MVP Phoenix, the on-paper worst team at the Dota 2 Shanghai Major, 4-0 the group stage

MVP phoenix shanghai

Things do not always go according to plan. The first day of the Shanghai Major, one of Dota 2’s biggest tournaments, is still ongoing, but today’s biggest storyline has already been told. Heading into the major with anything better than a quick exit to be considered a great victory, South Korean team MVP Phoenix have managed to pull out two massive upsets to top their group without dropping a single game.

Well apparently just about anybody can beat the best team in the world these days, so you better get started with the best Dota 2 heroes for beginners.

To put it in perspective, MVP Phoenix weren’t even a dark horse, they were just an assumed win. They weren’t invited like the eight best teams in the world, nor did they qualify from a difficult region, or even come first there – SEA is considered the weakest of Dota 2’s strongholds, and MVP made it through in second place behind Fnatic. While America, Europe and China all have very strong teams in their own right, no SEA teams received direct invites.

In their group was EHOME, arguably the tournament favourites and the best China can offer, CDEC Gaming, another strong Chinese team and the struggling but still superstar-packed Team Secret from Europe. Nobody would have bet on MVP Phoenix over any of these teams, at least until they shocked EHOME by sweeping them 2-0 in the first match of the day. They did the same to Team Secret to get out of the group, and none of them games were even especially close, ending long before 30 minutes in the majority of cases.

Analysts are pointing to a lack of preparedness for MVP’s aggressive playstyle, hence why they ran one of the best teams in the world over in 18 minutes. With them now sitting in the upper bracket waiting for the main event next week, how their eventual opponents study their play will be key. It could also be the point where Korean dominance finally arrives in Dota 2, as the eSports nation has focused so far on League of Legends and StarCraft II, as well as their own games.

More games throughout the week, here’s the Twitch channel it’s being broadcast on: