Familiar faces claim victory in the OGA Dota PIT Minor 2019 China Qualifier as Royal Never Give Up, EHOME lock up spots on the Pro Circuit stage
Another region has concluded its qualifiers today, as China joined the North American and CIS regions as the first trio to lock in their representatives for the OGA Dota PIT Minor 2019. 8 teams came into this event looking for a shot at a place on the Pro Circuit stage in Split, Croatia, but only 2 of them have emerged victorious. Royal Never Give Up and EHOME are the duo that will be representing China at the season’s fourth Minor, having posted records of 6-2 and 7-3, respectively. The OGA Dota PIT Minor 2019 will be the third Pro Circuit appearance for Royal Never Give Up, and the fourth for EHOME. With the action from this regional qualifier officially at and end, the time has come to take a look at how of the teams in the field performed in this event and how they stacked up compared to their pre-qualifier projections.
Top 2 (Qualified for OGA Dota PIT Minor 2019)
Royal Never Give Up
In the aftermath of its underwhelming 7th-8th place finish at the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor last month, it was clear that Royal Never Give Up was in search of an opportunity to redeem itself on the Pro Circuit stage. Now, it appears that the Chinese squad will have that opportunity, as the squad has claimed 1 of region’s 2 spots at the OGA Dota PIT Minor 2019. With a 6-2 overall record in this event, Royal Never Give Up was able to put together an impressive series of performances against its regional rivals. Perhaps the largest contributing factor to those strong performances was the play of the team’s Carry/Mid duo, as Money and Setsu combined to average 15 kills and 17.13 assists on just 3.88 deaths per game to fuel a dominant showing for the team. If the pair of Monet and Setsu can continue to lead from the front as they did in this qualifier, then Royal Never Give Up should have a strong chance of avenging its previous struggles on the Pro Circuit stage and putting together an impressive run in Split.
With the team having undergone some serious roster changes in recent times, it was not fully clear if EHOME would be able to retain its favorable position within the Chinese hierarchy through the rest of the season. As it turned out, the new iteration of the team’s roster proved to be very much capable of leading the organization back to the Pro Circuit stage, as EHOME put together a 7-3 overall record to claim a place at the OGA Dota PIT Minor 2019. The squad looked fairly confident through the majority of this qualifier, dispatching CDEC Gaming and Newbee Young before hitting its first roadblock in the form of a 1-2 loss to Royal Never Give Up. However, the squad managed to bounce back from that defeat, taking down Newbee 2-0 to earn a spot at the Minor. The team’s performance in this event was an encouraging sign for the new EHOME lineup, but the true test for this squad will be whether it can find comparable results outside of its home region. We will have to wait and see if the squad is up for that challenge, as EHOME prepares for its fourth Pro Circuit appearance of the season in Split.
After a season of struggles and roster changes, Newbee came into this Minor qualifier with another new iteration of its lineup and a hope that it would finally be able to break through agaisnt its regional rivals and claim a place on the Pro Circuit stage. The team came close to reaching that goal, but fell short in the end after losing its final series against EHOME to post a 3-4 overall record and finish in the 3rd place position. While the squad once again missing out on a spot on the Pro Circuit stage is certainly a disappointing development, it should be said that Newbee performed admirably in this qualifier. The team claimed three straight victories in high pressure, Bo1 matches, and while none of its opponents were considered powerhouses within the Chinese region, it was still encouraging to see the team playing at a higher level of confidence that what we’ve seen in recent times. The team appears to be slowly pushing in the right direction with this new roster, but the squad is going to have to step things up even further if it wants to have a shot at putting together any amount of Pro Circuit points before the end of the season.
As 1 of the 3 squads to come into this event through the open qualifiers, IamPoint Club did not carry the highest of expectations as it prepared to face off against some of its most prominent regional rivals. However, the team managed to defy those relatively low projections with an incredibly impressive performance in this event, posting a 3-3 overall record to finish in the 4th place position among the 8 team field. After a 1-2 loss to Royal to begin its qualifier run, the team proceeded to win back to back Bo1 elimination matches against Team Sincere and Newbee Young, before finally being brought down by Newbee in Round 3 of the Lower Bracket. While the teams that IamPoint club was able to claim wins against aren’t exactly powerhouses in the regional scene, it is certainly encouraging the see the squad win high pressure matches against teams at and around its skill level. Even more impressive for IamPoint Club was the play of Siumang, as the team’s Carry averaged 10.17 kills and 5.83 assists on just 2.83 deaths per game and served as the driving force in its run. The team certainly put on a good show in this qualifier, and the question moving forward will be whether or not this squad can maintain the level of play that it showed in this event and perhaps elevate its status within the Chinese region over the final months of the season.
