June 2, 2021
WePlay AniMajor — everything you need to know
18 min read
The second Dota 2 major of the DPC in 2021, WePlay AniMajor, has already finished — but you're never too late to know everything about the event!
Every Dota 2 fan who loves to watch tournaments already knows about WePlay AniMajor, the second — and final — major tournament of the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit season, which spices up the event even more. With a prize pool of $500,000 and 2,700 DPC points, WePlay AniMajor is taking place on June 2–13, in Kyiv, Ukraine. The WePlay Esports Arena Kyiv is hosting its first Dota 2 Major to date — anime-themed, with the production emanating the weeb spirit. With the stage resembling an epic anime movie and the casters turned into anime characters, the Japanese animation theme was embraced in style by everyone at the WePlay Esports Arena Kyiv!
It may be the last chance many teams have to qualify for The International 10, taking place in 2021 (after being postponed last year).
The prize allocation is $200,000 for the winner, $100,000 for the runner-up, $75,000 for the third place, $50,000 for the fourth place, $25,000 for the teams who finish fifth and sixth, and $12,500 for the seventh and eighth places.
However, the teams are also fighting for 2,700 DPC points — the most common way to qualify for The International 10 is through them. The points' distribution structure is 500, 450, 400, 350, 300, and 200 DPC points, respectively. This year’s The International is very much hyped due to the cancellation/postponement of last year’s tournament, and its prize pool will be the highest in the esports history — that’s Dota 2 for you!
The English panel of WePlay AniMajor is hosted by Jorien “Sheever” van der Heijden and Richard “Rich” Campbell. They are joined by a tier 1 team of analysts and commentators, and everyone is looking to deliver the best Dota 2 experience while helping the fans immerse in the thematic.
Schedule, teams, and structure
Eighteen teams are participating in three different rounds: Wild Card, Group Stage, and the Playoffs. The initial stage, Wild Card, has the third and fourth places from Western Europe and China, and the third places from Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe fighting each other. The Wild Card is a Bo2 round-robin stage, and the top two teams are going to advance to the Group Stage.
The participating teams are as follows, organized by the stage they are joining the competition at. Names in bold have advanced to the next stage.
- Team Nigma
- Team Secret
- Vici Gaming
- Invictus Gaming
- AS Monaco Gambit
- Team Liquid
- TNC Predator
- Team Spirit
- Evil Geniuses
- Team Nigma
- Vici Gaming
- Team Aster
- Quincy Crew
- NoPing Esports
- Team Nigma
- Vici Gaming
- Evil Geniuses
- TNC Predator
- Team Spirit
Wild Card has seen some exciting teams, many of them considered great powerhouses — so it was not easy to pick favorites — and epic matches! The round-robin stage schedule always had two matches running in parallel (stream 1 and stream 2), until a total of 15 matches in two days — without counting the tie-breaker!
AS Monaco Gambit faced Team Secret in the WePlay AniMajor opening match and tied 1-1. Simultaneously, Vici Gaming and Team Nigma also tied, and they were followed by a third tie: Invictus Gaming couldn’t pass through Execration, and they also finished 1-1. It was Team Nigma who had the first definitive win against AS Monaco Gambit: 2-0. As the event progressed, AS Monaco Gambit and Execration ended up 1-1, the same result Vici Gaming and Team Secret achieved. In the last two games of the day, Invictus Gaming managed to defeat Team Nigma (2-0), while Vici Gaming and Execration finished with the last draw of day 1.
After all of this, the final results of day 1 were:
You can check the results and the photo tour at this link! Don’t miss your chance to know how the artist Anastasia Shitz turned the casters into real-life anime characters!
The battle was not done with — every team still had chances, and the second major of the DPC in 2021 went on!
AS Monaco Gambit once again played the first game of the day, this time against Vici Gaming; however, they were defeated 2-0 by the Chinese team. At the same time, Team Secret and Execration tied 1-1. Things were heating up, and Team Nigma managed to defeat Execration in the following matchup. Vici Gaming won again: 2-0 against Invictus Gaming; a tie between Team Nigma and Team Secret followed (and yeah, this game did have some issues, but was still pretty exciting), and Invictus Gaming managed to defeat Team Secret and stay in the tournament. Vici Gaming had already secured their spot in the group stage, while Team Nigma and Invictus Gaming still had chances, so the tie-breaker match was pretty spicy.
The match generated a lot of anticipation but turned out to be one-sided. After dominating the same opponents on the previous day of the Wild Card, Invictus Gaming was defeated by Team Nigma after an almost flawless match by the Russian superstar Igor “iLTW” Filatov: he finished the game with 8 kills, 9 assists, and zero deaths.
The Wild Card stage of WePlay AniMajor was finished, and we had the two winners: Vici Gaming representing China, and Team Nigma from Eastern Europe. The other four teams were eliminated. Here goes the final results:
The Wild Card stage of WePlay AniMajor, in numbers (according to analytics agency Esports Charts):
You can learn more about the Wild Card stage of WePlay AniMajor following this link
We have only fourteen teams (counting both the group stage and the playoffs) fighting for the $500,000 prize pool and 2,700 DPC points. The group stage is starting, and our remaining fighters will not have it easy in order to get to the playoffs!
The event will proceed in the following order: Eight teams will play in a round-robin series; the top two teams will advance to the upper bracket of the WePlay AniMajor playoffs; 3rd to 6th teams will advance to the lower bracket of the WePlay AniMajor playoffs. The remaining two teams are saying bye-bye!
The day kicked off with the loss from TNC Predator against Evil Geniuses (0-2), while Team Liquid faced off beastcoast on the second stream and the game ended up in a draw (1-1). The matches were followed by PSG.LGD defeating beastcoast and the draw between Team Spirit and Evil Geniuses. After that, Team Liquid faced Vici Gaming, and things went smooth for the Chinese organization, who won the matchup, and PSG.LGD played against Team Nigma - the game resulted in a draw. TNC Predator against Vici Gaming was 1-1, and Team Spirit versus Team Nigma wrapped up the day with a 2-0 victory from Team Nigma. So full of action! At the end of the day, the results are as follows:
The AniMajor day began with the match between Vici Gaming and Team Spirit ending up in a draw (1-1). Simultaneously, Evil Geniuses could not pass through beastcoast and also drew (1-1). However, in the next matchup, beastcoast would be defeated by TNC Predator (0-2), and the European matchup between Team Liquid versus Team Nigma had the latter as a winner (0-2). Afterwards, Team Spirit got a draw against PSG.LGD (1-1), and Vici Gaming also got a draw against Evil Geniuses (1-1). The last matchup of the day featured Team Nigma being defeated by TNC Predator (0-2), while PSG.LGD beat down Team Liquid (2-0), and, just like that, the Saturday was done!
After June 5 and all the exciting matches, the scores were the following:
PSG.LGD has kicked off the day by beating TNC Predator (2-0), while beastcoast was defeated by Vici Gaming (0-2). However, Vici Gaming could not keep their momentum and lost to Team Nigma (0-2) afterwards, in the same moment PSG.LGD confirmed another win, this time against Evil Geniuses. The third games of the day featured draws between TNC Predator versus Team Liquid (1-1) and Team Spirit versus beastcoast (1-1). The next matchups had Team Liquid getting a win against Team Spirit (2-0), while Evil Geniuses versus Team Nigma ended up in a draw.
The day was done! We're getting closer to our final day from group stage - and here goes the score table after all of that action!
June 7 - Last day of WePlay AniMajor Group Stage
The stakes were higher than ever! June 7 was the last chance for teams to qualify for the playoff stage, and everyone playing this day were still alive! First, we had a Chinese duel: The already qualified PSG.LGD faced Vici Gaming. The game ended up 1-1. Team Spirit clashed against TNC Predator and also tied: 1-1. The third match of the day secured Team Nigma in the playoffs as they won 2-0 against beastcoast, ending the miracle run dream for the Latin America organization. Evil Geniuses also secured their spot with a tie against Team Liquid, who needed a win to not be forced to play another match (1-1). Those were the five last matches scheduled in the group stage! However, Team Spirit and Team Liquid were tied in the 6th place - only one could proceed to the playoffs. A tie-breaker match was set between the two organizations.
The battle for the last available spot was extremely close. While Team Liquid had swept the same opponents in the previous match between them, Team Spirit would never give up the opportunity to play in the playoffs lower bracket and created a different strategy (by banning Broodmother). The European organization (Team Liquid) built up an early advantage of over 8,000 gold, but the last ten minutes of the game were executed flawlessly by Team Spirit, and just like that, the CIS had their spot secured: 1-0!
Final results of the group stage
After all, history had already been written. PSG.LGD (1st) and Team Nigma (2nd) secured their spots at the upper bracket of the playoffs. Vici Gaming (3rd), Evil Geniuses (4th), TNC Predator (5th) and Team Spirit (6th) managed to reach the playoffs in the lower bracket. Team Liquid and beastcoast fought bravely, but they were eliminated.
According to the analytics agency Esports Charts, the group stage of the WePlay AniMajor had over 256,000 average viewers, with a peak above 427k mark! Almost 17 million hours were watched through the tournament, in 66 hours of air time.
You can read more about the WePlay AniMajor group stage by clicking this link!
The event going through, and we still have lots of emotions to bring. To stay on top of the remaining schedule, come back to this page to check what’s going on at WePlay AniMajor! We're at the playoff stage!
Will PSG.LGD and Team Nigma triumph again? Watch and find out!
The playoffs are best-of-three and started on June 9 with the following matches:
June 9 - Upper Bracket Playoffs:
Team Aster 0 vs. 2 T1
The first game of the day featured a clash between the top teams in China (Aster) and Southeast Asia (T1) Regional Leagues. However, the latter completely dominated the match and swept their opponents quickly. They will face Quincy Crew on June 11.
Alliance 0 vs. 2 PSG.LGD
The Chinese organization won the second match of the day against Alliance, Europe's top seed, with a clean 2-0 score, assuring dominance and not giving any chance for the opposition. The next match for the winning team will be against Team Nigma, on June 11.
Quincy Crew 2 vs. 1 NoPing Esports
This one was certainly the craziest series! Quincy Crew quickly reached an advantage by making 1-0, but NoPing Esports showed that they wanted to assure their spot at The International 10 - which would happen, had they won the series. After tieing up, the last game was a fiesta, where both teams had chances (literally with each team trying to destroy each other's ancient in less than one minute one from another), but Quincy Crew managed to end the game, and they face T1 in the next match.
Virtus.pro 0 vs 2. Team Nigma
Due to Miracle (Nigma's midlaner) not feeling well at the original time for the game, it was postponed and became the last game of the day. Team Nigma managed to beat Virtus.pro, but the game was not totally a walk in the park. Nigma played firmly and ended up the day assuring their next game in the upper bracket playoffs, against PSG.LGD.
June 10 - Lower Bracket Playoffs:
Team Aster 1 vs. 2 TNC Predator
TNC Predator played a strong game against Team Aster and took the win. In game 1, they overextended into the enemy’s line and threw away an enormous lead. Destiny seemed to punish TNC Predator after Aster started to dominate in the game 2, but after many pickoffs and incredible plays, the Filipino squad were able to invade the base, thus conquering the game. Game 3 was about TNC Predator assuring dominance, ending up the series and advancing to the next stage of the lower bracket playoffs! Team Aster was eliminated.
Alliance 1 vs. 2 Team Spirit
After game 1 being completely on favor of Team Spirit and game 2 being completely on favor of Alliance, the stakes were high for the third - and decisive - game of the series. However, the 25-2 score reflected how much Team Spirit dominated the final game, kicking off Alliance and going further into the lower bracket!
Virtus.pro 1 vs. 2 Vici Gaming
The Chinese organization sent a message by obliterating Virtus.pro in game 1. However, VP put up a strong fight and did the same in game 2, forcing the third game. Vici Gaming managed to capitalize in the strength of Terrorblade, winning the tie-breaking match and granting themselves a spot in the next stage of the lower bracket and also on The International 10! Virtus.pro is eliminated from WePlay AniMajor, but they already have assured their place in TI10.
