DreamLeague Season 13: The Leipzig Major, the first Major event of the new decade, is set to begin this Saturday.
Here’s everything you need to know.
The first Dota Major of 2020
The Leipzig Major is the second Major championship of the 2019-2020 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) season, and is also DreamLeague’s fifth DPC event and second Major championship since the circuit started in 2017.
The Leipzig Major will run from January 18-26 in Leipzig, Germany. The tournament will start with a preliminary Group Stage from January 18-19 and will be followed by a one day break before the Main Event, to be held from January 21-16.
The last three days of the tournament will be open to the public at the Leipziger Messe.
What’s at stake?
A prize pool of US$1 million and 15,000 DPC points will be up for grabs at the Leipzig Major, with US$300,000 and 4,850 DPC points going to the champions.
The full prize pool and DPC point distribution for the tournament can be found below:
- First: US$300,000 and 4,850 DPC points
- Second: US$160,000 and 3,000 DPC points
- Third: US$110,000 and 2,100 DPC points
- Fourth: US$80,000 and 1,350 DPC points
- Fifth-Sixth: US$60,000 and 900 DPC points
- Seventh-Eighth: US$40,000 and 450 DPC points
- 9th-12th: US$25,000 and 150 DPC points
- 13th-16th: US$12,500 and 100 DPC points
The Leipzig Major Group Stage will follow a GSL (round-robin) format, with the 16 teams split into four groups with four teams each.
The teams in each group will be facing off in a series of best-of-three matches to determine seeding for the Main Event.
The top two teams of each group will advance to the Main Event in the Upper Bracket, while the bottom two will have to start from the Lower Bracket.
The groupings for the tournament are as follows:
The Main Event will be a double-elimination bracket. The first round of the Lower Bracket will be best-of-one elimination round, while the rest of the tournament will comprise of best-of-three matches — except for the Grand Finals, which will be a best-of-five series.
The Major features 16 teams from all around the world, with 15 of them qualifying for the event through the regional qualifiers last December.
Europe, China, and Southeast Asia were all given three spots in the tournament, while North America, South America, and the CIS have two representatives each.
The final spot in Leipzig went to European team Nigma Esports, who were the champions of the Major’s accompanying Minor event, the WePlay! Bukovel Minor.
Read on to get to know the teams at the Major better:
- WePlay! Bukovel Minor Grand Final: Nigma defeats RNG in a thrilling 3-1 series
- WATCH: The 10 most amazing plays from the WePlay! Bukovel Minor
North American top dogs Evil Geniuses (EG) will be coming in as one of the strongest teams of the tournament. Despite a huge roster overhaul in the offseason that saw them field a new multinational roster, EG has been looking solid so far.
The team notably came fourth in the MDL Chengdu Major and finished second in the ONE Esports Dota 2 Singapore Invitational.
- Artour “Arteezy” Babaev
- Abed Azel “Abed” Yusop
- Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev
- Andreas “Cr1t-” Nielsen
- Tal “Fly” Aizik
Chaos Esports Club
Chaos EC’s roster had a rough start to the 2019-2020 season, as they missed out on the Chengdu Major despite having superstar mid player Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan. Following SumaiL’s departure last October, the team added Russian offlaner Dmitry “DM” Dorokhin and bounced back to easily qualify for Leipzig.
- Yawar “YawaR” Hassan
- Quinn “Quinn” Callahan
- Dmitry “DM” Dorokhin
- Arif “MSS” Anwar
- Avery “SVG” Silvern
Beastcoast continues to show the world that the South American Dota scene still means business following its roster’s surprising Top 8 finish at TI9, with Top 4 and Top 8 finishes at ESL One Hamburg 2019 and the Chengdu Major, respectively, so far this season.
However, Beastcoast might be in for a tough time in Leipzig as they will be competing with Rodrigo “Lelis” Santos in place of offlaner Adrian “Wisper” Cespedes Dobles, who is out due to health issues.
- Hector Antonio “K1 Hector” Rodriguez
- Jean Pierre “Chris Luck” Gonzales
- Rodrigo “Lelis” Santos (stand-in)
- Elvis “Scofield” De la Cruz Peña
- Steven “Stinger” Vargas
While Beastcoast may be leading the way for South American Dota, paiN Gaming is trying not to fall that far behind their peers. The team only managed to qualify for the Dota Summit 11 Minor — where they bottomed out at seventh-eighth place — in the previous Major cycle, but they have improved upon that by directly qualifying for the Major this time.
PaiN boasts arguably the most talented roster in South America outside of Beastcoast, but they need to achieve better results so that their region has more than one team worth having an eye on.
- William “hFn” Medeiros
- Leonardo “Mandy” Viana
- Danylo “Kingrd” Nascimento
- Kaue “dunha1” Camuci
- Anderson “444” Santos
Secret will be coming in as the Western favorites to win their first Major of the season. The team skipped the Chengdu Major cycle as they were taking an extended offseason break, during which they replaced Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng with Lasse “Matumbaman” Urpalainen.
