Five PH teams begin Dota Pro Circuit campaign

Five Filipino teams plunge back into action as they kick off their campaign in the Closed Qualifier Stage 1 of the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC)-Southeast Asia. 

Coming off the holiday break, Smart Omega, Cignal Ultra, Execration, Neon Esports and Vice Esports duke it out against three other squads for the four remaining spots in the upper division of the first SEA Regional League. 

Filipino powerhouse team TNC Predator, which ruled the Beyond The Summit (BTS) Pro Series Season 4--the last tournament in the region prior to the holiday season--has already been seeded into the upper division along with Fnatic, BOOM Esports and T1. 

Read: TNC, other PH teams set to compete in new DPC season

The first qualifying stage features best-of-three matches in a double-elimination format, with the top four finishers advancing to the upper division where the Major participants will be determined. 

Screen grabbed from Liquipedia

Cignal Ultra and Vice Esports open the hostilities on Monday at 1 p.m. followed by the match pitting Filipino support Michael "ninjaboogie" Ross and Malaysian veteran Chai "Mushi" Yee Fung's Team SMG versus Vietnamese team 496 Gaming at 4 p.m. 

Another Filipino clash is slated as Smart Omega and Neon Esports collide at 7 p.m. 

Meanwhile, Execration will start its campaign against Malaysian squad Galaxy Racer led by seasoned pro player Lee "kYxY" Kong Yang on Tuesday at 1 p.m. 

Teams will need to win two series to enter the upper division. 

The bottom four squads will be relegated to the Closed Qualifier Stage 2 where 12 teams, eight from the four Open Qualifiers, will battle for the eight slots in the lower division.