The Shanghai Major – Tournament Preview

The Shanghai Major

The second major of the year, The Shanghai Major is coming up, with Group Stage beginning on February 25th. 16 teams were assembled together, 8 teams were directly invited and the other 8 fought through regional qualifiers for a spot. But don’t mistake this for just another tournament, for this is where the real battles begin. Traditionally, Dota teams save their best strategies for the next big tournament, testing and tuning their play style and now, those cards are about to be laid on the table as it’s time for the teams to go all-in. Arc Warden picks, mega creep defenses, rapiers dropped, the big throws and even bigger comebacks, all charged up with patch 6.86.

Shanghai Major

The Format

The format of the group stage is the classic double-elimination played in best-of-threes. The teams will be divided in 4 groups. The teams in each group will be pit against each other, with top 2 teams earning a place in Upper Bracket (aka Winners Bracket) and the bottom 2 are sent into Lower Bracket. (aka Losers Bracket)

Those brackets are, of course, for the Main Event. The first round of Lower Bracket will be best-of-one and, of course, the Grand Finals will be best-of-five. Main Event is double-elimination too: if your team made it to the Shanghai Major, you will get plenty of chances to prove your worth. So, without further ado, let me present arguably the best 16 teams in the world we’re all so eager to see in action.

Shanhai major 2

Invited Teams


EGAll-eyes-are-on-EG. The champions of the last International tournament. The Six-Million-Dollars-Slam-Dunk team. The team who never stops experimenting. Arteezy, Sumail, Universe, Fear and ppd, every single one of these names is a highlight.

They are known to surprise both enemies and audience with the synergy of their picks and players and they are known to be able to defeat the strongest.

MVP: ppd.

Chances to win outright: 14%

Arteezy 1/2
SumaiL 1/2
UNiVeRsE 3
Fear 4
ppd 5


OGOG, formerly known as (monkey) Business, the champions of the first Major and the rising star of the pro Dota scene. OG has managed to beat legendary EG in Grand Finals of Frankfurt Major, starting the tournament out of lower bracket.

Their dominating drafts and impeccable execution of their strategies and hero abilities gives them the ability to match any team and any play style in Dota scene.

MVP: MoonMeander.

Chances to win outright: 10%

Miracle= 1/2
N0tail (BigDaddy) 1/2
MoonMeander 3
Cr1t- 4
Fly 5


AllianceAlliance are back! And they are back with a bang. After winning the first place in The International 2013, they have changed their original roster quite a few times, EGM and S4 parted ways, Admiral Bulldog went inactive.

But Alliance is back. Their recent results have demonstrated their ability to outdraft and outperform their opponents, seemingly like an unstoppable force to be reckoned with. Their ability to pick well has been highlighted by their recent performance at Captain’s Draft tournament.

MVP: S4.

Chances to win outright: 11%

Loda 1
s4 2/3
AdmiralBulldog 2/3
EGM 4/5
Akke 4/5

Team Secret

SecretThe surprise discovery of 2015, Team Secret, have been terrorizing one tournament after another, with a win streak to be jealous of. Lead by their captain Puppey, this team has shown reliable results with meta-changing drafts.

Everyone expected Team Secret to take TI5 to the top 3, however during the actual tournament, Team Secret were defeated by before they even got to quarter-finals. Issues between the players soon led to a complete change of their roster, with only Puppey remaining.

Team Secret have shown poor results in the last half of 2015 but has grown quiet as of late, missing out on many tournaments. Perhaps, Puppey will surprise us all this Major.

MVP: Puppey.

Chances to win outright: 8%

EternaLEnVy 1
w33 2
MiSeRy 3
Puppey 4
pieliedie 5


ehome_smallEHOME is one of the oldest teams in Dota and the TI2 champion, the face of Chinese Dota. They have shown incredible performance over the last few months and its history, achieving rank #1 in the world.

Arguably, the strongest team overall in the pro scene’s history. The key characteristic of Chinese Dota is discipline and that is what EHOME players demonstrate every time they go into a game.


Chances to win outright: 11%

old chicken 2
eLeVeN 3
LaNm 4/5
Kaka 4/5 have shown a very strong performance over the last 6 months, displaying unmatched skill from God, their mid player. have never been a reliable team in terms of their results.

MVP: G/Lil.

Chances to win outright: 8%

Silent 1
G 2
DkPhobos 3
Lil 4
fng 5


CDEC_smallLast year CDEC has chilled the blood of TI5 participants by dominating the group stage and then the main event, winning every single game in Upper Bracket, even defeating EG 2:0 in the process.

