Pro Circuit Qualifier Preview – StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor South America Qualifier

A returning trio of squads from the Major qualifier and a new challenger all vie for a single spot in Kiev at the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor South America Qualifier

The qualifiers for the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor are now in full swing, with the first group of regional qualifiers winding down and 4 of the 8 teams in the field for the event already set. Now, we turn our attention to the second group of regional qualifiers, as the time has come to determine the other 4 squads that will be competing for the title of Minor Champion and the 16th slot at the DreamLeague Season 11 Major. South America will be the final region in this second group to being its qualifier run, with 4 squads hoping to lay claim to a single spot in the field at the Minor. 2 of the squads in the field for this event (Thunder Predator and Team Odd [as Playmakers Esports]) have already made appearances on the Pro Circuit stage, while the other 2 (rei do picolé and motaca_reborn) are hoping to earn their Pro Circuit debuts with successful runs in this qualifier. With a reduced field compared to the Major qualifier, we will be dividing the team’s into the 2 sections that have been used for the previous 2 Minor qualifiers: Favored and Unfavored Teams.

Favored 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.

Thunder Predator Thunder Predator
Roster:
Juan “Atun” Ochoa
Leonardo “LeoStyle-” Sifuentes
Frank “Frank” Arias
Farith “Matthew” Puente
Sergio “Prada” Toribio

Between the team’s appearance at The Chongqing Major and its 4th place finish in the recent Major qualifier, Thunder Predator comes into this Minor qualifier as one of the more formidable squads within the South American region. With that in mind, the Peruvian squad will enter this event with some fairly hefty expectations as it faces off against its regional rivals once again with just a single spot on the Pro Circuit stage on the line. With a 41-33 record across non-open qualifier appearances within the South American region, Thunder Predator has been far from infallible this season. However, that record still puts the team near the top of the regional hierarchy, and has Thunder Predator looking like an early front runner to claim that lone spot on the Pro Circuit stage in Kiev. Even with that being the case, the team is going to need to put together one of its best performances of the season to fight its way through a relatively evenly matched field of teams in this Minor qualifier.

No Team Logo rei do picolé
Roster:
Guilherme Silva “Costabile” Costábile
João Pedro “Lanaro” Lanaro
Lucas “Hyko” Morais
Thiago de Oliveira “Thiolicor” Cordeiro
Lucas Raphael Ferreira “bardo” Barbosa

Though the team has only been recently formed within the South American region, rei do picolé had more than enough notable names on its roster to be an intriguing challenger and a potential contender against its regional rivals. After finishing in 3rd place in the recent Major qualifier with a 6-8 overall record, the team comes into this Minor qualifier as a force to be reckoned with in the reduced field of 4 squads. With the team’s Major qualifier run being its only official matches as a team, there is always the possibility that its solid showing at that event was a fluke or an outlier, and that the squad will not be capable of repeating that kind of performance in this qualifier. However, the previous experience of the players on its roster makes its significantly easier to give rei do picolé the benefit of the doubt in this situation. Should the squad continue to play at the level that we saw in the Major qualifier, then rei do picolé will be a legitimate threat to lay claim to the single South American spot at the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor.

Team Odd Team Odd
Roster:
Alonso “Minoz” a.k.a. “Kotarō Hayama” León
Jeremy “Jeimari” Ruiz Aguinaga
Jose Andree “Sword” Nicosia
Elvis “Scofield” De la Cruz Peña
Christian “Accel” Cruz

It would appear that the experiment that was the player owned Playmakers Esports organization has officially met its end, as the team’s roster was signed in its entirety by Team Odd last week. The change in organization should do little to change the team’s play as a whole, which puts this roster in a somewhat favorable position heading into this Minor qualifier. Between its time as Braxstone, Playmakers Esports, and now Team Odd, the squad holds a 45-36 overall record against teams within the South American region. Those aren’t exactly dominant numbers, but in a region in which the teams are essentially divided into groups of Chaos Esports Club and everyone else, that record makes Team Odd a fairly formidable opponent in this field. The issue for Team Odd in this Minor qualifier run will be consistency, as the team has struggled with that aspect of its game across the season to this point. When the team plays at its best, it can put together the kinds of efforts like the one that earned it a spot at The Bucharest Minor, and the Peruvian team has to be hoping that it will be able to replicate that performance in this qualifier as the team looks to make its second straight Minor appearance of the season.

Unfavored Teams

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.

No Team Logo motoca_reborn
Roster:
DaniloArms Silva
Gabriel “Rayuur” Pinheiro De Morais
Henry “murdoc” Martins
Anderson “444” Santos
Sergio “rZs” Gonçalves

With the Tier 2 scene within the South American region proving to be somewhat chaotic so far this season, there have been a multitude of opportunities for rag-tag groups of free agents and lesser known talents to take their shot at a place on the Pro Circuit stage. motaca_reborn becomes the latest squad to take advantage of that opportunity, as the squad comes into this Minor qualifier with a roster of relatively experienced, but not overly notable names. While the team’s players have proven themselves to all be capable and talented players on an individual basis, the track record for this recently formed team is ridiculously short, with the squad’s only experience together coming in the form of its open qualifier runs for both the DreamLeague Season 11 Major and this Minor. With only 4 teams in the field for this event, it is not quite out of the realm of possibility for motaca_reborn to get the edge on its regional rivals and claim the lone South American slot in Kiev. In order for that to happen though, this squad would need to put together a near flawless run against the other teams in the field. Given how small that margin for error would be, it seems more prudent to keep the expectations low for motaca_reborn and see if the squad can surprise us in this Minor qualifier.

 

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