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DotA: Boston Major Main Event Betting Preview

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The first major of the 2016/17 DotA season is upon us! Check out what our eSports buff thinks about the teams below:

While 2016 saw huge changes in the meta for DotA, massive upsets, team changes galore and a new TI champion crowned, the professional season closed with the culmination of The International 6. But starting this week, we see the first event of the 2017 season coming to us in the form of The Boston Major.

There would be sixteen teams in total heading to Boston for this event – and with 3 months having passed between TI and this tournament, there’s been a fair few changes along the way.

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Wings Gaming 4/1

Player ID
Che Zeyu
Zhou Yang
Zhang Ruida
y’ (captain)
Zhang Yipling
Li Peng

With a fairly mediocre 2015 season behind them – and a less than perfect start to 2016 – Wings Gaming took flight around April and proceeded to show the DotA world exactly why Chinese teams were once feared. Dominating the biggest tournament of the year, Wings took home the top honours at The International 6 and set themselves firmly at the top of the DotA 2 rankings.

With lots of teams utilising the post-TI shuffle period to change their team for the better, Wings were quick to confirm that they would keep the same line up. But now, with the Major incoming, we will get to see if the “Chinese Overlords” can dominate once more and start the new season on high.

Who to watch
One of the most prolific players on the team is Che ‘Shadow’ Zeyu, whose MMR doesn’t say much for him at just under 8000. While a position 1 player is going to be hailed as “MVP” most often, Shadow is known for being quick to make decisions and destroy the enemy team, be it in a 1v1 match-up or in team-fights.

While Wings are the reigning International champions, they seem to have fallen off a bit since they dominated in Seattle. While a top 4 spot definitely seems likely for them, I highly doubt that they’ll be claiming The Boston Major title. 

There will definitely be value in some of the smaller teams getting the better of Wings, keep an eye on the main event betting.

Digital Chaos Gaming (DC) 12/1

Player ID
Roman Fominok
Aliwi Omar
David Tan
Misery (captain)
Rasmus Filipsen
Martin Sazdov

2016 did not look like a great year for the American team, finishing in the lower half of most tournaments, save one or two smaller events. But then came TI6 and suddenly DC looked immensely better, almost unstoppable at every step of their journey.

The post-TI shuffle brought a single change to the DC line up, with David ‘Moo” Hull being removed from the roster to make room for David ‘MoonMeander’ Tan.

Who to watch
Hailed as one of the best mid lane players in recent times, Aliwi ‘w33’ Omar is definitely someone to look out for. Being the first player ever to break through into the 8000 MMR bracket, w33’s ability to control mid lane is something to admire. With hero choices like Windrunner and everyone’s favourite Meepo, w33 is sure to excel.

Digital Chaos Gaming are playing some amazing DotA at the moment, and with the line-up that they’re fielding, it’s no wonder that they look set to be one of the top teams for the season. That being said, I think that DC will manage a top 2 finish at this event, if they don’t outright win it.

Following an excellent showing in the group stage of the tournament, you’d be silly not get on not to back DC against all comers in the main event, no matter how far they go. Proper dark horses, these guys!

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Evil Geniuses (EG) 14/1

Player ID
Artour Babaev
Sumail Hassan
Saahil Arora
Ludwig Wahlberg
Cr1t- (captain)
Andreas Nielsen

After an amazing 2015 where they claimed TI5, Evil Geniuses became fan favourites, with a player like Cinton ‘Fear’ Loomis on the team, who could hate them? But 2016 was a little less productive for the American giants as it brought a lot of 3rd place finishes alongside some outright terrible performances.

With a 3rd place finish at TI6, the EG roster was set for a change and it came with Fear and Peter ‘PPD’ Dager leaving the team and the return of Andreas ‘Cr1t-‘ Nielsen and Artour ‘Arteezy’ Babaev to the team. With Fear moving to a coaching position, EG looked ready to get back to their dominating ways.

Who to watch
Once again, the focus is on a mid lane player, Sumail ‘Suma1l’ Hassan. A mere 17 years of age and he has accomplished something massive as he helped his team to victory in TI5. He quickly became master of the mid lane and a definite fan favourite, Suma1l’s plays are able to quickly turn the tides of battle in the direst situations.