NoPing Esports 1 vs. 2 Evil Geniuses
The North American powerhouse Evil Geniuses started looking strong and beat down their opponents, but NoPing was able to force our fourth tie-breaker of the day! It wasn’t easy, and the South American team had chances during game 3, but history seemed to repeat itself for NoPing Esports. After almost closing up the match, the tide turned and, all of a sudden, Evil Geniuses managed to win the game - and the series, sending NoPing Esports back home and advancing to the next round in the lower bracket.
June 11 - Lower Bracket Playoffs
Vici Gaming 2 vs. 0 Team Spirit
The dream reached its end for Team Spirit. With a consistent performance, Vici Gaming managed to defeat the CIS organization and proceed through the next round in the lower bracket playoffs. After asserting dominance in the whole matchup, the Chinese organization now plays the lower bracket semifinals. Team Spirit, considered to be a great surprise in the event after upsetting Alliance, ends their "anime protagonist run" and returns home to prepare for The International Qualifiers.
TNC Predator 1 vs. 2 Evil Geniuses
It's the end of the run for the SEA team TNC Predator. After total dominance from Evil Geniuses in game 1, with a stellar performance from EG's carry Artour "Arteezy" Babaev (KDA: 15/0/11), game 2 was a real battle, with TNC building up a gold lead but not being able to finish the game quickly. After more than 50 minutes of skirmishes, they finally managed to reach deep into the enemy's base, winning the game and tieing up the series. Game 3 had both teams crawling for space, taking every minimal resource they could, and with almost a whole hour of Dota 2, Evil Geniuses won a decisive team fight and kicked the Filipino squad away from WePlay AniMajor. This game was so intense that we had 580k concurrent viewers, the highest amount in our Dota 2 Major to date!
June 11 - Upper Bracket Playoffs
Team Nigma 1 vs. 2 PSG.LGD
This matchup was awaited by many. The two teams qualified through the Wild Card, and managed to reach the upper bracket semifinals. Both teams kept their excellent form in WePlay AniMajor, delivering a high-level Dota 2 gameplay in all 3 games. However, PSG.LGD was the stronger today, and game 1 summarized that: An almost flawless game for the Chinese squad. Game 2 was much more balanced, and Nigma relied on excellent buyback decisions to force the tie-breaker. Game 3 showed again the excellent form of PSG.LGD - Nigma started ahead, but lost the advantage in the midgame and ended up being beaten at 35 minute mark. PSG.LGD plays in the upper bracket finals, while Nigma goes to the lower bracket to try and secure their The International direct invitation (they need to reach the tournament finals). A real pilgrimage for Team Nigma so far!
Quincy Crew 1 vs. 2 T1
The Filipinos are here, and they're here to play! After losing game 1 to the North America's top seed Quincy Crew, games 2 and 3 were dominated by T1, who opened a 8k gold difference in the decisive match. Quincy Crew, however, stays in the tournament, playing now in the lower bracket semifinals. T1, on the other hand, makes the upper bracket finals against the Chinese powerhouse PSG.LGD.
June 12 - Lower bracket playoffs
Team Nigma 0 vs. 2 Evil Geniuses
The North American squad picked up two quick wins against Team Nigma, sending the latter back home. The pilgrimage was over for Team Nigma, who now must succeed at the regional qualifiers to get a spot in the upcoming The International 10! Evil Geniuses secured a quick win in 30 minutes in game 1, and after a 36-minute skirmish in game 2, the results were done. EG keeps going in the lower bracket!
Vici Gaming 2 vs. 1 Quincy Crew
After an absolute dominance in game 1 by Quincy Crew, who won the game in shocking 24 minutes, Vici Gaming was able to fix their mistakes and force a tiebreaker in the series! Game 3 featured VG outplaying QC and securing their spot in the lower bracket semifinals against Evil Geniuses!
Evil Geniuses 2 vs. 1 Vici Gaming
Arguably, the most intense series in the WePlay AniMajor so far. While game 1 featured Vici Gaming dominating the unconventional hero picks for Evil Geniuses, in game 2 the North Americans slaughtered the Chinese team in under 25 minutes game. All depended on the game 3 and, after 52 minutes, hard carry “Arteezy” managed to help and secure victory for Evil Geniuses with his Terrorblade!
