The first Dota 2 major of 2016 is well underway with playoffs due to start this week—and there have already been some big surprises.
By far the biggest surprise of the tournament has been the performance of South East Asia qualifiers MVP Pheonix, who topped Group A. Placed in a group against three top invited teams—Team Secret, EHOME and CDEC—Pheonix defeated the two Chinese sides in their opening games to win the group and remain undefeated.
The International 2013 champions Alliance also topped their group, continuing their resurgence since re-assembling that legendary lineup in December. The squad have already captured the World Cyber Arena and Star Ladder titles since reforming.
Frankfurt Major winners OG and The International 2015 champions Evil Geniuses both topped their groups. OG will face Team Secret in the first round of the upper bracket in a rematch of the Frankfurt final.
With the majority of Chinese sides underperforming, including Vici Gaming and CDEC failing to win a match so far, only LGD Gaming from the Chinese cohort managed to finish in the top two of their group.
The 16 teams are competing for a share of the $3 million prizepool, with the final taking place on Sunday.