The Dota 2 PGL Arlington Major has concluded with The International 10 (TI10) champions Team Spirit being crowned as champions and claiming the grand prize of US$200,000 and 820 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) points.
Team Spirit's incredible run at Arlington places them in third place on the DPC leaderboard and guarantees them a spot at The International 11 (TI11), which will be held in Singapore in October.
One of the best things about international Dota 2 tournaments such as the Arlington Major is that they allow players and fans to witness how teams in different regions approach the game.
Every region has its own take on the metagame and strategies that work for them.
With that said, which region had the best understanding of the game? Which region performed the best on the big stage in Arlington?
In this article, we will compare the average placement of each region in the Arlington Major and see which one is ahead in the meta and which regions are lagging behind.
It's important to note that Dota 2 tournaments can have several teams finish in the same placement.
Teams that are eliminated in the quarterfinals have a 5th-6th placement. For the purposes of this article, teams in such situations will have the same average placement for all of them.
In the previously mentioned case, Beastcoast and Entity finished in the 5th-6th spot and both will use placement of 5.5 for calculations.
Another important thing to remember is that almost half the teams attended that Major with at least one stand-in, which led to several teams being unable to showcase their full potential.
With all that out of the way, here's how we ranked each region's performance in the Arlington Major, going from the worst to the best:
6. North America
Team placements: Soniqs (17th), Evil Geniuses (9th-12th)
During the Stockholm Major, TSM FTX managed to carry North America by securing second place in the tournament after Evil Geniuses (EG) bombed out during the group stage.
After EG revamped its roster by welcoming back former team captain Tal "Fly" Aizik to replace Jesse "JerAx" Vainikka, the team looked to be back on track, as they won the Summer Tour regional league for North America and headed to Arlington with a lot of expectations on the squad.
The other representative for the region, Soniqs Esports,, have been plagued by bad luck this DPC season. The team qualified for the first Major which ended up being cancelled and narrowly missed out on Stockholm due to a three-way-tie breaker.
Soniqs and EG both had a lot to prove at Arlington.
Unfortunately, both North American teams failed to make it to the Top 8 and therefore secured zero DPC points or prize money for the region, the only region to do so.
North America's average placement at the Major was 14th place, a far cry from the region's usual podium finish at international events.
At the very least, EG were able to secure a direct invite to TI11 as the 11th-ranked team in the circuit.
5. Southeast Asia
Team placements: Talon Esports (13th-14th), Fnatic (9th-12th), BOOM Esports (7th-8th)
Southeast Asia had the worst showing among all the regions at the Stockholm Major, with only one team making it to the top eight.
While that's still the same story in Arlington, there are some mitigating circumstances for the Southeast Asian teams.
The most important factor is that two of them attended the Major with stand-ins. Talon Esports had to replace Worawit "Q" Mekchai at the last second while Fnatic had to find three members to help the team on short notice.
While Fnatic were able to rally in time, Talon Esports were unable to make it past the Group Stage.
Despite playing with stand-ins, Fnatic performed well overall, making it to the upper bracket in the Playoffs.
That's when another round of bad luck hit the Southeast Asian teams, as both Fnatic and BOOM Esports had to play against teams from China, arguably the strongest region, in the first round of the playoffs and were quickly knocked down to the lower bracket.
BOOM Esports succeeded in making it to the Top 8 and were rewarded with US$12,500 and 360 DPC points.
Both BOOM Esports and Fnatic also secured direct invites to TI11, with Fnatic earning their spot in a controversial decision by Valve.
With all that said, Southeast Asian teams have a lot of work ahead of them if they wish to be competitive at TI11.
4. South America
Team placements: Thunder Awaken (15th-16th), Beastcoast (5th-6th)
South America got taken down a couple of spots from being the second best-performing region in Stockholm to the fourth in Arlington.
Similar to Southeast Asia, teams from the region also suffered from visa issues.
Thunder Awaken's midlaner, Herrera "DarkMago" Gonzalo couldn't attend the tournament, which was a huge blow to the team.
Ricardo "Alone" Fernandez valiantly stood in for Thunder Awaken, but he simply lacked the impact and team chemistry that DarkMago has with the squad.
Beastcoast fared better, due to the fact that their entire roster could attend the tournament. They placed 5th-6th at Arlington, the same placement they had at Stockholm.