Evil Geniuses seem to still be struggling to retain any real form lately, while they seem to play decently in some events, they fail dismally in others. This leads me to saying that they’re not the team you’ll want to back to take the trophy at The Boston Major.

After finishing third in their group, things aren’t looking good for the Americans. You’ll find plenty of value betting against them this weekend. I don’t even see them getting past Wings in their round of 16 tie.

Newbee 4/1

Player ID
Xu Han
Song Chun
Damien Chok
Zeng Hongda
Kaka (captain)
Hu Liangzhi

The TI4 winning Chinese team has seen a massive amount of change since then, but have remained on the edge of great performances at all times. 2016 saw some early progression for Newbee as they progressed through tournaments only to be thwarted near the end by an inform Team Liquid. Unfortunately that bode a disaster for them at TI6 but the team still continued to perform in their usual manner and proved this by winning two events since The International.

Who to watch
Hu ‘Kaka” Liangzhi is the position 5 support role player for Newbee and ever since his joining, except for a weak venture at TI6, the team has performed admirably in all competitions. Kaka has the ability to control the map with mobile support heroes such as Wisp and Earth Spirit, helping his team constantly.

Newbee are still making themselves a known force again in the world of DotA 2 and with that, I don’t think that they will have a shot at the current Major title. Maybe we’ll see them prosper later in the 2017 season but for now, they’ve got a lot of building to go.

That said, they gave a solid showing in the group stages although they couldn’t hold a candle to pre-tournament favourites, They’ll have far too much for Ad Finem, though but will struggle against LGD who will win their game against LGD.ForeverYoung.

EHOME 20/1

Player ID
Liu Jiajun
old chicken
Wang Zhiyong
Ren Yangwei
LaNm (captain)
Zhang Zhicheng
Liu Xinzhou

EHOME are not a team that have seen a large amount of outright success through 2016, even though they claimed first place at some smaller events early in the year. Their TI 6 was as they managed only a 5th-6th spot at the end – since then things have been quiet for the Chinese team, apart from two roster changes.

After TI6, EHOME took a little while to look over their roster and two players exited the team; Daryl Koh ‘iceiceice’ Pei Xiang and Lu ‘Fenrir’ Chao. These two players were soon replaced with Liu ‘Sylar’ Jiajun and Liu ‘Garder’ Xinzhou, who would be looking to bolster the team come The Boston Major.

Who to watch:
Zhang ‘LaNm’ Zhicheng is the only EHOME play who has really stood the test of time, constantly returning to the team which he joined in 2011 – between short stints at other teams. As the captain and position 4 support player, LaNm has a knack for playing ‘crowd-control’ heavy supports which ensure his carries get farmed. This is also perfect for the gank line up that the team utilise.

While EHOME could definitely be a force to be reckoned with at the Major, I feel that they’re not looking as strong as they were at TI6. 

They placed second in arguably the easiest of the four groups. A 2-1 loss to Ad Finem wouldn’t have done their confidence much good either. They should be able to get past NP, though but probably won’t progress to the quarter-finals. 

LGD Gaming 8/1

Player ID
Wang Chunyu
Maybe (captain)
Lu Yao
Xiao Zihao
Chen Zezhi
Chen Guanhong

LGD have remained as the power houses of the Chinese DotA scene for quite some time, with massive players passing through their ranks and many still currently active. While they have not seen much success in 2016, save a 4th place finish at The Manilla Major, the team are still able to function admirably together and keep with the spirit of “never-give-up” Chinese DotA.

On the back of a poor 9th- 12th place finish at TI6, LGD saw a huge roster change, with four players vacating the team, leaving only Lu ‘Maybe’ Yao. But as it goes with a massive organisation, there will always be new talent coming in. LGD were lucky enough to make their way into The Boston Major only last week after Execration were forced to withdraw when they fell to the “Visa curse” which occurred.

Who to watch
Because of the initiation of a new roster, it’s hard to say which player from LGD is going to shine at the Major, however, one name does stand out above the rest. Wang ‘Ame’ Chunyu is a 9000+ MMR player who has not really been exposed to a competition of this magnitude, but should flourish if given the right circumstances.

With their current roster I definitely believe that LGD could be contenders for at least a top 6 finish, but with the competition being so fierce, I doubt they’ll take top honours.

