ESL One Stockholm... or more like No China Major?

Dota 2 Majors have always been a source of entertainment, packed with action and emotional storylines.

They hold a special place in the heart of every individual belonging to the Dota 2 community and more so at this point in time with the upcoming ESL One Stockholm Major 2022, the first Dota 2 Major open to audience, in over two years since COVID 19 struck the globe.

China, as a nation, has played an instrumental role towards the development of the game given its immense popularity and huge infrastructure set in place for the pro players by their own organisations.

But.. COVID 19 is about to dampen the spirit of the Major once again as it plays spoilsport in China and potentially cut off Chinese teams from participating in Stockholm, Sweden.

The odds of Chinese teams making it to the Stockholm Major aren’t high as Shanghai, one of China’s biggest cities, has been in a complete lockdown for nearly a month and are unable to even venture out to fulfil their needs.

Travelling Visa Limitations

Securing visas to Europe would be a tough job for Chinese netizens, but even if they do secure them then getting back to the country after the culmination of the Major would be a mammoth task in itself.

For a country trying to achieve 0 COVID cases and launching a massive drive to fully test all of its citizens for COVID, allowing reentry to China would be nigh impossible lest they want to risk a rise in positive cases with possible new strains.

Were There Really No Other Options?

Another option for Chinese teams would be to stay for an extended amount of time in Europe, but that would also set a bad precedent for timely commencement of Dota Pro Circuit China Tour 3.

The situation would be similar to the post TI10 scenario, where Chinese teams were stuck in Bucharest, Romania for nearly a month or so which caused DPC China Tour 1 to be delayed, with seemingly frustrated Chinese players yearning to go back home, away from friends and families.

Everything is up for a toss right now but China’s exclusion from the Major looks extremely likely, and thus it would be a shame for them to miss out for few simple reasons:

  • Chinese teams are extremely competitive and have been on top of their game ever since the game existed
  • Chinese teams’ inclusion would also give other regions the chance to improve themselves and understand the gameplay with a larger objective in mind – The International 11
  • Chinese players are second to none when it comes to skills and it’ll be mutually beneficial for players from other regions to learn and improve, and vice versa
  • Chinese teams always make for a great storyline, especially if the grand finals is between East vs West

Let’s hope for the best, but it wouldn’t be a surprise for teams or players missing out on the Major due to visa issues, including Eastern Europe, whose DPC Tour 2 matches have just begun, merely two weeks before the Major.