Favorable Odds: Team Odd (formerly Playmakers Esports) puts together perfect qualifier run to secure the South American slot at the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor
The last of the regional qualifiers for the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor has now officially come to a close, with the field of 8 teams for the season’s third Minor now fully set. South American was the final region to conclude its qualifier run, with the field of 4 participating teams being reduced to just a single winner to carry the banner of South American Dota onto the Pro Circuit stage in Kiev. Of the 4 participating teams in this field, 3 of them (Thunder Predator, Team Odd, and rei do picolé) were returning teams from the previous Major qualifier, while the final squad (motoca_reborn) was making its first appearance in a Pro Circuit qualifier. When the qualifier had reached its end, it was Team Odd who stood victorious, as the squad claimed the sole South American slot at the Minor and will be making its way to Kiev in March in search of its first Minor Championship title and a place at the subsequent DreamLeague Season 11 Major. While Team Odd will be the lone South American squad advancing to the Minor, we will be taking a look at the overall performances of all 4 teams in this qualifier and what may come next for them. 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 StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor)
While the Playmakers Esports organization is no more, the team itself managed to live one as its entire roster was picked up by Team Odd before the start of this Minor qualifier. The team wasted little time representing its new organization with an impressive performance against its regional rivals, as Team Odd put together a perfect 6-0 run in this qualifier to claim the single South American slot in Kiev. Despite not losing a match its qualifier run, the path to success was not an easy one for Team Odd, as the team needed comeback wins and heroic performances across its entire roster in order to push its way to the top. Leading the way for the squad in this performance was its core trio of Kotarō Hayama, Jeimari, and Sword, as the 3 players combined to average 18.34 kills and 32.17 assists on just 10 deaths per game. While the team’s last appearance on the Pro Circuit stage (as Playmakers Esports) was not overly successful, the hope is that this dominant showing at home will be able to fuel Team Odd to a strong performance as it returns to the Pro Circuit stage in March at the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor.
rei do picolé
The squad known as rei do picolé put together an attention grabbing performance in the recent Major qualifier, and while the team was unable to secure itself a place at the Major, it’s play was strong enough to make it a noteworthy team in this field for the Minor qualifier. After putting together an impressive performance against its regional rivals, the team entered this event with some relatively high expectations as it looked to secure its first appearance on the Pro Circuit stage. While the team ended up finishing just short of the mark to qualify for a place in Kiev with a 4-5 record and a 2nd place finish, rei do picolé at least managed to impress us once again with another solid showing in this qualifier. One of the stronger aspects of the team’s play in this event was the performance it got from its Carry/Mid duo, as Costabile and Lanaro combined to average 9.33 kills and 11.89 assists on 6.56 deaths per game across the team’s 9 totla matches. Those numbers may not have been the highest that we saw in this round of regional qualifiers, but they do show that this rei do picolé squad could have a solid foundation to build on further down the road, if the team opts to remain together over the second half of the 2018-2019 season.
After making its Pro Circuit debut at The Chongqing Major in January, Thunder Predator was finally starting to look like a team that was ready to make a push for a spot as a leading team within the South American region. Though the team came up short in the recent Major qualifier, it still entered this Minor qualifier with reasonably high expectations of success. Unfortunately, the team was not quite able to live up to those expectations, as Thunder Predator posted a 3-5 record against its regional rivals to finish 3rd among the 4 participating squads. With an average game time of over 47 minutes, Thunder Predator was by no means an easy out across its 8 total matches, winning its series against motoca_reborn while losing to both Team Odd and rei do picolé. The overall result for Thunder Predator will almost certainly be looked at as a disappointment, but this squad still figures to be a potential contender within its home region moving forward as it looks to earn a return trip to the Pro Circuit stage in this second half of the season.
The team known as motoca_reborn did not come into this Minor qualifier with the highest of expectations, as the team did not have much experience together outside of its open qualifier appearances. The squad didn’t end up pulling out any surprise upset performances against its regional rivals, but the team at least managed to put up a fight across its matches and even claimed 1 win in its series against Thunder Predator. The team’s play as a whole was not overly impressive, but motoca_reborn did get a solid performance out of Arms, as the team’s Carry averaged 5.67 kills and 6.83 assists on just 3 deaths per game through the course of the squad’s qualifier run. Unfortunately, those numbers weren’t enough to motoca_reborn into contention for the lone South American slot at the Minor, and now the question for this team will be whether or not it survives long enough to participate in the next round of Pro Circuit qualifiers sometime around the beginning of April.