Having said that, they were absolutely magnificent in their group, beating the likes of Team Faceless and compLexity Gaming without dropping a game. They’ll have no trouble ousting their sister team, LGD.ForeverYoung in the round of 16 although they’re likely to be pushed all the way by Newbee in the quarters.

OG 13/2

Player ID
Johan Sundstein
Anathan Pham
Gustav Magnusson
Jesse Vainkka
Fly (captain)
Tal Aizik

It took them awhile to return to their 2015 form, and in 2016 they would come back to claim The Manilla Major and ESL One Frankfurt. But their dominance ended at TI6, where they placed a very poor 9th-12th and with that, three core members of the team exited, leaving OG in a harsh place. But, as with any great team, OG were able to acquire a new roster which included; Anathan ‘ana’ Pham, Gustav ‘s4’ Magnusson and Jesse ‘JeRaX’ Vanikka. With these team, OG secured a 2nd place at The Summit 6 and looked good for Boston.

Who to watch
This is probably one of the hardest to decide for a team like OG. While Johan ‘N0tail’ Sundstein is always a pleasure to watch, OG have the likes of s4 in an off-lane position, JeRaX and Tal ‘Fly’ Aizik in support roles and ana as their mid-lane player. All of these players, much like the old OG roster, bring overwhelming amounts of talent to the team.

OG’s dominant streak seems to be coming back to them and are my favourites to take the spoils at The Boston Major. With s4 on your team, nothing is impossible and I can’t see a reason not to put your money behind this team.

Having finished atop their group, confidence will be running high in one of the most gun teams at the Major. You can probably milk this cow all the way to the grand finals – back them to beat whoever stands in their way. 

MVP Phoenix 500/1

Player ID
Lee Sang-don
Kim Seon-yeob
Kim Tae-sung
Kim Yong-min
DuBu (captain)
Kim Doo-young

With a fairly productive year behind them, MVP Phoenix are looking rather underwhelming coming into this tournament. Even with an admirable 5th-6th place finish at TI6, the team’s recent roster changes seem to have shaken them a bit. Since The International, their performances have definitely suffered, but hopefully they can get back to their usual selves for the Boston Major.

Who to watch
An interesting post-TI6 shuffle period saw Lee ‘Forev’ Sang-don leaving MVP and joining Team Secret, but after they failed to qualify for the upcoming Major, he decided to return to the Koreans, forcing a rather odd reshuffle. Forev is known to be an offlaner, but now will be playing in the position 1 carry role.

MVP Phoenix don’t seem to have exactly what it takes since the roster changes occurred. They are too hesitant to make the big plays they’re usually known for and this will most likely be their downfall. When the event comes to an end, I don’t see MVP making it to anywhere above an 8th place finish at best.

The Koreans were dreadful in their group, finishing rock bottom behind Newbee, NP and VP. You can safely stick a big stake on OG to dump them out of the competition in the round of 16.

Team NP 80/1

Player ID
Kurtis Ling
EternalEnvy (captain)
Jacky Mao
Arif Anwar
Avery Silverman
Theeban Silva

When Team Secret crashed out of both The Manila Major and TI6 very early on, it was clear that part of their roster would be leaving – the main person who was set to exit was Jacky ‘EternalEnvy’ Mao. Off the back of this exit, EE would form Team NP, a team set to be the beacon of the North American DotA Scene.

Who to watch
EternalEnvy’s playstyle was extremely unpredictable during his last stint at Team Secret, putting himself in bad situations, playing very aggressive DotA. While he was seen as one of the best carries in the game in 2015, it was hard to imagine that in his later games. However, with him moving into the mid lane position, it is going to rather interesting to see the way in which EE takes on this challenge.

Team NP definitely have what it takes to contest a trophy, but with the team being new and still getting used to playing together, I don’t think it will come to that at the Major. NP look like a barely average team when it comes down to it and I feel their position at the end of the event will reflect this.

As much was evident in the group stages as they were unable to take a game off VP or Newbee while they also managed to drop a game against MVP Phoenix – EHOME should have little trouble dispatching North Americans in the round of 16.

compLexity Gaming 66/1

Player ID
David Hull
canceL ^^
Mihai Antonio
Jaron Clinton
Zakari Freedman
Melonzz (captain)
Kyle Freedman

compLexity Gaming have enjoyed varying degrees of success and failure over the year but their 9th-12th place finish at the Manila Major alongside their terrible performance at TI6 spelled disaster for the team. With the post TI6 shuffle, they lost their 3 Swedish players and it was only in the last few weeks that they were able to get a full team lined up.

