Whoever planned the BEAT Invitational did so with a heap of psychic foresight. Of course, there’s the irony of being the first-ever Canadian Dota 2 LAN the weekend immediately after the dramatic US general elections, with jokes of Canadian immigration flooding the Internet.
This leaves BEAT as the definitive final showcase for many of the top teams in the pre-Majors season
The tournament cuts it close to Valve’s own Boston Major, running just under a month before the multi-million dollar event. Had the tournament been planned any later while avoiding The Summit 6, it likely would have suffered the fate of DreamHack’s long-standing DreamLeague, which lost five teams due to the Major’s sudden and unprecedented announcement. (Not that BEAT didn’t lose any teams, as Digital Chaos left and was replaced by fellow squad NP, which took second in BEAT’s NA qualifiers.)
This leaves BEAT as a definitive showcase for many of the top teams of the pre-Majors season, as six teams in this tournament will also appear in Boston. The two left behind are Alliance, invited to BEAT before they fell through in the Majors qualifiers, and NA pub-star squad FDL (Friendship, Dedication, Love), which beat NP in the NA qualifiers for their first LAN appearance.
Wings is expected to continue its dominance over the scene
For North American Dota 2 fans, BEAT fills a gap that ESL One left when it switched their NYC event to CS:GO and Street Fighter V. While the finals of the event will be the only staged portion of the event due to a venue snag, the organizers have reserved nearby hotel conference rooms as viewing space for the tournament stream, honoring email confirmations for finals tickets as entry.
This gives Northeast Dota 2 fans an opportunity to come together and follow the pre-Majors narrative as it unfolds in Montreal. Chinese squad Wings is expected to continue its dominance over the scene, and Alliance has the opportunity here to redeem itself in the eyes of its fans, even if they won’t be present in Boston. The Greek team Ad Finem will be able to show its chops after qualifying for the Majors, their first Valve event, while FDL gets one more chance to prove their strength in their tough-love scene, and compLexity warms up their new roster with Monkeys after Justin’s recent hiatus.
Most importantly to some, with four NA teams in the mix, including strong favorite Evil Geniuses, the USA has plenty of chances to chant and cheer. It’s time for excited Americans to grab their passports and pray that the border guards will accept “esports” as a valid tourist attraction.
Update: This article originally claimed that BEAT was the last tournament in the pre-majors season. It has since been corrected.