Who to participate in The International 2019?
Well, the season is half gone and tempers are running high. Because Dota 2 is where everything can change in a second. You remember the million-dollar Dreamcoil, don’t you? That was fucking amazing…
But enough of throwbacks, let’s look at what is happening right now. The mid-season is the hottest time for the teams because many feels like their asses are on fire. And while some lucky bastards have nothing to worry about (cos they were dope and got their points), there are always some loosey-goosey elements that give us some show to watch. And this time that’s gonna be DreamLeague Season 11.
DreamLeague Season 11 is a Major. But for some, it is THE Major — the final chance to make the team work together and earn the sought-after Pro Circuit points. Because if they don’t do it halfway through the season, there is no way they can improve it later. So here are five teams who desperately need to fix their shit on DreamLeague.
Ninjas in Pyjamas
With half the season behind, Ninjas are still dicking around trying to figure out how to be a team. And if they don’t get their shit together, they have all the chances to lose. It’s not like they’re so bad, but they are not so great either. Each player separately deserves to be called Tier 1, but together they just don’t get to this level. Because of this inconsistency, their game is like a crazy rollercoaster: today they beat Team Secret, tomorrow play with compLexity Gaming in a draw.
Qualifications for this season’s DreamLeague they passed smoothly as fuck. They quickly and successfully adopted the recent patch and made it work for their team. They gave the initiative to Neta 33 Shapira and shoved Adrian Fata Trinks more like a backup player. Fata for some time became more like an offlaner, while 33 rocked the map on a kind of nerfed (as many said) Chaos Knight.
New patch — new meta — new game. And here they somehow got lost. Competitors added to that fire by adapting to the Ninjas’ game style. As a result, NiP spent the whole ESL One trying one and another and screwing every chance to win. You just try to think of it: Peter PPD Dager who as the captain should be the most reasonable picked Brewmaster and even (oh god!) Undying. No wonder Team Secret gave them no chance to win the LAN-final.
Shitty performance on DreamLeague S11 won’t push Ninjas too low down in the score table and they’ll still have a chance to get to The International. But if even a long time spent in boot camp doesn’t have any result for the team, that will mean only one. That those dudes are just not meant to be a team. And they come forth on the first major is thanks to Mind_Control+4.
On the one hand, it’s dope to be top-2 of the region. On the other hand, top-2 of the North America region is like, I dunno, not that cool. And they can’t even defend that glorious title. They haven’t been higher than 5-8 places this season and Majors were baaaad. They lost to teams from the North America region where they are supposed to be one of the best. But not anymore — J.Storm is slowly but steadily takes Forward Gaming’s place.
When they substituted Jingjun Sneyking Wu to Saahil Universe Arora it looked like the move. Sneyking did a fair amount of job in the team and he is not a bad player, but when the TI5 champion comes in, somebody’s got to leave. But the champion turned out to be a flop. He hasn’t found his game in both old and new metas and, let’s be honest, he’s too slow for the offlaner.
They have been playing lame and everybody had noticed it. And people took their chance to blow about Forward Gaming. An analyst Jack KBBQ Chen says that Forward know their problem (sure they do! It’s impossible to close eyes on such a flimsy performance) but they don’t want to reshuffle the team. Although they should. Instead, they see a bit of blue sky in trying to change the positions of players within the team. Recent matches show that that’s where they are heading for. They want to shift roles between Universe and Arif MSS Anwar — the first one tryhards on Dark Willow and Earth Spirit, and the second is more often found on the hard lane. And it could have been a great plan if Universe had enough experience staying on a hard lane, but no, he was usually a fifth. So good luck to Forward Gaming with this strategy, they will need it.
The Dreamleague Major is the last chance for Forward to get their shit together and show some team play. They really need to fix their issues and show some decent results. Otherwise, they’re screwed. Like, if they can get to every Major even with the last place on each of them they still can get invited The International. But is it the game people want to watch?
Oh, Team Liquid! They gifted us so many pleasant memories! And we can expect to see some awesomу shit from them on Dreamleague. The Major is their chance to show that they can still do some epic gaming and get their hands on the TI9 Aegis. In perspective.
This season beginning was unstable for Team Liquid. The captain Kuro Kuroky Salehi Takhasomi admitted he demanded too much from the team after the last year’s International. Well, he had to — they came forth! But then he turned into a pussy and let the team to fuck around while others were training and practicing. On top of that, Team Liquid changed the couch and Bob’s your uncle — they are not as miraculous as they used to be (you got the reference, right, right?!)
They had a chance to rise in their full glory on The Chongqing Major but inevitable circumstances made the odds against them — Team Liquid had to play with a temporary stand-in. And the guy didn’t even speak English, lol. It would have been a miracle if they had won without Miracle in such a situation.
The sign of the team gaining strength again was their performance on MDL Macau. Boy, it was lit! They lost only two matches in Group Stage and one in Playoffs in the grand final. The final match of the tournament Miracle finished with awesome stats — 33-4-14. All the deaths were in the last game and in average he died twice in a match. One can say teams were not with their main rosters but still it was too easy for Liquid to win MDL.
The total of Pro Circuit Points of 450 brought Team Liquid to the 10th place in the leaderboard. They just need to win the Major to get a ticket to hell The International. And we don’t expect less from the main favorite.
On Dreamleague Vici Gaming are to suffer for the whole region. Chinese teams PSG.LGD and EHOME came to Sweden with temporary stand-ins on key positions and that sucks. And Keen Gaming is just not making it to the list of favorites thanks to shitty drawing: they are to play with Team Secret and Liquid. Would you expect them to make it?
In the last few months, Chinae got dragged into a transfer rush: players jump from a team to a team every two weeks joining a new one after a couple of online tournaments and quals. Vici Gaming at some point were also fucking around with the roster but made a wise choice to leave it as it was. In the final Gambit went too far with experiments and paved the way for Vici. The Minor was no sweat for them and that surprised even Vici Gaming.
On previous Majors Vici Gaming were like nothing special, but not a flop. Nobody expected them to show some sick play, but they were just OK. Got beaten by Tier 1 teams, beat weaker competitors, you know, like a good average. But now it seems they tasted blood on the Minor and aim to go this way. So they have decent chances to make a leap and get to settle among the best.
Na`Vi, Na`Vi, Na`Vi. Somehow they are still with their head above water. And they made it to the Major, so kudos to them!
On this tournament, Natus Vincere are going to be a dark horse. First of all, because it’s not the Na`Vi we used to know. They have new players (Dendi, we miss you, please come back!). They haven’t played a lot in such a composition and we just haven’t seen them in action enough to make some predictions. Last month they had only one official online match which they lost to Team Empire. Before that, they had a couple of days on Winter madness and left to get ready for the Major.
On DreamLeague Natus Vincere have two massive tasks to fulfill. First one is not to fuck up. Simple, aye? Like they need to say loudly and proudly that they are still alive and kicking. That they are good enough to claim for the championship with their new players whom we hope can do it. And the second one is to build some reputation for the CIS region and to earn one more slot for at least for the Minor. Old but Gold and Gambit kinda showed the region’s potential but it needs to be secured with a good performance in a big ass tournament. All they need is to be at least not the last. So no pressure, no pressure.