fly under the radar amongst the competition. It’s not unheard of for a no-name team to suddenly make a stand so don’t be surprised if they blow the competition away either, that’s how BOOM Esports originally came to be.

Keep your calendar open from January 18 until February 28 if you want to keep up with all the SEA action. It’s definitely going to be fun.

READ MORE: DPC 2021 Regional League Roundup: A closer look at China’s upper and lower divisions