NEON Esports has defied all the odds to come out as the favorites in Season 1 of the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) Southeast Asia Upper Division, staying undefeated to become the first team in the SEA region to qualify for the ONE Esports Singapore Major.
Neon stands atop the standings with a clean 5-0 record, the last team in the region to be undefeated since the new DPC started last January 20. Their recent 2-0 win over fellow Pinoy team Vice Esports last February 11 cemented their ticket to Singapore.
Despite booking their spot, Neon (composed of Erin ‘Yopaj’ Ferrer, Prieme ‘PlayHard’ Maque, Andrei ‘skem’ Ong, Jaunuel ‘Jaunuel’ Arcilla, and John Anthony ‘Natsumi-‘ Vargas) has yet to determine their place in the tournament with teams still able to catch with two games remaining.
The top seed from the region gets an outright spot to the Major’s playoff stage, while the second seed earns a spot in the group stage. The third-placed team will have to claw their way to the main stage through the wild card matches.
What are the possible scenarios facing these Dota 2 squads at the DPC?
Fnatic may yet earn the top seed when they face Neon this Thursday. The Malaysian based squad, led by Pinoy captain Djardel ‘Dj’ Mampusti, sits comfortably in second place with a 4-1 record.
Fnatic has a great start to the DPC, winning a tight game against T1 (2-0) in the first week. But the loss against the Indonesian squad Boom ID in Week 3 derailed the team’s undefeated streak. A win this coming Thursday will net them a tie for the first seed, setting up a do-or-die scenario in the last week of the league and a chance to reclaim the top spot.
On the tail of Neon and Fnatic is TNC Predator, who has finally turned their misfortunes. TNC had a rough opening week, falling to Execration, 2-0, and Neon Esports, 2-1, in Week 2. A tight win over T1 in Week 3 finally gave the team momentum.
Finally, the team had a massive comeback win against Boom ID last February 10, where the team brought out the broken Morphling-Earthshaker and stunned the Indonesians to victory.
TNC needs to win against Vietnamese squad 496 Gaming this Saturday to inch themselves closer to the last two slots.
T1 is currently tied with TNC in the DPC standings with a 3-2 record. The SEA squad is within reach to earn themselves their first Dota 2 Major. T1 had a rough opening week losing to Fnatic in Week 1, and again to TNC in a nailbiter in Week 3.
The 2-0 win against Execration last week, and the upcoming match against bottom-placed Vice Esports this Wednesday, might give the team the much-needed push they need when they face Neon in the tournament’s final week — in what may be the decider for SEA’s representatives in the Major.
Indonesian Squad Boom ID may also be within arms’ reach of the Major. They face the last two teams in the league, Execration and Vice Esports, this week. The Indonesians need to win both series and hope that TNC and T1 lose one of their upcoming series in order to force a three-way tie for the last spot.
Execration, Vice Esports
Despite currently sitting in the bottom of the standing, Pinoy squads Execration and Vice Esports may still avoid relegation. The two squads are currently 1-4 in the tournament and will be fighting for tournament lives starting Wednesday. If the two squads manage to win both games there might be a scenario where all Pinoy squads move on to Season two while dropping a single series might force a three-way tie for relegation with 496 Gaming.
And what about the Lower Division?
Filipino squad Omega Gaming currently stands atop of the standing in the lower division of the DPC SEA 2021. They earned themselves a 5-1 record after sweeping (2-0) Pinoy rivals Cignal Ultra, Monday.
Cignal, on the other hand, sits as the second seed with a 4-2 record.
Still, it remains too close to call for any team that wants to move up to the Upper Division. Third-seeded Lil Gun, a full Mongolian squad, can still force a three-way tie for the top two slots. The Mongolian team is the only team to win against both Filipino squads; a close 2-1 against Cignal while sweeping Omega.
Omega Gaming needs to win their final game against the Indonesian squad Army Geniuses to secure first seed and avoid any tiebreaker scenario. Meanwhile, Cignal Ultra needs to win against Malaysian team Galaxy Racer, and hope that Lil Gun loses one of its two remaining series to avoid the dreaded tiebreak.