18 teams will compete for $500,000 at an anime-themed Dota 2 tournament in Ukraine.
The WePlay AniMajor marks the second international Dota 2 tournament since the start of 2020. Dota’s six regions have spent the last six weeks battling for major positions. The $500,000 prize pool provided plenty of motivation. Of the 18 squads attending, only one can become champion.
The teams will enter the competition at different stages. The six DPC champions of each region advance directly to the playoffs. The group stage consists of the regional runners-up. The wild card round features two rosters each from China and Western Europe and two more from Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia. They’ll compete for the two remaining slots in the AniMajor group stage.
China is Dota 2’s strongest region, and Aster is China’s strongest team. After a historic reverse sweep of Evil Geniuses, Singapore champions Invictus Gaming came home to fourth in China’s upper division. Team Aster has dominated their home country in Invictus’ stead. The squad’s only loss this season was against EHOME, who won’t be in Kiev. Midlaner Liu “WhiteAlbum” Yuhao and carry Du “Monet” Peng are a fearsome combination, controlling the midgame and lategame respectively. They’ll likely deliver at the AniMajor just like they’ve done all season long.
In an era dominated by late-game strategies, Alliance’s drafting philosophy stands out from the crowd. Captain and TI3 champion Gustav “s4” Magnusson favors an even power curve throughout the game. The strategy earned the team a near-flawless 6-1 record in Western Europe’s upper division. Support duo Simon “Handsken” Haag and Artsiom “fng” Barshak are the players to watch at the WePlay AniMajor. Explosive support combos like Grimstroke Lina and Nyx Assassin Snapfire make them just as entertaining as Alliance’s cores. A playoff start dodges a lot of potential problem matchups. s4’s unique drafting style could give them an edge over other teams.
The North American juggernaut scored silver in Singapore and came within a single teamfight of winning the championship. Season 2 hasn’t gone quite as smoothly for EG. The team lost its playoff spot to Quincy Crew after a close series lost.
But the sheer talent on the team cannot be understated. Off laner Daryl “iceiceice” Pei Xiang, mid laner Abed Yusop, and carry Artour “Arteezy” Babaev all have enough star power to build a team around. The support duo is also top notch. As one of the most experienced teams at the AniMajor, Evil Geniuses stand a solid chance of winning from the group stage, and could be a dark horse to take the entire event.
Despite losing their playoff berth to Aster, LGD stands a very good chance of winning the AniMajor. Wang “Ame” Chunyu has retained his reputation as one of the deadliest carries in the world with a 6.64 KDA across patch 7.29. His late-game dominance is backed by Zhang “Faith_bian” Ruida’s versatility. LGD’s off laner has played 24 different heroes across the patch. While their individual stats paint a pretty picture, PSG.LGD is also one of the most coordinated squads in action. LGD could make short work of the preliminaries on the way to the podium.
The Dota 2 WePlay AniMajor begins on June 2 with the playoffs starting June 8. The tournament will be streamed in English and Russian across four Twitch channels. All AniMajor streams can be watched concurrently on the WePlay Twitch Team page.