Dota Pro Circuit 2021 Season 1 started this week and the first results clearly indicate that the top teams in each region are in control and have adapted better than the rest to the latest patch. The meta is still evolving and that’s one of the reasons why we’ve seen quite a few disputed matches that ended with a score of 2 – 1. But the skill and experience difference is big enough to allow the favorites to secure victories in spite of the unpredictability that comes with every game update.
Europe Upper Division
In Europe’s Upper Division we already had 3 matches.
In the first one, Liquid smashed Vikin.gg, even though these two competitors had similar results at recent events. In fact, Vikin.gg finished 3rd at EPIC League Division 1 while Liquid finished 4th. Based on that, the match should have been a bit more balanced. But qojqva’s team in two quick games that lasted 27 minutes each.
In the second match, Team Secret won with a score of 2 – 1 against their nemesis, mudgolems. FATA’s team won game 2 in spectacular fashion, at the end of a 72 minute battle. But the other two games were dominated by Puppey’s squad.
The third match was played between Alliance and Nigma. Alliance tried a very strange set of drafts, picking Batrider and Wraith King in all of their games. The first time it worked. The 2nd and 3rd time it didn’t. And I don’t really understand why they insisted of using that combination after the second game. In games 2 and 3 KuroKy drafted Bloodseeker and Slark, which proved to be a deadly mix.
North America Upper Division
In North America, only one important match took place so far. In it, Evil Geniuses struggled but eventually won against 4 Zoomers with a score of 2 – 1. Fly picked Shadow Shaman in all of the games while 4Z responded with Earth Spirit. The counter worked well for the most part, but EG’s players made the difference. The skill difference at the individual level between them and their rivals was huge.
The other two matches were Undying – A-Team (2 – 0) and Black N Yellow – 5ManMidas (2 – 1).
The upcoming two matches are of great importance. Evil Geniuses will fight against Sadboys while Quincy Crew will encounter 5ManMidas. In particular, the first of these matches has a great story behind it. As you probably know, ppd, who is now Sadboys’ captain, won The International with Evil Geniuses in 2015. So it will be interesting to see what he can do against them with a strong but still considerably weaker roster.
China Upper Division
In China, Vici Gaming won against LBZS and EHOME won against MagMa. In both cases, the result did not surprise anyone because the differences between the teams are huge. The first serious match we will see in this region is scheduled to take place on January 24th. PSG.LGD will do battle against Aster and I’m curious to see if LaNm’s squad can do anything to stop the second-best team in China.
CIS Upper Division
The CIS league started later and only one match was played so far. In it, EXTREMUM got crushed by Team Spirit (0 – 2). In the next few days we will see Na’Vi, NoTechies, and Virtus.pro compete in some very interesting matches against Team Unique, Live to Win, and Empire respectively.
Southeast Asia Upper Division
In SEA, Fnatic proved to be a strong team again under Jabz’ leadership. In their first match, they defeated T1 with a score of 2 – 0. The other two matches were BOOM – Neon (0 – 2) and 496 – Vice (2 – 0). The big favorites of this region remain Fnatic and TNC Predator. On January 23rd, we will get the chance to see TNC compete for the first time this year against Execration.
In South America, beastcoast showed everyone why this roster finished 7th – 8th at the last International while SG e-sports managed to beat NoPing after 3 long games. The next exciting match is scheduled to take place on January 22nd between Infamous and Thunder Predator.
Photo credit: Valve