DotA2 Winter Cup Preview

Mega8 Esports | DotA2 Winter Cup Preview

It’s a Swiss Revolution

With the DotA2 Kiev Major now firmly behind us (OG won, in case you live under a rock and didn’t know) local DotA2 teams are preparing for a fairly packed upcoming competitive period. Teams are already preparing to battle it out for their share of prize money (Telkom DGL Masters LAN is around the corner).

Mega8 Esports (Facebook | Twitter | Website) have recently announced their own DotA2 tournament, also set for this month. They’ve aptly dubbed this event the Winter Cup. If you haven’t seen it yet, you really should check out the Mega8 Esports Winter Cup announcement video here. After the success of their recent CS:GO tournament, expectations are high for the Winter Cup.

Qualification Stage | The Swiss Romance

The Mega8 Esports DotA2 Winter Cup is set to take place over two distinct stages. First, the qualification stage, where 16 teams compete in a Swiss style format between the 13th and 14th of May. How does the Swiss format work, you ask? For some quick insight I suggest checking out this article by Ben “Noxville” Steenhuisen or this brief video by Thorin about the Swiss format being used in CS:GO.

The 16 teams confirmed for the event are as follows:

  • Aperture Gaming (Masters)
  • Ventus DotA (Masters)
  • White Rabbit Gaming (Masters)
  • Energy Esports (Masters)
  • Veneration Esports (Masters)
  • Pulse Gaming (Masters)
  • xTc Gaming (Masters)
  • eXdee Gaming (Masters)
  • Bravado Gaming (Might as well be Masters)
  • Mythic Gaming (Prem Div.)
  • DUC (Prem Div.)
  • Sinister5 (Prem Div.)
  • Puzdik (Prem Div.)
  • 322 420 (Prem Div.)
  • Lekker manne (2nd Div.)
  • Cause Gaming Academy (2nd Div.)

Main Event | Only Mega8 Remain

After the qualification stage is over the 16 initial teams would have been cut down to just 8 remaining teams. These teams will then battle it out over the course of a weekend in the main event not unlike what we’ve just seen at the Kiev Major. This is a single elimination Bo3 format leading up to the Bo5 Grand Final. The main event will take place from the 26th to 28th of May. The prize pool has yet to be announced.

Winter Cup Predictions (w/ @SargonDotA2 and Schlinks)

We got together with Nicholas “Schlinks” Dammert (Facebook | Twitter) of White Rabbit Gaming to look at the 16 teams in the Mega8 DotA2 Winter Cup and predict how things might pan out.

@SargonDotA2: Your first attempt at scrying the runes with us today. We’re all keen to hear your thoughts, but before that, I have some fanboy questions for you first. I’ve always wanted to know… What’s up with your name? Is it that slinky toy from my childhood?

Schlinks: Yes, you’ve got it! It’s based off that slinky toy. On the Warcraft Twilight servers someone had already used a version of the name Slinky. So I changed it up a bit and made it something unique that wasn’t already taken. It just sounded cool, and I’m obsessed with all names that start with S.

You’re also a tad bit Rubick obsessed. What gives?

I feel I can actually make plays and do things on Rubick, like outplay your opponent! Compared to other supports Rubick is way more fun to play and you can make flashy plays. I feel I excel on those flashy heroes, even in support role.

So how are your Kiev Major Bracket predictions going and who did you pick to win it all?

I picked a lot of these predictions with my heart instead of who should be winning. So my predictions have been going pretty badly! Right now I have six right and six wrong because I voted Random winning, and obviously I got the Secret one wrong.

I think everybody did!

Yes, that was really crazy. But I voted EG all the way because I’m an EG fanboy. I don’t think they’re currently the strongest but we’ll see. (Eds: RIP EG!)

Let’s quickly discuss the 8 teams you don’t think will make it from qualifiers into the main event. Why aren’t the following teams in your top 8?

I think a lot of the teams haven’t played in elimination tournaments against some of the top teams a great deal. I see some teams are in 2nd Div. and Prem Div., like Mythic Gaming. You guys have some experience playing against good teams. Some of these teams don’t have that much experience, though. That might be a huge wake up call for them. This will be a good experience for them to learn and grow. The Masters circuit really helps teams play at a high level consistently, so it can be tough for non-Masters teams.

Alright. Let’s do some predictions. Who finishes in 8th?

8th are Mythic. I think inexperience is mainly why it’s only an 8th place finish. You’ve only just joined the Masters boys for this upcoming Telkom DGL LAN. I think playing more tournaments over time and you’ll get better. Not quite there yet, but definitely by later in the year Mythic could cause some upsets!

You can say next year, that’s what we’re aiming for!

Alright! Haha. The 2nd Masters LAN will be difficult to qualify for, with Bravado now in the mix. But all this experience will help.

Wait… We have to do that all again?! Haha… 7th place?

