The new Dota season is now in full swing and eyes will soon turn to the sixth edition of The Summit.
The action at the recently concluded Boston Major Qualifiers hinted towards what we can expect at the Major next month, but The Summit 6 comes as a delicious appetizer beforehand as it takes place from 16-20 November in Los Angeles.
A share of a $100,000 prize pool is awaiting the teams who made it to the tournament. The community can also contribute by purchasing merchandise from the website and a percentage of these funds will go into the prize pot. The lion’s share, of course, will go to the winners, who will bag at least $42,500.
There will be a total of eight teams; four invited and four who had to battle through qualifiers, one for each of the four major regions – Europe, Southeast Asia, Americas and China.
The format of the tournament will be similar to previous editions, starting with a direct elimination quarterfinal stage. There will be a losers’ bracket for those eliminated from the winners’ bracket, giving all teams a second chance of glory.
It was no surprise that defending champions Wings Gaming and beaten finalists OG were invited to this event.
The Chinese side made their debut in The Summit 5 and impressed everyone by deservedly taking the title. After winning The International 2016, Wings Gaming did not make any roster changes, but Dota 2 fans are yet to see the team in International competition this season. This will be their first opportunity, so anticipation is high, particularly as they have fared well domestically by already winning the Nanyang Dota 2 Championships – Cruise Cup #1.
OG were the European choice for a direct invite. They have competed in the last two editions of The Summit, finishing 4th in the fourth edition and 2nd last time around. They were one of the teams that had to rebuild their squad during the Fall Shuffle and are still adapting to the changes. However, their 3rd spot at the MarsTV Dota 2 League 2016 Autumn event has demonstrated that they are on the right track and have a good chance of being one of the top European teams this season.
There will be two invited North American teams at this edition of The Summit – Evil Geniuses and Digital Chaos. Evil Geniuses assembled an all-star squad that won the MarsTV Dota 2 League 2016 Autumn event a month ago in convincing manner and will be one of the favourites to claim this trophy too. EG have taken part in every edition of The Summit apart from the most recent. Not only that, but they are also two-time champions, having won The Summit 1 and 4. They also finished 2nd at The Summit 3.
The current state of Digital Chaos is largely a mystery as they have not participated in any tournaments after their great performance in The International 2016, where they finished 2nd. Despite this, captain MiSeRy removed offlaner Moo from the roster without an official statement and signed MoonMeander, who was released from OG to fulfill the role. Moo had some impressive games during TI 6, but he also had some games where he performed under par and the hope is that MoonMeander will provide more consistency.
EHOME will participate after they earned their spot by winning the Chinese qualifier. The hurricane shuffle in the Chinese Dota scene following TI 6 was not as devastating to EHOME as some of the other teams as they kept the majority of their roster, merely adding the experienced Syler and new blood Garder. So far, the team have managed to land 3rd spot in the Shanghai Dota 2 Open #2.
Team Faceless are one of the pleasant surprises in the SEA scene currently. The team were assembled by iceiceice and feature some almost forgotten names such as xy- and NutZ. They have only been around for two months, but are already one of the strongest teams in the SEA region. The team qualified for The Summit 6 without losing a match, eliminating Fnatic in the process. Most recently, they qualified for the Boston Major with a 12-0 record.
A disappointing season capped by their failure to qualify for The International 2016 prompted Virtus.Pro to make radical changes in the Fall Shuffle. The entire roster including the management was replaced. The measure has already generated results as the team is fast becoming one of the strongest in not just the CIS, but in Europe too. The Russians eliminated Team Liquid on their way to qualification as well as the increasingly impressive Ad Finem. Virtus.Pro also impressed in the recently concluded Boston Major Qualifiers with their team synergy, successful drafting, decision making and ability to read opponents’ moves.
Team NP were the last ones to qualify after winning an extra American qualifier due to Team Secret withdrawing from the event. Created by EternaLEnVy in his first endeavour as a team manager during the Fall Shuffle, NP are yet to play on the International stage. The team managed to qualify for the Boston Major, but they did so without having to play against the top guns in their region as both Digital Chaos and Evil Geniuses were directly invited. Top opposition will be awaiting in Los Angeles and NP’s mettle will be put to the test for the first time.
The Summit series is famous for its casual atmosphere, which usually results in interesting drafts and unorthodox strategies. That being said, debutants Team Faceless and Team NP will surely try to make the most of the opportunity to measure themselves against some of the very best and put some money in the bank in the process.
Apart from the usual suspects EG, OG and Wings, the current form of Virtus.Pro is quite impressive and their recent performances make them a solid contender for a top spot.