TEAM TEAM, compLexity Gaming finally break through in NA as they join Evil Geniuses as the region’s 3 representatives at the MDL Disneyland Paris Major
The final regional qualifier for the MDL Disneyland Paris Major has come to an end, and we now know 15 of the 16 participants in the field for the season’s fourth Major. After a 3 day qualifier, the 8 teams in the field for the MDL Disneyland Major North America Closed Qualifier were reduced to just 3 winners, with Evil Geniuses, compLexity Gaming, and TEAM TEAM all claiming spots in Paris for an appearance on the Pro Circuit stage. All 3 squads have previously made appearances at a Pro Circuit event this season, with EG having attended all 3 of the season’s previous Majors while compLexity Gaming and TEAM TEAM have each participated in a single Minor. As for the 5 unsuccessful squads, the upcoming Minor qualifiers will potentially give them a second chance at earning a place on the Pro Circuit stage. While those squads will be looking towards the future, the time had come for us to take a look at how each of the teams in the field performed in this regional qualifier, with the participating teams categorized based upon their final positions in the standings.
Top 3 (Qualified for MDL Disneyland Paris Major)
Record: 6-1 (4-0 Group Stage, 2-1 Playoffs)
Evil Geniuses may have secured itself a direct invite to TI9 with its performance at the recent DreamLeague Season 11 Major, but the North American leader did not appear to slow down at all in this regional qualifier. The squad dropped just a single game against its regional rivals, claiming three straight series wins and putting together a dominant performance to claim its fourth Major appearance of the season. Leading the way for the team was its Carry/Mid duo of Arteezy and SumaiL, as the 2 players combined to average 15.57 kills and 16.72 assists on just 6 deaths per game. From the very beginning of the season, it was clear that EG was going to be among the leaders within the North American region. With that being said, the team’s high expectations don’t make its regional dominance any less impressive as the squad prepares to head to Paris in search of the organization’s first Major Championship title.
Record: 6-3 (4-2 Group Stage, 2-1 Playoffs)
CompLexity Gaming came into this qualifier as a team that had repeatedly come frustratingly close to earning a Major appearance, only to fall just short of the mark in its previous 3 Major qualifier runs. This time around though, the team was finally able to break through that final block, putting together a 6-3 overall record to lay claim to a place at the MDL Disneyland Paris Major. The most impressive part of compLexity Gaming’s performance, and the key to the team’s success in this qualifier, was the fact that it got quality showings across the entirety of its roster. The core trio of Meracle, Limmp, and Deth combined to average 22.56 kills and 41.11 assists on 10.45 deaths per game, while the Support duo of Zfreek and Adam averaged a combined 31 assists as well. The international level has not been particularly kind to compLexity Gaming this season, but if the team can continue to get that kind of even and consistent production from its roster, then there is certainly some potential for the team to make an impact in Paris in its first Major appearance of the 2018-2019 campaign.
Record: 6-6 (2-4 Group Stage, 4-2 Playoffs)
It certainly wasn’t an easy road to success for the squad, but TEAM TEAM is heading to a Major for the first time ever after putting together a hard fought 3rd place run in this regional qualifier. The team did not appear to be much of a threat to qualify through the first half of the qualifier, earning just 2 wins in the Group Stage against gg and gg while dropped a pair of 0-2 series losses against compLexity Gaming. However, the team managed to turn things around in the Playoffs, where it took down a pair of its strongest regional rivals in J.Storm and Forward Gaming with back to back 2-1 series wins to lock down its place in Paris. Throughout the season so far, the narrative for TEAM TEAM has been that it is consistently a step below the “big 3” in North America (EG, J.Storm, and Forward Gaming). With this victory and a chance to play on one of the Dota 2 world’s biggest stages, TEAM TEAM has an opportunity to prove to everyone that it is ready to take that next step forward and claim a position as one of the leading teams within the North American region.
Record: 8-6 (4-1 Group Stage, 4-5 Playoffs)
The first test for the new roster of Forward Gaming was certainly an interesting one, as the team put together a solid, but ultimately unsuccessful, performance against its regional rivals in this Major qualifier. With an 8-6 overall record, the team held its own against its most prominent regional rivals, but ended up just 1 game short of the mark to qualify for the MDL Disneyland Paris Major. The team’s new additions performed well in this event, with CCnC averaged 6.36 kills and 9.64 assists on 3.29 deaths per game while Sneyking and Kitrak each averaged over 11 assists per match for Forward Gaming. The biggest driving force for the squad in this qualifier though was YawaR, as the Carry put together averages of 8.29 kills and 6.79 assists on just 1.71 deaths per game in an incredible series of performances. Those efforts may not have been enough to get Forward Gaming to the Major, but they do at least set the team up in an extremely favorable position heading into the upcoming Minor qualifier.
