First stage of closed qualifiers for the first season of Southeast Asia Regional League, part of the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) is done and dusted.
Four squads joined the Upper Division and will fight starting with January 18 for one of the three slots to the first Major of the year allocated for SEA. Once the DPC was re-installed, the region entered a frantic shuffle and some rosters announced just mere days ahead of the qualifiers looked on paper as true contenders for the upper division. However, the underdogs prevailed and none of the SEA stars gathered at Team SMG, playing with Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung and Michael “ninjaboogie” Ross, nor Galaxy Racer lineup that features Lee “kYxY” Kong Yang and Adam “343” Shah made it out of the qualifier. Neither the former Adroit Esports roster, now playing for Omega Esports managed to reach the top four.
From those expected to claim an upper division spot, it was only Neon Esport who delivered, crushing the upper bracket to emerge as the first team qualified. Coming also from upper bracket games, the Vietnamese squad 496 Gaming joined them by taking clean 2-0 victories over SMG and Execration.
The lower bracket battle was won by Vice Esports and Execration, who are the final two teams to join the SEA upper division.
SEA Regional League upper division teams:
- Fnatic (direct invite)
- TNC Predator (direct invite)
- BOOM Esports (direct invite)
- T1 (direct invite)
- Neon Esports (closed qualifiers)
- 496 Gaming (closed qualifiers)
- Execration (closed qualifiers)
- Vice Esports (closed qualifiers)
SEA qualifiers continue with stage two of the competition, where eight more teams will advance to the lower division. The four losers of stage one, Omega Esports, Galaxy Racer, Cignal Ultra and Team SMG will fight against eight squads coming from open brackets. The 12 teams are split into two groups of six and will play in a single Round-Robin format. Top four from each group will make the cut to the lower division.