As the DPC marches on, the value of each match increases. Placings are far from solidified, but match records are beginning to paint a picture of each team’s likely result. Week Three marks the halfway point of the season, so teams have one more chance to correct a bad start. This week also features some very potent matchups between the best teams in the region. These are the three games to look forward to in the Dota Pro Circuit’s third week.
Dota is dominated by legacy teams. When lower-developed teams ascend to the top tier, it is met with equal parts admiration and disbelief. Team Aster’s formation in late 2018 had the clear goal of becoming a respected member of the Chinese Dota Circuit. Team Aster’s dominance at the last DPC season seems all but forgotten in the wake of their 12th place Major finish. Aster have to show up big against Vici if they don’t want to be relabeled as underdogs.
Vici Gaming also have a reputation to defend. Their Wild Card run looked very promising, but quick losses in the playoffs restricted their celebration to a win over Team Liquid.
Yesterday’s stomp over PSG.LGD
gave them some momentum, but Aster doesn’t come across as a team to save strats. Both squads rely heavily on their safe lane carries, so pay close attention to the inventories of Yang "poyoyo" Shaohan
and Du “Monet” Peng.
Another battle of reputations in the Eastern European Upper Division could be the most entertaining match of the week. Gambit’s 14th place finish at Singapore hit the team hard; they’ve shied away from the creative drafts that earned them a Wild Card berth. So far, Gambit has stuck close to their comfort shell of Io and Tusk, their best combo in Patch 7.28. However, unexpected one-shots like Keeper of the Light, Treant Protector, and Elder Titan brought them success before Singapore. Some creative drafts from captain Akbar "SoNNeikO" Butaev
could catch Winstrike off guard.
As the runner-ups of last season’s Lower Division, Winstrike Team sits at the bottom of the region’s pecking order. They have the most to prove of any team, a fact that motivated Anton "dyrachyo" Shkredov
to go 13-3 on Lifestealer in an unexpected round over Team Spirit.
One more match victory would comfortably place Winstrike in the upper half of the leaderboard, safe from dreaded relegation back to Division 2.
South American Dota should see a surge of international interest thanks to Thunder Predator’s success at the Singapore Major. beastcoast were unfortunately forced to give up their playoff berth just days before the Wild Card, leaving TP as the sole South American competitor. The latter’s unprecedented 5-2 record in the group stage earned them top seed and thousands of new fans. Now beastcoast has a chance to take those fans for themselves. If you only watch a single game of the SA Dota Pro Circuit, this should be it.