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The ESL One Dota 2 Stockholm Major has concluded with Western European juggernauts OG being crowned as champions and claiming the grand prize of US$200,000 and 680 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) points.
OG's incredible run at Stockholm places them in third place on the DPC leaderboard and guarantees them a spot at The International 11 (TI11), which will be held in Singapore in October.
One of the best things about international Dota 2 tournaments such as the Stockholm Major is that they allow players and fans get to witness how teams in different regions approach the game. Every region has its own take on the metagame and strategies that work for them.
With that said, which region had the best understanding of the game? Which region performed the best on the big stage at Stockholm?
That's what we will examine in this article, where we will compare the average placement of each region in the Major and see which one is ahead in the meta and which regions are lagging behind.
It's important to note that Dota 2 tournaments can have several teams finish in the same placement.
Teams that are eliminated in the quarterfinals have a 5-6th placement. For the purposes of this article, teams in such situations will have the same average placement for all of them.
In the previously mentioned case, Beastcoast and Thunder Awaken finished in the 5-6th spot and both will use placement of 5.5 for calculations.
Of course, China won't be included in our ranking since Chinese teams were unable to attend the Major due to recent lockdowns and travel restrictions in China caused by a rise of COVID-19 cases.
With all that out of the way, here's how we ranked each region's performance in the Stockholm Major, going from the worst to the best:
5. Southeast Asia
Team placements: BOOM Esports (9th-12th place), T1 (9th-12th place), Fnatic (7th-8th place)
There was a lot of hype surrounding the three teams from Southeast Asia heading into the Stockholm Major. BOOM Esports won the Dubai Invitational while T1 and Fnatic are both experienced against international competition.
After a competitive Spring Tour, it looked like the Stockholm Major would be Southeast Asia's best chance at winning a second Major.
But in the end, the region ended up being a letdown, with the weakest showing among all regions and an average team placement of 9th place.
There was a lot of bad luck affecting the Southeast Asian teams.
Firstly, BOOM Esports weren't able to get their team into Stockholm until the day the tournament started, which made it difficult for the team to perform at their best.
Fnatic and T1 also faced off against each other in the lower bracket, forcing Southeast Asian teams to eliminate each other in order to advance.
Overall, it was a disappointing performance by the region, but not completely surprising.
Southeast Asia has always struggled on the international stage and time will tell if the region can get in shape by the time TI11 rolls around. Southeast Asia raked in US$12,500 and 240 DPC points in total.
4. Eastern Europe
Team placements: BetBoom Team (7th-8th place), Team Spirit (9th-12th place), Mind Games (disqualified)
Eastern Europe joined the Stockholm Major much later than the other four regions. The region is going through massive political upheaval due to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
As such, it was expected that the teams competing wouldn't be able to put up the same outstanding performance the region has shown in previous tournaments.
TI10 champions Team Spirit only managed to finish in 9th-12th place, BetBoom Team finished in 7th-8th place, while Mind Games were disqualified due to visa issues, presumably similar to the reason OG's Russian duo were not able to attend the major.
In the end, Eastern Europe teams ended up averaging 9th place as well.
Team Spirit ended up being among the first teams eliminated in the playoffs and received no prize money or DPC points for their effort.
BetBoom Team fared slightly better, securing US$12,500 and 240 DPC points.
3. North America
Team placements: Evil Geniuses (13th place), TSM FTX (2nd place)
North America only had two representatives at Stockholm: Evil Geniuses (EG) and TSM FTX.
EG has historically been one of the best teams at international events, almost always securing a Top 3 finish.
Yet despite EG's history, the team absolutely imploded during the group stage and only won two out of their 12 games.
It was the worst result for the team since their 13th-16th finish at the EPICENTER Major nearly three years ago.
It was left up to TSM to represent North America in Stockholm, and boy, did they deliver.
TSM made an incredible upper bracket run, defeating some of the strongest teams of Western Europe in Tundra Esports and Gaimin Gladiators before ultimately falling to OG in the grand finals.
Thanks to TSM's amazing performance, North America averaged 7th place as a region and secured USD$100,000 and 610 DPC points.
2. South America had the second-best regional performance
Team placements: Thunder Awaken (5-6th place), Beastcoast (5-6th place)
Similar to Southeast Asia, South America is another region that tends to look great during the regional leagues but falls apart against international competition.
While South America stumbled at TI10, Thunder Awaken and Beastcoast were in fine form at the Stockholm Major, with both finishing in 5th-6th place.
South America also ended up being the kryptonite for Eastern Europe. Thunder Awaken sent BetBoom Team to the lower bracket while Beastcoast eliminated Team Spirit and BetBoom from the tournament.
Both regions played an aggressive playstyle but it was South America that perfected it.
In the end, South America took home USD$50,000 and 770 DPC points. Thunder Awaken and Beastcoast have 1040 and 995 DPC points respectively, notably giving them a 97% of making it to TI11.
1. Western Europe
Team placements: OG Esports (1st place), Gaimin Gladiators (4th place), Team Liquid (9-12th place), Tundra Esports (3rd place)
With the most representatives in the tournament, it was likely that Western Europe would do well in the Stockholm Major. Not only did a Western European team end up winning the whole thing, but three of the top four spots in the tournament went to teams from the region.
A lot of the region's success is owed to OG, who managed to win their fifth Dota 2 Major, tying with Team Secret and Virtus.pro.
The fact that OG managed to succeed despite having last-minute stand-ins makes the team's success even more impressive.
Gaimin Gladiators also impressed at Stockholm with a 4th place finish, giving them enough DPC points to make it to TI11.
Tundra Esports' third place finish is also the team's best performance this season. Meanwhile, Team Liquid was the only team from the region that failed to make it to the Top 8.
Overall, teams from Western Europe averaged fourth place in the tournament. Thanks to three strong representatives, Western Europe took US$325,000 as well as 1670 DPC points.
No other region had half as much success as Western Europe in terms of either prize money or DPC points.
Otomo is a long-time gaming enthusiast and caster. He has been playing games since he was 10 and is the biggest Dota 2 fan.