MDL Macau is the 7th Dota 2 tournament of the 2017-2018 competitive season. It falls under the “Minors” category within the Dota Pro Circuit, awarding participants with a total of 300 qualifying points and 300,000 dollars.
As the tournament’s name suggests, MDL Macau is held in Macau, also known as the “Las Vegas of Asia”, between December 8th and December 10th.
Points and Prize Distribution
Because it belongs to the Dota Pro Circuit, MDL Macau offers not only prize money, but qualifying points as well. These points will be used at the end of the season to determine the teams that will receive a direct invite to The International 2018.
The tournament’s prize pool distribution is yet to be revealed, but its points distribution is as follows:
- 1st place: 150 points.
- 2nd place: 90 points.
- 3rd-4th place: 30 points.
- 5th-9th place: 0 points.
MDL Macau features 9 teams from 6 different regions:
- Europe: OG
- North America: VGJ.Storm
- China: LGD Gaming, LGD.Forever Young, EHOME
- CIS: Virtus.Pro, Natus Vincere
- South America: Infamous.
- Southeast Asia: TNC Pro Team
Initially, the tournament was set to have just 8 participants, but then the organizers decided to offer a third direct invite to EHOME in order to make amends for an incident that resulted in them not being able to participate in the event’s qualifiers.
All of the teams will be initially placed in a single group and will play one Bo1 match against every other competitor. At the end, the top 4 teams advance into the playoffs while the other 5 are eliminated. The playoffs are played in a single elimination bracket format. All matches are Bo3.
Analysis of the teams
Here’s an analysis of the 9 teams participating in the MDL Macau tournament:
They’ve been struggling to qualify for Dota Pro Circuit tournaments and get qualifying points for the last 3 months. After their roster change at the end of the previous season, OG has become a shadow of their former selves, seeming unable to qualify for most Dota Pro Circuit events and doing poorly when taking part in them.
OG has a formidable roster, with world class players like Gustav “s4” Magnusson, Tal “Fly” Aizik and Roman “Resolut1on” Fominok. But they seem to be experiencing a synergy problem similar to the one that Team Liquid was struggling with last season at around the same time.
Still, the team has tremendous potential and could have its breakout moment at MDL Macau, so keep an eye on them and watch at least one of OG’s games before deciding whether to bet on or against them.
LGD Forever Young
Like OG, they haven’t adapted very well to the Dota Pro Circuit and the new tournament formats. Their only notable result this season was a 3rd place finish at Perfect World Masters and a 1st place finish at Dota Professional League Top Season 4.
However, keep in mind that LGD Forever Young was on the podium at The International 2017. They’re a top Chinese team with an enormous potential that could easily win a tournament such as MDL Macau, simply because the competition is not as strong there. World class opponents such as Team Secret, Team Liquid or Evil Geniuses aren’t around to contest them.
They finished 4th at The International 2017 and then 2nd at PGL Open Bucharest at the start of this season. But then they practically disappeared, not being able to earn a single point in the subsequent Dota Pro Circuit events. They’re a strong team no doubt, but at their latest tournament (Perfect World Masters) they somehow managed to take last place, being eliminated right from the group stage. This result came however as a consequence of them playing with a stand-in, so I’m expecting LGD Gaming to perform much better this time around.
They have been on the rise lately, defeating top teams such as Virtus.pro and Newbee and qualifying for important Dota Pro Circuit events. At the latest Dota 2 Major, DreamLeague Season 8, Na’Vi finished 4th, surprising everyone with their performance. Right now, they definitely have what it takes to go far into a competition like MDL Macau, so I’m expecting them to get a top 4 result.
They’re a top 3 team at the moment in the Dota Pro Circuit rankings and one of the strongest teams participating in this tournament. However, they are playing with a stand-in, as their captain Alexei “Solo” Berezin is taking a break from competitive Dota 2 until the end of this year and has been replaced by the team’s coach, Ivan “ArtStyle” Antonov.
Given that ArtStyle is a former Na’Vi player and one of the most respected Dota 2 personalities in the CIS region, this change shouldn’t affect Virtus.pro’s gameplay all that much. But unfortunately, the chance of this happening is definitely real, and the fact that the group matches will be best of ones (Bo1) only makes it more likely.
If Virtus.pro show signs of weakness early in the competition, you should probably start betting against them, especially when their opponent is a strong one (such as Na’Vi or LGD Forever Young).
TNC Pro Team
TNC went through a rough time at the beginning of the 2017-2018 competitive season, failing to qualify for Dota Pro Circuit tournaments and being constantly bested by their regional opponents from Mineski, HappyFeet and Fnatic.
More recently however, TNC started to show signs of coming back to their former strength, qualifying for this tournament and winning China Top 2017.
Compared to their opponents, TNC Pro Team are just about average going into MDL Macau, so they will have to outperform in order to advance into the playoffs.
Their roster is relatively new but the individuals within it are both experienced and accomplished players. Unfortunately, EHOME hasn’t managed to obtain any notable results in recent times, so it’s hard to see them as a potential top 4 team going into this event. However, you should watch their performances closely and evaluate their real strength based on their initial match results.
They are a strong team from the North American region, but without any notable results so far at the international level. Going into the MDL Macau tournament, they’re expected to lose most of their matches and not make it into the playoffs.
Keep in mind though that they will be playing with a stand-in at this event: Damien “kpii” Chok, Newbee’s offlaner. He’s a very strong player so his presence may actually help the team to perform better.
They’re a South American team with very limited experience, both locally and internationally.
On paper, Infamous are the weakest team in this competition and are expected to lose almost every single match. The only competitors they might have a chance against are TNC Pro Team, EHOME and VGJ.Storm.
Betting Tips and Considerations
Here are a few betting tips and considerations for the MDL Macau tournament:
- For EHOME, TNC Pro Team and VGJ.Storm, this is their first LAN event of the Dota Pro Circuit. So, it’s not perfectly clear yet just how strong they are compared to their opponents. To avoid taking major risks, wait for them to play one match before deciding to bet on or against them.
- When you bet on a game, watch the drafting phase first and then place your bet. During this phase, teams often outdraft each other and secure an early advantage. If you can’t decide which team has the better hero composition, listen to what the analysts are saying and look for signals that one team clearly has a better draft than the other. The ideal scenario that you’re looking for is one in which the favorite team also has the better draft.
- Look for drafting strategies that revolve around getting the first Roshan and putting early game pressure on the enemy team’s structures. In these scenarios, the team that goes for the early push draft will often be the one to kill the first Roshan, especially, if it’s also the stronger team.
- When you want to bet on the result of a match in which one team is much stronger than the other, you can get improved betting odds by placing a bet on a game event that is consistent with the result of the match. For example, betting that team T1 (if it’s much stronger than team T2) will be the one to destroy the first set of barracks, is a game event consistent with a victory in its favor. But the odds of this event will be significantly higher than the ones associated with a victory for team T1.
- If you happen to place a bet on a top team who is playing against a much weaker opponent and the match starts to go heavily in their opponents’ favor, you can often cancel out the bet by betting enough money on the opposing team during the match, while its odds are still good enough to allow you to do this. Make sure however that when you place this second bet, the stronger team doesn’t have a hero composition that could easily come back from the brink of defeat and emerge victorious.