Record: 7-6 (5-2 Group Stage, 2-4 Playoffs)
Following an impressive 7th-8th place finish at the DreamLeague Season 11 Major, J.Storm came into this regional qualifier with expectations of claiming another Major appearance and building upon that strong showing on the Pro Circuit Stage. Unfortunately, J.Storm ended up falling short of the mark to qualify for the MDL Disneyland Paris Major, as the team’s 7-6 overall record had it finishing in the 5th-6th place position in the event standings. Much of the team’s success in this qualifier came from the squad taking advantage of favorable match ups, with 4 of the team’s 7 total wins coming against underdog squad Team Xolotl. The team’s remaining matches against the trio of Forward Gaming, Evil Geniuses, and TEAM TEAM saw J.Storm posted a much less impressive 3-6 record. Despite not qualifying for the Major, J.Storm’s performance in this qualifier did not come without some positives aspects. The team’s Carry/Mid duo of Moo and Bryle combined to average an impressive 15.16 kills and 18.62 assists with 5.63 deaths per game across the team’s 13 total matches. If the team can continue to get that level of production out of its cores, then J.Storm will enter the upcoming Minor qualifier in a favorable position as it will look to earn its fourth appearance on the Pro Circuit stage this season.
Record: 3-6 (2-4 Group Stage, 1-2 Playoffs)
Mexican squad Team Xolotl is a team that we’ve seen a handful of times so far this season, but the squad has never fared particularly well in these Pro Circuit qualifiers. Because of that, the team entered this Major qualifier with relatively low expectations, but the team managed to fight its way to a 5th-6th place finish this time around. While the team avoided a position at the bottom of the event standings, Team Xolotl’s 3-6 overall record was still relatively unimpressive compared to the teams that finished at and above its position. 2 of the team’s 3 wins in this qualifier came from a favorable match up against Vega Academy, a squad that failed to win a single match across its qualifier run. Aside from that though, the team did manage to take 1 game off of Forward Gaming in a 1-2 series loss, which likely served as the highlight of the team’s qualifier run. The fact of the matter is that this Team Xolotl squad is still a long ways away from competing with the top squads in the North American region, but it is at least displaying some level of growth and development across its qualifier appearances. With the Minor qualifier on the horizon as well, Team Xolotl will be presented with another opportunity to put itself to the test against its regional rivals, this time with most of the top squads in its region out of the way as well.
gg and gg
Record: 0-4 (0-4 Group Stage)
This group of regional veterans came into this regional qualifier as a team that wasn’t necessarily considered to be a favorite among the field of participants. Even with that in mind though, the squad ended up under performing in the event as it failed to record a single win to post a 0-4 overall record. The team trailed in terms of net worth across nearly the entirety of its first 3 matches in this qualifier, and managed to to lose a net worth lead of nearly 13k in its fourth and final match to conclude a frustrating performance against its regional rivals. It’s clear that the team has skill and experience on an individual level with this roster, but it just didn’t seem like the squad could put together any sort of effective effort as a team. With the field for the upcoming Minor qualifier apparently set to include 8 teams, there is still a solid shot for gg and gg to earn itself a second chance at making its Pro Circuit debut. However, the squad will need to dramatically improve its level of play if it wants to come even remotely close to being competitive in that event.
Record: 0-4 (0-4 Group Stage)
The team formerly known as NAR (CIS Community) entered this qualifier with the backing of the Vega Squadron organization as the newly christened Vega Academy. However, the change in name and organization didn’t do much good for the squad in terms of its actual performance, as the team failed to record a single win with a 0-4 overall record against its regional rivals. With an average game length of under 25 minutes, the team found itself out matched and overwhelmed across the majority of its time in this qualifier. There really isn’t a whole lot to look at for the team in terms of positives or silver linings, as Vega Academy simply did not rise to the challenge in this event. Considering the fact that most of its players did not have extensive experience against top level opponents in North America though, this result was far from unexpected. The key for Vega Academy now will be to try and bounce back from this underwhelming performance and prepares itself for a shot at claiming a place in the upcoming Minor qualifier.