The WePlay Animajor is down to its last few teams after several days of exciting games. With only two teams from the group stage qualifying to the upper bracket, Dota 2 fans can expect some innovative plays and unique drafts as we head into the business end of the event.
The WePlay Animajor is the final chance for Dota 2 teams to earn valuable DPC points. Dota Pro Circuit points contribute to a team’s chances of qualifying for The International 10, a $40 million tournament that will take place in Sweden.
The upper bracket comprises the six best teams from each region. These teams are joined by the two best teams from the group stage – in this case, PSG.LGD and Nigma.
Virtus.Pro is the best team from the CIS region and has conssitently been undefeated through the two DPC seasons. The team went 7-0 in both seasons of the DPC, highlighting the players’ skill and potential. A big reason for Virtus.Pro’s dominant playstyle is the skill ceiling of the individuals. Despite Dota 2 being extremely popular in the CIS regions, Virtus.Pro has consitently remained one of the best in the region.
Nigma had to claw through the Wild Card stage in order to reach the playoffs. The team finished in the top two of both the stages, behind a Chinese team in each case. While Vici Gaming topped the Wild Card stage, it was PSG.LGD that placed above Nigma in the group stage. Nigma’s strength comes from the recent role changes within the team. The team swapped Aliwi “w33” Omar and brought on Igor “iLTW” Filatov, one of the best Dota 2 players in the region. Iltw plays an extremely aggressive brand of game and as a result, Nigma is constantly looking for teamfights. And as a result of this change, Nigma looks extremely strong so far at the WePlay Animajor. The team’s performance has been top-tier and it has waded through the Wild Card and the group stage of the Major.
Alliance was the best team from European DPC besting teams such as Team Secret, Nigma and Team Liquid. However, this is not surprising as Alliance was also the best team in the first season of the DPC. The team’s performance in the first season was extremely dominant. But the team bombed out at the Singapore Major highlighting the team’s lacklustre performance on LAN. The players rely on a mixture of ‘Rat Dota’ as well as late-game teamfights. The Alliance style has regularly brought some exciting gameplay to Dota 2 and is often quite different from other European teams.
On the other hand, PSG.LGD is one of the best teams in the tournament. In fact, our preview predicted PSG.LGD to be a favorite to win it all. Why is it a favorite to win it all? PSG.LGD’s players have the structure and the backing of the organization to put forth some top-tier Dota 2. The players have years of experience and regularly come up with innovative playstyles. NothingtoSay has even added an element of fun and excitement to the LGD gameplay. In the match against Evil Geniuses, NothingToSay would regularly push Arteezy’s Medusa up on a cliff.
The battle between PSG.LGD and Alliance signifies the fight between the two teams’ regions. Europe and China are the strongest Dota 2 regions and this match-up might signal an indicator of things to come. Both the teams need a top eight finish in order to qualify for The International 10. However, PSG.LGD has the momentum and it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see PSG.LGD 2-0 Alliance.
Aster was the best team from the Chinese DPC region. Considering how well PSG.LGD and Vici Gaming have been performing at the Animajor, all eyes are set on Team Aster. With players like Du “Monet” Peng and Zhang “LaNm” Zhicheng on this squad, the team does not lack experience. LaNm in particular has been the pillar of the Chinese DPC region. The player brings a lot of experience to the squad and Monet brings the firepower. As one of the fastest flash farmers in the Dota 2 scene, Monet comes online much before his counterpart.
T1 esports has struggled to find a suitable roster ever since its Dota 2 entry. The organization has seen many players rotate in and out of the roster and it seems they have finally found their match. The current Dota 2 roster has players like Nuengnara “23savage” Teeramahanon and Carlo “Kuku” Palad on its squad. The players seem to gel extremely well and bring the trademark SEA flavor to their playstyle. With Southeast Asian Dota 2 known for its aggressive posturing and constant fighting, T1 esports excels in Chaos.
This match is all about order vs Chaos. Team Aster has a methodical approach to its game while T1 esports (and SEA) have a very aggressive and chaotic approach. Team Aster is heavily favored in this series and Dota 2 fans should expect the Chinese giants to go 2-0 in this series.
The WePlay Animajor has had a format for deciding the seedings at the playoffs. And it turns out to not have been the best one for the Americas region. Both the teams from North America and South America will face each other in the upper bracket. As Quincy Crew and NoPing esports play against each other, there will be conflicting emotions for Dota 2 fans from the region.
Quincy Crew has steadily been one of the best teams from North America. It was always the best team during 2020, when Evil geniuses were camping in Europe. But 2021 has shown us that Quincy Crew might actually be slightly better than the world-famous Evil geniuses. Quincy Crew relies on unique drafts and perfect executions to ensure that it has the advantage in any game it plays. The team quickly rotates to save objectives such as mid towers and Roshan. This objective-based gameplay allows the players to constantly ensure they have the upper hand in any match.
NoPing esports showed signs of brilliance during DPC season 1. The team was the only one to break Beastcoast’s dominance and hand Beastcoast its first defeat of Season 1. This time around, NoPing was able to secure the top spot and will play against Quincy Crew in this match. However, NoPing’s players do not have much international experience. This could work for or against them. The lack of international LAN experience is usually a hindrance to new teams and the players will have to adjust their attitude and play style accordingly. On the other hand, the same also makes them an unknown entity to Quincy Crew. If NoPing is able to surprise Quincy Crew in the drafting phase, this match would be an upset for the South American team.
Dota 2 bettors can expect this series to go over 2.5 games as the battle between the two Americas heats up.