Dota 2 Arlington Major: The six teams you need to watch

The Dota 2 PGL Arlington Major, the second and final Major of the 2021-2022 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) season, is almost here.

The tournament will see 17 of the best Dota 2 teams from all around the world competing for their slice of the US$500,000 prize pool and the 4,570 DPC points that go along with it.

This Major is also the last chance for the competing teams to secure enough DPC points to qualify for The International 11 (TI11).

With so many teams competing, it can be hard to keep track of the tournament. Fortunately for Dota 2 fans, we've compiled a list of the most exciting teams to watch in the Arlington Major:

Team Spirit ( Eastern Europe)

The TI10 champions will be a force to be reckoned with at the Arlington Major. (Photo: Team Spirit)
The TI10 champions will be a force to be reckoned with at the Arlington Major. (Photo: Team Spirit)

After three DPC Tours, one Major, and one Regional Finals, it's wild to think that TI10 champions Team Spirit still aren't guaranteed to defend the Aegis of Champions at TI11 yet.

Team Spirit came out of nowhere to win TI10 and that momentum carried on in the season's Winter Tour, where they placed first in Eastern Europe.

Everything was going well for the champions until the political situation in the region forced Dota 2 developer Valve to cancel the second Tour in Eastern Europe.

The region did get a last-minute qualifier to attend the Stockholm Major but it was clear that the long gap between Tours and the lack of practice in the region had affected the teams.

Team Spirit were among the first teams to be eliminated from Stockholm and left the tournament with no DPC points or prize money.

But things are looking up for the TI10 champions heading into Arlington. Team Spirit placed second in the Riyadh Masters 2022, beating notable teams such as Royal Never Give Up, Team Secret, and Tundra Esports.

With TI11 invites on the line, all eyes will be on the defending champions to see if they can secure a spot at The International to defend their title.

Team Spirit roster:

  1. Illya "Yatoro" Mulyarchuk

  2. Alexander "TORONTOTOKYO" Khertek

  3. Magomed "Collapse" Khalilov

  4. Miroslaw "Mira" Kolpakov

  5. Yaroslav "Miposhka" Naidenov

  6. Airat "Silent" Gaziev (coach)

Soniqs Esports (North America)

Longtime independent North American Dota 2 team Quincy Crew has signed with Philadelphia-based organisation Soniqs Esports. (Photo: Soniqs Esports)
Longtime independent North American Dota 2 team Quincy Crew has signed with Philadelphia-based organisation Soniqs Esports. (Photo: Soniqs Esports)

If there is one team in Dota 2 that's plagued by bad luck, it's Quincy Crew. The North American squad won the Winter Tour but due to the first Major being cancelled, they couldn't capitalise on their success to secure more DPC points.

Instead, the team had to compete in Regional Finals where they placed third.

During the Spring Tour, Quincy Crew only dropped one series but that was enough to put them in a three-way tie with Evil Geniuses and TSM FTX.

With only two Major slots awarded to North America, a tiebreaker was played and Quincy Crew were unable to secure a spot at the Stockholm Major.

Despite all the setbacks, the Crew managed to qualify for the Arlington Major and will finally have a chance to showcase their strength on the international stage. And they will do that under the banner of a new organisation, Soniqs Esports. Maybe this time, the Quincy Crew roster's luck will take a turn for the better?

With a team made up of some of the best players in each role, and TI11 invites on the line, Soniqs Esports will definitely put on an amazing show at the tournament.

Quincy Crew roster:

  1. Yawar "YawaR" Hassan

  2. Quinn "Quinn" Callahan

  3. Rodrigo "LESLÃO" Santos

  4. Arif "MSS" Anwar

  5. Adrian "Fata" Trinks

Team Liquid (Western Europe)

Team Liquid carry player Lasse "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen. (Photo: Team Liquid)

There are certain teams that excel on a regional level, yet fail to bring that success to the international stage. China's Team Aster is one of those teams.

Aster regularly wins local Dota 2 tournaments in China, beating the strongest teams in the region. At the same time, Aster almost always places last in international events, such as last season's WePlay AniMajor and ONE Esports Singapore Major.

The closest Western comparison to Team Aster is Team Liquid. During all three DPC Tours, Team Liquid had a podium finish, even winning the first Tour.

Unfortunately for them, international success continues to elude them. Team Liquid placed last in the Riyadh Masters and were among the first teams eliminated from the Stockholm Major playoffs.

There is no lack of skill on Team Liquid, as they have a TI winner, Lasse "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen, playing as the carry.

Their offlaner, Ludwig "zai" Wåhlberg, has played with MATUMBAMAN for almost three years since they both joined Team Secret in 2019. The other members of the squad are no pushovers either.

A talented squad that regularly decimates powerhouses in Western Europe, Team Liquid are currently ranked 13th in the DPC ranking, and only the top 12 receive direct invites to TI11.

After missing TI10, The team must find their footing in the Arlington Major or lose their ticket to TI11 as well.

Team Liquid roster:

  1. Lasse "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen

  2. Michael "miCKe" Vu

  3. Ludwig "zai" Wåhlberg

  4. Samuel "Boxi" Svahn

  5. Aydin "iNSaNiA" Sarkohi

  6. William "Blitz" Lee (coach)

Royal Never Give Up (China)

The former members of PSG.LGD are ready to make their mark on a new team. (Photo: Royal Never Give Up)
The former members of PSG.LGD are ready to make their mark on a new team. (Photo: Royal Never Give Up)

For years the most notable team in China has been PSG.LGD.

