The Manila Major is finally over. Frankfurt Major champions OG enjoyed a convincing victory over Team Liquid in the grand finals, making them the first team in Dota 2 history to win two Valve events. The Europeans successfully defended their title against the Chinese and the Southeast Asians, halting what seemed to be like another uprising from the Far East with LGD Gaming and Newbee threatening to make it to the final match.
While the Manila Major was a fantastic event that could very well take the title for best tournament of the year, the Dota 2 scene isn’t quite done for this month yet. Before the TI6 qualifiers, Germany will get to see another edition of ESL One Frankfurt this weekend. With seven Western teams and a single SEA team in the mix, the Chinese will find no opportunities to win a title here. OG and Liquid will be playing at this event, which means that every other team in the field will have to step up if they want to dethrone them.
Alliance — 12/1 — bet365
CompLexity Gaming — 33/1 — bet365
Fnatic — 6/1 — bet365
OG — 6/4 — bet365
Natus Vincere — 8/1 — bet365
Team Liquid — 7/4 — bet365
Vega Squadron — 28/1 — bet365
Virtus.pro — 25/1 — bet365
Unfortunately for Alliance, they were knocked out of the Manila Major early on in a very close series against Na’Vi. Given how the results turned out in that tournament, though, we’re not quite sure how far they would have gotten anyway had they survived that lower bracket encounter. It would seem that this team isn’t quite ready to win a championship again, which is quite concerning when you consider how much time is left until TI6.
With OG, Liquid, and Na’Vi in the field at Frankfurt, we’re inclined to disagree with most anyone who would bet on them as outright winners in this event. The loss at the Major really seemed to get them down, which may affect them heavily at ESL One Frankfurt. Sorry, Alliance believers — but there will be time for the Swedes to shine again someday.
Fnatic made a good case for themselves in Manila, finishing in the top 6 in the face of some really tough competition. It was another step in the right direction for a team that has been improving steadily this year, though in this event we’re reluctant to say that their improvement will reach its culmination.
When Mushi in particular plays bad games, the team just falls apart completely. Not even their star support DJ can bail them out if their carry simply flounders around with his eyes half closed. If Mushi can’t get his play anywhere decently close to his Team DK days, there will be little hope for Fnatic anywhere they go. It will be up to the rest to keep him in shape, or they may find themselves exiting this tournament in the groups.
The new Major champions, and the first to achieve two such titles. OG muscled their way through the upper bracket in Manila and showed no signs of ever wanting to slow down throughout the tournament. They had it all: Miracle- plays, great drafts, fantastic decision making in high pressure situations, and more that you’d expect from a team this good. Naturally, this makes them one of the safest bets in this event, and one that we’d recommend after what they showed in the event they just won.
OG and Liquid are in separate groups in this tournament, which means that they are guaranteed to face each other in the playoffs. This rematch will be very, very wild — and shouldn’t be missed by anyone into high level Dota. We’ll be covering their inevitable second encounter, so make sure to check back during the tournament for our tips.
As an attendee of the Manila Major himself, the author of this article felt the city’s heart shatter when Na’Vi was eliminated by Liquid to send them home in top 8. They showed some good performances in that event, but ultimately failed to live up to their comeback as a Dota team after years of mediocrity.
We think the same will happen here. With more or less the same teams from the major present at this tournament, they’re going to have a hard time even getting past the group stage. There is just something missing in their team — whether it be a good performance from their carry Ditya Ra or a host of buffs to their heroes that would help push them over the edge. For now, though, avoid them.
And now we come to the runners-up of the Manila Major. They took second place at the event they were most favoured to win, but their match against OG was still extremely close despite not going the full five games. They and OG just seem to almost completely outclass everyone else these days, and so there is a really big chance that they will meet again in the grand finals if they don’t get seeded on the same side of the playoff bracket.
In all honesty, Liquid are just as capable of winning this tournament as OG, so it’s almost a 50/50 tossup between them. There’s a bit more money to be made with a Team Liquid bet, but really — at this point it’s about choosing your favourite between the two.
CompLexity Gaming, Vega Squadron, Virtus.pro
These are the teams that will likely get knocked out in the group stage. CoL fell short of the top 8 at Manila, while Vega and VP don’t have a lot going for them right now. Perhaps their individual matches will be better to put your money on, but in this market, we strongly suggest not betting on them.
It’s going to come down to these two teams in the grand finals, most likely. Seeing as they are almost exactly matched, your choice should just be based on which team you’re rooting for more than the other.
— written by Patrick “EthanKairos” Bonifacio (@EthanKairosSC2)