With just two days left until the Shanghai Major, there’s also just two previews in our series left to do before the group stage kicks off. In this edition, we take a look at the other region out in the West: America. For the most part, the Americas have been one of the weaker regions in the scene, producing only a small handful of teams that can boast success on the same level as their European counterparts. It has also been one of the most unstable, with rosters changing on a dime before Valve implemented the roster lock system for the Major Series.
However, it can be said that the region also contains some of the most seasoned veterans of the game, with more than a handful of active players still playing after their WC3 DotA days. After all, the fabled “Old Man Dota” resides within this region, along with other fixtures whose names are recognized throughout the Dota 2 world. On the flipside, this region has also produced its fair share of pubstars turned pros, who exhibit the sheer skill and have matching personalities to boot. While they may not be expected to win as much as European and Chinese teams, the potential lying within America is undeniable — just often unrefined.
Here at the Shanghai Major, there are three American teams participating, with one of them being the defending International champions. The rising talents of the other two squads should also be interesting to see.
CompLexity Gaming (200/1 Skybet)
CompLexity is actually a half-Swedish, half-American team, based in the United States. The roster is mostly made up of veterans from the glory days of Heroes of Newerth eSports, with names that should be more than recognizable to fans of that game. Guys like Swindlemelonzz, Chessie, and Limmp were all top tier players back in HoN.
CompLexity’s TI5 roster was slightly different, as OG’s offlaner MoonMeander and their support Fly werestill in the team at the time. After finishing 9th-12th at TI5, Moon and Fly left for Monkey Business (now known as OG), and were replaced by Chessie and Limmp. Handsken also joined the team after Zyzz left for Leviathan. Since then, they’ve had to go through a whole five or six months just to taste first place gold at a tournament, which they did at the sixth season of the Dota 2 Canada Cup. This honestly makes it look like they’re one of the underdogs out in Shanghai, and that assumption is quite correct.
All in all, they probably aren’t going to win the whole tournament, but they’re more likely to finish a few places above 13th-16th. They have the talent and experience (at least in MOBAs in general and not Dota 2 in particular) to take some games here and there, but the composure needed to stay strong and focused in a long tournament like a Major is lacking in this squad. There’s a reason their returns are that high.
Team Archon (600/1 bet365)
Team Archon are far, far worse off than CompLexity in terms of the odds. They don’t match up well against the rest of the field in this tournament, no matter how you look at it. Sure, they have veterans like Jeyo and FLUFFNSTUFF in their team, but that is not going to save them against the juggernauts from Europe and China, and even the next team on this list.
This team hasn’t won anything that isn’t a qualifier since its inception, to put things in perspective. The last time they were in a LAN was ESL One New York last year, where they lost 0-2 to the TI5 silver medalists CDEC — which wasn’t surprising at all in itself. What would be surprising though is seeing them break into the top 12 at Shanghai, so don’t count on it. Stay away from betting on these guys.
Evil Geniuses (7/2 bet365)
And so here we are at last. Evil Geniuses, the best team in America and at one point (yes, TI5) the best team in the entire world. Packed to the gills with talent, the Boys in Blue are a force to be reckoned with no matter where they play. All five members of the roster are top-tier players that have either revolutionized the game at some point or are just simply known for being extremely skilled. From Arteezy to Ppd, everyone on this team is someone their opponents have to prepare for.
Although they’ve been in a “rut” lately, having won just one LAN since TI5, underestimating them at Shanghai can quickly prove to be a team’s undoing. The fact that you can expect them to still consistently be in the top 3 or top 4 of a high-profile tournament despite not really winning anything as of late speaks to their consistency. They’re not in complete domination mode coming into this Major, but their solid form makes it more than possible for us to see them hold that trophy up at the end of it all.
Looking at the price that this bookmaker has placed on EG, the fact that Alliance have the momentum and metagame in their favor at Shanghai but still have lower odds than EG do serves to punctuate the power that the latter team holds going into this competition. Even the bookies are confident that EG can win it all again. As far as this preview is concerned, we agree.
Evil Geniuses to win the Shanghai Major with bet365 at 7/2 (4.50)
There is no other answer. EG are head and shoulders above their two other American compatriots in terms of skill, experience, and understanding of the metagame. They are still absolutely capable of getting to the grand finals of this tournament, as well as bagging the trophy and prize money. At that price, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them as an outright winner bet.