And rightfully so, as the Chinese juggernauts have had a top-four finish in the last five TIs, with two second and two third place finishes to their name. That said, three members of PSG.LGD left the team after TI9 and joined Royal Never Give Up.

Lu "Somnus" Yao, Yang "Chalice" Shenyi, and Yap "xNova" Jian Wei have all had two podium finishes at The International and all left the team in 2020. Since the trio left their former organisation, they tried out several teams before settling back together at RNG.

RNG have always been in the shadows of PSG.LGD, placing below them in the first two DPC Tours.

The team struggled regionally for most of the year yet managed to rally when it mattered in the third Tour. RNG placed first in China and secured a hefty 500 DPC points for themselves.

Unfortunately for RNG, their carry player, Daniel "Ghost" Chan Kok Hong, wasn't able to secure a visa to Arlington. Luckily for them, who better to stand-in for the team than the only two-time TI carry winner in history, OG's Anathan "ana" Pham?

This isn't the first time ana stood in for a team this year, as he recently joined Team Liquid for the Riyadh Masters 2022.

Ana's performance in Riyadh wasn't as explosive as expected and Team Liquid were one of the teams eliminated in the group stage.

RNG have a lot to prove, and the Arlington Major is the place to do so. Can RNG overcome their long-time rival PSG.LGD? Is ana ready to play competitive Dota?

We'll find out when we watch how the team performs at the Major.

Royal Never Give Up roster:

  1. Anathan "ana" Pham (Stand-in)

  2. Lu "Somnus" Yao

  3. Yang "Chalice" Shenyi

  4. Hu "Kaka" Liangzhi

  5. Yap "xNova" Jian Wei

  6. Xie "Super" Junhao (Coach)

BOOM Esports (Southeast Asia)

Can the strongest team in SEA take first place at Arlington? (Photo: Galaxy Racer)
Can the strongest team in SEA take first place at Arlington? (Photo: Galaxy Racer)

In our last list of teams to watch out for the Stockholm Major, we listed BOOM Esports as the best team in SEA.

There were high hopes for SEA teams in the previous Major, but unfortunately, due to a combination of late team arrival and multiple sick members, BOOM Esports couldn't make it to the top eight at Stockholm.

Despite a weak performance at Stockholm, BOOM continue to be the strongest team in SEA, winning the first and third Tour, as well as the Regional Finals.

Coached by the legendary Chai "Mushi" Yee Fung, and housing arguably the strongest midlaner in the world, Erin "Yopaj" Ferrer, BOOM Esports are a dangerous beast in the region.

Things are looking up for BOOM this time around on the International stage, as the team secured the visas for all their players early and arrived at Arlington several days before the Major starts.

BOOM will be better prepared this time around, and Dota 2 fans should keep their eyes on the pride of Southeast Asia.

BOOM Esports roster:

  1. Souliya "JaCkky" Khoomphetsavong

  2. Erin Jasper "Yopaj" Ferrer

  3. Saieful "Fbz" Ilham

  4. Timothy "Tims" Randrup

  5. Andrei "skem" Ong

  6. Chai "Mushi" Yee Fung (coach)

Beastcoast (South America)

Beastcoast had a close shave but manage to secure the second ticket to Arlington. (Photo: Beastcoast)
Beastcoast had a close shave but manage to secure the second ticket to Arlington. (Photo: Beastcoast)

Beastcoast are in an extremely interesting spot entering the Major. They are literally one DPC point away from securing a direct invite to TI11. 1,296 Points are needed to go to Singapore, and right now Beastcoast are sitting at 1,295.

The team is currently fifth on the DPC ranking and has a 99.9% chance of going to the biggest Dota 2 tournament in the world.

Beastcoast can come last in the Major, and still qualify directly.

But that's not how Beastcoast approach the game. Hailing from arguably the most aggressive region in the game, Beastcoast are going to use this opportunity to get as much experience as possible to prepare for TI11.

Another factor that will motivate the team is that this is their chance to step out of Thunder Awaken's shadow.

Thunder are the only team to win all three Tours in any region, and Beastcoast have always played second fiddle to them.

With the best Wraith King player in the world, Héctor "K1" Rodríguez, on the team, can Beastcoast be the first team to win a Major for the South American region?

Beastcoast Dota 2 roster:

  1. Héctor Antonio "K1" Rodríguez

  2. Jean Pierre "Chris Luck" Gonzales

  3. Adrián "Wisper" Céspedes Dobles

  4. Elvis "Scofield" De la Cruz Peña

  5. Steven "StingeR" Vargas

  6. Christian "Accel" Cruz (Stand-in coach)

The PGL Arlington Major will take place from 4 to 14 August and features 17 of the best Dota 2 teams in the world fighting for their slice of the US$500,000 prize pool and 4,570 DPC point pool. For everything you need to know about the Arlington Major, check here.

Otomo is a long-time gaming enthusiast and caster. He has been playing games since he was 10 and is the biggest Dota 2 fan.

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