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The ESL One Stockholm Major is the first in-person Major with live fans since 2020. The best teams in the world have gathered together in the Hovet arena to battle for 3530 Dota Pro Circuit points. Here are the best storylines regarding the event.

Chinese teams are missing

Due to another spike in Covid-19 cases, the teams from the Chinese region are unable to attend the major. Xtreme gaming, PSG.LGD, Team Aster and Royal Never Give Up are some of the best teams in the world and usually have something up their sleeve to affect the meta in the group stages.

The absence of Chinese teams unfairly put an asterisk on the winner of this major. With arguably one of the best teams in the world, PSG.LGD, not present present, the competition just won’t be the same. PSG.LGD topped the region with a 6-1 record, only losing to team Aster in the second to last week of the season. They then swept Aster in the regional final to make a point that they are one of the best teams in the world. Fans will be deprived of the rematch between Team Spirit and PSG.LGD, the grand final of last year’s International 10.

Will BOOM Esports be able to recreate their GAMERS GALAXY success

In patch 7.31b, BOOM Esports were the undisputed kings of Dota, going undefeated in their own region. This season has presented new challenges, though, as Fnatic beat them in tiebreakers for the first place spot in the region.

However, BOOM Esports won the main international tournament in between the first and second tours, GAMERS GALAXY Invitational Dubai 2022. They are tested on the international stage, and that will count when dealing with the pressures of playing at a Major.

Their mid laner in particular, Erin Jasper “Yopaj” Ferrer, has been one of the best in the region. He sports one of the highest XPMs averages in the entire league at 683 and has been instrumental in all of their wins. Yopaj carries the team through the midgame so Souliya “Jackky” Khoomphetsavong can carry BOOM over the line.

The Stockholm Major will be the first Valve sanctioned event for most players

One of the largest advantages of the Dota Pro Circuit has been the large swath of new players who can now compete in Dota. Teams like BetBoom, Mind Games, Gaimin Gladiators and OG Esports all contain new players who have yet to play on a stage like the Stockholm Major.

For the longest time, it was incredibly difficult for new blood to enter the scene. Players either had to get lucky and be scouted onto a top tier team or run the tier two circuit until they somehow found a big break. However, the stability of the Dota Pro Circuit has allowed teams to showcase their talents weekly, making it easier for sponsors to get into the league and support new talent.

The Gaimin Gladiators are just one example of these teams. A combination of completely new talents like Anton “DyrachYO” Shkredov and captain Melchior “Seleri” Hillenkamp have come to the forefront of western Europe’s upper-division. Fans will now get to see them on the international stage.