Similar to ESL One Katowice, the MDL Macau is also not included in the DPC events for this year. This doesn’t mean that the tournament is not going to be pretty interesting to watch. Some of the best teams in the world will be in attendance The strange part is that the organizers of both MDL Macau and ESL One decided to host their respective events at nearly the same time. This caused a lot of issues with some of the teams, such as EHOME for example, who were forced to choose just one of the two.
At the very least, the two regions are in different timezones. This should allow us to catch most of the games if we are lucky.
Similar to last years’ MDL Macau, the prize pool will be set to $300,000. Unlike ESL One Katowice, there will be only eight teams instead of twelve. MDL will host the tournament in the “Las Vegas of Asia” from February 20th to 24th.
There will be a round-robin, best-of-one Group Stage. Unlike ESL Katowice, no teams will be eliminated directly from the Group Stage. Instead, the top four will advance to the Upper Bracket, while the bottom four are going to the Lower Bracket.
The playoffs will be pretty standard: double elimination. The first series in the Lower Bracket will be played in best-of-one, but the rest are best-of-three. The only exception is the Grand Final, which will be Bo5.
The differences between the formats of this event and ESL’s should make it a little bit more interesting to watch.
Five of the participants were directly invited. Two had to earn their spot through the China regional qualifiers. The last one is the Dota 2 Professional League Season 6 runner up - EHOME.
NewBee is the first “big” name on the list. I am quoting the word big because Newbee is literally a mere shadow of their former self. They are probably one of the most underperforming teams in the last couple of months. The only reason for their invitation was PSG.LGD withdrawing due to Chalice’s medical condition.
Newbee’s downfall started in TI 8 after they lost in the first round of the Lower Bracket against Winstrike Team. It’s unfortunate that they are unable to show their full potential because they definitely have the players to do it. However, if they want to have a chance at achieving anything this DPC season, changes must be made.
— Virtus.pro (@virtuspro) February 18, 2019
Virtus.Pro is undoubtedly the strongest team in this tournament. They, alongside Team Secret, are the only teams that have secured their spot for TI 9. The only thing left for them is to relax and enjoy the remaining events. We could see some new tactics or just goofy plays too, because the top teams do not want to reveal their main tactics in such tournaments.
Vici Gaming actually received two slots. The first one was because of their win at the Dota 2 Prof. League S6 and the second was the direct invite. That’s the reason why the runner-up - EHOME took the second slot. Vici Gaming are a very potent team that can explode at any given time. Their main issue is just their inconsistency. If they manage to overcome that, I am sure that they will become a force to be reckoned with yet again.
It’s always nice bumping into friends at the airport ? pic.twitter.com/GOkmwQlxs0
— Team Liquid (@TeamLiquid) February 16, 2019
Of course, it’s impossible to have an event without directly inviting Team Liquid. At this point, they have proven to be one of the most consistent teams in modern Dota. Ever since their TI 7 run, they have been one of the best teams in the world. Even though they haven’t won any events recently, they still manage to get the top spots.
Evil Geniuses is the last one to get that direct invite. The #bleedblue squad has shown some significant signs of improvement recently. Despite not winning the tournaments they’ve attended, they have had very stable performances in nearly all of them. It’s just a matter of time before they start getting those trophies. Sadly, SumaiL will not be able to play in this event because he is on vacation. Instead, CCnC will try to fill in the role of the S-God, which will be a pretty hard task to do.
Another Chinese team at the MDL Macau 2019 is EHOME. I am personally a big fan of them because they always bring some exciting heroes to the surface. One of EHOME’s stars - ASD - won’t be able to play in the Group Stage. Xiao8 will be standing in until he’s back.
Royal Never Give Up, and Invictus Gaming are the final teams to join the rest. They both have earned their spot here by winning the Chinese Qualifiers. IG as an organization went through a lot of changes over the years. Currently, there is not a single player on their squad that was a part of the TI-2 winning team back in the days.
MDL Macau should be a lot more interesting compared to ESL One Katowice. Of course, the reason for that is just the caliber of the participating teams. If you are interested in learning more about ESL’s event, click HERE.
If you want to watch the MDL Macau in English, make sure to follow the twitch channel of BTS. The broadcast talent list consists of GranDGranT, Trent, Draskyl, Bkop, and GoDz. And if you happen to be living somewhere close to Macau, you can buy your ticket for the tournament HERE.