The last major of Dota 2 pro circuit 2019, EPICENTER, has come to an end. This is the last big event before the year’s most important tournament, The International 2019.

The major saw the dwindling power of some of the top teams. It also marked the rise of many less established teams like Gambit, Alliance and TNC Predator.

The shaky horses

EG got off on a good start when taking game 1 against team liquid. The recent major finalist would then be overpowered by Liquid in the next 2 maps. They only managed to win Infamous in the group stage to drop down to lower bracket. They were later eliminated by OG with a sick N0tail replaced by coach Sockshka.

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EG needs to revise their gameplay before the most important event in Dota 2 happens

Fnatic, the best team in SEA server would also do the same when only managed to win against paiN Gaming to play against Forward Gaming in the elimination match. They got stomped in a one-sided match to crash out of the series scoring only 1 kill in the entire 30-min game. The team would then go for a roster change, kicking their carry MP and get their coach the fill in the blink.

Team Secret displayed a questionable performance into the series. Coming to the event, they were the favorite to win the event with their #1 standing in the world. However, they were beaten by the home favorite in the upper bracket and eliminated by OG with a stand-in.

The dark horses

Alliance displayed an impressive showing when defeating their direct rivals in the DPC race to The International 2019. They punched their way through lower bracket to win RNG 2-1 and Gambit Esports 2-0. With these victories, Alliance earned enough points to claim their ticket to this year’s The International.

The real rising underdog of this tournament was TNC Predator. Though TNC Predator has yet to be ranked among the elites, they did so well in the tournament. Ever since the addition of the ex-coach of Liquid, Lee "Heen" Seung Gon in April, the team improved greatly. They managed to finish the event #4 after defeating PSG.LGD.

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TNC Predator earned just enough point to get the direct invite to The International 2019

OG was yet another strange story. Their captain N0tail was apparently sick from some disease during the event. The team had to use their coach to play in the series instead. Yet the team managed to do so well with what they had. OG eliminated EG and Secret, the two finalists in the last major to finish 7-8th. They earned just enough points to get the direct invite in The International 2019.

The home favorite horse continued their strong form when defeating Team Secret in the upper bracket. However, they crumbled before a W33-powered Team Liquid not once but twice to finish #3 in the tournament.

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VP still maintained good performance while competing on their homeland soil

The home crowd may get a bit upset while their favorite could not keep the trophy for their region. Yet 2019 majors were pretty decent for where they finished 2nd losing only to Team Secret.

The blue-and-white horse

Team Liquid got a good tournament with the new addition of a veteran mid player, W33. Ever since the departure of MATUMBAMAN, many fans raised the question if Liquid was having problems. This very EPICENTER was the answer Kurory gave us. The team brought up a questionable hero into the scene. Windranger was the favorite hero for W33 ever since his early Dota 2 career as a mid player.

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Team Liquid showed good potential with the addition of W33

However, the hero recently got a big nerf which gave her a drop in popularity as a core hero. Yet Liquid took the risk and picked Windranger for W33 continuously. That yielded good results for the team as they made a deep run into the event.

Team Liquid managed to defeat the likes of EG, Gambit, PSG.LGD and to book their ticket to the grand final. They eventually lost to Vici Gaming after a nail-biting five-map series.

The crowned horse

Vici Gaming displayed flawless performance in the event. They did not lose a single bo3 in the series to hoist the trophy with $350,000 prize money.

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This is the 2nd Major trophy for Vici Gaming this year

In the grand final, they managed to close out the best-of-five with a dominant game 5.

What did the event show us?

EPICENTER conceded with a satisfying grand final. Other matches also showed us top-tier Dota with great strategy and big twists and turns.

Power of the Ink Sorcerer

Grimstroke was the most contested ban/pick in the series. With strong abilities to fight as a support, the hero brought great utility and source of damage to the table. Grimstroke was often combined with many strong targeting spells like Fatal Bond, Hex or large AoE skills. The recent 7.22d patch delivered a nerf to the hero but Grimstroke would remain a good pick.

Stable choices

Ember Spirit, Centaur, Warlock, Sven, and Templar Assassin were reliable picks with around 60% win rate. They are all prominent fighters with great capacity in dealing damage.

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Centaur Warrunner is a reliable choice in the Offlane position

Centaur Warrunner and Templar Assassin got a good 63% win rate, making them a great choice as core heroes for teams like Liquid and Vici Gaming.

The comeback of strong utility heroes with great late game potential

Among the picks of this tournament, we saw the emerge of heroes like Omni Knight and Enigma. They were strongly contested by teams where they displayed the huge potential in teamfights.

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The Purist made a comeback with good utilities

Omni provided the protection against physical damage burst, a good counter against the right-clickers like Slark, Emer Spirit or Medusa. Enigma showed up with a large AoE BKB penetrating disable while dealing good damage.

Big Surprises

EPICENTER featured some great comebacks that were breathtaking.

TNC Predator vs PSG.LGD – game 2

In the match between TNC Predator and PSG.LGD, the SEA delegate pulled off a huge comeback. TNC was under a big lead by PSG.LGD with 14k in net worth difference. LGD was doing so well that they took most control of the map.

TNC did a great job with the 3-man black hole, bring the gold lead to just 8k. After that, LGD struggled to close the map and eventually lost the game.

Team Liquid vs Vici Gaming – game 4

The Chinese squad was taking control of the 4th game with a significant gold lead. It peaked at 42k net worth difference at around the 60th minute of the game. Team Liquid made a huge swing in the game with great defense.

Vici Gaming went on a rage where they bought back and died back one by one. Liquid took the chance and ended game.

One interesting thing in the match was the situation where Team Liquid got the Roshan. They decided to go for Smoke of Deceit to kill Troll Warlord and Rubick. Later on, they got the control of Roshan Pit. Miracle- got Arcane rune for his Arc Warden. He spammed Sparkle Wrath inside the pit just right before Roshan appeared. The luck came in when Roshan respawned just right that time.

A meme was made about the surprising Roshan attempt

The Dota 2 community was quick to make a joke out of it. This referred to the situation back in The International 2013. In the semi-final, Natus Vincere used the Fountain Hook bug to win the game against Tongfu. Loda made a public complaint about the abusive bug and argued "Tongfu had that game! Is that balanced?"

The lucky Roshan provided Team Liquid great gold to make the eventual comeback. This seems to be the luckiest situation in the whole tournament.


Team Liquid lost to Vici Gaming in the grand final. However, The MVP award went to the lost team’s carry player, Miracle-.

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The MVP was not from the tournament winner

We have 1 more month till The International 2019. Stay tuned for more updates on one of the most hyped Esports.