Gfreak’s Peek: Predictions for Day 1 of MDL Changsha Major

Vignesh Raghuram

14o, May, 2018
Cover Image sourced from LGD Gaming

Valve has included a way to gather more Battle Points by predicting the outcome of Dota 2 Pro Circuit games as part of this year’s Battle Pass starting with the MDL Changsha Major which kicks off in just a few hours. You can make your predictions HERE, all you need to do is: Login with your Battle Pass activated steam account and make the prediction before 07:30 AM IST | 05:00 AM SGT.

It looks like you can bet upto 25 tokens every week to maximize your winnings. Each correct token gives you 40 Battle Pass Points. The number of tokens you can bet will be refreshed every week.

Making these predictions may be hard for people who do not follow the Dota 2 Pro Circuit, that’s where I come in. As someone who is up to date with all of the DPC events, and religiously watches every other match in every single tournament and thus have a good knowledge of the Pro scene; I’ll make my predictions and share them here on our website everyday to help our readers with leveling up their Battle Pass.

So without further ado, let’s dive into the MDL Changsha Major Predictions.

Note: It appears as though the tokens will refresh on 15th May, meaning if you use all the tokens right now, you won't be able to predict any of the other matches later tomorrow.

The Predictions

Before making any predictions, one must always look at the format of the tournament. The MDL Changsha Major will feature a BO2 round-robin group stage, which reduces the chances of upsets by a large margin. We also need to remember that we have 25 tokens for each day, which means we need to spread it out amongst a number of matches, as well as take the liberty of not betting on series which are too close to call.

With that it in mind let’s take a look at today’s matches.
OG vs Invictus Gaming

While OG is definitely the stronger of these two teams, heading into this event. They’re still prone to making crucial mistakes in the laning phase which often leads to the enemy team snowballing. Hence IG has quite a decent chance of taking a game of OG.

My Advice: Abstain
IG.Vitality vs Mineski

While initially, it looked like Mineski didn’t have the best of tournaments in the Epicenter Major. On a second glance, they weren’t really too bad. They only lost to the two finalists Team Liquid and PSG.LGD (In this case, barely) as well as FlyToMoon – who in my opinion understood the patch better than all other teams in Epicenter XL.

I just don’t see them losing to an IG.Vitality side who barely made it to this event. In fact, IG.Vitality has only won 1 of their last 5 series (against IG in DPL) and come into this event in horrible form.

My Advice: 5-7 Tokens on Mineski
Infamous vs Team Secret

Let’s be honest, South America is a step below the rest of the regions fighting it out in the DPC. I don’t expect that to change heading into this event. That said, Infamous does possess a talented roster who is capable of the odd upset.

On the other hand, Team Secret, come to this event straight from GESC: Thailand after securing their invite to TI8. As a result, there is a possibility(pretty remote tbh) of Team Secret deciding to relax a bit and hence dropping a game against their SA opponents.

My Advice: 2-3 Tokens on Team Secret
TNC Predator vs Newbee

Newbee has been all over the place recently. They managed to beat out Na’vi and OG 2-1, and stretched Team Secret and Virtus.Pro in the Epicenter XL Major. But then, they go on to lose 2-0 to paiN Gaming to get eliminated from the event. It is really not wise to bet on them, no matter what team they’re playing against.

Let’s see how the team starts off in Epicenter before making our predictions.

My Advice: Abstain
VGJ.Storm vs Vici Gaming

The newly crowned GESC: Thailand champions come into this event with the wind on their sails and momentum on their side. However, one has to remember that GESC: Thailand mostly had Tier 2-3 teams in them (With the exception of Team Secret). A Major is an entirely different beast. I don’t see VGJ.Storm taking 2 games off their sister team Vici Gaming.

Especially when Vici Gaming come into this event fresh off a winning the DPL Season 5 – an event featuring the likes of Newbee and Epicenter XL champions PSG LGD.

My Advice: 3-5 Tokens on Vici Gaming
PSG.LGD vs Vega Squadron

Well, an even TI rolls out. And what do you know? One Chinese team starts soaring above the rest as they begin to build up some much-needed momentum heading into the final stretch of the season. PSG LGD, fresh off a major win at Epicenter XL are easily the favorites to take this event and secure their TI8 invite.

