The push towards the Shanghai Winter Major in March continues its trek through the East with another huge LAN event featuring the top teams in the world, with nine of the ten participating teams also set to attend Shanghai. All eyes were on Team OG, the European squad which had won two major LANS in the fall but had not competed in a single professional match since the latest patch, as well as the four Chinese teams taking part, as questions have begun arising about China’s lack of results in major tournaments over the last year or so.
While OG showed some of their previous dominance, setting any concerns to bed before Shanghai, they ran into the juggernaut that was the Chinese-based EHOME, and ended up finishing third overall. Meanwhile, TI5 champions Evil Geniuses struggled early, but fought their way through the Lower Bracket and into a Grand Final match against EHOME. Ultimately, EHOME swept the Finals, earning first place and over $100,000, the first Chinese victory in a major international LAN since before TI5.
The other story of the tournament was the continued fall of Team Secret, an independent squad that was expected to be a massive force on the scene, but have had disappointing results ever since finishing second at Frankfurt. Once again, Secret fared poorly, surviving the group stages but falling quickly in the playoffs, to a 7th/8th place finish. With rosters locked for Shanghai, the question has to be: can this team get it together and put together a run at the Major, or will we be seeing a new Team Secret when the third Major of the year rolls around in the spring?