Boom or bust: BOOM ID take down Clutch Gamers 2-1 to secure its Pro Circuit debut as the SEA representative at The Bucharest Minor
The second round of Pro Circuit qualifiers in this 2018-2019 campaign are beginning to come to a close, and the field of teams for the second Minor of the season is now filling out with the representatives of the 6 Dota regions fighting their way past their regional rivals. The Southeast Asian region is the first to complete its Minor qualifier, and we now know which squad will be heading to the Romanian capital to compete in The Bucharest Minor. 4 squads made up the field for this qualifier, with 3 of them (BOOM ID, Mineski, and WarriorsGaming.Unity) returning from the Major qualifier while the final squad (Clutch Gamers) was making its first appearance at a Pro Circuit qualifier this season. None of the team’s in the field had attended either of the season’s first 2 events, meaning all 4 participants in this qualifier were looking to earn their season debut on the Pro Circuit stage. In the end though, only 1 of them proved to be successful, as BOOM ID defeated Clutch Gamers 2-1 in the Grand Finals to lock in the lone Southeast Asian slot in Bucharest. Though only BOOM ID will be moving on to The Bucharest Minor, we should take a look at how each of the teams fared in this qualifier and where they may fall in the overall regional hierarchy. As with the previous recap posts for the last Pro Circuit qualifiers, we will be dividing the participants up based upon their final standings in this event.
1st (Qualified for The Bucharest Minor)
Record: 6-1 (3-0 series record)
After finishing 4th in the previous Major qualifier, the expectations for BOOM ID were somewhat elevated as it headed into The Bucharest Major Southeast Asia Qualifier. The team had been working its way up the regional hierarchy for nearly 2 years now, and this 2018-2019 season had all the makings of the team’s biggest opportunity yet to make its mark within Southeast Asia. The squad certainly did not disappoint in this Minor qualifier, as BOOM ID put on what had to be its most impressive performance of the season and dominated its regional rivals with 3 straight series victories. The team took down Mineski and won 2 series against Clutch Gamers to post a 6-1 overall record one its path to earning the lone Southeast Asian slot at The Bucharest Minor. The play of the team’s Carry/Mid duo was particularly impressive in this event, as Dreamocel and Mikoto combined to average 15.72 kills and 16.43 assists with just 6.43 deaths per game. If the squad can continue to get that kind of production out of its 2 main core players, then BOOM ID has a solid shot at making a strong impression in what will be its debut on the Pro Circuit stage in Bucharest.
Record: 5-5 (2-2 series record)
As the only squad in the field for this Minor qualifier to not have participated in the previous Major qualifier, Clutch Gamers was the odd team out in what was its first Pro Circuit qualifier appearance of the season. The team showed that it was not intimidated by the experience of its regional rivals though, as Clutch Gamers posted a 5-5 overall record in this qualifier an ended finishing in 2nd place in the 4 team field. The team began its qualifier run with a 0-2 loss against BOOM ID, but Clutch Gamers showed a degree of resilience as it managed to bounce back to take a 2-1 win over WarriorsGaming.Unity and a 2-0 victory over Mineski to reach the Grand Finals and a rematch of its initial defeat. Despite claiming 1 game in the series, Clutch Gamers wasn’t quite able to get past BOOM ID, as it fell 1-2 to end its qualifier run. The fact that this team did not participate in the Major qualifier means that we cannot be fully sure of how well it would perform against the elite squads of the Southeast Asian region. However, with 5 wins to its name in this qualifier, and 4 of its 5 losses coming at the hand of the squad that qualified for the Minor, Clutch Gamers appears to be hitting its stride at a critical point in its Pro Circuit campaign.
Record: 2-4 (1-2 series record)
The new-look Mineski lineup certainly managed to look good in the recent Major qualifier, but with regional powerhouses TNC Predator and Fnatic now locked into spots in Chongqing, the team appeared to be in an even better position to succeed in this Minor qualifier. Unfortunately for the team though, it ended up facing a significantly higher level of resistance that it was prepared for. While the team was able to win its initial series against WarriorsGaming.Unity 2-0, it needed a massive late-game surge in Game 2 in order to avoid having that series go to a full 3 matches. Beyond that point, things only got harder for Mineski, as the squad ended up losing to BOOM ID and Clutch Gamers in back-to-back 0-2 series to finish 3rd in the qualifier. While the results is a somewhat disappointing one, it would have been a bit unreasonable to expect that the addition of pieliedie to the team’s lineup would instantly have it back in a position as a leader in the Southeast Asian region. The team and its new roster will likely need some more time before it has reached its peak strength, but this qualifier run has at least given us a glimpse of what this current iteration of the Mineski lineup can do moving forward this season.
Record: 1-4 (0-2 series record)
After finishing at the bottom of the standings in The Chongqing Major Southeast Asia Qualifier with a disappointing 0-4 record, hopes were not particularly high for WarriorsGaming.Unity heading into the Minor qualifier. However, there was still some small glimmer of hope that the removal of the top squads in the regional hierarchy could present new opportunities for the squad to turn things around and put together a solid performance against its regional rivals. Unfortunately, that scenario did not come to pass, as WarriorsGaming.Unity finished at the bottom of the standings once against after a 1-4 showing in this qualifier. The good news for the team was that this time around, it at least put up a stronger fight than what we saw in the Major qualifier. WG.Unity was able to claim 1 win against Clutch Gamers, and very nearly took a game off of Mineski in a closely fought match that lasted just under 72 minutes of game-time. Overall, the team’s performance in this Minor qualifier was a small step up from its last Pro Circuit qualifier appearance, but WarriorsGaming.Unity still appears to have a long way to go before it can be considered a true contender within the Southeast Asian region.