Ukraine-based tournament organiser WePlay Esports announced on Monday (17 May) that they will be hosting the second and final Major of the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC), called the WePlay AniMajor, in Kiev, Ukraine, from 2 to 13 June.
As with all Major tournaments under the new DPC format, the WePlay AniMajor will feature the 18 best teams from the circuit's six regional leagues fighting for their share of a US$500,000 prize pool and 2,700 DPC points.
The WePlay AniMajor will unfortunately not have a live audience due to "the epidemiological situation" in Kiev, WePlay said in a post on the Dota 2 subreddit.
"Unfortunately, the epidemiological situation in Kiev does not allow us to receive guests: the tournament will be closed to spectators, as the players and employees’ safety is our highest priority," said WePlay Esports.
The WePlay AniMajor will be the final opportunity for many teams in the circuit to earn all-important DPC points to go towards securing a direct invite to The International 10 (TI10), which will be held in Stockholm, Sweden this August and will feature a US$40 million prize pool.
North American powerhouse Evil Geniuses are the first of 12 teams to earn enough points to guarantee themselves a direct invite to TI10. Invictus Gaming, the champions of the ONE Esports Singapore Major, as well as Virtus.pro, the top dogs of the CIS regional league, are also expected to secure their invites once the regular season concludes.
The WePlay AniMajor is the first Major to be hosted by WePlay Esports and is its second DPC event after the WePlay! Bukovel Minor in January 2020.
As its name implies, the WePlay AniMajor will have an anime-inspired theme. The organiser is well-known for the unique themes and aesthetics of its tournaments, which have captured the sensibilities of the Dota 2 community over the years. The theme of the Major comes after the Dota 2 anime, DOTA: Dragon's Blood, which was released on Netflix in March.
WePlay AniMajor format and participating teams
The WePlay AniMajor will be split into three stages — namely, the Wildcard Stage, the Group Stage, and the Playoffs — with six teams starting the tournament in each stage. The two teams with the best record in the Wildcard Stage will advance to the Group Stage, from which six teams will advance to the Playoffs to compete for the championship while two others will be eliminated.
The 18 participating teams in the WePlay AniMajor Major are comprised of the best teams from the DPC's six regional leagues in Europe, China, Southeast Asia, the CIS, North America, and South America. Europe and China each have four representatives, Southeast Asia and the CIS each have three, while North America and South America each have two.
The top teams of each regional league have been directly seeded to the Major Playoffs, the second-placed team of each league will start from the Group Stage, while two teams each from Europe and China as well as one team each from Southeast Asia and the CIS will start from the Wildcard Stage.
As of the time of writing, Alliance from Europe, Virtus.pro and Team Spirit from the CIS, as well as NoPing Esports from South America have been confirmed to be participating in the WePlay AniMajor.
Only the Top 8 teams in the WePlay AniMajor will be able to receive a cut of the US$500,000 prize pool and 2,700 DPC point pool, with the champions taking home the grand prize of US$200,000 and 500 DPC points.
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