The final eight teams attending the first major of the 2017 competitive Dota 2 season have been decided. Four regional qualifiers held over the past weekend saw 35 squads compete for their respective region's invites, to compete for a share of a $3 million prize pool in Boston with the eight directly invited teams.
Team Faceless, WG.Unity, Ad Finem, Virtus Pro, Team NP, Complexity Gaming, LGD.Forever Young and IG.Vitality advance to the Boston Major, which takes place December 3-10 in Boston's Wang Theatre at the Citi Performing Arts Center.
The biggest surprises of the qualifiers came from the European region, where the traditional balance of power was turned on its head. Though Team Liquid and Team Secret both made the EU region playoffs, both also failed to make it through the final gauntlet to Boston. Ad Finem, on the other hand, advanced through the playoffs 4-0 to clinch the top spot, while Virtus Pro was dropped to the loser's bracket by Liquid, who VP beat later to secure a berth to Boston. Team Liquid and Secret, as well as several other notable EU squads like Alliance, Natus Vincere and Vega Squadron, will all be watching the Boston Major from their couches this December.
The Americas region qualifiers, the subject of controversy heading into the regional qualifiers, saw a surprising run for Infamous, a Peruvian team that took matches off some of the best in their bid for the quarters. Team NP had a series of surprising and sometimes baffling plays, but ultimately succeeded at clinching the top spot, with North American regulars Complexity eking out a win over Infamous for the second qualification.
In the Southeast Asian region, Faceless were a favorite going into the tournament, but WG.Unity upset both Fnatic and Mineski in a run for the second qualifier spot. Fnatic, a team made up of titans like Chai "Mushi" Yee Fung and Jimmy "DeMoN" Ho, only took fourth in the group stage and dropped out of the playoffs in two series.
The Chinese region saw some of the greatest competition, as clubs like CDEC Gaming, Vici Gaming and Invictus Gaming all fell short of the playoff mark. LGD.Forever Young, hot off a strong 3-0 at the Nanyang Cruise Cup group stages, pushed even further to secure the first spot into Boston under seasoned captain Zhang "xiao8" Ning. LGD Gaming proper had a strong showing in groups, but IG Vitality were the main squad's Achilles' heel, dealing LGD their only losses throughout the qualifiers and seizing the second qualifier spot in a 2-1 elimination match.
These eight teams will join Wings Gaming, Digital Chaos, Evil Geniuses, OG, Newbee, Execration, EHOME and MVP Phoenix in Boston to compete for a $3 million prize pool and bragging rights in the first major title of 2017.