Chaos Esports Club looks to keep its regional rivals at bay as a group of challengers seek to knock off the regional leader in the MDL Disneyland Paris Major South America Closed Qualifier
The DreamLeague Season 11 Major may have only recently come to a conclusion, but the Dota 2 world finds itself already preparing for more action across the 6 regions as another round of Pro Circuit qualifiers is nearly upon us. The first trio of regional qualifiers for the MDL Disneyland Paris Major is set to begin, and the South American region has been included in that first group alongside the CIS and European regions. Beginning on March 28 and running through the 30th, the qualifier will feature a field of 8 teams, 4 of which (Chaos Esports Club, Infamous, Demolition Boys, and Thunder Predator) received direct invites while the other 4 (Gorillaz-Pride, Butterfly Effec, SG e-sports, and Pacific eSports) earned their positions through the 2 open qualifiers. Of those 8 participating squads, 4 of them (Chaos Esports Club, Infamous, Demolition Boys, and Thunder Predator) have previously attended a Pro Circuit event this season, while 2 of the other squads (Gorillaz-Pride and SG e-sports) attended a prior qualifier but failed to earn a place at an event. As for the final 2 teams in the field (Butterfly Effect and Pacific eSports) will be making their first appearances in a Pro Circuit qualifier at this event.
The 8 teams in the field will be divided into 2 GSL style Groups of 4 teams each, with the top 2 teams from each group advancing to the Upper Bracket of the Playoffs while the third place teams from each group will begin the Playoffs in the Lower Bracket. The teams that finish at the bottom of each group will be eliminated from the qualifier and will not advance to the Playoffs.Said Playoffs will feature a double elimination bracket, with all series across both the Group Stage and Playoffs being played in a Bo3 format. The South America qualifier will see 2 team’s qualify for the Major, with the victors of both the Upper Bracket Finals and the Lower Bracket Finals claiming places in Paris. With some basic information about the event and its format covered, we can take a look at each of the 8 teams in the field for this regional qualifier, with the teams being divided into our usual 4 categories: Favorites, Contenders, Maybe Ifs, and Long Shots
These squads are the elite of the group, comprised mostly of squads that attended one of the prior Pro Circuit events this season or have emerged as dominant forces within their home region and contenders on the international level. These are the teams that will likely be considered as favorites in this qualifier regardless of the match up that they face, and if a team in this section does not earn itself a place at the Major, then it will come as a bit more of a shock and a disappointment compared to the other squads in the field.
Chaos Esports Club
William “hFn” Medeiros
Aliwi “w33” Omar
Otávio “Tavo” Gabriel
Danylo “Kingrd” Nascimento
Rasmus “MISERY” Filipsen
Chaos Esports Club (formerly paiN Gaming) has been the clear leader within the South American region all season long, and while the squad has not quite been able to find consistent success on the international level, its position on the home front its nearly untouchable at this point in its Pro Circuit campaign. The team has yet to finish any lower than 2nd across its 3 Pro Circuit qualifier appearances this season, and it doesn’t look a though that streak is in danger of ending anytime soon. Considering the fact that most of the other teams in this qualifier have either undergone recent roster changes, formed new rosters entirely, or have limited experience together, Chaos Esports Club will be a heavy favorite to claim a place on the Pro Circuit stage in Paris.
The squads in this section are the ones that fall just a small step below the favorites in terms of their skill, level of success, or perceived strength of their lineup. Teams in this section are ones that may have attended one of the previous Minors but not a Major, or struggled on the Pro Circuit stage in general. These are the teams that could fairly easily claim 1 of the 2 spots up for grabs in this tournament, but aren’t necessarily expected to win out over the entire field. These teams will likely be right at the cusp of success in this qualifier, and are the ones that seem most probable to end up as direct invitees to the upcoming Minor Qualifiers if it cannot secure a place at the Major.
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
While the roster of Demolition Boys has shifted between a number of organizations over the last few months, the team’s performance within its home region has been relatively consistent in recent times. Aside from a early exit from the DreamLeague Season 11 Major South America Qualifier due to the team withdrawing from the event, Demolition Boys’ performance against its regional rivals has been fairly impressive, with the team earning 7 Top 4 finishes across 10 event appearances (including open qualifiers). Since the start of 2019, the team holds a 16-5 record against other South American squads, putting Demolition Boys in a somewhat favorable position heading into this event. Add on to that the fact that many teams in the field for this event have only recently come together or are dealing with changes to their rosters, and Demolition Boys appears to have a strong shot at claiming a place on the Pro Circuit stage in Paris if it can put together a solid showing in this qualifier.
Juan “Atun” Ochoa
Leonardo “LeoStyle-” Sifuentes
Frank “Frank” Arias
Farith “Matthew” Puente
Sergio “Prada” Toribio
Thunder Predator took a rather significant step forward in its development as a team when it made its season debut on the Pro Circuit stage at The Chongqing Major back in January. While the team’s advances on the international level are a slightly more recent part of its 2018-2019 campaign, Thunder Predator has been putting together impressive performances in its region all season long. Since the beginning of the season, the team has appeared in 12 regional events and qualifiers (including open qualifiers) and has earned Top 4 finishes across 11 of them. Narrowing that time frame down to just the first few months of 2019, Thunder Predator has earned Top 4 finishes in all 3 of its event appearances, including a 1st place run at the BTS Spring Cup: Americas. Those 3 events have netted Thunder Predator a 17-14 overall record, which puts the team in a solid, though not overly impressive, position heading into this qualifier. Given the fact that the South American hierarchy has been something of a free for all behind Chaos Esports Club at the top, success is hardly guaranteed for Thunder Predator against its regional rivals. However, should the team continue to play with the relative consistency that we’ve seen so far this season, there’s no reason to believe that the squad won’t be in the mix for one of the region’s slots on the Pro Circuit stage in Paris.
The “Maybe, ifs..”
This section is where we start to get into some particularly interesting scenarios, as we take a look at some of the squads with somewhat lower expectations for this qualifier. These squads are more than capable of putting on a good show and potentially taking a spot at the Major, but they more than likely will need a little bit of help to get there. The squads in this section are most likely ones that attended prior Pro Circuit qualifiers, but did not earn places at an event, and represent the upper echelon of the Tier 2 scene in their region. Whether its a favorable group, a particularly beneficial match up, or the opportunity to avoid playing one of the stronger teams, these squads are the ones that might just need a little outside help to claim a place on the Pro Circuit stage.
Oliver “oliver” Lepko
Enzo “Timado” Gianoli
Mariano “Papita” Caneda
Joel Mori “MoOz” Ozambela
Malthe “Biver” Winther
Coming off of the back of an appearance at the DreamLeague Season 11 Major just a few days ago, one would think that Infamous would be significantly favored heading into this next round of regional qualifiers. Unfortunately, that isn’t exactly the case, as the team announced the departure of mason and Wu before the Major had even ended. In their place, the organization has added European players oliver and Biver to the roster, but that duo will come into this event having not played any official matches for the team. Considering those circumstances, 1 of 2 things will need to happen for Infamous to find success against its regional rivals in this qualifier. Either the duo of oliver and Biver will need to show that they have already seamlessly integrated themselves into the team’s roster and strategies, or the team’s leading duo of Timado and Papita will need to put together some inspired performances to guide the squad. If one of those scenarios doesn’t play out for Infamous, then it may be difficult for the squad to push its way past some of its stronger regional rivals.
Leonardo “Mandy” Viana
Adriano de Paula “4dr” Machado
Rodrigo Lelis “Liposa” Santos
Thiago de Oliveira “Thiolicor” Cordeiro
Anderson “444” Santos
After a 5th-6th place finish in the DreamLeague Season 11 Major South America Qualifier with the Jesus e Amigos squad, the duo of Mandy and 4dr have returned with a new squad to take another shot at earning a place on the Pro Circuit stage. While the team’s only experience as a roster came in its successful open qualifier run, the skill and experience of its players at least gives it a bit more hope for success than some of the previous squads that we’ve seen pop up around qualifier time this season. Even with that being the case, Butterfly Effec is going to need an incredibly strong performance in this qualifier in a situation that will leave it with previous little room for error against its regional rivals. If the team can manage to play consistently and keep its composure, then there is a potential path to success for it in this qualifier, though said path will certainly not be an easy one for Butterfly Effec to walk.
The Long Shots
In this final section, we find the squads that have very little in terms of expectations for this qualifier. These are the underdogs, the Cinderella stories, and the teams that would frankly send shock waves through the regional scene should they manage to claim a spot at this event. These are the squads that many have probably already counted out of the fight for a place on the Pro Circuit stage, but we’ve seen underdog stories and unbelievable runs before, and these teams will be hoping to add their names to the list of squads that have shocked the Dota 2 world.
Sebastian Cerralta “Robo-Z” Velarde
Benjamín “Benjaz” Lanao Barrios
Alexis “Sl4d1n” Cepeda
Álex “Masoku” Dávila
Gorillaz-Pride is a team that has kept itself around the edges of the regional scene so far this season, never quite falling into irrelevancy but also failing to push itself into serious contention with the leading teams in South America. The team’s roster over the course of this 2018-2019 campaign has been a revolving door of near constant changes, and the squad comes into this qualifier with yet another new iteration of its lineup. The good news for the team is that this version of its roster appears to have a fair bit of skill and experience under its belt. The bad news is that said roster’s only experience together was its recent run through the open qualifiers for this event, and raw skill alone likely won’t be enough for the team to push past some of the more prominent teams in this field. Though the odds appear to be stacked against it coming into this qualifier, Gorillaz-Pride does have some potential to put together a run as an underdog and maybe take its regional rivals by surprise if it can put together a strong showing.
Vacilios “Golem” Mavrommatis
Pedro “mini” Rezende
Diego “Sexyfat” Barini
Marcello “MahhxD” Yamamoto
Caio “Nuages” Oliveira
The last time we saw SG e-sports and its lineup of relatively inexperienced players was at the DreamLeague Season 11 Major South America Qualifier, and that event did no go spectacularly for the Brazilian squad. The team won just a single match in the qualifier, and avoided a finish at the bottom of the event standings only because of the withdrawal of Playmakers Esports from the field. The team has managed to put together some solid showings in open qualifiers, but it is still hard to have much confidence that the squad can find that same level of success against the strongest teams in its region.Make no mistake, these appearances in Pro Circuit Qualifiers are valuable experiences for the team and the development of its largely unknown roster. However, said development does not appear to have advanced nearly far enough for SG e-sports to constitute a legitimate threat in this regional qualifier barring some sort of miraculous breakthrough performance from the squad.
Adrian “Wisper” Cespedes Dobles
Aside from former Infamous member Wisper, the majority of the roster for Pacific eSports enters this qualifier with relatively little renown, and even the organization itself is not particularly well known in the Dota 2 scene. That being said, the team did manage to successful fight its way through the open qualifiers for this event, which at least suggests a degree of potential for the squad and a certain amount of individual skill from its players. Against a field that features some of the most prominent squads in the South American region though, potential and individual skill don’t appear to be enough to secure this team a spot in Paris for the upcoming Major. While it is still technically possible for this team to take all of its regional rivals by surprise and put together a Cinderella run in this qualifier, Pacific eSports will need to produce a truly awe inspiring performance in this event in order to make that scenario a reality.