Run it back: The duo of Fnatic and Mineski will represent Southeast Asia for the second straight Major as winners of the MDL Disneyland Paris Major Southeast Asia Qualifier
The second trio of regional qualifiers for the MDL Disneyland Major are now officially coming to a close, with the last of the teams in the field for the season’s fourth Major locking down their places on the Pro Circuit stage. After a 3 day qualifier, the 8 teams in the field for the MDL Disneyland Major Southeast Asia Closed Qualifier were reduced to just 2 victorious squads, as Fnatic and Mineski managed to fight their way past their regional rivals to claim the region’s 2 spots in Paris. Both team’s have previously made appearances at a Pro Circuit event this season, with Fnatic having attended each of the previous 3 Majors in the 2018-2019 campaign while Mineski has participated in a single Major. As for the 6 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 2 (Qualified for MDL Disneyland Paris Major)
Record: 8-1 (4-0 Group Stage, 4-1 Playoffs)
As one of the leading squads within the Southeast Asian region, Fnatic came into this qualifier with some lofty expectations, and the team certainly did not disappoint. Fnatic dropped just a single match in its qualifier run, dominating its regional rivals with an 8-1 overall record while winning all 4 of its series against WarriorsGaming.Unity, Neon Esports, Mineski, and TNC Predator to claim its place at the Major. The team’s core trio of MP, Abed, and iceiceice combined for an average of 22.44 kills and 40.22 assists on just 7.78 deaths per game across the team’s 9 total matches. Those kinds of performances are exactly what make Fnatic such a formidable squad, both within its home region and on the international level. With this dominant showing at home, Fnatic is set to make its way to the Major with quite a bit of confidence and momentum on its side.
Record: 10-6 (4-2 Group Stage, 6-4 Playoffs)
When Mineski earned itself a place at the DreamLeague Season 11 Major, there was finally hope that the team was turning around its somewhat inconsistent season. When the team dropped 2 of its players in the aftermath of said Major, many were unsure of whether the squad would be able to maintain its momentum on the home front with a duo of new players. As it turned out, those concerns were a bit overblown, as the team’s new Support duo of Bimbo and ninjaboogie helped lead the team to a successful run in this Major qualifier. With a 10-6 overall record, the team certainly had to work to earn its place in Paris, and its play across some of its qualifier series was potential cause for some concern moving forward. However, the team was largely able to work around any issues to still find wins when it counted, thanks in large part to the play of its core trio. Ahjit, Moon, and kpii combined to average 20.44 kills and 21.57 assists with 11.07 deaths per game to fuel Mineski to a hard fought place on the Pro Circuit stage. The team’s performance as a whole was not without its flaws, but Mineski’s new lineup showed a level of determination that will have it feeling confident in itself as it prepares for its second Major appearance of the season in Paris.
Record: 8-5 (4-0 Group Stage, 4-5 Playoffs)
While the duo of Fnatic and Mineski had been claiming the majority of the attention within the Southeast Asian region, TNC Predators came into this qualifier looking to remind the Dota 2 world that it was also a leading squad in its home region. While the squad ended up falling just short of the mark to claim a place in Paris, TNC Predator put together a strong performance against its regional rivals that saw it come 1 game away from reaching the Major. At 8-5, the team looked composed and confident for the majority of its qualifier run, and even earned an even 4-4 mark against its main 2 regional rivals in Fnatic and Mineski. Leading the way for TNC Predator throughout this qualifier run was the duo of Gabbi and Armel, as the 2 players combined to average 17.46 kills and 18.46 assists on just 5 deaths per game in a series of impressive performances. TNC Predator may not have been able to claim a spot in the MDL Disneyland Paris Major with its performance in this qualifier, but the team has very clearly established that it remains one of the strongest teams in the Southeast Asian region. The team will have the opportunity to reiterate that claim in the near future, as its 3rd place finish in this event makes it a heavy favorite heading into the upcoming Minor qualifier.
Record: 4-8 (2-5 Group Stage, 2-3 Playoffs)
Despite coming into this event as a relatively minor team within the Southeast Asian hierarchy, EVOS Esports put together an impressive showing that defied its meager expectations. Though the team’s overall record come out to 4-8, the squad managed to fight its way into the top half of the event standings with a 4th place finish. The team thrived against the other underdog squads in this event, claiming 2-1 series wins over Tigers and Neon Esports to help propel it to its 4th place finish. However, the squad was still obviously a step or two behind the top squads in its region, as EVOS Esports posted a 0-6 record against Mineski and TNC Predator. Despite those losses, EVOS Esports performed better than many had likely been expecting of it coming into the event, and this solid showing against its regional rivals sets the team up in a fairly favorable position heading into the upcoming Minor qualifiers.
Record: 4-7 (3-5 Group Stage, 1-2 Playoffs)
After a pair of Minor appearances to begin the 2019 section of the season, BOOM ID came into this Major qualifier as a team looking to join the likes of Fnatic, TNC Predator, and Mineski as a leading team in the Southeast Asian region. While the team put together an admirable performance against its regional rivals, it wasn’t quite able to reach the mark to qualify for the MDL Disneyland Paris Major with a 4-7 overall record and a 5th-6th place finish. The Indonesian squad got an absolutely awe inspiring performance from Mikoto, as the Midlaner averaged 10.73 kills and 7.09 assists on 3.82 deaths per game across the team’s 11 matches. Despite those incredible averages though, the team fell short of the mark to qualify to the Major, due in large part to some inconsistent play in late-game scenarios. The team managed to put together 2 impressive comeback wins in this qualifier, but also had 3 losses in which it held a net worth lead within the final 9 minutes of play and failed to close out the match. That kind of razor’s edge, live or die play is certainly entertaining to watch, but it’s not conducive to winning consistently for BOOM ID. The upcoming Minor qualifier will give the team a second chance at returning to the Pro Circuit stage, but it will likely have to address its late-game inconsistencies if it wants to earn its third Minor appearance of the 2018-2019 campaign.
Record: 6-7 (4-3 Group Stage, 2-4 Playoffs)
Neon Esports did not have the highest of expectations heading into this Major qualifier, but the team manged to put together a very impressive showing in its first Pro Circuit qualifier appearance of the season. At 6-7, the team was able to hold its own for the most part against its more prominent regional rivals, with BOOM ID in particular proving to be a soft target for the squad as it racked up 4 of its 6 wins against the Indonesian team. The team’s play in this regional qualifier was certainly impressive, but it’s clear that Neon Esports still has room to grow moving forward. With the Minor qualifiers just a few days away, it appears that the squad will have another opportunity to put its strength on display against its regional rivals as it looks to earn its first appearance on the Pro Circuit stage.
Record: 1-4 (1-4 Group Stage)
Tigers came into this qualifier with an updated roster and some high hopes of returning to the Pro Circuit stage with a strong performance against its regional rivals. Unfortunately, the team couldn’t quite manage to put together a strong enough run, as the team posted a 1-4 overall record to finish at the bottom of the event standings in a somewhat underwhelming performance. The team took an unfortunate, but not unexpected, defeat at the hands of Mineski, but the real surprise was its subsequent 1-2 loss to EVOS Esports that knock it out of the qualifier. Perhaps the most frustrating part of the team’s showing in this qualifier was just how close the squad came to potentially finding success, as Tigers had 2 matches in which it held a net worth lead within the final 8 minutes of play only to fail to close out a win. The team is going to have to prove that it can convert those late-game opportunities down the road if it wants to earn itself a second shot at making a return to the Pro Circuit stage in the upcoming Minor qualifiers.
Record: 1-4 (1-4 Group Stage)
After some last minute changes to its lineup, WarriorsGaming.Unity entered this qualifier as a team with high hopes but relatively low expectations. Despite the team’s efforts against its regional rivals, it proved unable to exceed those expectations, posting a 1-4 record that saw it lose to Fnatic and BOOM ID while failing to advance out of the Group Stage. The team’s record isn’t fantastic to be sure, but WarriorsGaming.Unity at least showed some level of competitiveness across back to back series in which it was considered to be the underdog. As a whole, this is about what we expected out of this WarriorsGaming.Unity squad, and the question for the team at this stage is whether or not it can improve upon this somewhat lackluster showing in the future. The upcoming Minor qualifiers will potentially give the squad the opportunity to do just that, though the team will almost certainly have to put together another successful open qualifier run to have a chance at being included in the field for that event.