Another week of qualifiers is in the books. ESL One Frankfurt – Yes, there is another ESL One tournament coming up – finished up their SEA qualifier earlier today, with the only top 8 teams actually playing DOTA right now in the finals. Fnatic, lead by the ubiquitous Mushi, took the Best of 5 series 3-1 vs Korean rivals MVP. MVP has struggled at times after their strong showing at Shanghai and their dismantling of EG, OG, and Complexity at DOTAPit, losing 4 straight matches to Fnatic.
Team Liquid received a direct invite to ESL One Frankfurt, joining Alliance, OG, and now Fnatic as part of an already stacked field with the CN, NA, and EU qualifiers still to come. Liquid plays only their second official match since March 20th today against Power Rangers.
New squad No Diggity won the Epicenter EU qualifiers 3-1 against Power Rangers on the back of old Liquid/Team Tinker standout Qojqva and his stellar Bat Rider play, picking up the surprisingly powerful Bat/Chen combo in the last three games. This new squad features old Fnatic EU standout Adrien “Era” Kryeziu and long time DOTA personality Troels “Synderen” Nielsen and will look to continue their success into the Manila Major qualifiers.
The Starladder/I-League invitational starts on April 13th in what will be the first action in weeks for two more top 8 teams. Alliance will play Virtus Pro and OG gets a somewhat resurgent Na’vi squad in their initial matches. [A] hasn’t played since an underwhelming performance in the Shanghai Major and OG’s last match was a loss to MVP in DOTAPit back on March 19th, so there will be rust to shake off.
The $100,000 tournament will serve as a good warmup for what hopefully will be an action packed spring, launching us into ESL One Manila, the Manila Major Open Qualifiers, and Epicenter all within the span of a couple weeks.
NO PATCH YET? OSFROG!:
After a short break All Pick is back in the pool for Ranked MM, and every game is filled with Invoker or OD once more much to the dismay of people who don’t play mid. The next major balance patch should be approaching, however, as IceFrogs’ private testing server has seen multiple updates and pushes recently. The patch will probably arrive this week allowing players a fair amount of time to get used to the changes prior to the Manila Major qualifiers on April 29th.
TI6 Tickets go on sale, TicketMaster awful as expected:
Tickets for the sixth incarnation of the International, the big daddy of DOTA tournaments, went on sale last week in two batches. Both were, of course, fraught with problems. The tickets are sold through TicketMaster as part of the venue arrangement with Key Arena in Seattle, and just like last year, and the year before, fans looking to scoop up tickets to the now two ticket event were disappointed and frustrated by cart issues and checkout issues. Valve split TI6 into a week ticket for the first four days for $75 and a two day Finals ticket for $100 and provided no option to purchase both at the same time, requiring an immense amount of luck to get a pair. TicketMaster had problems finding tickets to put into customers’ carts and their checkout/payment servers went down as well, causing even more chaos as people who thought they had tickets in their carts were informed that the tickets had been released back to the pool due to the server errors.
Whether done through TicketMaster (TI4-6) or through Steam itself (TI3) Valve has had nothing but disastrous results when it comes to selling tickets to their own major event after DOTA2 picked up popularity. Surprisingly, none of the Frankfurt, Shanghai, or Manila majors have seen issues with ticket sales to the degree that the International has seemed to attract, though in fairness to Valve they didn’t exactly choose TicketMaster. Still, before TI7 something needs to be done to address these problems. Whether it’s a change of venue (unlikely) or greater control on Valve’s behalf these issues have persisted year after year aren’t acceptable for the biggest eSports tournament in the world.