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Revisit the Manila Major - When PGL got the mix just right

The Manila Major was the perfect Major, and new host PGL got it spot on in a tournament that thrived off the passionate home crowd. The Manila Major capitalised on the failure of the Shanghai Major and is well remembered for its passionate crowd. The ESL One Manila a few weeks before had already given a taste of how passionate the Filipino community was, and the Manila Major used the same location but placed the stage right bang in the middle. The crowd at the Manila Major was the best of the four Majors we've had so far, which is unsurprising considering the Mall of Asia Arena was the biggest venue of the four along with the infamous Shanghai Major's Mercedes-Benz Arena. The Mall of Asia Arena could accomodate 15-20,000 people, and the Filipino fans made the arena come up alive during the Manila Major. The Manila Major was the first Major that PGL hosted. The Manila Major's cosplay competition was a huge success and PGL even went out of their way to provide commentary of the contest. What is more the player profiles PGL showcased due to the tournament, such as Febby's story of being homeless or Moonmeander's tales of skipping school and climbing back through his bedroom window to play Dota, were extremely well produced and gave a much deeper insight into popular players than we were used to seeing. Overall the Manila Major felt like it had made steps to become what many of us had expected the Majors to be, a mini-TI. There were a couple of dramas, the most notable the disappointing and terribly overpriced Legendary Box in the Secret Shop, but that was organised by third party Pop Life Entertainment in another building, not by PGL.



At the Manila Major both EG and Secret were the first to fall, despite placing top 3 at both the Frankfurt and Shanghai Major. This left Liquid and OG to fend off the Chinese and SEA teams in the final 6. Team Liquid, who were competing with Jerax and FATA at the time, made a incredible run through the lower-bracket after a loss to MVP.Phoenix in the opening round of the playoffs. Liquid eliminated compLexity, Navi, Fnatic, LGD and finally Newbee to reach the Grand Finals of the Manila Major. THeir final encounter with OG was the crescendo the tournament. OG were looking to become the first team to win two Dota 2 Majors, Liquid were looking for their first Major title after taking out 5 teams back-to-back. Liquid actually took the first game of the Grand FInals with an unusual Riki pick for Kuroky, who when combined with Jerax's Disruptor's Glimpse and the raw damage output of Matumbaman's Ursa, decimated OG 38-9. However, Liquid were outdrafted and outplayed for the remainder of the Grand Finals which was a shame considering the expectations that had been building up as Liquid continued their rampage in the lower-bracket. Regardless of the Grand Finals the Manila Major set the standards for what we should expect from a Major and was an excellent first step for PGL. Whether it was the greatest Major yet is hard to decide because it did follow the worst Major by far. We'll let you decide.

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