4 recently altered squads look to make their roster changes pay off as they fight for the lone South American slot at The Bucharest Minor
With the regional qualifiers for The Chongqing Major now officially concluded, the eyes of the Dota 2 world turn to the accompanying Minor, as the qualifiers for The Bucharest Minor are set to begin. The winner of the Minor will earn itself the 16th and final spot in the field for The Chongqing Major, but before we can crown a Minor Champion in the Romanian capital, we need to know which teams are going to be competing at the event in the first place. With that in mind, we’ll begin our preview of The Bucharest Minor Qualifiers with a look at the South American region. 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 qualifiers.
Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao
Enzo “Timado” Gianoli
Mariano “Papita” Caneda
Jingjun “Sneyking” Wu
Joel “MoOz” Mori Ozambela
Infamous made some pretty big news in both the South American and North American regions within the last few days, as the Peruvian organization announced the addition of former compLexity Gaming members EternaLEnVy and Sneyking to the lineup. Under normal circumstances, a team changing its roster so close to the start of a regional qualifier would come as something of a red flag and a possible cause for concern. However, in this instance, every team in the field for this Minor qualifier has made changes to its roster recently, which significantly reduces the negative impacts of those moves. For Infamous, who add a duo of veteran players to an already talented roster, the path to success appears to be a fairly straightforward one. With every team looking to adjust to their new lineups, the potential is there for Infamous to simply out play all of its opponents in this field via its raw talent alone. It may not be the most elegant way for the team to christen its new roster, but if it earns Infamous a return trip to the Pro Circuit stage, then the team likely won’t care how it got there.
Adrian “Wisper” Cespedes Dobles
Elvis “Scofield” De la Cruz Peña
Junior“Yadomi” Reyes Rimari
The youth squad of the Infamous organization put on a rather impressive show in the Major qualifier, as the team managed to finish with a 5-8 overall record and a 4th place finish overall. With the recent changes to the organization’s main squad though, Infamous Young has taken on a slightly different look as it prepares for this Minor qualifier. The addition of Wisper and Scofield to the team’s lineup introduces and increased level of talent and experience that is almost sure to make the team a more formidable force against its regional rivals. The issue of team chemistry may play some small factor for this squad as it looks to earn its Pro Circuit debut, but the fact that all of the other teams in this qualifier are also adjusting to recent roster changes mitigates the concern regarding that particular issue. With only a single slot at the Minor available in this qualifier, Infamous Young will have little room for error with its new roster, but the squad still appears to be in a stronger position with its 2 roster additions.
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
Eliseo “Faker” Arancibia
Jose “Sword” Andree Nicosia
Steven “StingeR” Vargas
Christian “Accel” Cruz
Anytime a team finds itself disqualified from an event, it becomes hard to gauge just how it will respond in the immediate future. In the case of Playmakers Esports, it was caught with a stand-in that was not properly identified, but the team appears to have now stabilized its roster, at least for the duration of this Minor qualifier. While the squad posted a 3-4 record in the previous Major qualifier, it is hard to tell how much of that performance is still applicable to this squad considering the changes it has made to its roster in the days since. The majority of the team’s lineup is unchanged from what it was meant to be heading into this round of Pro Circuit qualifiers, but enough has changed to introduce a fair bit of doubt. The questions regarding Playmakers Esports are most likely ones that can’t truly be answered until we see the squad play. So for the time being, the lingering uncertainty will drop the squad down into the lower end in terms of its expectations at this Minor qualifier.
Guilherme Silva “Costabile” Costábile
Leonardo “Mandy” Viana
Benjamín “Benjaz” Lanao Barrios
Kaue “Cys” Camuci
Emilano “c4t” Ito
WP Gaming is a squad that has had to endure a higher than average number of roster changes so far this season, as the team has seen its lineup altered 5 times now in just 3 months. However, the squad has managed to survive those tribulations, and this current iteration of the roster has earned an opportunity to fight for a shot at the organizations first ever appearance on the Pro Circuit stage. The roster that WP Gaming has put together is certainly not short on talent nor experience, as many of its players have seen action both within the South American region and on the international level as well. Whether that talent and experience will be enough for the squad to claim the lone South American slot at the Minor though remains to be seen. The team’s players are all fairly impressive on their own, but 2 of those players have only been with the team for a little over 2 weeks now, while its most recent addition joined the roster just a few days ago. With the other teams in the field also dealing with recent roster changes though, there is a chance that WP Gaming can come together and out play its regional rivals to earn itself a place in Bucharest, but the squad will have to produce one of its strongest performances of the season if it wants to do that.