Secret’s core notably topped last season’s circuit with two Major wins and finished 4th in The International 2019 (TI9), and the recent addition of TI7 champion Matumbaman is expected to push the team over the top. Their quest for the organization’s first Aegis of Champions continues in Leipzig.
- Michal “Nisha” Jankowski
- Lasse “Matumbaman” Urpalainen
- Ludwig “zai” Wåhlberg
- Yazied “YapzOr” Jaradat
- Clement “Puppey” Ivanov
Team Liquid has had a mixed bag of results so far in the season. While they had solid finishes at DreamLeague Season 12 and the Chengdu Major — where they placing at fourth and fifth-sixth, respectively — they also bottomed out at ESL One Hamburg 2019 and the ONE Esports Singapore Invitational.
The team has repeatedly shown flashes of potential, but they will have to find some consistency first if they want to reach it. The Leipzig Major will be a good place to start doing just that.
- Michael “miCKe” Vu
- Maximilian “qoqjva” Bröcker
- Samuel “Boxi” Svahn
- Tommy “Taiga” Le
- Aydin “iNSaNiA” Sarkohi
Alliance has been one of the biggest surprises of the season, having started off the season strong to flirt with tier one status in the ever-competitive European scene. The squad already has a Top 8 finish at the Chengdu Major, a Top 4 finish at the ONE Esports Singapore Invitational, a third-place finish at ESL One Hamburg 2019, and even has the championship at DreamLeague Season 12 under their belt.
Alliance will be looking to stake their claim as one of the best teams in the world as they gun for another strong finish at Leipzig.
- Nikolay “Nikobaby” Nikolov
- Linus “Limmp” Blomdin
- Neta “33” Shapira
- Simon “Handsken” Haag
- Adrian “Fata-” Trinks
Nigma Esports was expected to be one of the top teams this season following their second place finish at TI9, but their start to the season following an extended offseason break has been less than ideal.
The team missed out on directly qualifying to the Major after being denied the last EU spot by Alliance in the regional qualifiers, which meant they had to get through the Bukovel Minor first. While they did end up winning that tournament to make it to Leipzig, there were times when they looked shaky when they should have been breezing through competition.
With that said, the roster has had a history of playing through their slumps and gain momentum towards an eventual victory, such as when they claimed the championship at TI7 by coming all the way from the Lower Bracket. The Leipzig Major would be as good of a time as any for Nigma to return to their championship-winning form.
- Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi
- Aliwi “w33” Omar
- Ivan “MinD_ControL” Ivanov
- Maroun “GH” Merhej
- Kuro “Kuroky” Salehi Takhasomi
After years of dominating the DPC and the CIS scene, Virtus.pro (VP) is now trying to regain its footing. The decorated CIS squad notably lost players that were key in its past dominance to other teams and replaced them with young pubstars in Egor “epileptick1d” Grigorenko and Vitalie “Save-” Melnic in the offseason.
The rebuilt team failed to qualify for the Chengdu Major, but has since then shown signs of improvement with Top 6 finishes at ESL One Hamburg 2019 and the ONE Esports Singapore Invitational. Now that VP is back at a Major, its revamped roster will have the first real test to its mettle.
- Egor “epileptick1d” Grigorenko
- Vladimir “no[o]ne” Minenko
- Roman “Resolut1on” Fominok
- Vitalie “Save-” Melnic
- Alexei “Solo” Berezin
Natus Vincere (Na’Vi) was expected to take over VP’s spot as the top team in CIS after they acquired Pavel “9pasha” Khvastunov from the now-rebuilding team. However, much like VP, the team failed to qualify for the Chengdu Major and had to make another change to its lineup.
Bakyt “Zayac” Emilzhanov took over captainship of the team following the departure of Akbar “SoNNeikO” Butaev, and pubstar support Ilyas “illias” Ganeev was acquired to fill out the roster. The Leipzig Major will be the new Na’Vi squad’s chance to show they can become the top dogs of the CIS once more.
- Vladislav “Crystallize” Krystanek
- Idan “MagicaL” Vardanian
- Pavel “9pasha” Khvastunov
- Bakyt “Zayac” Emilzhanov
- Ilyas “illias” Ganeev
Vici Gaming (VG) is the best Chinese team right now and is another favorite to win the Leipzig Major. The team had a stellar showing in the previous season, winning two Majors — including DreamLeague Season 11: The Stockholm Major — en route to a Top 6 finish at TI9.
So far this season, VG has a Top 6 finish at ESL One Hamburg 2019, a second place finish at the Chengdu Major, and the championship at the ONE Esports Singapore Invitational. They will be looking to continue their strong start with another championship at Leipzig.
