The WePlay AniMajor is the second and final Major tournament of the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC), featuring 18 of the best teams from the circuit's six regional leagues competing for the lion's share of a US$500,000 prize pool and 2,700 DPC point pool.
The event will be held from 2 to 13 June in Kyiv, Ukraine and will be the final opportunity for many teams in the circuit to earn all-important DPC points to go towards securing a direct invite to The International 10 (TI10), which will be held in Stockholm, Sweden this August and will feature a US$40 million prize pool.
Read our WePlay AniMajor daily recaps:
Here's everything you need to know about the WePlay AniMajor:
WePlay AniMajor Format
As with all Major tournaments under the new DPC format, the WePlay AniMajor is split into three stages, with six teams starting the tournament in each stage. The three stages are the Wildcard Stage, the Group Stage, and the Playoffs.
The Major will open with the Wildcard Stage, scheduled from 2 to 3 June, where six teams will fight for the chance to advance to the Group Stage. The six Wildcard teams will compete in a single round-robin, with all the teams taking turns to face one another in a best-of-two match. Once all the Wildcard matches are done, the two teams with the best record will advance to the Group Stage while the four others will be eliminated early.
Up next will be the Group Stage, scheduled from 4 to 7 June, where eight teams will fight for the chance to advance to the Playoffs. The eight teams in the Group Stage are comprised of the second-placed teams of the DPC's six regional leagues as well as the two teams that advanced through the Wildcard Stage.
The Group Stage will follow a single round-robin format, just like the Wildcard, where all the teams will take turns facing one another in a best-of-two match. At the conclusion of the Group Stage, six teams will advance to the Playoffs.
The top two teams of the Group Stage will start the Playoffs in the upper bracket while the third to sixth-placed teams will have to start the Playoffs from the lower bracket. Meanwhile, the two bottom teams will be eliminated.
After a one-day break following the conclusion of the Group Stage, the Major playoffs will take place from 9 to 13 June and will follow a double-elimination format. Eight teams will start from the upper bracket while four others will start from the lower bracket. The upper bracket teams are comprised of the top seed of the DPC's six regional leagues as well as the top two teams from the Group Stage, with the lower bracket teams comprised of the third to sixth-placed teams of the Group Stage.
The first round of the Playoffs will start in the upper bracket, with the eight upper bracket teams being paired off across four matches. The winners of each upper bracket match will advance to the further rounds of the upper bracket, while the losers will drop down to the lower bracket.
The lower bracket will open with the four initial lower bracket teams taking on the losers of the first round of upper bracket matches. The winners of each lower bracket match will advance to the further rounds of the lower bracket, while the losers will be eliminated.
Each match in the Playoffs will be a best-of-three, except for the Grand Finals which will be a full best-of-five series.
WePlay AniMajor Prize pool
While the WePlay AniMajor features eighteen participating teams, only eight of them will be able to earn a cut of the US$500,000 prize pool and 2,700 DPC point pool.
The champions of the WePlay AniMajor will receive the grand prize of US$200,000 and 500 DPC points, though each team that manages to get a Top 8 placement will earn at least US$12,500 and 200 DPC points.
Here's the full prize and DPC point pool breakdown for the Major:
Participating teams in the WePlay AniMajor
The 18 participating teams in the WePlay AniMajor are comprised of the best teams from the DPC's six regional leagues in Europe, China, Southeast Asia, the CIS, North America, and South America. Europe and China each have four representatives, Southeast Asia and the CIS each have three, while North America and South America each have two.
The top teams of each regional league have been directly seeded to the Major Playoffs, the second-placed team of each league will start from the Group Stage, while two teams each from Europe and China as well as one team each from Southeast Asia and the CIS will start from the Wildcard Stage.
WePlay AniMajor Wildcard teams
Europe 3rd seed: Team Nigma
Europe 4th seed: Team Secret
China 3rd seed: Vici Gaming
China 4th seed: Invictus Gaming
Southeast Asia 3rd seed: Execration
CIS 3rd seed: AS Monaco Gambit
WePlay AniMajor Group Stage teams
Europe 2nd seed: Team Liquid
China 2nd seed: PSG.LGD
Southeast Asia 2nd seed: TNC Predator
CIS 2nd seed: Team Spirit
North America 2nd seed: Evil Geniuses
South America 2nd seed: Beastcoast
WePlay AniMajor Playoff teams
Europe top seed: Alliance
China top seed: Team Aster
Southeast Asia top seed: T1
CIS top seed: Virtus.pro
North America top seed: Quincy Crew
South America top seed: NoPing Esports
Health and safety protocols at the WePlay AniMajor
The WePlay AniMajor will be played live and in-person but will not have fans in attendance due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the "the epidemiological situation" in Kyiv.
"Unfortunately, the epidemiological situation in Kyiv does not allow us to receive guests: the tournament will be closed to spectators, as the players and employees’ safety is our highest priority," said WePlay Esports.
WePlay Esports has also released a breakdown of the health and safety protocols being observed during the Major which you can find here.
How to Watch the WePlay AniMajor
There will also be a secondary stream on WePlay Esports' second Twitch channel in order to accommodate the large number of games to be played during the Major Wildcard and Group Stage.
WePlay Esports will also be giving away prizes if the WePlay AniMajor is able to break concurrent viewership records set by previous Dota 2 Major tournaments. For more information on this promotion, check here.
Check out esports videos from Yahoo TV: