Dota 2 Berlin Major: Full preview and survival guide

New patch, stacked groups, and a lot of Dota to play.

The Dota Pro Circuits next milestone event is here, with the best teams from around the world converging in Berlin to compete at the 2023 seasons second Major. This is where things start to heat up, as several teams can almost guarantee themselves a spot at The International 12 if they perform well on ESLs latest stage.

There are teams like Gaimin Gladiators, Team Liquid, and Shopify Rebellion that will treat this as another chance to dominate the competition and grab additional DPC Points.

But, for others like BetBoom Team, Tundra Esports, and SM, this is the time to build momentum heading into the Summer Tour.

The event will run from April 26 to May 7, splitting its time between a stacked group stage and the usual double-elimination bracket. The focus this time wont just be on the teams since this will be the first full Major played on Dotas Patch 7.33leaving the door open for what could be the most dynamic, or messy, high-level gameplay in years.

Dota 2 Berlin Major: Full preview and survival guide

Just like with every other DPC Major, Valve has 18 teams from across six regions competing for their share of $500,000 and 2,700 DPC Points. Because this is the second Major of the season, those points can start to swing the race for TI invites.

With Berlin being the first Major to feature Dota 2 Patch 7.33 from the start, there will be plenty of teams that focus on experimenting and trying to find what works during groups. As the event goes on, the meta will begin to steady and players will have a better idea of how to approach the game, even if it has only been a week since the new update launched.

What to focus on in the Dota 2 Berlin Major group stage

Image via Wykrhm Reddy on Twitter

While Patch 7.33 is going to make the group stage a battleground of ideas where Dota 2 fans might get to see who really spent a lot of time testing builds out post-launch, the main thing to keep an eye on is Group A. Because Major groups are formed based on seeding from the DPC Tour tied to the event and no other factor, this can occasionally lead to some weighted placements that potentially shape how everything runs. This is the case with Berlin since Gaimin Gladiators and Liquid are in the same group.

That means the two top teams at the last two tier-one events are going to be dictating the pace for an entire group that also features Team Aster and EG, two rosters that finished in the top eight of the Lima Major.

Only six teams out of the nine in each group will move on to playoffs, and only four of those rosters will make it through the upper bracket. Barring some huge upsets, four of those six spots are likely takenwhich leaves TSM, PSG.LGD, BetBoom, and Execration battling with Eastern Europes top-seeded 9 Pandas for those remaining seeds.

Group B is a little more open, with Shopify Rebellion and Talon Esports looking like early favorites. But there is plenty of room for Team Spirit, Tundra Esports, Xtreme Gaming, and other squads to make some noise too.

Teams to watch in the Dota 2 Berlin Major

If you have been keeping up with competitive Dota over the last several months, Gladiators and Liquid are the obvious names to watch heading into the Berlin Major. 

Both teams earned an invite out of the games current strongest region, Western Europe, and have continued to impress with their dynamic gameplay and steady approach to drafting. At the Lima Major and DreamLeague Season 19 the two clashed multiple times, traded games, and eventually met in the grand finalswhere GG took two titles.

DLS19 saw the two teams play on Patch 7.33 in the playoffs, and most fans are expecting a rematch this time around in Berlin. Maybe Liquid can finally crack through GGs consistently stellar performances.

Related: Team Secret back on track after near-undefeated DPC season

Outside of the top two, there are plenty of eyes on Talon Esports to see if Southeast Asias top team can repeat a performance like they had in Lima and crack top four again. The same applies to Shopify, though NAs favorites have been keeping pace with the EU juggernauts of late with their third-place finish at DLS19.

If you are looking for teams that might bomb out, those eyes shift to China.

Most interesting storylines at the Dota 2 Berlin Major

While the region isnt completely out of the conversation, China has gone from a global Dota superpower to a flash in the pan where a single team making a run at a big event is considered a good outcome.

Xtreme Gaming, with the top seed out of the region and the addition of Kaka, is where most fans see hope for China. This is especially true since Aster is playing with SumaiL as a stand-in and that leaves a big question mark on their ability to make it back into the top eight of a Major.

SumaiL is just one of several players moving around to play as a sub during the Major due to visa issues impacting teams during travel too. OG, 9 Pandas, and BetBoom are also being affected and could are now wildcards.

Even without Pure, BetBoom needs to get a run going this time around, as they bottomed out of the Lima Major and have yet to show a flash of being the super team they appeared to be in the Winter Tour this year. Another early exit could lead to a serious shakeup. 

The 7.33 Patch should keep things interesting regardless of what teams bring their a-game, especially with Valve dropping an update just hours before the event begins. 

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