By Radu Muresan
June 11, 2019
The StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 2 is the last Minor of the Dota Pro Circuit and the final chance for its eight participants to secure a ticket for the event that comes after it, the EPICENTER 2019 Major.
StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 2 is scheduled to take place in Kiev, Ukraine between June 12th – 16th and has several strong teams in attendance, so you definitely don’t want to miss it.
StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 2 brings together eight teams from all of the six main regions.
The clear favorites are NiP, Winstrike Team and Mineski, followed by Complexity and Alliance. At this level of competition, the skill difference between the teams isn’t that significant, although I would definitely place NiP above everyone else and regard them as the single best participant at StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 2.
Like every DPC Minor, StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 2 offers $300,000 in prizes and 500 qualification points for The International 2019. But unlike other DPC Minors, it offers two tickets for the Major that follows it instead of one. So both of the Grand Finalists will attend the EPICENTER 2019 Major, which is great news for everyone involved.
Practically, 25% of the event’s participants will advance to the next phase and get a real chance to earn enough points to finish in the top 12 at the end of the season. This, of course, translates into a direct invite to TI 9.
StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 2 takes place in two stages.
The Group Stage is unusually long given the fact that the whole event only lasts five days. Three of them are dedicated to this stage, which consists of two GSL groups. In other words, two groups that will be played in a double-elimination format.
This stage of StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 2 consists of another double-elimination format, but only the best four teams of the group stage (two from each group) will take part in it.
Throughout the event, every match is a Bo3 apart from the Grand Final (Bo5).
The two groups of StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 2 will each consist of four teams and their members have already been decided.
In this group, Alliance and Winstrike are the big favorites. Although, in spite of their recent string of poor results, let’s not underestimate EHOME either. Chinese Dota is known for its amazing players and their deep understanding of the game, and EHOME has some of the biggest names in the history of Dota playing for them. If they have managed to get their act together over the last month or so, then we might see EHOME impress at StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 2.
Apart from NiP, who is the main favorite here, the battle for the second position in Group B will be fierce. Under normal conditions, Mineski would be the one to qualify. However, Complexity Gaming has had fairly good performances lately and then there’s also Team Sirius, which cannot be neglected simply because they’re from China.
Everyone knows that to survive a Chinese qualifier you need to be really good. Because lots of other teams compete for the same spot. And since China is a huge place with a formidable Dota 2 culture, any team that comes from there has a bit of an edge over competitors from other regions. As they say, 4K MMR in China means 6K MMR in North America.
Here’s a brief analysis of the most important teams that will attend the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor.
Led by none other than ppd, the former captain of EG and probably the only TI champion at this tournament, NiP way above everyone else in terms of skill. If we were to judge by the qualification points difference, NiP is more than four times better than EHOME, who is the next team in line in that department.
No doubt, NiP will play relaxed here, knowing that they’ve already secured a direct invite to The International 2019. For them, being at the EPICENTER 2019 Major is purely optional. They would still love to be there, of course, but they don’t have to. And that, I believe, will help them play better and not worry so much about the stakes.
This season, NiP took part in three out of the four Majors so far and got fairly high placements: 4th, 5th – 6th and 9th -12th. Overall, they’re sitting at number eight in the global rankings, so at least in theory, I have no reason to doubt their ability to win a tournament like StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 2.
Mineski has had a rough season so far, being ranked 16th at the moment in the Dota Pro Circuit table with just 266 points. The team is not to be underestimated though, as they took part in the last two Majors and finished 9th – 12th in both. So you might say that they’re a top 12 team in terms of skill.
Also, at ESL One Mumbai 2019, back in April, they finished 2nd after losing to Keen Gaming in the Grand Final. Their performance throughout that tournament was still excellent though, which is why we regard them as one of the favorites here, at StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 2.
Alliance had real chances of doing well this season, but they simply didn’t manage to make the best of them. They are now sitting at number 14 in the DPC rankings, with 299 points. However, that’s not very relevant when you consider their overall results throughout the season and the recent form that they’ve shown.
In terms of notable results, alliance placed 9th – 12th at The Kuala Lumpur Major, 13th – 16th at The Chongqing Major and 3rd at OGA Dota PIT Minor 2019. However, over the last six weeks, they haven’t shown any real sign of strength. And at their latest tournament, ESL One Birmingham 2019, they actually finished 11th – 12th out of 12 teams.
Alliance is still a fairly strong team at this level, so you should keep an eye on them during StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 2. Just don’t expect them to win the title or be in the Grand Final. Because the chances of that taking place are minimal.
And finally, the last team I want to talk about is Winstrike. These guys have a roster made up of many important players who have made big names for themselves in the CIS region. Take Lil or Silent for instance, two very strong competitors with plenty of experience and big results over the course of their career.
But what about the team? Well, when it comes to results, Winstrike has had a dead season so far. They did finish 9th – 12th at The International 2018, but since then they’ve only crashed and burned at pretty much every event they attended.
The big change that resulted in this participation at StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 2 came as a result of making several roster changes. Winstrike brought in Lil (former Virtus.pro player), NoFear and Cooman just one month ago. Subsequently, their roster is now completely different and has nothing to do with the failures of the past. And based on what I’ve seen them do at recent events, I think they have an excellent chance of doing well here, at the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor.