Dota 2’s Arlington Major has a packed schedule ahead. Sixteen matches on the first day, the next day, and so forth. Yet, the opening matches are arguably the most important as we realize which teams look promising and set the tide of battle for the days ahead. There are plenty of roster swaps and stand-ins in Arlington, and predicting outcomes becomes tricky business.
However, here’s our set of predictions for the first day at Arlington Major 2022.
Group A tests Europe & China top seeds on Day 1
Fnatic vs OG/Outsiders
Fnatic has a rough debut ahead as they face two strong opponents. Facing Team OG with Sébastien “Ceb” Debs as their motivation (hard) support was a terrifying experience on day 1. After all, the lather did win the Stockholm Major 2022 with the exact line-up. And when Fnatic thought they could have a break, they had to face Outsiders (formerly Virtus.pro). The Arlington Major is Outsider’s first major debut of the DPC (2021-22) season, but they put up a prominent forefront by defeating the International 11 (TI11) Champions, Team Spirit.
Talon Esports vs PSG.LGD/Thunder Awaken
Talk about yet another one-sided match; there’s Talon Esports versus PSG.LGD and Thunder Awaken. Talon is a relatively new team from Southeast Asia with the backing of veterans and prodigies. Yet, they will pale in comparison to PSG.LGD, the Chinese powerhouse which won the Riyadh Masters 2022 recently. While most powerhouses eventually fall off from their prime, LGD remains uncontested in the grand scheme of DPC performance.
Thunder Awaken is also a huge favorite going into Arlington, albeit not as flashy as OG or LGD, per se. Instead, they offer an alternate sense of strength with their consistency to be on the same playing field as other well-performing candidates. Nevertheless, TA might not be in their best form today as they play with a stand-in, which makes for a good handicap in Talon’s favor.
Other Group A matches
Besides that, other match-ups are relatively fair, but we wouldn’t put our word on Quincy Crew’s guaranteed victory, especially since they are against Team Liquid and RNG. Liquid needs no introduction as a viable team from Western Europe, but RNG is the more significant threat coming into Arlington. And that threat goes by Anathan “ana” Pham, the retired two-time champion who stand-in for RNG.
Words on the street were that ana has high compatibility with Chinese teams since he kicked off his pro career in the Chinese pro league himself. Let’s hope it wouldn’t be as bad as ana’s experience with Team Liquid at Riyadh Masters.
Fortunately, Liquid is playing with their full-fledged roster here at Arlington, so we can rest assured they will fair up well against OG too. Both rivals have been at each other’s neck as long as DPC WEU Tours started, so it’s a fair match-up.
Group B may show Team Spirit dominance or flop
Evil Geniuses vs BOOM Esports/Team Aster
Over at Group B, Evil Geniuses are the most anticipated team to watch, especially after revamping their strategies and players. Fortunately, BOOM Esports makes for a good contender as they are SEA’s strongest team this season. EG is also up against Team Aster, a Chinese powerhouse that has garnered infamy as a Chinese veteran’s club.
As much as we want to root for EG, the odds are against it to win versus BOOM and Aster in their opening matches at Arlington Major.
Team Spirit vs Beastcoast/Tundra Esports
Team Spirit is certainly not a team we had like to call ‘underdog’ going into Arlington, but with their upset at Stockholm Major and losses to regional rivals. They are a difficult team to recommend as a safe bet to win. They will have a bout versus beastcoast, which eliminated the former from Stockholm. Their other match versus Tundra Esports is a cause for concern too. Mainly, Tundra’s momentum since DPC Tour 1 is an understatement as they become staples in Western Europe.
Other matches in Group B
The Natus Vincere’s namesake is a sight for sore eyes as they bring nostalgia. For what they are worth, Navi is nothing more than a husk of its former glory, which makes their round vs Entity and beastcoast fairly even. Well, beastcoast might be more potent in this match-up because of their accomplishment at Stockholm.
On the other hand, BOOM vs Tundra will be a treat as both teams are highly regarded for being top candidates from their respective regions. Perhaps this will finally settle the score between SEA and WEU on which region is superior.
That sums up the upcoming day 1 at Arlington Major, which is quite a stacked betting slip if you are rooting for these teams. Nonetheless, we will mention the remaining matches, namely Outsiders vs RNG and Entity vs Aster. In hindsight, the Chinese powerhouses’ debut is still the talk of the town, so that’s two in the bag for the Chinese counterparts.
Anyways, we will know for certain at the end of the day whether the Chinese teams are worth the hype or it will be yet another success story for the European teams at Arlington Major.