Dota 2: Direct Invites To Manila Major Revealed

Valve have announced the teams getting a direct invite to its Dota 2 competition in the Philippines; the Manila Major [official site].

The Manila Major is the final Valve-sponsored uber tournament for Dota 2 before the massive annual event that is The International. It’s the first year the Majors have taken place and some have worked out better than others but they’ve been a big deal and mark an attempt by Valve to be slightly more hands-on in terms of guiding the development of the pro scene.

So here’s who’s definitely off to the Philippines:

  • Team Secret
  • Team Liquid
  • Evil Geniuses
  • MVP
  • Wings Gaming
  • Vici Gaming
  • Fnatic
  • OG
  • Complexity
  • Alliance
  • Na’Vi
  • LGD
  • Four remaining spaces will go to qualifying teams from the Americas, China, Europe and South-East Asia. If you’re interested in watching those qualifiers they’re all taking place 3-6 May. If you’re interested in trying to take part in the major there are also some open qualifier spots.

    If you’re wondering how Valve decide on the direct invites just imagine me making wafty hand movements and shrugging. But for a less facetious answer, they’ve always been kind of opaque when it comes to who they invite to their tournaments. It’s an ongoing source of irritation for the pro scene that there isn’t a transparent process to follow in order to get a direct invite rather than fight for a spot.

    The broad idea is that Valve invite teams which are excelling now or which have a strong history to back them up, but the exact criteria for this – how many wins, which third-party events are weighted more strongly, which other factors are involved – are where it starts to get hand-wavy and shruggy.

    Of interest (if you’re me, anyway) is that they sign off their most recent post about the Manila Major by saying:

    “We are always thinking about the mechanisms that create a healthy competitive environment in the long term, and are interested to hear what you think.”

    I wonder whether that feedback could feasibly lead to more transparency or whether the opacity is some kind of strategy for making every single event have the potential to matter?


    1. jemsin says:

      Their decisions based on that comment seem somewhat arbitrary then. Na’Vi still aren’t really performing in a big way. They’ve had a few early round wins in second-tier tournaments, but how far should their TI/TI2 performances take them? It’s been four years!

      I’m not saying they’re not deserving of a spot, as they’re still probably the most loved team in the game (at least within certain markets), but if commercial/marketing decisions are behind Valve’s decisions, I can understand that they wouldn’t want to convey that to a bloody-thirsty internet audience.

    2. tormos says:

      This set of invites is pretty controversial in the community because Valve has left fewer slots open for qualifiers than in previous majors. This is weird because
      1) a lot of teams that have made it in through the qualifiers have gone on to huge success in the recent majors
      2) several of the directly invited teams are pretty weak and would have at least a significant chance not to make it through their regional qualifiers.

    3. yogibbear says:

      TI5 direct invites (10 teams):
      1. ViCi Gaming
      2. Evil Geniuses
      3. Team Secret
      4. Invictus Gaming
      5. LGD Gaming
      6. Cloud 9
      7. Team Empire
      8. Virtus.Pro
      9. Newbee
      10. Team Malaysia

      TI4 direct invites (11 teams):
      -Cloud 9
      -Team DK
      -Evil Geniuses
      -invictus Gaming
      -Natus Vincere
      -Vici Gaming