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The Western Europe Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) has always been one of the most competitive regions of Dota as the home to several major and International winners like Team Secret, OG, Team Liquid and Nigma Galaxy. However, with new teams rising up the ranks and some old favorites showing chinks in their armor, there’s real contention for the region’s four major slots. Here’s where things stand ahead of the last three weeks of the season.

Team Liquid dominate the Western Europe DPC

Until their loss against Nigma Galaxy on Jan. 11, 2021, Team Liquid were undefeated in the Western Europe DPC with a 5-0 record. This year, Team Liquid made changes that put them even further over the top. The addition of Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen and Ludwig “zai” Wåhlberg has propelled this team that barely lost out on Major qualification last year into a team that is now solidly first in the region.

While there were questions about Samuel “Boxi” Svahn’s move to the four position, his transition has been smooth so far. MATUMBAMAN in particular has once again shown his ability to play a large pool of heroes, switching from early game-centric picks like Slardar and Bristleback to late game carries such as Gyrocopter. So far, this has helped them start the season with only a single loss to 5 wins. With this roster of Boxi, MATUMBAMAN, zai, Aydin “iNSaNiA” Sarkohi and Michael “miCKe” Vu it seems Team Liquid can do no wrong.

Rise of Team Tickles

Team Tickles have come out of nowhere to surprise the entire region. Despite being built from the remnants of Vikin.gg, a team that was at the bottom of last year’s regular season, this brand new roster is full of players who had previous opportunities elsewhere but never reached the highest echelon of Dota competition.

One of the best stories out of Team Tickles is the return of Marcus “Ace” Hoelgaard. Ace once played for Team Secret as a carry player and has made a return to the highest level of Dota in the off lane. His Tidehunter, Night Stalker and Lycan, in particular, have carried many of Team Tickles’ games, with a 8/4/18 scoreline against OG helping carry Team Tickles against one of the up and coming rosters in Western Europe. If Team Tickles can continue prove themselves for the rest of the season and make it to the major, it would add another tough team to the pool of Western EU DPC contenders.

Team Secret and Nigma Galaxy are off to rough starts

Team Secret and Nigma Galaxy have always been a given in the Western Europe DPC scene. Both teams are led by longtime captains in Clement “Puppey” Ivanov and Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi, respectively, and despite most analysts putting them at the top of the standings early in the season, they have struggled so far. Both teams are currently 3-3, and if the season ended here, neither team would make the Major.

Team Secret, for example added Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan and Daryl “iceiceice” Koh Pei Xiang in the offseason with the hopes of creating a super team, but so far they haven’t come together. Now they face Team Tickles in their next match, and even if they win, fans will probably see at least one tiebreaker at the end of the season.

Will the rest of the season go differently for these teams? The most recent win by Nigma Galaxy against Team Liquid marks their third straight win in a row as they beat Alliance, Team Secret and now Team Liquid. There are definitely signs of life for the veteran squad, and there is still a chance they make it to the major.

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