Who to watch
Moo was one of the cornerstones that allowed Digital Chaos Gaming to finish TI6 in 2nd place, only losing out to the superior Wings Gaming in the finals. The strength of Moo in the hard carry role cannot be denied and with him moving to a new team, he’s sure to make an impact.

coL are another one of those teams who seem shaken by the roster swaps post TI6 and this puts them in a bad place in my mind. While the team is not used to winning big tournaments either way, they’re not looking strong enough to even make a top 8 finish in my books.

They’re not a bad team, however, it can be very difficult punting on their results. They can turn it up in one game and come into the next as flat as anything. I’d avoid having a strike on the American side in the round of 16.

LGD.Forever.Young (LFY) 150/1

Player ID
Yang Pu
Xie Junhao
Yao Zhengzheng
Xiao8 (captain)
Zhang Ning
Leong Fat-meng

LGD.Forever.Young are a fairly new team, formed in mid-September by Zhang ‘xiao8’ Ning and Yao ‘Yao’ Zhengzheng. After winning the China Qualifier for the Boston Major, they looked set to take the event by storm; however, last minute Visa issues meant that two players Du ‘Monet’ Peng and Luo ‘Ipc’ Puchao would not be attending. Luckily for LFY, Valve allowed them to replace these players with Yang ‘End’ Pu and Leong ‘DDC’ Fat-meng from Vici Gaming.

Who to watch
Because of the substitutes, this is an unknown category when it comes to this LFY, but with seasoned professionals like Yao and xiao8 on the team, you can be sure they will put up a strong fight at the Boston Major.

When your team has to be changed due to Visa issues just days before a tournament, you can be sure that there will be problems. For LFY, these problems mean that they will probably not make it very far in Boston and I don’t see them getting into the top 8 of the standings.

They were smashed in the group stages without picking up a game. Their sister side is tipped to crush them in the round of 16.

iG Vitality (iG) 500/1

Player ID
Zhang Chengjun
Xu Zichen
Yang Xiaodong
Xu Zhi Lei
Zhang Yi

Another team which was struck by the unfortunate “Visa curse” was iG Vitality. With Su ‘Super’ Peng and Gao ‘dogf1ghts’ Tianpeng unable to acquire their Visas in time, iG were forced into utilising their sub, Xu ‘BurNIng’ Zhi Lei and bringing in Zhang ‘Q.’ Yi as well.

Who to watch
Without 2 of their main players, it becomes tough to usually ping out a certain player as being one to watch but at the same time, no team except iG.Vitality get a player like BurNIng in as a substitute. With an immense DotA and DotA 2 background, BurNIng is definitely someone that the Chinese team can rely on to bring them a great Major.

Once again, a team struck with Visa issues that will not make it very far at The Boston Major. iG’s line-up is strong, but an inability to cohesively play together eludes them and is the reason I don’t see them pushing the top 8 in Boston.

The group stages weren’t kind to the fallen Chinese giants as they finished rock bottom of their group. will have no problem dispatching iG in the round of 16. Back to the drawing board for the Chinese side. 

Ad Finem 50/1

Player ID
Omar Dabachach
Dimirtis Plivouris
Haris Zafirou
Maybe Next Time
Verros Apostolos
SsaSpartan (captain)
Giorgos Giannakopoulos

The winners of the Europe Qualifiers for The Boston Major, the team who destroyed both Team Secret and Team Liquid’s hopes of attending the event, the Greeks, Ad Finem. Even though they are relatively unknown, Ad Finem have been playing with their current roster for over a year and have quickly earned a spot on the fan-favourite list.

Who to watch
Earlier this year, before TI6, Omar ‘Madara’ Dabachach was regarded as one of the top Slark players in the European DotA 2 scene. With a MMR in the mid 8000’s, he loves playing aggressive carries such as the Slark, Juggernaut and Sven too. With the backing of his team-mates, you’ll be hard pressed to not see some fantastic play from this player.

