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Ranking Europe's final four for the Upper Division DPC

By Matt DixonJanuary 14, 2021
The Dota Pro Circuit Qualifiers for the European region have concluded. First, we have the four invited teams: Team Secret, OG, Nigma and Team Liquid. They are joined by the four teams who made it through the closed qualifiers. They are: Vikin.gg, Alliance, Mudgolems and Chicken Fighters.
After seeing our favorite teams competing in online leagues with no connection to the pro scene, it seems almost surreal to see the full list of teams and know that we’re finally gearing up to a real pro circuit, with what ought to be the biggest and best International yet.
With just four Major slots available for the EU region, some of these excellent teams will be ending the first season disappointed. It’s easy to say that the direct invites are most likely to be going to the Major, but Dota is no stranger to surprises and we may see some upsets by the end of the regional league. Last week, we took a close look at the Upper Division invites. Now, let’s rank our newcomers to see who has the best chances of breaking into the top four.

4. Chicken Fighters

Chicken Fighters are a fusion of the previous Ninjas in Pyjamas and 5men rosters, neither of which were exceptional competitors in the previous online season. However, the team does have some veteran names amongst its roster – namely Rasmus "Chessie" Blomdin and Adrian "Era" Kryeziu, both of whom have been involved in the pro scene for many years.
Maybe the team’s old-timers can guide Chicken Fighters to some notable improvement and another season in the Upper Division, but we’d be fairly surprised to see them make it to the first Major.

3. Mudgolems

Last season, Mudgolems began to make an impression after some solid performances. They even began to look like they might be on their way to becoming one of the top competitors in the region. The peak of their performance was at ESL One Germany where they pushed Team Secret out of the upper bracket – an exceptional upset as Secret were still holding onto their eight-event win streak at this point.
Mudgolems went on to take a respectable third place at the even. However, their performance in the rest of the season was nothing to get excited about. They have returned to the pro scene this season with a fresh roster, now with Leon "Nine" Kirilin in the mid lane and Malthe "Biver" Winther playing soft support. We’ve seen that captain Adrian “Fata” Trinks can elevate his team to strong performances already, but can the new roster do any better than the original Mudgolems?

2. Alliance

One of the iconic orgs of Dota 2 and captained by one of its true greats, Gustav "s4" Magnusson, Alliance are a team with many fans rooting for them.
Last season, Alliance were possibly the most consistent teams in the region. Consistently average, that is, attaining several middle-of-the-pack positions all year round but with some close second- and third-place finishes to show that they are just inches away from running among the top of the region. They did win EPIC League’s second division, but the level of competition here was somewhat below what Alliance are striving to compete amongst.
This season, Alliance have to raise the bar of their consistent performance. All of their players have been around long enough to be striving for the top, and captain S4 is one of several European captains striving to join the two-aegis club this year.

1. Vikin.gg

Vikin.gg were/are one of the most exciting teams to emerge from last year’s season alongside the new Virtus.proroster. They began the season as, frankly, nobodies with no real pro scene experience. However, by the end of 2020, they had gathered a cult following of fans who saw some serious potential in the squad.
Vikin.gg have taken home a few tier two championships. Though they are yet to win a serious tier one event, Vikin.gg have proved multiple times that they can take a series from any of Europe’s top names, including Secret, OG and Nigma. We wouldn’t call Vikin.gg a top contender right now, but from the regular flashes of brilliance they continually show us, it’s hard not to see them blooming into a tier one team.
It’s almost time for the season to begin. You can keep up with all the DPC action with us, we’ll be keeping you updated on the story of the first season as it unfolds across all regions.
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