The 2018-2019 Dota Pro Circuit is now over. We are less than a month away from The International 2019 and we figured this would be a good moment to take a look back at the tournaments that led us to TI9. In today’s chapter, we make a pit stop in Kuala Lumpur, the home city for the first Major of the season.
Nov 9 – 18, 2018 Kuala Lumpur Major: A Happy Birthday to Paul “Redeye” Chaloner
For the esports veteran Paul “Redeye” Chaloner, Kuala Lumpur Major carries a special meaning. The one who is often regarded as the father of esports got to celebrate his 47th anniversary on the KL Major stage. For the last two decades, Redeye dedicated his life to esports. He started as a commentator back in 2000. When he joined the Dota 2 scene he was already one of the biggest esports figures with a huge fan base built through his passion for StarCraft, Counter-Strike or Quake. His first ever experience with Dota 2 as a tournament host came in 2014 at ESL One Frankfurt and from his first days in the Commerzbank-Arena, where the Towers were Turrets for him, Redeye has now been the anchor host for 29 Dota 2 tournaments, including three TIs.
In terms of team performances and the importance Kula Lumpur Major carried for those fighting for a spot at TI9, this was without a doubt a tournament to remember for CIS Dota fans and especially for Virtus.pro who took the Championship title home. Kuala Lumpur is also the place where a new rivalry started. Team Secret came in second at the end of an exciting, five hours long grand finals, which was only the preamble of the whole season.
As a tournament without a drama is, unfortunately, the exception in the Dota 2 pro scene, Kuala Lumpur Major was not one of those were everything ran smoothly. A few days before the event started, Ninjas in Pyjamas’ captain Peter “ppd” Dager announced via Twitter that they couldn’t find a solution for the team to arrive in Malaysia with their Israeli offlaner Neta “33” Shapira.
Because of a rather peculiar diplomatic relationship between Israel and Malaysia, 33 had to watch the tournament from home while Ivan Borislavov “MinD_ContRoL” Ivanov stood in for NiP, but it all turned for the better as the team grabbed a bunch of DPC points after they reached the top four in Kuala Lumpur, a performance that they didn’t repeat at any of the next Majors.