Valve Corporation, the makers of Dota 2, has announced the first major for the new 2015–2016 Dota 2 season: the Frankfurt Major. The event will take place at the Festhalle Messe in Frankfurt, Germany. It starts on the 16th of November and goes through to the 21st of November 2015. Valve is putting up a $3 million prize pool and the event will be produced by Electronic Sports League (ESL).
The invites were sent out on the 5th of October 2015 and they include TI5 champions Evil Geniuses, runner-ups CDEC Gaming, the new-look Team Secret, Chinese powerhouses LGD Gaming, Vici Gaming and EHOME, Virtus.pro, and winners of ESL New York, Vega Squadron.
The open qualifiers have begun and the regional qualifiers will start on the 10th of October. These qualifiers will determine the final eight teams with two qualifiers from each region (North America, Southeast Asia, Europe and China).
The Frankfurt Major is the first of four majors for this season (also known as the “Fall Major”). It is assumed one major will be played each quarter of the season. We know one major will be in China and be produced by DAC. The final major for the season will be The International 6, in Seattle. The location of the third major is unknown at this point.
The major will be played on patch 6.85 (released on the 24th of September), which included many balancing changes. Valve has confirmed that gameplay balance patches will be made after major tournaments to rectify imbalances, shake up the meta and give teams time to create, practice and execute new strategies in time for the next major. IceFrog continues to be the main balance designer, and his identity still remains unknown.
For now we know there are eight invited teams, but we’ll take a closer look at the first two: Evil Geniuses and Team Secret.
EG will be favourites for the major after their August victory in The International 5 (TI5). Post tournament they looked to strengthen their team with the return of the North American prodigal son Artour “Arteezy” Babaev who will play position one. With the change, old man Clinton “Fear” Loomis moves from position one to position four after the removal of Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling. So far EG’s post-TI5 form has been hard to put a label on.
They were eliminated by Vega Squadron 2-0 at ESL New York, but looked good in patches. They could not capitalise on their lead in game one and were made to pay by some clever Vega strategy along with some bad engagement decisions on their part. Evil Geniuses have not played enough official matches post TI5 for their competitors and commentators to get a true indication of where they are at. They will still be favourites come mid-November.
The post-TI5 team shuffle was a carnival of rumours, background planning and eventual betrayals. Team Secret moved on and brought in four new players. Arteezy replaced Eternal Envy, S4 substituted W33, MiSeRy made way for Zai, and Pieliedie took over from KuroKy.
At ESL New York Team Secret defeated Fnatic 2-1, CDEC 2-0 and eventually succumbed to Vega 0-2 in the finals. They were patchy and relied a lot on individual skill. Team Secret will be much stronger and coordinated for the Frankfurt Major.
You can watch the open qualifiers here
, and more information about the Frankfurt Major Open Qualifiers can be found right here
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