Pulse. They’ve been losing games in Masters I think. I’m not 100% sure, but they were looking really strong at the end of Leg 1. Not so strong recently in Ballistix or Masters Leg 2. I’m not so sure what that’s about.

Deathy recently joined the squad and it seemed to inspired some recent success. Thoughts?

I heard about that supersub! I wish I watched those matches to be honest, because that was a surprising result. Especially considering I’m holding ApG to a higher standard here.

Supersub indeed! 6th place?

Veneration. I think they’re not going to come 7th/8th, maybe better than that. They will be stepping up and improving, but I don’t think they’re quite there yet. They have the potential to come top 4 though.

Cotta and Muzzy are strong players, while the team has tons of synergy. I don’t see them coming lower than this either. What about 5th place?

Bravado Gaming. They need time to gel into their role swaps. They have really good players, they just need to get used to that. They’ve been swapping a lot lately, or at least in the last month or so.

I think it depends which Bravado show up, honestly. If they’re playing in their old positions, they can beat almost anyone on the day. But let’s move on to the big guns. Who ends 4th?

I think ApG is going to come 4th. They’re looking good so they’re going to do better than their Ballistix run. I don’t think that they are quite on the level that xTc is going to show, as well as Energy. I think they just need some more time. I’m keen to see what they bring out for Mega8.

Sounds fair. In 3rd place?

xTc. Depi is going to go ham. Actually, 2nd and 3rd are probably interchangeable. xTc on a good day I think can take on Energy and beat them, honestly. Energy are just more well rounded at the moment. xTc plays a lot around their mid player, Depi. He’s the main focus. I know Adastam is in carry role, but usually when you watch xTc you’re watching the mid Depi matchup. He plays those Castaway type big mid heroes.

I think xTc and ApG could go either way, but this slightly favors xTc based on recent results. 2nd place?

Energy. I love their map movement. Chelsea in general is phenomenal, and his in game leading/ganking is specifically impressive. Him with Strike, their movements around the map and their smoke ganks are seriously good. They’re my favorite team to watch play in South Africa at the moment. Like I said, xTc on the day, sure, they can pull out the win. But Energy otherwise. That’s what I think. Energy are looking like our strongest opponents right now.

Yes, Energy have really become a force in the scene. So who do we think is going to come 1st?

Haha. There are a lot of factors why I think we’re 1st. Specifically our core players. Our supports play around the cores a lot. I think we currently have the highest skilled core players in the country. We play to their strengths so they can carry us. In general our practice schedule is really gruelling, often against highly skilled 6k teams in tier III to tier II scrim groups. That, with a really long bootcamp, is going to really count. I’m confident.

So WRG to absolutely dominate?

That’s what I think is going to happen, but all the teams are going to be practicing. Everyone is going to come prepared. We’re currently ahead, but we’re not going to slack off. We want to stay number one!

I agree with your predictions and I’m particularly liking how focused WRG sound here. Is this the new WRG ethos?

After watching the Secret SG game I honestly think we are not going to go easy on any team. I know we’re playing Mythic in Round 1 of the Masters LAN. There’s going to be no trolling. I don’t know about my team, but I’m taking every game as seriously as I can. We’re not underestimating anyone, because SG beating Secret just opened my mind. We’re hard working and we’re not going to slack off like other teams have done in the past.

Lastly, who is the dark horse of the tournament? Absolute outsiders, zero chance to win it, but in your heart you know they can do something!

Honestly I think it’s Veneration. Huge respect for Muzzy as a mid player and as a player in general. I think he’s honestly en route to being one of the top mid players in South Africa, for sure. I think he’s going to do really well this tournament, personally.

I played with him in Pulse last year. The guy has huge talent, certainly, and some of his plays are amazing. Let’s just hope he can put team first when it counts. Then I think Veneration could really cause waves!


These are some spot on predictions, in my opinion. Can you briefly tell us how you came to these conclusions/predictions? I generally consult the Martian Society of Occult Astronomers for my solo predictions.

My predictions mainly derive from both the past Ballistix tournament, and how I think things will play out thereafter. I’m more confident in my upper-half predictions as I was able to play against most of those teams in that tournament (which was fairly recently), while my bottom-half predictions are mainly based on the team’s results in recent tournaments. That being said, the DGL Masters Leg 1 LAN will play a huge role in Mega8 proceedings. Without Masters in the picture, that’s how I think the results will go.
I think I prefer my way. Yours sounds too much like hard work! Thanks again Schlinks!

That’s A Wrap

Schlinks hits the mark with this batch of predictions, most of which I’m in agreement with. The Mega8 Esports DotA2 Winter Cup is shaping up to be a tournament you don’t want to miss! Bookmark the dates and show the local players/teams some support!

TL;DR Schlinks positive WRG can maintain position as best DotA2 squad by the end of May. Ventus sneak 4 teams into the Winter Cup. HellbirD’s support Viper incoming! (Eds: No, it’s not!)


Chris “@SargonDotA2” House

(Facebook | Twitter | Zombiegamer)