We now move on to the second part of our Manila Major 2016 regional preview series, this time with the region closest to the host country. The Chinese scene received some invigorating changes during the roster lock, and for the most part some younger Chinese teams have been putting on spectacular results considering the weakness of the region at the Shanghai Major.
Squads such as Wings Gaming and Vici Gaming Reborn will be at the event next week, hoping to give Chinese Dota fans a lot to cheer about. Fresh off their history-making winning streak, Newbee will be joining their countrymen in Manila, as well as direct invitees LGD Gaming. Let’s check out how the bookmakers think they’ll fare.
LGD Gaming (9/1 bet365)
Easily the weakest out of the four Chinese teams at the event, the once-again-xiao8-is-playing LGD lineup will have to prove they deserve the invite they were given. Many Dota fans will tell you that LGD’s invite was the most questionable out of the twelve that were handed out, and rightfully so. After they confirmed their roster at the lock, this team has had no results to speak of except for a third place finish at the StarLadder i-League Invitational.
This translates, of course, directly into the odds. The bookmakers probably trust them to win the whole thing just a tad too much. LGD have done little to indicate that xiao8 has gotten off his lazy bum to practice and grind like it’s 2012, and having Agressif alone isn’t going to save them. We suggest passing on them for this market.
Vici Gaming Reborn (12/1 Betway)
Vici Gaming Reborn: one of the four that can be considered good in this era. After coming off an emphatic victory at the StarLadder i-League Invitational, they put the rest of the world on notice and China back on the map once again.
Unfortunately, they haven’t had much success since then. They came close to qualifying for ESL One Frankfurt and The Summit 5 — which indicates that they’ve at least been keeping the pace since their last major victory — but otherwise they’ve been relatively quiet. Still, the fact that they have results under their belts gives us more confidence in them than LGD. Let’s not forget that Fy is in this team, and will likely be the X-factor for them. Although Mikasa won’t be playing for them in Manila, having their usual mid should help them out significantly.
At 12/1, they’re a decent choice. This gives you room to make a safer bet elsewhere if you don’t feel too confident in them right now, but all things considered they’re fairly solid.
Wings Gaming (7/1 bet365)
Now we’re talking. Wings Gaming’s victory over Team Liquid may have been during the final tournament of 6.86, but to discredit their sweep in the grand finals of that tournament would be a disservice to one of the better Chinese teams to come out of the roster lock. We don’t think we need to remind anyone that Liquid took first place at EPICENTER, which proves that they are still top contenders for the title in any given event. The fact that Wings defeated them at ESL One Manila after having a less than smooth ride on the way there is a testament to their work ethic and chemistry.
They haven’t been resting on their laurels lately either. Wings was most recently seen defeating VGR at The Summit 5 Chinese qualifiers, and so they’re looking poised to make another deep run in Manila. At 7/1 you’re getting less than the previous two options, but they definitely stand better chances of winning the whole tournament than the others — maybe except for the final team we’ll be talking about in this article. All in all, it’s hard to go wrong with this kind of value for a team that’s in the top three in China right now.
Newbee (11/2 Betway)
Newbee: the latest team to make history in Dota 2. Their 29-game winning streak that continued well into EPICENTER unfortunately did not culminate in a championship for them, but at least they can say that they were untouchable for so long. As far as this event is concerned, though, having a streak to brag about might not be enough.
Don’t get us wrong by thinking we’re writing them off completely here — Newbee put up one hell of a fight versus Liquid in their best of five grand final matchup. Even though the Europeans ended up winning, the Chinese still managed to take them to the brink. Without a doubt they are still going to be a threat in this event. In all honesty they are still capable of making it to the grand finals, but considering the possible returns versus the chances of them slipping up in the grand finals, there may be better value elsewhere — such as with Wings as prescribed above.
Of course, if you don’t trust the youngins as much as the old guard, then Newbee should be the choice for you. In general, though, we think the kids will fare better.
Vici Gaming Reborn should be looked at as the wildcard bet out of the four Chinese teams that will be present in Manila, with less results and momentum backing them up at the event but also with the talent to make up for it. Wings will be the safe choice here, but will still give you good returns. That impressive performance versus one of the best teams in the world has us trusting them.