After two weeks of incredible games which were, unfortunately, marred by production snafus, streaming issues, personnel switches, and general chaos, one team rose out of the field of sixteen of the best DOTA 2 teams in the world to claim the first ever Shanghai Major championship. The playoffs were action-packed, and featured all five Chinese teams shockingly bowing out of the tournament outside the top 8, including heavy favorites EHOME, who finished in a share of last place. Swedish team Alliance, who had been rising back up the ranks after a disastrous couple of years after winning The International 3, were eliminated in a surprising upset by underdog North American squad compLexity. In the end, the two regions traditionally perceived as “weaker” going into Shanghai, the Americas and Southeast Asia, both sent two teams into the top six.
Ultimately, however, it was the European teams who won the day. Team Liquid, who had controversially not been given a direct invite to Shanghai, tore through the competition in the Upper Bracket, and after falling to the Lower Bracket, defeated defending TI5 Champions (and favorites to win Shanghai) Evil Geniuses in a 2-0 clean sweep to make it to the Grand Finals. On the other side, Frankfurt Major runners-up, Team Secret, earned some manner of redemption for a squad that had been seen as in decline these last few months, with no tournament wins and some extremely poor finishes headed into Shanghai. Secret showed why they should still be considered one of the top teams in the world, defeating Frankfurt Major champions Team OG, Evil Geniuses, and Team Liquid in the Upper Bracket to reach the Grand Finals as well. Then, to establish their dominance, Secret convincingly defeated Liquid 3-1 in a Best of Five series to clinch their victory at the Shanghai Major.
For their first place finish, Team Secret takes home over $1 million, while Liquid’s surprising second place is good for over $405,000. North American juggernaut Evil Geniuses finished third, and Korean team MVP Phoenix turned a shockingly good run into a fourth place finish to round things out.
Next up, the third of Valve’s new series of Majors moves things to Manila, with the results from Shanghai already creating questions about who will be invited to the next prestigious Valve-sponsored event!