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The Boston Majors: Philippine DOTA Hits the World Stage
This year is looking like our year for DOTA 2
The Philippines has always had one of the biggest DOTA and DOTA 2 fanbases in the world, but somehow it’s rare to see a Philippine team make it to the world stage in competitive DOTA. It looks like that is about to change however, as this year has been a very good year for Philippine DOTA, with TNC Pro Team reaching the quarterfinals of The International 6 and our own countryman Djardel Jicko "DJ" Mampusti brought our flag to fourth place under team Fnatic. Now with a new season already underway and the Boston Majors approaching, it seems we’re ready to make an even bigger impact on the world stage.
Execration Gets a Direct Invite
Due to the team’s solid finish at the Mineski Pro Gaming League SEA Championship at the Selangor Cyber Games, the all-Filipino team Execration got a direct invite into the first 8 slots of the Boston Majors. This is the first time in history that a Philippine team has received a direct invite, meaning the team automatically qualifies for the event. This is timely as the team has just acquired TI6 star DJ, on top of the already-top-tier roster of the team, which includes Abed “Abed” Yusop famous in the DOTA world for his Meepo (“You never give Meepo to Abed!”). We’ll find out how the team will hold their ground during the event itself, but just the direct invite alone shows that even Valve has recognized that Filipino players are among the best in the world.
Mineski.GGNetwork and TNC Pro Team Fall Short
For all the teams not directly invited, the open qualifiers for the SEA, China, Americas and EU regions were held last October 27 to 30. Among the teams that joined the SEA qualifiers were Mineski.Ggnetwork and TNC Pro Team, two of the best local teams. Team Fnatic also deserves a special mention for just recently acquiring two of TNC’s top players: Nico “Eyyou” Barcelon and Marc “Raven” Fausto.
First to be eliminated was TNC Pro Team, with only 3 wins in the group stages bringing them down to 7th seed out of 9. Perhaps they felt a little too deeply the loss of two of their strongest players? However, both Fnatic and Mineski.GGNetwork made it to the playoffs, with the latter clearing the group stages in style with a 7-1 record. Mineski.GGNetwork’s success could have something to do with their two new imports in Singaporean carry player Galvin "Meracle" Kang Jian Wen, and their new coach and analyst Anthony “Scantzor” Hodgson.
Almost But Not Quite
It was Mineski.GGnetwork that eliminated Fnatic in the first round of the playoffs 2-0, notably after a 70-minute game where Mineski.GGNetwork took the win from a huge deficit and against Mega Creeps (the whole country cheered!). With two chances to win a trip to Boston in both the winners bracket and losers bracket finals, hopes were high for the incarnation of one of the oldest DOTA teams in Philippine history. The team, however, faced the undefeated tournament favorites team Faceless in the winners bracket…and lost. No thanks to poor scheduling by Valve, Mineski.GGNetwork had to face WG.Unity in the losers bracket finals with barely any rest. With one team coming from a crushing loss and the other from a win, the momentum was tipped in WG.Unity’s favor, and so ended our hopes for a second Filipino team in the Boston Majors.
The Boston Major 16
With the open qualifiers over, we now know the complete set of 16 teams that will compete in the Boston Majors this December (pro-tip: Stay on track even while focused on the games with this sleek and modern smart watch). Apart from Execration, these are TI6 champions Wings Gaming, Team Digital Chaos, NA favorites Evil Geniuses, Chinese powerhouse Newbee, also-formidable EHOME, a Miracle-less OG, MVP Phoenix, WG.Unity, Faceless, Ad Finem, Virtus.Pro, compLexity Gaming, LFY with e-sports veteran xiao8, Vitality Gaming and EternaLEnVy’s new team NP! Execration will have to go through all these powerful teams to bring home the Boston Majors trophy.