While there are those who doubt the growth of Dota 2 in the global eSports scene, those who write long think-pieces or supposedly earth-shattering exposés about the behind-the-scenes turmoil of the popular MOBA, it doesn’t appear that any of those people work for Valve. Indeed, recent developments in the Dota 2 scene indicate that it is full-speed ahead, as far as the PC gaming giant is concerned.
In what is perhaps the most under-the-radar development, the Dota 2 International tournament this year will have a reserve a spot for South America, the way they do for other regions. For those who don’t follow Dota 2 too closely, this is something of a rarity in official Valve tournaments, which include the “Major” series (Boston Major, Kiev Major, etcetera) and the International, Valve’s multi-million-dollar annual tournament. South America is often considered the weakest region for Dota 2 eSports. In fact, this is only the second time a slot specifically for South America has been opened up at an official Valve Tournament. Previous Valve tournaments have lumped North and South America into “The Americas” for purposes of qualifiers.
This all changed when Valve carved out a qualifier spot for South America in the Kiev Major. While this created a controversy among spectators, wondering if that slot would be better served in a more competitive region such as China or CIS, Valve soldiered on, opening the door for South American Dota 2. For good measure, the relatively unknown Brazilian team SG e-Sports kicked the door down.
Coming into the Kiev Major, SG e-Sports was considered something of a token – they were only there because Valve wanted a strictly South-American presence. In the group stages, the Brazilian team played like it, not winning a single game on their way to a sixteenth seed in the single-elimination tournament. That meant they had to face the top-seeded Team Secret. While no one was looking, SG e-Sports pulled off what is perhaps the greatest upset in…