A trio of returning squads from the Major Qualifiers welcomes a new challenger as 4 teams compete for South America’s 1 slot in Stockholm
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 South America. 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 (2 direct invites, 2 Open Qualifier slots), 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.
Jeremy “Jeimari” Aguinaga
Juan “Atun” Ochoa
Jose “Sword” Nicosia
Elvis “Scofield” De La Cruz
Sergio “Prada” Toribio
Thunder Predator put on one of the more impressive showings in the Major Qualifier last week, as the Peruvian squad posted a 11-6 record that saw it come just 1 game away from securing a place in Kuala Lumpur. Overall, Thunder Predator lost just 3 series in its qualifier run, 1 against Infamous and 2 against paiN X, with the latter not participating in this Minor Qualifier. That leaves the team with a fairly solid shot at success this time around, so long as it can avoid any significant drops in its level of play. Since the last time we saw the team in action was just around a week ago, it seems unlikely that Thunder Predator has suffered any serious shifts in its style or team chemistry at this stage. The South American region has built up a bit of a reputation for being unpredictable outside of the top 2 or 3 teams, but Thunder Predator has an incredibly valuable opportunity to rise up from that perceived chaos and carve out a place near the top of the regional hierarchy if it can overcome its regional rivals an secure a place in Stockholm.
Enzo “Timado” Gianoli
Mariano “Papita” Caneda
Adrian“Wisper” Cespedes Dobles
Farith “Matthew” Puente
Joel “MoOz” Mori Ozambela
Infamous began the Pro Circuit season with a duo of relatively unproven players on its roster in the form of Wisper and MoOz, but the team did not seem to be particularly weighed down by those less experienced players in last week’s Major Qualifier. Infamous ended up finishing in the 5th-6th place position in that qualifier, posting a 4-7 overall record in the process. While the team’s record as a whole was not quite as impressive as we may have hoped, the play of the team was a bit more encouraging, as Wisper and MoOz seemed capable of holding their own against the team’s regional rivals. After fighting its way through the Open Qualifier for the DreamLeague Season 10 Minor, the team appears to have built up a fair bit of momentum and confidence for itself heading into this qualifier, and those factors will play a significant role for the team this time around. With the field of teams reduced to just 4 for this Minor, there is precious little room for mistakes on the part of Infamous. However, the reduced field and the lack of a Group Stage also potentially sets up Infamous’s core duo of Timado and Papita with a shot at simply carrying this team to success if it can manage to put together a couple of truly inspired performances. With the team’s Support duo holding strong and Wisper beginning to look more confident in the Offline, this Infamous roster is already shaping up into a more serious threat within the South American region.
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.
Alonso “Minoz” a.k.a. “Kotarō Hayama” León
Leonardo “LeoStyle-” Sifuentes
Abraham “Kingteka” Canez
Steven “StingeR” Vargas
Christian “Accel” Cruz
Braxstone entered the new Pro Circuit season in a position where we weren’t entirely sure what to expect from it, as its roster contained a number of talented and known players but hadn’t played any official matches together. The team certainly managed to impress in its first Pro Circuit action though, putting together a 4th place finish in the Major Qualifier with a 6-6 overall record. There were only 2 significant concerns for the team after its qualifier run had concluded: the first was its loss to paiN X and the second was the fact that 3 of its 6 series were played against a single opponent in the form of WP Gaming. The first concern won’t factor into this qualifier run, as paiN X will not be participating in this qualifier. As for the second concern, there isn’t really a definitive answer just yet. In the team’s 3 series against teams other than WP Gaming, it ended up beating Astini777 while losign to both paiN X and Thunder Predator. It remains to be seen if Braxstone’s solid performance in the Major Qualifier is due to the team’s strength or a favorable and repeated match up. No matter what the answer is, Braxstone still has a shot at claiming the lone South American slot at the Minor in this qualifier, but knowing where the team stands in relation to its regional rivals will almost certainly play a larger and larger role as the season progresses.
Benjamín “Benjaz” Lanao Barrios
Diego “Jericho” Rivera
Fanboys- comes into this Minor Qualifier as a relatively unknown squad, though it does have the benefit of being led by a pair of regional veterans in the form of Benjaz and Jericho. Under normal circumstances, a team of unproven players, even with the leadership of more experienced veterans, wouldn’t register as much of a threat the claim the sole South American slot at the DreamLeague Season 10 Minor. However, with just 4 teams in the field for this qualifier, and no Group Stage to be played, Fanboy-s has the potential to compete for and even win that sole spot at the Minor if it can manage to get on a hot streak at the right time. With the majority of its roster relatively unknown within the South American region, there is a strong possibility that 1 or more of the squad’s opponents simply underestimates the team or ends up failing to properly scout or prepares for it. All it would take is 1 or 2 small mistakes on the part of its opponents to open a window for Fanyboys- to find success in this qualifier, and the Peruvian squad has to hope that it is sufficiently prepared to take advantage of those mistakes should they occur.