Royal’s performance in the Major qualifier was a bit stronger than many had been anticipating from this squad, and the biggest question for it heading into this Minor qualifier would be whether or not it could maintain that level of play. While Royal didn’t end up reaching the top half of the event standings, it did at least manage to put together another solid showing against its regional rivals. At 3-4, the team was able to take down IamPoint Club 2-1 and threaten its sister squad, Royal Never Give Up, in a hard fought 1-2 defeat before falling to Newbee in a Bo1 to bring its qualifier run to an end. Throughout the qualifier, Royal got some impressive performance out of its Carry/Mid duo, with 圣子华炼 and 897 combining to average 13.29 kills and 15.43 assists on 9.57 deaths per game. While those efforts were not enough to secure Royal a spot on the Pro Circuit stage, the squad does at least appears to be trending in the right direction in terms of its development as a team.
Newbee Young came into this Minor qualifier as a team that had a fair bit of potential, but was still seen as being significantly below the level of the more prominent squads in the field. With a 2-3 overall record in this event, the squad wasn’t exactly a powerhouse team against its regional rivals, but it did at least put together a solid performance in a situation that did not particularly favor it. The team managed to claim a hard fought 2-0 win over the main Newbee squad to open its qualifier run, but that strong start fizzled out a bit with a subsequent 0-2 loss to EHOME and a 0-1 loss to IamPoint Club in its final 2 series. Despite the team’s losing record, Newbee Young was still able to keep things fairly competitive across its qualifier matches, due in large part to the contributions of its core trio. Fonte, Aq, and kaidou put together a combined average of 16.67 kills and 27.16 assists on just 9.84 deaths, providing the squad with a relatively stable level of production that served it well across its 5 total games. The team’s not exactly ready to take that next step forward within the Chinese region just yet, but performance like this one at least show us that Newbee Young is making strides in its development.
With the return of Xm to the team’s lineup, CDEC Gaming came into this Minor qualifier with a bit of hope and confidence as it took on a field of its regional rivals for a spot on the Pro Circuit stage. While the team’s efforts weren’t quite enough to avoid a finish at the bottom of the event standings, CDEC Gaming managed to put together a much strong performance than many might have been expecting from it. The team was able to claim a match win against EHOME in a hard fought 1-2 loss, and put up a solid fight against Newbee in a Bo1 loss. The team’s core trio of Eve, Xm, and Newbie combined to average 13.5 kils and 19.5 assists on just 8 deaths per game in this qualifier, displaying a degree of skill that will likely be the cornerstone of the team’s efforts moving forward. Overall, CDEC Gaming did not make much of an impact in this qualifier, but the squad at least managed to show us a fair bit of its potential as the squad looks to develop into a more consistent presence in the Chinese region.
After a relatively disappointing performance in the recent Major qualifier, Team Sincere came into this event with some rather low expectations against its regional rivals. Unfortunately, the squad was unable to prove that projection wrong, as the team failed to win a match in this qualifier to finish with a 0-3 overall record and a 7th-8th place position tin the standings. The team was simply out matched across the majority of its qualifier run, suffering a lopsided 0-2 loss to Royal Never Give Up in its initial series before losing a somewhat more contentious Bo1 match against IamPoint Club. That final match actually saw Team Sincere flash some potential, as the team built up a net worth lead of nearly 10k in the first 20 minutes of play. Unfortunately though, the team ended up losing that advantage in the mid and late-game stages as IamPoint Club was able to claim control and bring Team Sincere’s qualifier run to an end. One certainly has to admire the squad’s ability to reach these last 2 qualifiers, as its victory in the Major open qualifier afforded it a valuable pair of opportunities to compete against some of the top opposition in its region. Given the team’s 1-7 record over the course of those 2 qualifiers though, it seems unlikely that we will see Team Sincere again before the end of the Pro Circuit season.