It’s been a long time coming, but Valve has finally unveiled the format for the group stages that will play out this weekend. The four groups will play each other in a GSL format, a first for any Valve sponsored event. Here is a rundown of the GSL tournament format for those unsure of what it looks like.
Each group will be placed into a four team bracket, and the winners of both matches determine the “high seeds” and the “low seeds” of the tournament. The two winners play each other for the top seed of the group, and the losers play each other. The top seed plays the bottom seed from another group, and the second seed plays the third place seed.
All matches at the Boston Major will be best-of-three matches, save for a best-of-five grand finals.
Group A: Wings Gaming, WG.Unity, Digital Chaos, LGD Forever Young
This is Wings’s and DC’s group to lose. Neither WG.Unity nor LFY have proven themselves offline against international talent. Assuming that this year’s International 6 grand finalists do not fall in their first matches, the real highlight match of this group will be DC vs. Wings. Will Digital Chaos be able to finally defeat China’s finest, or will WIngs show everyone that they are still the best in the world?
Group B: Newbee, MVP.Phoenix, Virtus.pro, Team NP
I’m sure this group “deserves” the title of Group of Death. Virtus.pro is coming into Boston red hot from their incredible preformance at The Summit 6, and they have their eyes set on the top seed, but who knows if Team NP can make some magic happen. NP is just as capable as anyone else in this group to take the top seed. Then we have MVP.Phoenix, the pride of Korean Dota. Their chances of winning the group have been bolstered by seeing Forev rejoin their ranks after a brief tenure at Team Secret. The least impressive team in this group is Newbee, but the worst thing a team can possibly do at this tournament is sleep on any Chinese team.
Group C: Evil Geniuses, compLexity Gaming, Team Faceless, LGD Gaming
This group is not as star-studded as the one preceding it, but it’ll be interesting for sure. You have EG, a bastion of consistency and spectacluar performance in the Dota scene. This is a team that has shown that they can win any tournament that they have entered this season, and they are the favorite to take this group. But, things get a little bit messy from there. With Exceration unable to attend due to visa issues, LGD has taken their place at the tournament. It’s unknown how well this team will do against international talent, since the current iteration of LGD has not faced a a team from outside of mainland China.
The most unpredictable team at this tournament will be compLexity. With roster issues in mid November, coL had to scramble to pick up Monkeys-Forever to fill in the carry role. The North American squad that was used to playing second fiddle to EG was now playing fourth to teams like DC, and more recently, Team NP. It’ll be interesting if compLexity can translate that hunger for victory and recognition into success at this major.
Team Faceless is the team to watch in this bracket, and depending on how well they do here, the tournament as whole. This Singaporean squad ruled the SEA region with an iron fist since their inception. In their only international foray, however, they were squashed by DC and EG at The Summit 6. I’m excited to see if they can prove that their regional dominance can translate into international victories.
Group D: OG, Invictus Gaming: Vitality, Ehome, Ad Finem
Group D is unusual because it only features Chinese and European teams. This group could have Europe’s only two teams at Boston take seeds one and two in the bracket. On one end, you have OG, a squad of veterans who have found their footing once again just in time for the major. They’ll meet IG.Vitality, a rather unusual team for the tournament at hand, but they did make it through the grueling China Regional qualifiers. On top of that, due to visa issues once again, they too have Q and the legendary BurNIng, who will be playing positions five and four respectively. Don’t count IG.V out just yet.
On the other side of Group D, you have the Greek squad of Ad Finem, who finally made it to a Valve sponsored event after two previous attempts (the Manilla Major and TI6). The stack has great potential, and has a chance of taking their first match against Ehome.
The Boston Major group stages will begin this Saturday, Dec. 3.
Who are you rooting for at Boston? Let us know in the comments or tweet at us at @GAMURScom.
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