Dota 2's four massive tournaments per year have their latest iteration kicking off tomorrow with the Shanghai Major proving the half-way point between last year's Frankfurt event and the Manila Major in a few months. Sixteen of the best teams from around the world have been invited or made it through gruelling qualifiers to compete for $3,000,000 of prize money and the status of defacto best team in the world.
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Taking place, as you might have guessed, in Shanghai makes it a bit more awkward for the majority of Western audiences than you may be used to. Each day begins at 9am local time on the 25th, which is +8 from UTC. That means 1am 25th GMT / 2am 25th CET / 5pm 24th PST / 8pm 24th EST. An evening's entertainment for lucky Americans, but Europeans will need to go nocturnal or stock up on replays.
This schedule maintains during the group stage, which lasts from the 25th through to the 29th. There's then a few days of respite before the main event kicks off on the 2nd of March, with broadcasts starting an hour later. Every day of competition is scheduled for around 12 hours of play and analysis, so no matter where you are you should be able to catch some of it live if you want to.
As for the competitors, here's a list of the groups and teams:
- Group A: CDEC Gaming, EHOME.cn, MVP Phoenix, Team Secret
- Group B: Alliance, Fnatic, Team Spirit, Vici Gaming
- Group C: LGD Gaming, Newbee, OG, Team Archon
- Group D: compLexity Gaming, Evil Geniuses, Team Liquid, Virtus.pro
That's also the order the groups will be broadcast in, each being a mini double elimination bracket. The teams that go 0-2 and 1-2 will be seeded into the lower bracket of the main event, while those that go 2-0 and 2-1 will be in the upper bracket. You can see how all this breaks down on Liquipedia. The official site will keep you right with coverage links, as it will be watchable in-game as well as via Twitch and Steam Broadcasting.