While I feel that Ad Finem can definitely make it to the top 5 of the major, I don’t see them winning it when they’ll be facing opponents that are much more experienced in these major tournaments. 

AD will have to face Newbee in the round of 16 in what looks like the most interesting tie of the round. Newbee should win although there will definitely be a bit of value on the Greek side. Small stake on AD.

WIN with Hollywoodbets and watch El Clasico LIVE in Madrid. How to enter. (VP) 3/1

Player ID
Roman Kushnarev
Vladmir Minenko
Pavel Khvastunov
Ilya Iyuk
Solo (captain)
Alexei Berezin

Virtus.Pro had not been on the DotA 2 scene for the better part of a year, but after forming a new roster in early August, they quickly gathered a lot of support – even taking down OG to win The Summit 6. This has made the team one of the favourites to take the Boston Major home for the CiS region.

Who to watch
Ilya ‘Lil’ Ilyuk’s support play is second to none, and often his favoured heroes are banned purely to lessen the threat that he brings to the game. One of the weirdest things that has been seen from Lil is his signature Weaver support, which sets opponents on edge and often ensures a won lane.

VP are definitely looking set to do big things this season, their team are strong and have proved that they have the hunger to win. However, that being said, I don’t believe they can win The Boston Major but I’d definitely back them for my top 3.

The Russian team cruised through the group stages without dropping a game and are big runners to claim victory. I’d avoid backing them against the smaller sides, however, medium to large stake on whenever they take on the likes of OG, LGD or DC.

Team Faceless

Player ID
Dominik Reitmeier
Anucha Jirawong
iceiceice (captain)
Daryl Koh Pei Xiang
Toh Wai Hong
Wong Jeng Yih

A team formed by one of the biggest names in the history of Chinese DotA would rise out of the post TI6 shuffle, when Daryl Koh ‘iceiceice’ Pei Xiang put together Team Faceless. The team would rise to take the SEA region by storm in their first few ventures out onto the scene, playing against and beating every SEA opponent and winning in one tournament or the next.

Who to watch
Dominik ‘Black^’ Reitmeier is the position 1 carry for Team Faceless and one that has been part of the DotA 2 scene for a very long time. Playing in 2 Internationals and 1 Major prior to Boston, alongside a vast knowledge of DotA, Black^ is definitely one of the best carries to grace the scene.

Team Faceless will need to pull out some magical performances if they want to contest for the spoils in Boston, but I don’t think that will happen. While they may show face in the top 8, I fear that this will be as far as they go.

They were rubbish in the group stage, not picking up a single game. You can confidently take DC to rout them the round of 16.

WarriorsGaming.Unity (WGUnity) 200/1

Player ID
Lai Jay Son
Kam Boon Seng
Chua Soon Khong
Ahfu (captain)
Tue Soon Chuan
Yap Jian Wei

While very little is known about WarriorsGaming.Unity, they have maintained a fairly great position in the SEA DotA 2 scene. Hovering just behind the likes of MVP and Fnatic, the team finally made their way into the Boston Major and look set to show the world their strength.

Who to watch
Kam ‘Nana’ Boon Seng and Lai ‘Ahjit’ Jay Son are the teams most interesting players, both sitting close to the 8000 MMR mark, the team always drafts around these two cores. With Nana being the mid laner and Ahjit being the position 1 carry, Timbersaw and Juggernaut are two heroes that they most often pick up. With these two heroes along with the roaming support picks, the team manages to often snowball themselves to victory.

WGUnity are a strong team but their lack of experience combined with the pressure of a major Valve event will push them out of the competition at an early stage, in my mind. While this will be a great building block for them, it won’t be their title.

They played well enough in the group stages, and offer a bit of value against the smaller teams. The Malaysians’ tournament is likely to end at the hands of compLexity in the round of 16. That said, I’d still have a small stake on them to get the better of coL who have been known for their wild inconsistency.

With the main event of The Boston Major beginning in just 2 days, we’ve already witnessed some upsets and amazing games in the group stages over the weekend. With no teams being eliminated just yet, the main event is set to be amazing. Digital Chaos, Virtus.Pro, LGD Gaming and OG have topped their respective groups – so be sure to watch these teams closely as one of them is likely to claim the Boston Major title and the prize money.

Written by Jarrad Adams @Hollywoodbets

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