South America and Southeast Asia both had an average team placement of 10.5 but we placed SA ahead due to having fewer teams competing and the fact that the region's highest placement was 5th-6th while SEA's highest was 7th-8th.
Beastcoast were able to bring home US$25,000 and 515 DPC points.
It's also worth noting that both South American teams at Arlington secured their spot at TI11 before attending the tournament, so it's likely we will see an even fiercer display by them in Singapore.
3. Western Europe
Team placements: Tundra Esports (15th-16th), Team Liquid (9th-12th), Entity (5th-6th), OG (4th)
Similar to the Stockholm Major, Western Europe was the only region with four representatives ,and it was always likely at least one of those teams would end up doing well.
After winning the Stockholm Major, OG finished with a respectable fourth place in Arlington.
OG might be one of the few teams that weren't hurt by the stand-in situation as two-time TI winner Sébastien "Ceb" Debs came to the team's rescue again, replacing Mikhail "Misha" Agatov for the second Major in a row.
Unlike OG, Entity were definitely missing their carry, Ivan "Pure" Moskalenko. While the team found a fantastic replacement in Jonáš "SabeRLight-" Volek, Entity weren't able to play at their full potential. Despite the setback, it was an impressive 5th-6th place finish for the team.
Team Liquid continues their trend of dominating the regional leagues but failing to perform on the international stage.
The team placed 9th-12th for the second Major in a row. Had Team Liquid won a single series at the playoffs, they would have secured Top 8 and a spot at TI11.
Tundra Esports ended up disappointing at Arlington, being eliminated in the Group Stage. As one of the 12 invited teams to TI11, it's possible the team lacked the motivation to perform at the Major. Tundra placed third at Stockholm and will likely prove a stronger opponent at TI11.
Overall, Western Europe brings a substantial haul of US$75,000 and 1,105 DPC points. Western Europe also remains the only region with three teams invited to TI11, the most among all regions.
2. Eastern Europe
Team placements: Navi (13th-14th), Outsiders (7th-8th), Team Spirit (1st)
The main thing that differentiated Eastern Europe from the other regions is that, thanks to Team Spirit, Eastern Europe was the only region to defeat Chinese teams in the Playoffs.
BOOM Esports, Fnatic, OG, and Entity all fell before PSG.LGD and Team Aster. Only Team Spirit were able to bring them both down, and they did so in the Lower Bracket and Grand Finals.
With the recent ruling by Valve that Fnatic, not Outsiders, will be the final team with a direct invite to TI11, Outsiders may wish that they could have taken one more series at the playoffs.
Unfortunately for Outsiders, their 7th-8th place finish will not be enough to get them to the biggest Dota 2 tournament of the year just yet.
With an average team finish of seventh place, Eastern Europe takes the biggest cut of the prize money with US$225,000 on top of 1,180 DPC points. Only one region had a better overall performance at the Major.
Team placements: Royals Never Give Up (9th-12th), Team Aster (3rd), PSG.LGD (2nd)
Chinese teams made a big statement in their first international DPC appearance this season. Two of the region's representatives made it to the Top 3 and looked fairly unstoppable in their journey to the last day of the tournament, especially PSG.LGD
It's been a good year for PSG.LGD. They are the first place team in the DPC ranking and recently won the Riyadh Masters 2022, beating their rivals Team Spirit in the process.
While the Chinese juggernauts have been an imposing threat throughout the year, they are not invincible, as Team Spirit proved at TI10 and again at the Arlington Major.
PSG.LGD's systematic approach to the game works well for them when they are ahead, but the team proved they were vulnerable in ultra-late game situations.
Team Aster also had a fantastic showing at Arlington. Aster are infamous for dominating regional competitions but failing to show up on the international stage, yet they managed to reach the top 3 this time around.
A third place finish at the Major indicates that Aster have overcome their nerves on the big stage and are ready to take on powerhouse teams such as OG and Entity.
The third and final team from China was Royal Never Give Up (RNG), and unlike the other two representatives, RNG weren't able to compete on the same level.
A major issue for the team was the absence of their carry, Daniel "Ghost" Chan Kok Hong. Instead of Ghost, RNG played with two-time TI winner, Anathan "ana" Pham instead.
Chinese teams averaged fifth place overall and took home more DPC points than any other region, clocking in at 1,410 DPC points, as well as US$175,000 in prize money.
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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