The 2016 Boston Major
It’s that time of year again, the International has passed, and the post International silly season is behind us too, ending the ridiculousness of roster swaps and making way for more high level competition in the form of Majors. Aside from competition, majors are a great source of both storyline development and conclusions among the high level teams. Here, we’ll take a look at the storylines that follow the main contenders (Read – Favorites),
Wings Gaming – The International 2016 winners and a powerhouse of a team if I’ve ever seen one, Wings is in an odd position, one unique to champions. They have to prove that they’re still the best of the best against teams like OG and Digital Chaos, but with results at tournamens like Nanyang and the Northern Arena BEAT invitational, they come into Boston as the favorites. They’re living proof to onlookers to DoTA 2 that a team can be just as consistent in this game as they can in other games.
Wings has the opportunity to continue their streak of utter domination, and that…That’s typically storyline enough. However, if one needed more, they’ll also be contending against Digital Chaos, the team they wrested The Internationals first prize from, and retribution/redemption is always a fun storyline to follow.
Digital Chaos – Digitial Chaos is very much the same team that graced The International with their presence, with the exception of David “MoonMeander” Tan joining the team in the 3 Position, and while Moo wasn’t a detriment to their succes, it is very possible that MoonMeander might be the change they need to take a number one spot at a major, though the road ahead to make that happen won’t be easy.
Retribution story, and proof of skill. Digital Chaos will look to kick the life out of other teams while they make their way for an epic display of skill in a series against their rivals, Wings Gaming, a series they’ll want to win, throwing doubt into the idea that Wings is still as good as they have been up until this point.
Evil Geniuses – The Evil Geniuses are a massive name in E-Sports in general, and their DoTA 2 team has a pretty long history of being generally good. They seem to be breaking their curse of landing in third place at important Majors (Yes, 3rd place is bad when you have as much skill as they do) by having taken a first place win at MarsTV’ DoTA League. They were the winners of The International 2015, as well as four other tournaments that year, before their streak of bronze medal finishes throughout 2016.
Storyline – The Return of the Monarch storyline. Evil Geniuses as an organization is a large and powerful Esports Empire, and none of their assets are as skilled or storied as their DoTA 2 squad. They’ve proven that they’re still good, but they need to prove that they’re the same caliber they were in 2015 or better, and nothing less than first place will prove that.
MVP Phoenix – MVP Phoenix certainly made a big impression in the International with a game that was basically just a long fight. They certainly have gained many fans with their unique play style and have proven that they can at least somewhat contend with some of the strongest teams in the world while playing that way.
Storyline – For MVP Phoenix this is more than just a test of skill, a strong showing, or victory in Boston would show the strength behind their playsyle as well as the strength of Korean DoTA 2 in general, which means a lot from a place where League of Legends, Overwatch and Fighting Games tend to reign supreme. Putting Korea as a consistent heavyweight contender in internation DoTA 2 could do a lot for the talent in the region, as well as popularity for the game there, especially with a win coming from so far from home.
OG – I sort of want to skip to the storyline on this one, but for the sake of consistency, I’ll resist the desire to do so. OG is/was a powerhouse of DoTA 2 and to this day, is still the organization to win two Valve events with Frankfurt and Manila trophies in their cabinets. No matter how they looked in the International, it would be absurd for fans to count them out, it would be even crazier for enemy teams to think little of them.
Storyline – OG has their own story of redemption to look at, coming in worse than third place at The International was nothing short of a total disappointment for them and, while they managed to put up some impressive results at The Summit 6, losing out on first place narrowly to Virtus Pro, it’s hardly the same as taking a win from a Major, which is something they have a chance to do here, solidifying them as the powerful force everyone expects them to be and taking three Valve events, being the only organization to do so.
Complexity – Have to get an underdog in there, right? Complexity is a team that has a habit of not accomplishing anything for long periods of time, before winning something and seeming like a strong team that might be able to contend with some higher level ones, and giving their fans something to get hyped about before falling flat later on.
Storyline – Complexity has a chance to pull an extreme underdog story. With the shakeups that follow silly season, they can get a win or solid performance here, and take the momentum they get here to perhaps, maybe, finally become a consistent threat in Worldwide DoTA 2.
These teams are some of the more important teams to keep your eyes on during the tournament. Expect to see at least one of these storylines come true, and more than a few crushed expectations in both the positive and negative directions. However, keep in mind that these sorts of things are the reason that the Major system is as well received as it is, every major is considered an exciting and hype filled experience and one that tells and concludes many stories, brings about upsets and makes analysis about new rosters on the big stages more possible and interesting.
What do you think? Are you excited for these storylines? Is Boston something you’re looking forward to watching? if you’re really looking for a disciraussion, follow me @TirasCarr on twitter.