At the end of February, some participants of ONE Esports Singapore Major 2021 were determined: the first one in more than a year. The qualifiers for the 2021 DPC major have been delayed only in China due to the local new year, with teams playing until March 13th. Here are the results and the audience statistics of the tournament.
Lower divisions results: CIS’ eternal love for Dota 2
In the 2021 season Valve introduced the system of regional leagues with two divisions instead of regular qualifiers and international minors. Participants of the lower divisions fought for getting into the upper ones, and teams from the upper divisions played for spots on major.
The competition was especially tough In the CIS, as teams like Winstrike, HellRaisers, Gambit-2, VP.Prodigy and Dendi’s B8 made their way only to the second division. This affected the viewership statistics: ESL One CIS Online Season 1 Lower Division became the leader among the second divisions by terms peak (70.8K) and average (28.9K) number of viewers.
The most popular match among the second divisions was the game between HellRaisers and B8 — 70,8K Peak Viewers. At the same time, both teams did not perform in the best way: Dendi's roster with Brazilian players failed in the group stage and was eliminated from the second division, while HR could only retain a place in the league.
Interestingly, CIS second division outperformed EU and SA upper divisions by average number of spectators. This is how Dota 2 is loved in Russian-speaking countries.
Upper divisions stats: Europe is leading by viewers
The audience was clearly hungry for competitive Dota. Compared to last year's qualifications for a major, the average audience has grown in all regions, except (surprisingly) the CIS.
Europe gathered over 106K average viewers and became the leader by the metric. Viewers actively followed the matches of KuroKy’s Nigma and OG, which became the leaders by audience on broadcasts (134K viewers on average). The most popular match was between OG and Team Secret: 244.2K Peak Viewers.
However, the two-time champions of The International did not qualify for the major: N0tail’s squad lost twice to Team Liquid in tie-breakers. Team Secret performed best of all: they won seven out of seven bo3, losing only on three maps. Alliance and Nigma also qualified for the major.
In the CIS the average number of viewers of the qualifying tournament for a Major fell by 11% (71.3K during DreamLeague Season 13 Qualifier vs 63.4K during ESL One CIS Online Season 1). The main rivalry in the region is still Virtus.pro vs NAVI: both teams qualified for the Major from first and second places, respectively. The main CIS derby gathered 173.3K Peak Viewers.
Three more NAVI games and VP vs. Team Spirit match made it to the top 5 of the tournament. Natus Vincere also became the most popular team in the region with 94.1K average viewers vs 79.4K of Virtus.pro.
CIS teams will also be represented at the major with AS Monaco Gambit: League 1’s FC and the Russian esports organization (with Noone and SoNNeikO as players) became partners in February. The team will play in the Wild Card stage with Nigma, Team Liquid and T1.
North America had three most dominant teams in the upper division: Evil Geniuses, Quincy Crew and the Undying with TI’s vice-champion MoonMeander. All three teams won six matches, but in tie-breakers Undying lost twice and lost their ticket to the major and EG claimed the 1st place.
Evil Geniuses became the most popular team in the region with 51.3K Average Viewers. Their matches took #1-4 places in the top by Peak Viewers. The most popular match was vs Quincy Crew in the group stage (114.4K simultaneous spectators).
Fnatic did not lose much after the departure of iceiceice: they won in the first division with one defeat in seven bo3. But the team is only third by average number of viewers with 48.7K, losing to TNC Predator and T1.
The peak viewers number was reached during the match between Fnatic and TNC: over 122.3K concurrent viewers. The TNC vs T1 game also gained more than 100K at peak. After a long series of reshuffles in 2020, the Korean club achieved major success for the first time: the team finished third in the league and qualified for the Wild Card stage of the major.
The third slot for the Major was earned not by TNC, but by the young team Neon Esports. The champions of MDL Chengdu Major only retained their spot in the first division of DPC 2021: they are still in a race for a slot at TI though.
Interestingly, English became the top broadcasting language in regional qualifiers (36.3K viewers at peak), ahead of Filipino and Russian. Indonesian, Vietnamese and Thai streams were also quite popular.
In South America, beastcoast had all the viewers' attention, with four of their matches hitting the top 5 by peak viewers. Dota 2 is mainly popular in Peru and Bolivia: therefore, the game between beastcoast and NoPing e-sports gathered the most viewers: over 101K at peak.
The second Peruvian team to play at the Major is Thunder Predator. Interestingly, 68% of the participants in the first division in South America consisted of Peruvians, and the only representative of Brazil was SG e-sports.
Qualifiers in China are about to end in the coming days. China is the only region with games being held in LAN format (location is one of the hotels in Shanghai) by Valve's partner in China, Perfect World.
So far, Invictus Gaming, Vici Gaming and Team Aster are leaders in the local qualifiers. PSG.LGD and Somnus丶M and fy's Elephant are fighting for the last slot. The region will have two more weeks of matches, the first of which kicks off on March 4th.
The importance of the majors has grown more than ever this year as only two are to be held until TI. Based on the fact that the teams of the five regions have not played against each other for over a year, one can clearly expect high numbers of viewers from ONE Esports Singapore Major 2021. The tournament will start on March 27th.