With most regions now four weeks deep into their respective 2021 Dota Pro Circuit winter leagues, a number of teams have officially been eliminated from contention for a spot in the upcoming ONE Esports Singapore Major. There are also three who have already clinched a spot.
Virtus.pro, Natus Vincere, and Team Secret have all mathematically guaranteed a spot in what will be the first major in over a year. All three teams currently own a 5-0 record in their leagues and cannot be forced down in the standings to the point where they will miss the event entirely.
The teams haven’t guaranteed where they’ll start in the tournament but all three have locked up a spot in the event. This isn’t necessarily a huge surprise for any of them.
Team Secret had a historically dominant 2020. The team famously won eight events in a row and topped the 2013 Alliance lineup in terms of dominance over a 100-match stretch. The team then won the DreamLeague Season 13 Major. That netted Team Secret over $1 million in prize pool winnings in one of the poorest years in Dota 2 history.
Though Secret stumbled as the year went on and underwhelmed in EPIC League and ESL One Germany, it brought its A-game to DreamLeague Season 14. Secret has already worked its way through the toughest part of the schedule and remains undefeated. There’s a very real chance it finishes the season undefeated with just OG and High Coast Esports left on its plate, but it will likely enter the ONE Esports Singapore Major as the favorite to win regardless.
— ESL Dota2 (@ESLDota2) February 14, 2021
Though Team Secret crushing the competition in DreamLeague Season 14 wasn’t much of a shock, Na`Vi and Virtus.pro stomping all comers is a bit of a shock. Not because they weren’t pegged as the favorites to win the ESL One CIS League, but because the competition was supposed to be stiffer in the region.
The likes of Team Spirit and the newly minted AS Monaco Gambit were meant to be serious threats, while NoTechies had the makings of being a spoiler. Instead, teams have been struggling to win a single map against Virtus.pro and Na`Vi.
With 5-0 records, these two are set to completely avoid the wildcard stage of the ONE Esports Singapore. They’re guaranteed a top-two finish in the league, with the playoff entrant likely to be determined in the final match of the league season.
— Evil Geniuses (@EvilGeniuses) February 8, 2021
Na`Vi, Virtus.pro, and Team Secret aren’t alone in owning 5-0 records in DPC leagues. Evil Geniuses and Neon Esports are both sitting at that level through four weeks of league play.
Evil Geniuses crushing the competition in North America was expected. Though the team entered with a new lineup, the thin competition in North America and high level of individual talent made a strong finish the expectation. A spot in the major isn’t quite clinched yet but the team is yet to face the 0-5 squad, 5ManMidas, so Evil Geniuses will go to the ONE Esports Singapore Major unless it ends up on the bad end of one of Dota 2’s all-time biggest upsets.
Neon Esports isn’t a new name for those who have followed the Southeast Asian scene, but the team has been the biggest revelation of the DPC winter leagues. Neon is undefeated to this point but is actually on somewhat shaky ground.
The team has not yet faced 4-1 Fnatic or 3-2 T1. If it picks up one more win, it’s guaranteed a spot in the ONE Esports Singapore Major. If it loses out, there’s a chance Neon lands outside the top three after tiebreakers.
The ONE Esports Singapore Major starts on March 27 and runs to April 4.
The event will feature 18 teams competing for their slice of a $500,000 prize pool and 2,700 Dota Pro Circuit points. Six teams will compete in the wildcard stage, with two advancing to the group stage.
The group stage is made up of the second-place teams from each DPC league, with six teams advancing to the playoffs. All the first-place teams from the DPC leagues will automatically start in the upper bracket of the playoffs.