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Here’s how EPICENTER XL can shake up the Dota Pro Circuit rankings

Vici Gaming and VGJ.Thunder should seriously be worried right now, but PSG.LGD gets to fight for its life

Part of EPICENTER 2017 Day 2's opening ceremony.

The Dota Pro Circuit’s first-ever season is coming close to conclusion, which means things are coming down to the wire for any squad still in the running. Epicenter XL is coming up in the end-season sprint, with 1500 points on the line as a Major — followed by two more Majors, a Minor with 300 points and the Super Major with 2250.

But focusing on the now, there are a few ways things could go for some of the teams. Of course, the teams in the top eight don’t have much to worry about: if they make it into the top four, which earns them QP points, the rich get richer.

Viewers should look out for two teams with QP looking to stay in the races: PSG.LGD, currently in eighth, and Natus Vincere in tenth.

Right now things are looking scary for PSG.LGD, who have an opportunity to keep a grasp onto their bottom Direct Invite slot, with 1821 QP. The good news is, they’re attending this Major, meaning that any win within the top four will give them room to breathe. But if not, they could be in hot water.

If any one team registered officially for the Dota Pro Circuit and isn’t in the top eight takes first, they’ll instantly knock Vici Gaming and VGJ.Thunder down a place with 2250 QP (versus, respectively, 2160 and 1935 QP) — and PSG.LGD will leave the rankings. And it’s possible, though perhaps not likely, given the list of potential contenders: paiN, FlyToMoon, Natus Vincere and Team Empire.

The good news is, if PSG.LGD took at least fourth in this situation, adding 225 QP for a cool 2046 QP, it’d be VGJ.Thunder left out of the equation instead.

Natus Vincere have a bit of a struggle to make it into the running, as they’re in tenth with 1199 QP. They go in, though, knowing that a top three finish will do a lot for them. If they place third and PSG.LGD doesn’t place at all, they’ll take PSG.LGD’s spot in eighth and can breathe before the next event. But if PSG.LGD gets that fourth place finish here, they still need to show up and fight at one more DPC event.

The bottom line is, every event, every match and every game counts for every DPC squad. And while many of these squads will get a second wind with the rest of the DPC season’s events (or TI8's regional qualifiers), when it all boils down, it’s good to be on top. EPICENTER XL will give a few teams a chance to rise.