The ESL One Stockholm Major is the first Dota 2 Major of the 2021-2022 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) season.
The tournament serves as the conclusion of the circuit's Spring Tour and features 14 of the best Dota 2 teams in the world fighting for their slice of the US$500,000 prize pool and 3,650 DPC point pool.
More importantly, a good run in the Stockholm Major is a big step towards securing a coveted direct invite to The International 11 (TI11), Dota 2's marquee million-dollar world championship tournament.
Whether you're a die-hard Dota 2 fan, a casual MOBA enjoyer, or even a newcomer to esports altogether, you wouldn't want to miss out on this event.
Read on for everything you need to know about the Stockholm Major.
Schedule and venue
The Stockholm Major will be held from 12 to 22 May in Stockholm, Sweden and is split into two stages: the Group Stage and the Main Event.
The Group Stage will take place from 12 to 15 May and will be followed by the Main Event, which will start on 16 May and will be held live in front of a live audience in Stockholm's Hovet Arena.
Prize pool and DPC point breakdown
The teams in the Stockholm Major will be fighting for the lion's share of a US$500,000 prize pool and 3,650 DPC point pool.
There is a lot on the line for the competing teams. Not only is the majority of the prize money and DPC points awarded to the top finishers, but teams that finish below eighth place will get nothing for their troubles except the pleasure of visiting Sweden.
Here's the full breakdown of the Stockholm Major prize distribution:
Champions: US$200,000 and 680 DPC points
2nd place: US$100,00 and 610 DPC points
3rd place: US$75,000 and 530 DPC points
4th place: US$50,000 and 460 DPC points
5th-6th place: US$25,000 and 385 DPC points each
7th-8th place: US$12,500 and 240 DPC points each
The 14 teams competing in the Stockholm Major are made up of the best teams from five regions of the Dota 2 competitive scene: North America, South America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia.
China was originally slated to send four representatives but was unable to do so due to the worsening COVID-19 situation in the region.
Western Europe has the most representatives in the tournament with four teams, OG Esports, Team Liquid, Tundra Esports, and Gaimin Gladiators.
Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia each have three teams competing for the region. Team Spirit, Team BetBoom, and Mind Games will represent Eastern Europe while BOOM Esports, T1, and Fnatic will play for Southeast Asia.
North America and South America will each have two teams representing the region. Evil Geniuses and TSM will play for North America while Thunder Awaken and Beastcoast represent South America.
The Stockholm Major will begin with a preliminary Group Stage which will determine seeding for the teams in the Main Event.
The Group Stage will see the 14 teams divided into two groups of seven each and will follow a round-robin format where all matches will be a best-of-two.
At the end of the Group Stage, the Top 4 teams in each group will advance to the upper bracket of the Main Event.
While the fifth and sixth-placed teams of each group will still advance to the Main Event, they will have to start in the first round of the lower bracket. Meanwhile, the bottom-placed team of each group will be eliminated.
The setup for the Group Stage is as follows:
The Main Event will be a double-elimination bracket with the eight best-performing teams from the Group Stage starting in the upper bracket while the remaining four teams start in the lower bracket.
The upper bracket will have three rounds, with all matches being a best-of-three. The winners of each upper bracket match will advance to the next round while the losers will drop down to the lower bracket.
One team will qualify for the grand finals from the upper bracket.
The lower bracket will have five rounds and will see the losing teams get eliminated. The first round will feature the bottom four performing teams from the group stage along with the four teams that lost their opening matches in the upper bracket.
One team will qualify for the grand finals from the lower bracket.
The grand finals will feature the two teams that survived the upper and lower brackets duking it out in a full best-of-five series for the right to claim the US$200,000 and 680 DPC points.
How to watch
The Stockholm Major will be broadcasted live on ESL's official Twitch channel as well as the in-game Dota TV.
Secondary and tertiary streams will also be made available during the Group Stage in order to accommodate the number of matches that will be played simultaneously during the stage.
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.