Shanghai Shuffle: The Winter Major

Posted 1st of Mar 2016 by Chris Paredes

Triumph at The International is the ultimate glory in DotA. The luster of the Aegis of Champions is so great that a failed TI campaign can make a year filled with otherwise notable victories seem dull.

But while the road to TI is difficult, EG's road to repeating is even more perilous. Of the twenty-five players who have held the Aegis of Champions, none has been a repeat victor. Additionally, as the current defending champions, EG will have a target on their backs for the entire season and will face more opposition scouting and research than any other competitor.

But this year, there is more to play for than just an invite to TI6. The new major system features four season titles for teams to battle over, with summer's major being The International itself. Additionally, the majors will function as roster lock periods to introduce stability into the system and eliminate the guesswork about when roster switching is permissible.

The first of these titles was Frankfurt's Fall Major, where EG finished 3rd to Secret and OG. This week's Winter Major takes place in Shanghai, where EG are defending TI Champions and will essentially be defending their DAC 2015 title.

The event will begin with a GSL style group stage. The sixteen teams are divided into four groups with the top two from all groups advancing to the winners' bracket and the bottom two into the losers' bracket. Groups are played GSL style. EG is seeded into Group D along with compLexity, Liquid, and EG is competing on the last day with Team 2GD already having been eliminated and six more teams already seeded into the lower bracket.

The Shanghai Major: Group D The Manila Major

EG is slated to face coL in Sunday's opening round. EG and coL's current line-ups have faced off only once before, at MDL Winter 2015, where EG eliminated coL 2-0. That, combined with EG's superior pedigree, mean EG is a big favorite going into the match.

EG's second match will be against either VP or Liquid, both of whom EG has had recent matches with at The Summit 4. EG is favored against both; the boys in blue beat both teams during their title run at TS4 -- a 3-2 Grand Finals victory over VP and 2-1 win over Liquid in the Winners' Semis.

Shanghai Major LB Finals: EG vs. Liquid The Manila Major

Beyond the group stage, EG enters the tournament as one of the favorites but not with a prohibitive odds. When EG was in China for DAC, they were simply 2Good for the competition, but they will probably find it a bit more hard(ing) this time around.

EG has performed consistently well in every tournament they enter, flush with top 3 finishes and arguably doing the best of Frankfurt's top 3 since the last major. But EG is far from unstoppable. In addition to their win at TS4, EG has also taken a pair of silvers since Frankfurt -- the MDL Winter 2015 and StarLadder XIII. EG fell to EHOME in the finals of MDL, the same team that bounced them from Winners' Bracket, although they defeated OG 2-0 in the Losers' Finals. At StarLadder, EG fell victim to the newly resurgent Alliance, where Alliance proved again that simply knowing what's coming doesn't mean you will be able to beat them.

ScorePlayer 1 Map Player 2Score
2EGBest of 3coL1
2EGBest of 3VP0
Group Wins2:0Group Losses

ScorePlayer 1 Map Player 2Score
2EGBest of 3Fnatic0
1EGBest of 3Secret2
2EGBest of 3coL0
2EGBest of 3MVP0
0EGBest of 3Liquid2
Playoff Wins3:2Playoff Losses

About the Author: Chris Paredes

Chris Paredes has been a devout fan of DotA since the WarCraft III 5.0 era, he started working with EG in 2011 following the acquisition of the EG Dota 2 team. In addition to coverage of the EG DotA squad, Chris often writes about developments in the meta-game and controversial issues in the broader DotA community. He holds a J.D. from Emory Law along with B.A. in Philosophy and English Literature from Amherst College.

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