Playing as a whole, they have shown the rest of the world how team play should be executed.

MVP: Agressif.

Chances to win outright: 8%

Agressif 1
Shiki 2
Xz 3
Q 4
garder 5


ViciGamingVICI Gaming is best known for their performance in TI4 where they took second place. Overall, their results have been very positive. Their strategy is old as Dota itself: team-fight oriented late game characters.

The current meta revolves around fast push and early aggression, but VICI doesn’t need to follow the meta, they would rather change the meta with their execution. VICI hasn’t attended many recent tournaments, but the one they did, MarsTV Dota League, they won outright, destroying EG in bo5 with a devastating 3:0.

MVP: Burning.

Chances to win outright: 7%

BurNIng 1
Super 2
iceiceice 3
fy 4
Fenrir 5

Qualified Teams

LGD Gaming

LGDLGD played confidently through the Chinese Qualifiers, earning 7 points in the grouping stage (the most points achieved in all Shanghai Major Qualifiers) and winning every single game in Qualifier Playoffs.

They also have an ace up their sleeve: the notorious XIAO8 is in their reserve as a sub-player. Their roster plays well together and impressive separately, leaving no questions at to how they took the first place in qualifiers.

MVP: Maybe.

Chances to win outright: 5%

Sylar 1
Maybe 2
rOtK 3
MMY! 4
Xiao8 Sub

Team Liquid

LiquidTeam Liquid’s new squad has been doing very well ever since it was formed in October last year.

They’ve earned 7 points in the Group Stage of the qualifiers, winning all games in Upper Bracket but one, still however, winning the best-of-three match with a 2:1 result.

MVP:  KuroKy.

Chances to win outright: 3%

MinD_ContRoL 3
JerAx 4/5
KuroKy 4/5

Team Spirit

SpiritTeam Spirit is a rising star in the CIS region, consisting of old school players from different teams, it is no wonder this roster was originally called CIS Rejects.

The team is directed by Goblak, one of the oldest players in pro Dota (he’s 27, just like Fear from EG) but their position 1 player RAMZES is one of the youngest players in the scene. (he’s 16, while Sumail is 17)


Chances to win outright: 4%

Iceberg 2
AfterLife 3
Goblak 4

MVP Phoenix

MVP_PMVP Phoenix is the face of Korean Dota, doing reasonably well in general and in the Shanghai Major Qualifiers.

However, it does seem like they just barely made it, losing outright 0:2 to Fnatic and earning 5 points in group stage, with 1 win and 3 draws.

MVP: Qo.

Chances to win outright: 2%

MP 1
QO 2
Forev 3
Febby 4
DuBu 5


NewbeeNewbee are the winners of TI4 but many players consider them to be a one-hit-wonder, as their performance and results took a hike post TI4.

Recently, Newbee have picked up their pace, earning an impressive win-to-loss ratio. That could have something to do with the fact that legendary Chuan from iG has joined them in the very end of 2015.

MVP: Hao.

Chances to win outright: 3%

Hao 1
Mu 2
Xiao2lei 3
ChuaN 4/5
Ie 4/5

Team Archon

ArchonArchon are a fresh squad formed in October last year. In that short amount of time, they achieved rank 30th in the world rankings and took the first qualifier’s spot for Shanghai Major.

The teams seems to lack confidence however, even one of their players, FluffNStuff is known to comment negatively on his own and his team’s play style.

MVP: Moo.

Chances to win outright: 1%

Jeyo 1
Monkeys-forever 2/3
Moo 2/3
whiteBread 4/5

Complexity Gaming

ComplexityComplexity Gaming squad have been going through some changes recently, and are still looking for balance.

Objectively, CoL are not on a level to be able to compete with tier 1 teams like EG, but have the potential to take top-12 of this major.

MVP: Handsken.

Chances to win outright: 2%

Chessie 1
Immp 2
Swindlemelonzz 3
Zfreek 4
Handsken 5


FnaticFnatic is the top ranked team of SEA and Oceania, and the only representative of our region.

They have been on the pro scene since 2004 with most recent re-shuffle taking place almost half a year ago. Since then they’ve picked up their pace again, and are looking very confidently in the qualifiers.

MVP: Mushi.

Chances to win outright: 3%

Mushi 1
Miduan 2
Ohaiyo 3
DJ 4
Net 5