Mineski, BOOM ID, WarriorsGaming.Unity look to avenge their Major qualifier defeats, while Clutch Gamers makes its first Pro Circuit qualifier appearance at The Bucharest Minor Southeast Asia Qualifier.
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 Southeast Asian 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.
Thiay “JT-” Jun Wen
Kam “Moon” Boon Seng
Damien “kpii” Chok
Kim “Febby” Yong-min
Johan “pieliedie” Åström
The addition of pieliedie seemed to revitalize this Mineski roster, as the squad was able to turn around what had been a rough start to its season to finish 3rd overall in The Chongqing Major Southeast Asia Qualifier. The squad’s 7-7 performance in that qualifier saw it come just 1 win short of earning itself a spot at the Major, but it at least puts the team in a position as one of the stronger squads in the field for this Minor qualifier. The good news for Mineski is that the only other squad in this field to have also participated in the Major qualifier was one that Mineski was able to beat in a head-to-head match up, as the squad beat BOOM ID 2-0 when they faced off against each other. With only 1 slot at the Minor available in this qualifier, the margin for error is incredibly small for the team. However, if Mineski can continue to play at the level that we just saw in the Major qualifier, then it will be one of the stronger candidates to claim the lone Southeast Asian spot in Bucharest.
Randy “Dreamocel” Sapoetra
Rafli “Mikoto” Fathur
Saieful “Fbz” Ilham
Tri “Jhocam” Kuncoro
Alfi “Khezcute” Nelphyana
BOOM ID has been working its way up the regional hierarchy within the Southeast Asian region all season long, and for several years now when looking at things from outside of the scope of the Pro Circuit. However, this appearance in the Minor qualifier may very well be the team’s biggest opportunity to finally put itself on the map both as a potential regional leader and as a challenger on the international level. The team’s 4-7 overall record in the previous qualifier does introduce some small concerns for BOOM ID, but things are not as bad as it appears heading into this Minor qualifier. 4 of the team’s losses came against teams that have already qualified for the Major, and its 4 wins included series victories against both fellow Minor qualifier participants WarriorsGaming.Unity and DreamLeague Season 10 Minor Champion Tigers. BOOM ID may not have proven itself capable of taking on the elite of the Southeast Asian region just yet, but it certainly has the potential to take down its opponents in this field as the Indonesian team looks to earn its season debut on the Pro Circuit stage.
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.
Nikolay “Nikobaby” Nikolov
Vincent “AlaCrity” Hiew Teck Yoong
Lee “kYxY” KongYang
Danny “Noia” Junget (Stand-In)
The 2018-2019 season has been certainly been an interesting one for Clutch Gamers so far, though perhaps not for the reasons that the squad would prefer. The team introduced an almost entirely new roster during the offseason period, but that lineup quickly ended up undergoing changes early in the season. In October, the squad added AlaCrity to the roster, but by the end of the month it was down to just 4 players as SsaSpartan departed the lineup. Throughout these roster changes though, the team itself has managed to perform fairly well within its home region, although its experience has been largely limited to smaller regional competitions. That being said, consistency is still an important factor for any team trying to fight its way onto the Pro Circuit stage, and the Clutch Gamers lineup has managed to put together a relatively consistent level of play over the last few months. With just 1 slot available in this qualifier, that level of play will likely need to be elevated if Clutch Gamers wants to have a chance of reaching The Bucharest Minor, but the potential is there for the team heading into this event.
Cheng “NothingToSay” Jin Xiang
Yeong “Mercury” Shi Jie
Chua “KaNG” Soon Khong
Cheng “czy” Zhi Ying
Chong “FelixCiaoBa” Wei Lun
WarriorsGaming.Unity comes into this event fresh off of its first Pro Circuit qualifier appearance a few days ago in The Chongqing Major Southeast Asia Qualifier. Unfortunately though, that first appearance was far from a successful one for the team, as WG.Unity lost all 4 of its Group Stage matches and ended its qualifier run without a single win to its name. That kind of performance does not instill much confidence in this squad heading into this Minor qualifier, especially considering the fact that only 1 slot at the Minor is available. That doesn’t mean that WarrirorsGaming.Unity doesn’t have some hope of reaching the Pro Circuit stage, but it would need a near miraculous turn around in this qualifier in order to make that unlikely scenario into a reality.