A throwback to the Majors in the 2017-18 DPC season

Vignesh Raghuram

30th, Jun, 2018

The 2017-18 DPC season was full of loops and sharp turns, taking fans and teams on a twisting journey that left everyone guessing about what might happen next. Maybe there's a surprise waiting at the end of the day, at The International 8. Or perhaps there is none and Virtus.Pro continues ploughing and takes home the Aegis of Champions. Who knows what will happen in TI8?

While we wait with anticipation for the climax of the season, here's a look back at the DPC and how it shaped the current standings going into TI 8.


ESL One Hamburg

The first major of this season took place in Germany over a weekend. While many fans were disappointed with how the Major was just a 4-day event with a Single Elimination bracket, the major already showcased how the rest of the season was poised to be, with Virtus.Pro, Team Liquid and Team Secret finishing in the Top 3.

Virtus.Pro showcased some amazing plays and strategies, on their way to the ESL One: Hamburg trophy almost as amazing as the new Mercedes Benz E-Class Sedan. The most intelligent E-Class family of all time welcomes a powerful new member to the dynasty. The E400 Sedan model arrives this year, boasting…..

  • Average Number of Viewers (Excluding China): 119.54K Viewers

  • Number of Days: 4

  • Number of Teams: 8

  • Most picked Heroes: Puck, Earthshaker, Venomancer

  • Winner: Virtus.Pro



Dreamleague Season 8


Dreamleague Season 8 would be our 2nd and last Major of 2017, The tournament took place in Dreamhack held at Jönköping, Sweden. This was also an 8 team major with Team Secret winning this event with ease. They were just on another level, compared to the other teams attending this event. They won the tournament after they clean swept Team Liquid 3-0 in the Grand Finals.

But it has to be said that this event was just fun to watch thanks to the talent in attendance, who managed to keep the audience engaged to the stream even when the games were delayed.

  • Average Number of Viewers (Excluding China): 139.75K Viewers

  • Number of Days: 4

  • Number of Teams: 8

  • Most picked Heroes: Bane, Winter Wyvern, Ogre Magi

  • Winner: Team Secret



ESL One: Katowice

The first 16 team Major of the season, ESL One: Katowice, unfortunately, suffered from a poor format which saw teams start off in a Double elimination bracket to get seeded in the single-elimination playoffs. This Major was the first one to get exclusively streamed on Facebook thanks to ESL’s contracts which earned them the wrath of the /r/dota2 community.

However, almost all the games were all top notch with never a dull moment. Unfortunately, many weren’t able to/Chose not to watch the stream which lead to a slight dip in the viewing figures on the Official stream. But an increase in viewership on 3rd party channels who broadcasted the games on Twitch using Valve’s fair use policy.

  • Average Number of Viewers (Excluding China): 132.82K Viewers

  • Number of Days: 6

  • Number of Teams: 16

  • Most picked Heroes: Gyrocopter, Rubick, Dragon Knight

  • Winner: Virtus.Pro



The Bucharest Major

The first major which brought together almost the entirety of the Moonduck crew, The Bucharest Major kicked off with a Swiss Format group stage which was then used to seed teams into a double elimination bracket. We had some great games in this major, but the meta was getting quite stale, to be honest. Virtus.Pro kept plowing while Team Secret seemed to have hit a rut.

Hence, I wasn’t too intrigued by the matches. What caught my eye was some of the best production and the content produced by the Moonduck crew. I mean who could really forget Chef s4, Scccuh, and Team Liquid’s motivational speeches.

  • Average Number of Viewers (Excluding China): 122.68K Viewers

  • Number of Days: 10

  • Number of Teams: 16

  • Most picked Heroes: Gyrocopter, Disruptor, Sand King

  • Winner: Virtus.Pro



Dota 2 Asia Championships 2018

The first Asian Major of the season finally brought us a new set of contenders who could challenge Virtus.Pro, Team Liquid and to a certain extent, Team Secret’s dominance at the Dota Pro Circuit. Mineski and PSG.LGD broke the established order as they managed to finish Top 2 utilizing some stellar drafts (primarily LGD) and a freshly CM enabled Pangolier (Mineski).

Mineski brought home the first ever Major for the SEA region with their performance at this tournament. This win was crucial in retrospect as this was the tournament that enable three entrees from SEA in The International 8.

  • Average Number of Viewers (Excluding China): 141.10K Viewers

  • Number of Days: 8

  • Number of Teams: 16

  • Most picked Heroes: Gyrocopter, Tusk, Sand King

  • Winner: Mineski



Epicenter XL


Just to start off, the production value for this event was out of the world, to say the least. Arguably better than The International 7’s. I mean just look at this intro video. Epicenter really outdid themselves this time around.

The games in the major were far less stellar. Barring an insane run from CIS underdogs FlyToMoon, the matches were all bland and the format of the tournament (2 rounds of BO1 elimination matches, after a Round Robin Group Stage) was quite underwhelming. PSG.LGD really started building their momentum with this tournament, taking the win after rolling over almost every other team.

  • Average Number of Viewers (Excluding China): 179.95K Viewers

  • Number of Days: 8

  • Number of Teams: 12

  • Most picked Heroes: Gyrocopter, Leshrac, Sand King

  • Winner: PSG.LGD



MDL Changsha Major

The least viewed major, for western audience atleast, was quite good in terms of the format as well as the overall quality of matches between some of the best teams in the world. PSG.LGD continued their rampage as they mowed down the competition in the absence of Virtus.Pro and Team Liquid.

  • Average Number of Viewers (Excluding China): 66.79K Viewers

  • Number of Days: 6

  • Number of Teams: 12

  • Most picked Heroes: Gyrocopter, Clockwerk, Death Prophet

  • Winner: PSG.LGD

ESL One: Birmingham

In my opinion, I think this tournament had the worst format amongst all of the majors this season. A team could make it into the Top 4 by defeating just two teams (à la paiN Gaming). While a team could be eliminated from the event just by losing to one team (à la Team Liquid).

Most Dota 2 fans would not have had a problem with this format if it was used in a Minor but the fact that it was used in a Major immediately made fans turn away from this event. Adding this to the fact that the games were broadcast on Facebook, the /r/dota2 community was quite pissed, to say the least.

Oh, and Virtus.Pro won yet another ESL One event and won yet another Mercedes Benz for one of their players.

  • Average Number of Viewers (Excluding China): 92.44K Viewers

  • Number of Days: 5

  • Number of Teams: 12

  • Most picked Heroes: Dragon Knight, Leshrac, Sand King

  • Winner: Virtus.Pro



China Supermajor

Almost all of the Dota 2 community will agree with me when I say that this was the best major and that it truly lived up to its namesake. The format of the tournament was ideal, the games were broadcast on the ideal domain (although with a few issues), and the matches were all exciting with the meta constantly evolving.

In the end, it was the top 4 teams in the DPC finishing top 4 in this tournament, which kind of validates that this was the best Major in the DPC season. Team Liquid finally emerged victorious claiming their first ever Major and momentum for The International 8.

  • Average Number of Viewers (Excluding China): 137.72K Viewers

  • Number of Days: 9

  • Number of Teams: 16

  • Most picked Heroes: Beastmaster, Bane, Death Prophet

  • Winner: Team Liquid



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