When they go up against, what is probably the 3rd or maybe even 4th best team in a relatively weak CIS region, You get one of the easier bets of the day.

My Advice: 4-6 Tokens on PSG LGD
Mineski vs Team Secret

One of the biggest matches of the day with two extremely talented teams going toe-to-toe. While Mineski has held the edge in recent times, Team Secret is fully capable of taking a game off Mineski. So,

My Advice: Abstain
IG.Vitality vs OG

Again, I want to take a good look at OG on Day 1 to determine whether their performances at Epicenter XL was a sign of the team returning back to their lofty tier 1 status.

The same goes for IG.Vitality, while their recent performances indicate that they are a poor team. They still have it in them to beat a shaky OG squad

My Advice: Abstain
Infamous vs Invictus Gaming

History of poor showings in LAN vs a Team in poor form

My Advice: Abstain
PSG LGD vs Newbee

Perhaps the closest match of Day 1. Newbee always punches above their weight when they play against their fellow countrymen which means that PSG LGD have a tough challenge ahead of them. This rivalry has been producing some stellar matches in the Chinese scene of late with both teams taking wins off each other depending upon a variety of factors.

This game is just too close to call

My Advice: Abstain
Invictus Gaming vs IG.Vitality

For what it’s worth, IG.Vitality beat out Invictus Gaming in the last meeting between these two teams. But I’d advice you to just not predict this game.

My Advice: Abstain
OG vs Team Secret

EU vs EU hype!! The point I made above about I want to take a good look at OG on Day 1 before making any predictions about their games still applies. Add that to the speculation that Team Secret might start taking it easy in this event, no one should be betting on this game.

My Advice: Abstain
Mineski vs Infamous

IMO Mineski is arguably the 2nd best team attending this event, while Infamous is amongst the weaker teams. Personally, this one is a no-brainer for me. I just don’t see Infamous being able to deal with iceiceice and Jabz in the early-mid game phases.

My Advice: 4-5 Tokens on Mineski
PSG LGD vs Vici Gaming

Again, one of those China vs China matchups that I don’t feel comfortable betting on. Both teams are extremely strong and come into this event in great form. It all depends on who starts delivering on the big stage.

My Advice: Abstain
VGJ.Storm vs TNC Predator

This might be quite surprising, considering VGJ.Storm’s recent triumph. However, I think that TNC Predator will take this comfortably over VGJ.Storm thanks to their playstyle. If you look at the GESC: Thailand Minor, most games VGJ.Storm won were through snowballing in the early game phase and building on that to close out the games.

TNC Predator, on the other hand, is a team feared for their laning prowess and their chaotic early game – they aren’t referred to as ‘discount-VP’ for no reason. I just don’t see VGJ.Storm overwhelming the TNC lineup the way they did in the Thailand Minor.

My Advice: 3-4 Tokens on TNC Predator
Vega Squadron vs Newbee

Theoretically, this should be easy pickings for Newbee. But I feel like there are better options left to pursue in Day 1.

My Advice: Abstain, or throw in a Token or 2 for Newbee
Mineski vs OG

See "why I want to take a look at OG before betting on their matches" above.

My Advice: Abstain
Infamous vs IG.Vitality

Two of the weakest sides of this major going up against each other. I doubt anyone knows who's gonna come out on top.

My Advice: Abstain
Team Secret vs IG.Vitality

I would abstain because this is one of the last games of the day, and teams always get sloppy at the end of Day 1. Especially Team Secret, who just came in from Thailand.

My Advice: 0-2 tokens for Team Secret
PSG LGD vs TNC Predator

This is one of the most interesting matchups of Day 1, I just want to look at what this clash of playstyles results in. I think PSG LGD have the edge, but TNC games (especially of late) are always quite unpredictable.

My Advice: Abstain
Newbee vs VGJ.Storm

See ‘why I want to take a look at Newbee before betting on their matches’ above.

My Advice: Abstain
Vici Gaming vs Vega Squadron

I think Vici Gaming will just overwhelm Vega considering the form of both teams coming into this event. While the CIS team might have a few aces up their sleeve, I just feel that the sheer experience that Vici Gaming possesses will see them take the last game of the Day.

My Advice: 3-4 Tokens on Vici Gaming