- Zhang “Eurus” Chengjun
- Zeng “Ori” Jiaoyang
- Zhou “Yang” Haiyang
- Xiong “Pyw” Jiahan
- Ding “Dy” Cong
Invictus Gaming (IG) has risen to the upper echelons of the Chinese Dota scene once more, as its new Chinese-Malaysian roster stormed to the championship at the Dota Summit 11 Minor and a third place finish at the Chengdu Major.
The team has shown flashes of brilliance in the two DPC events they’ve competed in thus far, and they will need another great showing at Leipzig to solidify their place amongst the best teams in the world, not just in China.
- Jin “flyfly” Zhiyi
- Zhou “Emo” Yi
- Thiay “JT-” Jun Wen
- Hu “Kaka” Liangzhi
- Chan “Oli” Chon Kien
The 2019-2020 DPC was supposed to be Team Aster’s chance to finally shine, as the organization made waves by signing stars in Song “Sccc” Chun and Pan “Fade” Yi. However, their results thus far — 9th-12th in the Chengdu Major and 9th-10th in the ONE Esports Singapore Invitational — have been middling.
The team will have to hit the ground running at the Leipzig Major, as a good run here might very well give the team the momentum they need to reach the starry expectations many have had of them.
- Song “Sccc” Chun
- Kee Chyuan “ChYuan” Ng
- Lin “Xxs” Jing
- Ye “BoBoKa” Zhibiao
- Pan “Fade” Yi
Southeast Asian veterans Wong “NutZ” Jeng Yih and Lee “kYxY” Kong Yang lead a Reality Rift lineup filled out by young talent. The team had a rough start to the season as they bottomed out of the Chengdu Major qualifiers, but they have since improved upon that to top the qualifiers for Leipzig.
The SEA region has seen a resurgence thanks to the success of TNC Predator, and this largely unproven team should be looking to follow in their footsteps and start punching above their weight class.
- Andrew “Drew” Halim
- Hiew “Alacrity” Teck Yoong
- Lee “kYxY” Kong Yang
- Ravdan “Hustla” Narmandakh
- Wong “NutZ” Jeng Yih
Fnatic made big moves in the offseason by signing rising star Nuengnara “23savage” Teeramahanon and prying veteran mid player Kam “Moon” Boon Seng from Mineski to add to their already talented roster.
However, the team has fallen short of expectations thus far, only managing a 9th-12th place finish at the Chengdu Major. The team still has plenty of time to produce the results expected from their talented lineup, however, and the Leipzig Major is a great place to start for them to get the ball rolling.
- Nuengnara “23savage” Teeramahanon
- Kam “Moon” Boon Seng
- Daryl “iceiceice” Koh Pei Xiang
- Djardel “DJ” Mampusti
- Anucha “Jabz” Jirawong
TNC Predator made waves in the offseason by complementing their highly-talented young core of Filipino players with foreign veterans in offlaner Damien “kpii” Chok and new team captain Park “March” Tae-won.
That move has been paying dividends thus far, as TNC has emerged as the top team in Southeast Asia with two straight championships at ESL One Hamburg 2019 and the Chengdu Major. They will be looking to add a second-straight Major championship to their already stellar start to the season.
- Kim “Gabbi” Villafuerte
- Armel Paul “Armel” Tabios
- Damien “kpii” Chok
- Timothy “Tims” Randrup
- Park “March” Tae-won
VG, EG, and Secret are the three strongest teams on paper and arguably the favorites to win the Major. TNC is also expected to make a deep run in the tournament following their victory at the Chengdu Major, and it wouldn’t be that big of a surprise if they were to become back-to-back Major champions too.
With that said, it’s still unclear how well those teams have adapted to the current 7.23f patch. We’ve seen how much a team understood the given meta of a tournament can play into their performance, such as when TNC won Chengdu through their mastery of the 7.22 patch’s carry Night Stalker and Morphling-Earthshaker combo strategies.
With that in mind, Nigma should also be considered a contender. Despite their shaky form as of late, the team has had the most reps in the current patch out of all those competing in the tournament. They also have the momentum from their victory at Bukovel on their side.
While they’re not quite at the highest level just yet, teams such as Alliance, Liquid, and IG should also be expected to have strong showings.
The Leipzig Major should be a close one. Though that is in the sense that there shouldn’t be much of a separation between the teams in the top tier and any team can end up with the championship.
How to watch
Each of the four groups of the Leipzig Major Group Stage will have their own matches streamed on DreamLeague’s official Twitch channels.
After the Group Stage, all main event matches will be streamed on the main DreamLeague Twitch channel.
Here’s the schedule for the opening matches of the Group Stage:
Make sure to keep an eye out for our coverage of the Leipzig Major.
READ MORE: Dota 2 7.23f meta report: What we learned from the Bukovel Minor