A new challenger joins a trio of redemption seeking squads from the Major Qualifier as North America prepares to send 2 teams to the DreamLeague Season 10 Minor
With the regional qualifier for The Kuala Lumpur Major now concluded, the eyes of the Dota 2 world turn to the accompanying Minor, as the qualifiers for the DreamLeague Season 10 Minor get underway. The winner of the Minor will earn itself the 16th and final spot in the field for The Kuala Lumpur Major, but before we can crown a winner of DreamLeague Season 10, we need to know what teams are going to be competing at the even in the first place. With that in mind, we’ll continue our preview of the DreamLeague Season 10 Minor Qualifiers with a look at the North American region; one of the 2 regions that will be sending 2 squads to Stockholm instead of just 1. Similarly to the preview posts for the Major, we will be dividing the participants in this qualifier into sections based on their expectations. However, since there are only 4 teams in the field for this qualifier (3 direct invites, 1 Open Qualifier slot), we’ll be narrowing the sections down from 4 to 2: Favored Teams and Unfavored Teams.
The team(s) in this section represent the more formidable or accomplished teams in the field for the qualifier that appear to have the best chance at claiming a spot at the Minor. Given how small the field is for these qualifiers (4 teams per region), the margin between the squads in this section compared to the other may not be particularly high, but these teams have at least some small advantage based upon their roster or results in the previous Pro Circuit qualifier.
Clinton “Fear” Loomis (Stand-in)
Linus “Limmp” Blomdin
Jingjun “Sneyking” Wu
Zakari “Zfreek” Freedman
Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao
Although the team was not playing with its regular roster, compLexity Gaming was still able to put on a fairly impressive showing in its first Pro Circuit qualifier of the season, finishing 4th overall in last week’s Major Qualifier. The team ended up with an overall record of 7-6 in that previous qualifier, with all 6 of its losses coming against the 3 teams that qualified for The Kuala Lumpur Major (Evil Geniuses, Forward Gaming, and Marchoutofarmy). Of the team’s 7 wins, 4 of them came against Team Xolotl and TEAM TEAM, who join compLexity Gaming as participants in this Minor Qualifier. Combining the team’s strong record against this field in its previous qualifier run and the fact that Fear will continue to serve as a stand-in for the squad, compLexity Gaming comes out looking like a clear favorite to claim 1 of the region’s 2 available slots in Stockholm. From the way things appear heading into the qualifier, it would take either a complete meltdown on the part of compLextiy Gaming, or a truly inspired performance from multiple other squads in the field to knock the team out before it has secured a place at the Minor.
Brian “BananaSlamJamma” Canavan
ROOONS enters the DreamLeague Season 10 Minor North America Qualifier as a new addition to the North American region, at least in part. 3 of the team’s players previously competed in the qualifiers for The Kuala Lumpur Major under the name Black Sheep, posting a 3-6 record and finishing in the 7th-8th place position overall. In the week since that performance, those 3 players have regrouped and formed a new lineup in the hopes of taking advantage of what is a relatively weak field in this North American qualifier. All 3 of the opponents for ROOONS in this qualifier previously played in the Major Qualifier, and only compLexity Gaming managed to put together an even remotely impressive performance. With 2 slots at the Minor available in this qualifier, that gives ROOOONS an incredibly high chance of securing itself a place at said Minor, unless 1 of the squads that significantly under performed last week manages to pull off a near miraculous turnaround in this second qualifier of the Pro Circuit season. Barring any sort of unexpected recovery like that though, ROOONS has a solid shot at earning itself a place in Stockholm so long as it can hold its own against its regional rivals in this qualifier.
I know that “favored” and “unfavored” may not be the most dramatic of terms to divide the field for these qualifiers, but with just 4 teams per regional qualifier, it seems the most appropriate. The teams in this section aren’t necessarily underdogs or long shots, they’re just the teams that come in a little bit below the other squads in the field. Whether its a roster change or a poor performance in the previous Pro Circuit qualifier, the teams in this section don’t appear to be quite as strong as the others, though there is still a solid chance that one of them manages to make their way to the Minor.
Guilherme Silva “Costabile” Costábile
Eric “Ryoya” Dong
Braxton “Brax” Paulson
Jason “Newsham” Newsham
Michael “ixmike88” Ghannam
While TEAM TEAM’s roster boasted a fair bit of talent and regional experience, the squad as a whole simply did not impress in its Major Qualifier run. The team finished in the 5th-6th place position alongside fellow Minor Qualifier participant Team Xolotl, but won just 2 matches in total en route to that position. Under normal circumstances, TEAM TEAM would be classified as a long shot to earn itself a place at the Minor, but the situation in this regional qualifier opens up a window of opportunity for the squad. First is the fact that 2 of the 4 teams in the field will be going to Stockholm, as the North America Qualifier has 2 available slots for the Minor. That means that TEAM TEAM won’t have to be the best squad in the field to have a shot at earning one of those spots, it just has to avoid being the worst. The other factor contributing to TEAM TEAM having hopes for this qualifier is the fact that none of the other squads in the field aside from compLexity Gaming have been very impressive so far this season either. With 2 slots available in the qualifier and a field of less than impressive competition, TEAM TEAM wouldn’t have to put together a significantly more impressive showing to earn a spot at the Minor.
Jesús “Ifrit” Valencia
Omar Fernando “pika2” Velarde Leyva
Aside from a couple of members of its roster, Team Xolotl began the Pro Circuit season as a relative unknown in the North American region. The team’s play in the Major Qualifier didn’t particularly impress either, as the squad finished with an overall record of just 3-7 as it finished in the 5th-6th place position alongside fellow Minor Qualifier participant TEAM TEAM. With a poor initial performance on the Pro Circuit and a relatively unproven roster of players, there wouldn’t be much reason to get excited about Team Xolotl under normal circumstances. Fortunately for the team, these are not necessarily normal circumstances, as the field of teams for this qualifier is particularly weak and there are 2 spots at the Minor available for the 4 teams in said field. With that in mind, it wouldn’t take much for Team Xolotl to push itself into 1 of those 2 slots and earn its first appearances at a Pro Circuit event.