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Evil Genuises, TNC Top Favorites to Win 2019 DOTA 2 – MDL Chengdu

Matthew Hempstead

by Matthew Hempstead in eSports

Nov 12, 2019 · 7:35 AM PST

Vici Gaming roster
Vici Gaming announce their DOTA 2 roster for the 2019-2020 season. Photo By @VICI (Twitter)
  • The 2019-2020 Dota Pro Circuit begins with the MDL Chengdu Major on November 16th
  • Fifteen teams qualified for the Major via regional qualifiers in early October
  • Invictus Gaming filled out the sixteen team tournament by winning DOTA Summit 11

The break is over. The DOTA Pro Circuit finally returns as the MDL Chengdu Major takes place from November 16th to the 24th.

Sixteen teams qualified for the first major of the 2019-2020 DPC, and it’s difficult to pinpoint a favorite due to several teams making high profile roster swaps.

MDL Chengdu Betting Odds

Team Odds
Evil Geniuses +312
TNC +399
Vici Gaming +513
Fnatic +825
Alliance +1069
Aster +1174
Gambit Esports +1384
EHOME +1394
Invictus Gaming +1443
Team Liquid +1749
Team Spirit +2363
beastcoast +2710
Fighting PandaS +2973
J.Storm +3400
Team Android +4111
Team Unknown +6884

All odds taken Nov. 11, 2019. 

EG Enter as Slight Favorites

Following The International, several teams elected to shake-up their roster. As part of that post-TI9 shuffle, Evil Geniuses dropped two big names from their team. SumaiL and s4 were removed from the starting line-up and were replaced by Azel and RAMZES666.

Evil Geniuses had a fairly strong 2018-2019 season as they would eventually finish third in the DPC. They also had a respectable showing at The International 9 as they finished tied for 5th and were eliminated by the teams that would eventually face off in the finals.

Despite a decent season, EG have bigger goals. Azel was previously with Fnatic and was the first player to ever hit 10,000 solo MMR. This team is built around their star player Arteezy, and odds are they’ll show how dominant they can be at the MDL Chengdu Major. They already soared through the MDL NA qualifier, only dropping one game on way to the Major.

Don’t Fade Vici Gaming

Of the teams competing at the MDL Major, the only team that finished above EG in the 2018-2019 DPC was Vici Gaming. They finished second overall in the pro circuit and tied EG at 5th/6th at TI9.

Vici Gaming only made one roster swap in the off-season in a bizarre controversy, as Fade ended up retiring from Dota, only to join a brand new team a few days later. To fill that void, Vici Gaming chose to pick up Pyw who was formerly the team captain for Team Serenity.

Despite finishing higher than EG and only making one roster move, Vici Gaming have longer odds to win than Evil Geniuses. After TI9, Vici has competed in a couple of tournaments including ESL One Hamburg where they finished in fifth after losses to Gambit and beastcoast.

Although concerning, these tournaments have given Vici experience with the new-look roster. Don’t be surprised if Vici wins MDL Chengdu now that they’ve built some chemistry with Pyw.

The ESL One Hamburg Champions

One of the other favorites of the tournament is TNC Predator. In the tournament where Vici Gaming struggled, TNC Predator won it all.

They won Group B fairly easily and then beat Alliance and Gambit Esports twice to become champions. All this success comes shortly after they made a couple of swaps of their own. TNC parted ways with Kuku and their team captain Eyyou, but clearly the additions of kpii and March have already gotten immediate results. If other teams are still trying to mesh together, TNC’s immediate strength could very well carry them at MDL Chengdu.

New Year, New Look

It’s odd to see Team Liquid so far down the list. The fifth place finishers in the 2018-2019 Dota Pro Circuit saw the entire roster of Team Liquid leave the team to create their own organization.

This is not the TL that you’re familiar with.

It’s now a team that’s been formed with former Alliance players. Although Liquid has a brand new roster, it’s a group of 5 that is very accustomed to playing together. Unfortunately, this squad hasn’t had the best of success as they exited TI9 in 13th.

Regardless, this team is being slept upon at MDL Chengdu. In a time where several teams are feeling the effects of the post-TI9 roster shuffle, the former Alliance 5 could quickly get some wins for Team Liquid.

Pick: TNC Predator (+399)

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