This is where the fun begins. The MDL Chengdu Major, the first Major championship of the 2019-2020 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) is almost here.
Clash at the Panda Capital
The MDL Chengdu Major is the tenth iteration of Mars Media’s flagship tournament, and the third Major championship organized by MDL — with MDL Macau in 2017 and MDL Disneyland Paris in May this year being the other two. It is also the sixth Major tournament of the DPC to be held in China.
The MDL Chengdu Major will be held at the Century City New International Convention & Exhibition Center in Chengdu, the “Panda capital” of China, from November 16 to 24. Sixteen teams must first go through a GSL format Group Stage before proceeding to a double-elimination Playoffs to determine who will be the first Major champion of the season.
What’s at stake
The participating teams at the Major will be fighting for the lion’s share of a US$1 million prize pool and 15,000 DPC points, with US$300,000 and 4,850 points going to the champions.
Here’s a breakdown of the tournament’s prize pool and DPC point distribution:
- First: US$300,000 and 4,850 points
- Second: US$160,000 and 3,000 points
- Third: US$110,000 and 2,100 points
- Fourth: US$80,000 and 1,350 points
- Fifth to Sixth: US$60,000 and 900 points
- Seventh to Eighth: US$40,000 and 450 points
- Ninth to 12th: US$20,000 and 150 points
- 12th to 16th: US$12,500 and 100 points
With more than a thousand DPC points going to the top four teams, a good run at the Major will go a long way towards the ultimate goal of every team competing in the DPC: going to The International 2020 (TI10) in Stockholm, Sweden.
Fifteen teams qualified for the Major through the Regional Qualifiers held early last month. Two teams will each be coming from Europe, CIS, and South America, while North America and Southeast Asia will both have three representatives. Three Chinese teams will join them to defend their home soil, while the final spot went to the champions of the recently-concluded Dota Summit 11 Minor.
With many of the previous season’s top teams, namely Team Secret, PSG.LGD, the ex-Liquid roster (Kuroky and co.), and defending two-time TI champions OG, skipping the first Major cycle of the season, the MDL Chengdu Major will be a good opportunity for new contenders to make themselves known.
The TI5 champions will be entering the Major as one of the favorites to win it all, thanks to its new international roster that now boasts top-tier talent from both SEA and Russia in Abed Azel “Abed” Yusop and Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev. How EG fares at Chengdu may very well show if the pride of North America can continue to be perennial contenders.
- Artour “Arteezy” Babaev
- Abed Azel “Abed” Yusop
- Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev
- Andreas “Cr1t-” Nielsen
- Tal “Fly” Aizik
Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao is back, with a scrappy squad of North American veterans behind him. The team had a strong showing in the Regional Qualifiers, but will have to prove themselves against much tougher competition in the Major. While fans of EE expect the squad’s showing to be a veritable 50-50 in the spirit of their captain, they’ll definitely be entertaining to watch.
- Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao
- Jonathan Bryle “bryle” Santos De Guia
- David “MoonMeander” Tan
- Jingjun “Sneyking” Wu
- Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling
TI5 champion Clinton “Fear” Loomis and TI6 finalist David “Moo” Hull lead this rising, yet underrated, North American squad. Despite going up against a more favored Quincy Crew — which had star midlaner Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan in its ranks at the time — in the Major qualifiers, J.Storm decisively swept them to book their ticket to Chengdu.
- David “Moo” Hull
- Leon “Nine” Kirilin
- Braxton “Brax” Paulson
- Joel Mori “MoOz” Ozambela
- Clinton “Fear” Loomis
Coming off of a surprising seventh to eighth-place finish at TI9, the roster formerly known as Team Anvorgesa turned a lot of heads and established themselves as the top dogs of South America. Now playing under the Beastcoast banner — and with a fourth-place finish at ESL One Hamburg already under their belt this season — this hungry squad can only get better from here.
- Hector Antonio “K1” Rodriguez
- Jean Pierre “Chris Luck” Gonzales
- Adrian “Wisper” Cespedes Dobles
- Elvis “Scofield” De la Cruz Peña
- Steven “StingeR” Vargas
This scrappy squad had quite a run in the qualifiers, having upset more established teams in the region such as Infamous and PaiN Gaming from the Lower Bracket of the Qualifier Playoffs en route to a spot at the Major. While they will be facing much more daunting opposition in Chengdu, look to them to make themselves known.
- Berna “Berna” Rocca Alarcón
- Juan “Atun” Ochoa
- Alexis “Greedy” Ventura
- Nicolás “Wij” Moreno
- Sergio “Prada” Toribio
Alliance’s new squad is manned by skilled players and veterans in almost all positions, but rising star Nikolay “Nikobaby” Nikolov has already established himself as the team’s fulcrum. Coming off of a championship in DreamLeague Season 12 and a top-three finish at ESL One Hamburg, this ascendant European squad will be one to watch.
- Nikolay “Nikobaby” Nikolov
- Linus “Limmp” Blomdin
- Neta “33” Shapira
- Simon “Handsken” Haag
- Adrian “Fata” Trinks
After the departure of the championship roster helmed by legendary captain Kuro Salehi “Kuroky” Takhasomi, Team Liquid quickly acquired the squad that Alliance fielded in TI9 to remain competitive for the 2019-2020 season. This new roster has some very big shoes to fill, and a deep run at the Major will be a good place to start.
- Michael “miCKe” Vu
- Maximilian “qojqva” Bröcker
- Samuel “Boxi” Svahn
- Tommy “Taiga” Le
- Aydin “iNSaNiA” Sarkohi
With the balance of power in the CIS in upheaval following the implosions of Virtus.pro and Natus Vincere, Gambit quickly stepped in to take the reigns. The team followed its strong showing at the qualifiers — where they only dropped two games in total — with a respectable second place finish at ESL One Hamburg. They’ll be looking to continue their strong start to the season in Chengdu.
- Kiyalbek “dream`” Tayirov
- Danil “gpk” Skutin
- Maxim “Shachlo” Abramovskikh
- Danial “XSvamp1Re” Alibaev
- Artsiom “fng” Barshak
With a mix of young talent and skilled veterans, the roster formerly known under the name Positive Guys is also looking to establish themselves as one of the top teams in CIS. Now under the Team Spirit banner, this intrepid squad will be eager to prove themselves against tough competition.
- Igor “iLTW” Filatov
- Egor “Ergon” Kozlov
- Andrey “Ghostik” Kadyk
- Alexander “Immersion” Hmelevskoy
- Mihail “Misha” Agatov
Despite falling well short of the championship in TI9 despite being heralded as one of the favorites, Vici Gaming (VG) remains one of the strongest teams in China. While the loss of Pan “Fade” Yi to Team Aster is a tough blow, his replacement Xiong “Pyw”‘ Jiahan has been fitting in well. They are arguably the hometown favorites for the Major and will look to reestablish themselves as contenders this season.
- Zhang “Eurus” Chengjun
- Zeng “Ori” Jiaoyang
- Zhou “Yang” Haiyang
- Xiong “Pyw”‘ Jiahan
- Ding “Dy” Cong
Despite middling results in the previous season, Team Aster leapt into contention this season by signing star midlaner Song “Sccc” Chun and snatching Fade away from retirement. With the team will be fittingly reliant on its star player for its DPC campaign, can Sccc shine once more in his return to a Major stage?
- Song “Sccc” Chun
- Kee Chyuan “ChYuan” Ng
- Lin “Xxs” Jing
- Ye “BoBoKa” Zhibiao
- Pan “Fade” Yi
Despite having TI6 champions Zhang “Faith_bian” Ruida and Zhang “y`” Yiping in its roster, EHOME failed to qualify for TI9 and were forced to retool in the ensuing player shuffle. With an infusion of young blood in Cheng “vtFαded” Jia Hao and Tang “897” Zhirui, the team now has the chance to prove themselves worthy of a place among the top teams in China. Can they rise to the challenge?
- Cheng “vtFαded” Jia Hao
- Tang “897” Zhirui
- Zhang “Faith_bian” Ruida
- Zhao “XinQ” Zixing
- Zhang “y`” Yiping
Despite failing to grab a direct invite to the Major, Invictus Gaming willl nonetheless compete in Chengdu after a dominant showing at the Dota Summit 11 Minor. TI7 finalist Hu “Kaka” Liangzhi helms this mixed Chinese-Malaysian squad, which also features rising star Zhou “Emo” Yi, whose hyper-aggressive playstyle was crucial in winning the Summit 11. How will the Minor champions fare in the Major itself?
- Jin “flyfly”‘ Zhiyi
- Zhou “Emo” Yi
- Thiay “JT-” Jun Wen
- Hu “Kaka” Liangzhi
- Chan “Oli” Chon Kien
After a disappointing 13th-16th finish at TI9 and losing star midlaner Abed to EG, Fnatic bounced back by signing rising carry player Nuengnara “23savage” Teeramahanon and former Mineski mid-laner Kam “Moon” Boon Seng. While the team only dropped a single game in the qualifiers, the Major itself will be their first hurdle of the season. Will they be up to the task?
- Nuengnara “23savage” Teeramahanon
- Kam “Moon” Boon Seng
- Daryl Koh “iceiceice” Pei Xiang
- Djardel Jicko “DJ” Mampusti
- Anucha “Jabz” Jirawong
After supplementing its talented core of Filipino players with foreign talent in the form of Damien “kpii” Chok and Park “March” Tae-won, TNC Predator is already looking like one of the strongest teams of the season so far.
With a championship at ESL One Hamburg already under their belt, the Major championship is next on their sights. Already pegged as one of the favorites to raise the trophy, can TNC Predator feast on the competition?
- Kim “Gabbi” Villafuerte
- Armel Paul “Armel” Tabios
- Damien “kpii” Chok
- Timothy “Tims” Randrup
- Park “March” Tae-won
Adroit has been one of the biggest surprises of the Major qualifiers, as this scrappy all-Filipino squad snatched a spot at the Major over more established teams such as Geek Fam and Team Jinesbrus. The Major will be their first taste of top-level competition, will they prove they can roll with the big boys?
- John Anthony “Natsumi-” Vargas
- Mc Nicholson “Mac” Villanueva
- Jun “Bok” Kanehara
- Marvin “Boombacs” Rushton
- Bryle “cml” Alviso
The 16 teams of MDL Chengdu Major have been split into four groups of four, with the tournament played in a GSL format Group Stage. All teams in each group have been paired off into a series of opening matches, with the winners and losers of each match facing off in order to determine seeding for the Playoffs.
The top two teams from each group will start the Playoffs in the Upper Bracket, while the bottom two will have to slug it out from the Lower Bracket.
The clash at Chengdu will be beginning soon, so be on the lookout for our coverage of the first Major championship of the 2019-2020 season!