June 12 - Upper bracket playoffs
PSG.LGD 2 vs. 1 T1
Demonstrating confidence and dominance, PSG.LGD took game 1 without problems; however, T1 put up an excellent fight, forcing the tiebreaker. However, the Chinese powerhouse showed again an absolute masterclass of Dota 2, sending T1 to the lower bracket last game against Evil Geniuses in for a chance to play in the event finals! PSG.LGD was our first event finalist!
June 13 - last day of WePlay AniMajor - Lower bracket last game
T1 1 vs. 2 Evil Geniuses
This match was incredibly intense (and we reached our peak viewers of 645,141 concurrent viewers)! Game 1 had Evil Geniuses’ “Abed” playing Puck with 20 kills and winning a 40-minute game. In game 2, T1 put up an extraordinary fight, and after 64 minutes of tension, the marathon ended up in the favor of the Filipino squad! In game 3, it was time for the Singaporean superstar, Daryl “iceiceice” Koh, to shine. Despite not being a carry technically, he was the heart and soul of the North American squad in this game, pushing up the victory and securing a spot in the WePlay AniMajor Grand Finals!
WePlay AniMajor Grand Finals
PSG.LGD 3 vs. 0 Evil Geniuses
We have our champions! Raising from the Wild Card with a pilgrimage of over 35 games, the Chinese powerhouse PSG.LGD demolished the best-of-five matchup against Evil Geniuses, after the North American strategy of picking Nature’s Prophet didn’t seem to pay off. Game 1 was an obliteration, and after seemly bouncing back in game 2, Evil Geniuses got outclassed and lost their advantage in a long game. Game 3 followed the same schedule, and just like that, PSG.LGD became the winner of WePlay AniMajor!
The champions: PSG.LGD! Final standings of WePlay AniMajor
- 1st place — PSG.LGD — $200,000 — 500 DPC points
- 2nd place — Evil Geniuses — $100,000 — 450 DPC points
- 3rd place — T1 — $75,000 — 400 DPC points
- 4th place — Vici Gaming — $50,000 — 350 DPC points
- 5/6th place — Team Nigma — $25,000 — 300 DPC points
- 5/6th place — Quincy Crew — $25,000 — 300 DPC points
- 7/8th place — TNC Predator — $12,500 — 200 DPC points
- 7/8th place — Team Spirit — $12,500 — 200 DPC points
Follow this link to read more about the final day!
Audience statistics of WePlay AniMajor
According to Esports Charts, WePlay AniMajor had a peak of 645,141 concurrent viewers, 272,944 average viewers, and over 37 million hours watched. The air time was 137 hours.
Where to watch WePlay AniMajor
Our English-speaking broadcast is on Twitch (if you’d like to see the second stream, click here!), YouTube, and the WePlay Smart TV App! Check out the squad mode if you’re watching on Twitch — you will be able to follow the two simultaneous games at once. Don’t miss the opportunity to see 18 world-leading teams playing against each other for the prize pool of $500,000 and 2,700 DPC points, where a clutch might await the teams desiring to play in The International 10 and fight for the prize pool of over $40 million!
To see more information about where to watch it in all available languages, click here! The broadcast is happening in seven languages: English, Russian, Ukrainian, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, and Filipino.
Pictures, highlights, and more
You wouldn’t want to miss a single moment of our Dota 2 Major! To check out every photo, see what the cameras are seeing, and have fun with the costumes and the arena theme, you can follow this link. Please remember to credit WePlay Holding when you share the pictures :)
Safety and precautions
The COVID-19 pandemic called for a set of carefully planned measures from the WePlay Holding team. To guarantee the safety and well-being of the pro athletes and the staff, media presence was restricted in the WePlay AniMajor. Everyone physically engaged in the Dota 2 Major has tested negative for the coronavirus, and nobody, except for the strictly necessary personnel, has access to the venue. However, WePlay Holding is facilitating virtual contact for the media and online interviews with the stars!
The event was a party, and the detailed themes added so much spicy to it! Congratulations to all the teams, specially PSG.LGD for their victory. With tailor-made production, the second Major of the current DPC season made our hearts beat to the anime tune until June 13.