DOTA Summit 9

Dota Summit 9
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With this year’s International fast approaching, many teams are already in North America practicing for the biggest Dota 2 tournament of the year.

While some teams are going full throttle, a few are taking a more laid-back approach, and this is where The Summit fits in. A more casual affair which takes place at the Beyond The Summit house in Los Angeles, The Summit allows teams to have some tournament practice without it being as intense as other, bigger, tournaments.

There are only six teams participating in the event. Evil Geniuses, VGJ.Storm, Fnatic, OpTic Gaming and paiN Gaming were all directly invited while there is a slot for the winner of the BTS Summer Cup, Let’s Do It, who were previously known as Team Kinguin.

What to Expect

While the prize pool has not been announced, the format has. Starting off with a best-of-two round-robin group stage, the top two teams will be placed in the Upper Bracket of the Double Elimination Playoffs, with the bottom four residing in the Lower Bracket. The matches will then be best-of-three until the Grand Finals, which will be best-of-five.

The Summit tries to make the teams feel more at home, with the casting desk being replaced by the Beyond the Summit studio’s front room and players regularly appearing in the background eating, conversing and even joining in with the cast. This is in contrast to the high-pressure environment which is typical of other events.

While it may be more casual, this is still a very important tournament, both to those competing and the teams heading to TI8 who are not. This is because it will provide a litmus test to see how each side has been able to adapt to the current patch as well as highlighting any potential strengths and weaknesses, not to mention promising gameplay, from key players.

Teams to Watch

It is very difficult to judge the current strength of most of the teams here, largely because they haven’t played together for a while, if at all.

There are many question marks over Evil Geniuses as even though they did take the second TI8 North America Qualifier slot, not much has been seen of the squad since they replaced Fear and MISERY with s4 and Fly. However, given Suma1L’s return to the midlane at a time when having a strong midlaner is key, they may very well surprise. Their odds of 10.790 to win The International back this up.

Fnatic (15.640) and OpTic (22.160) both narrowly missed out on qualifying for TI8 through the DPC Rankings and thus should be amongst the strongest teams here. Both contain strong cores, featuring UNiVeRsE and CCnC respectively.

VGJ.Storm (22.160) have had great performances in more recent tournaments largely due to the play of Resolut1on. Even though they were ineligible to qualify via the DPC, they managed to secure their spot at TI8 by taking 1st place in the NA TI8 Qualifier and thus pose a threat.

paiN Gaming are quickly rising as well, being the first South American team to reach the Top 8 in a 12+ team Major. This was achieved largely off the back of w33. Having recently added MISERY as coach, they could easily cause upsets, although their TI8 odds of 72.020 suggest they are amongst the outsiders here.

Finally, Let’s Do It are the obvious dark horses, being the only team at The Summit not going to The International. However, they did beat a number of European and CIS teams to win the BTS Summer Cup. This recent tournament experience might prove beneficial and they will be looking to build momentum off the back of it.

No matter who wins though, it’s certain to be a spectacle, especially with the unusual comedic segments that come with The Summit, as well as the chance to hear our favourite players cast the games. And no matter who wins, the experience here will prove useful in August when most of these sides head to Vancouver for the big one.