The latest event in this summer’s exciting professional league tournaments is right around the corner – DOTA 2’s seventh Summit, a well-established competition with a variety of skilled and interesting teams participating. And with the qualifiers for the International merely weeks away, these sides should be on the top of their game.
$100,000 Prize Pool on Offer
In the heart of sunny Los Angeles, eight teams will compete to win their share of the $100,000 prize pool on offer. Five teams earned their way in via the qualifiers, whilst the remaining three were invited directly. It’ll be contested under what has now become a standard tournament format, with teams being drawn directly against one another, with the defeated teams sent down to the loser’s bracket. This ‘lower’ bracket will run concurrently to the main tournament, with the winner of the winners’ and losers’ finals facing each other in the grand finals. The format is a tried and true method, and one that allows for both gripping comebacks and decisive victories.
A Look at the Main Contenders
Invited this year were the teams Virtus.pro, Team VGJ and Team Secret. The qualifying teams are Digital Chaos, LGD Gaming, Team Empire, Team NP and Natus Vincere. There were, however, a few issues with the qualifiers this year. The Chinese qualifier was, in fact, won by CDEC Gaming, with LGD Gaming as the runners-up. But the winning team had issues with their visas, and were rendered unable to attend. Similarly, in the Southeast Asia qualifiers, Clutch Gamers had to give up their place to LGD Gaming after also encountering visa problems.
This puts the tournament in a rather interesting spot, with a few more unusual teams participating. One of Russia’s most prolific eSports teams have put themselves in the ring, with Team Empire set to make an appearance. With a good track record in past tournaments, they’re a promising contender – although they have reformed their team this year, with fn, Chappie and RodjER joining their ranks. Although fn has a strong competitive record from a few other past teams, his unpredictable attitude may well be something to keep an eye on.
The winners of last year’s Summit, Virtus.pro, are returning again – their victory last year obviously puts them in a good position to take home the gold again in 2017. In the Summit 6, they even came out ahead of Wings Gaming, the champions of the 2016 International. After a strong performance in the Kiev Major following some team reforms, they’re one of the more favoured teams going into the tournament.
Natus Vincere is another of the stronger teams participating, one with an exceptionally impressive lengthy and impressive track record – their performances in the Internationals from 2011 to 2013 are still fondly remembered. Digital Chaos, too, have a favourable history in professional leagues, but have recently seen a complete team overhaul. The entire squad left this year’s Starladder i-League, to be replaced by the players of Team Onyx. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how well these veteran players fare in their new roles.
Although the losses of CDEC Gaming and Clutch Gamers were easily replaced by their respective qualifiers’ runners-up, it’s possible that the situation may weaken the team pool for the tournament. Given that the dominating Chinese team LGD Gaming and the American Digital Chaos were already defeated in the qualifiers, we’ll have to see if they can overcome these losses to put up a good fight in the competition.
A Glimpse at the Future World Champions?
This year’s Summit is bound to be an interesting one, boasting a good few less often-viewed teams thanks to the aforementioned qualifying teams dropping out. With plenty more prestigious and hotly contested tournaments ahead in the coming months, it’s worth watching out for any teams performing particularly well in recent competitions – they could well wind up as 2017’s world champions.