OpTic’s Dota 2 team found itself 9th in the Dota Pro Circuit standings, after placing second at ESL ONE Birmingham. Falling short in a 3-0 to Virtus Pro in the grand finals, the hope of taking home first and securing a direct invite to TI was gone with the sight of VP hoisting their trophy beneath the spotlight. With both the roster and fans left thinking “what if,” they began looking forward to the Online North American Qualifiers where the team would have to battle for their chance to compete on the biggest stage this year in Vancouver, Canada.

But as quickly as the fans cleared out of the arena in Birmingham, whispers began circulating about the potential roster moves on the horizon for opposing teams, and the faintest hope began to surface that the fight for DPC points was not yet over for OpTic. As OG (the other OG) was forced to withdraw from the China Super Major due to roster changes, this opened up one spot at the final DPC event of the year. Being 9th in the standings and the highest ranked team uninvited to the Major, the OpTic team was invited to compete and once again have the opportunity to play their way into TI - and for $30 million.

The 16-team Super Major in Shanghai will be the largest and most competitive Dota event yet this year, as all eight of the highest ranked teams will be in attendance and looking to find their form leading into TI. OpTic’s sights are set on a top four finish to secure the roster enough TI qualification points for a direct invite to the year-end event. The three teams currently sitting in the 4-8 positions of the standings (VGJ.Thunder, Newbee, Vici, Mineski) will all be in attendance at the Major. Should OpTic place top four and ahead of these teams, they will solidify their invite and be able to avoid qualifiers altogether, moving from ninth to inside the top eight.

Outside of the four teams directly ahead of OpTic in the standings, all eyes will be on Evil Geniuses and VGJ.Storm at the event. Both North American teams made roster changes since roster locks, and they were effectively ruled out of direct invitation to TI. Should OpTic not directly qualify, these are considered the biggest competition in the Regional Qualifier for TI’s designated North American spots. The qualifier is filled with talented teams who, on any given day, can be among the best in the world.

EG, having recently released Misery and Fear to acquire proven veterans S4 and Fly from OG, will be competing in their first event as this current iteration. On the other hand, VGJ.Storm have gained momentum ever since adding Resolution to their roster (also an addition from OG), placing second at the MDL Changsha Major and first at the GESC: Thailand Minor.