New blood set to step into the spotlight as Pacific eSports earns its Pro Circuit debut with a successful run in the OGA Dota PIT Minor 2019 South America Qualifier
Our fourth regional qualifier for the OGA Dota PIT Minor 2019 has come to a close, as South America has joined the trio of China, North America, and CIS by locking in its representative for the season’s fourth Minor. After two days of matches, the field of 8 teams has been cut down to a single victor, with Pacific eSports claiming the South American region’s lone spot in Split, Croatia. The team put together a 6-1 record against its regional rivals on its path to the Minor, and will be making its first Pro Circuit appearance of the season at the event. 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.
1st (Qualified for OGA Dota PIT Minor 2019)
After a winless performance in the recent Major qualifier, Pacific eSports came into this Minor qualifier with incredibly low expectations. However, the team had made some adjustments to its roster in the time between those events, and the squad had hope and confidence in itself as it took on its regional rivals once again. In the preview post for this qualifier,it was projected that it would be “essentially impossible” for Pacific eSports to contend for a spot at the Minor, but that prediction proved to be embarrassingly inaccurate. with a 6-1 overall record, Pacific eSports completely flipped the narrative from its previous qualifier run, dominating every match up it faced en route to a shocking run that secured the squad a place on the Pro Circuit stage. Whether or not this team will be able to replicate that success on the international level remains to be seen, but for now the underdog squad will have a chance to bask in its incredible victory as the Pro Circuit will see some new blood at the OGA Dota PIT Minor 2019.
Thunder Predator came into this Minor qualifier as one of the biggest favorites in this field to claim a spot on the Pro Circuit stage. While the team’s put together an impressive performance against its regional rivals with a 5-2 overall record, its efforts proved insufficient to earn it a place on the Pro Circuit stage. The team looked strong for the majority of its qualifier run, claiming back to back 2-0 victories over Midas Club and Gorillaz-Pride and even claiming the opening match of its Finals series against Pacific eSports before eventually falling 1-2 to finish in 2nd place. The team’s performance was not enough to propel it to the Pro Circuit stage, but Thunder Predator did at least get some fantastic performances out of its Carry/Mid duo of Atun and Leostyle-. The duo combined to average 12.25 kills and 11.5 assists on just 2.63 deaths per game to bring the squad just 1 win away from earning a spot on the Pro Circuit stage. Should the team continue to play at this level moving forward, then it is likely that we will see Thunder Predator make at least one more appearance in the final round of Pro Circuit qualifiers in May.
With the majority of the roster made up of former Demolition Boys members, Team X came into this qualifier as one of the more formidable squads in the field. With a 2-2 overall record though, the team ended up short of the mark to reach the Pro Circuit stage with a finish in the 3rd-4th place position. The team was able to dispatch Infamous with an impressive 2-0 victory in its first series of the qualifier, but suffered a somewhat unexpected 0-2 loss to Pacific eSports in the Semifinals of the qualifier. Despite falling short of the Finals in this event, the team got an incredible series of performances from Kotarō Hayama, as the Carry averaged an insane 15 kills and 6 assists on 3.25 deaths per game across the team’s 2 series. The team’s performance in this event was certainly commendable, but it wasn’t quite as strong as it may have been hoping for prior to the start of the event. If the team wants to be able to retain the favorable position that it held as Demolition Boys, then Team X is going to have to elevate its level of play over the final months of the season.
Though Gorillaz-Pride had not put together a very strong performance in the recent Major qualifier, the team came into this event with an updated roster and new hopes of displaying its strength against its regional rivals. Despite its relatively meager expectations prior to the start of the Minor qualifier, Gorillaz-Pride managed to start off its run in impressive fashion with a massively one sided 2-0 victory over TLC Gaming. Unfortunately, the squad found itself on the wrong side of another blowout series in the Semifinals, as the team was completely overpowered in a 0-2 loss to Thunder Predator to end its qualifier run with a 3rd-4th place finish overall. At this stage in the season, it is fairly clear that Gorillaz-Pride has potential, but that it is not nearly at the level where it can consistently compete with the leading squads in its home region. The team’s odds to making it to the Pro Circuit stage at this rate are almost nonexistent, but the possibility still exists for the squad to continue improving its standing within the South American hierarchy and perhaps make a push for the TI9 qualifiers at the end of the season.
Infamous entered this Minor qualifier as one of the favorites to claim the lone South American slot at the event, but it appears as though the squad will not be making the trip to Split after all. A match up against Team X in the Quarterfinals of the event brought the run for Infamous to a rather swift end, as the squad fell 0-2 to the Peruvian squad. After a closely contested loss in Game 2 of the series, Infamous found itself completely annihilated in Game 2, as it was out killed 1-34 in a massively one sided affair that was over in less than 20 minutes of game time. Despite the squad’s solid showing in the previous Major qualifier, it would appear that its new roster still has some kinks to work out moving forward. Even with this early exit from the qualifier, Infamous is likely to remain among the top squads in the South American region, but the team is now running out of time if it wants to separate itself from its regional rivals in the Pro Circuit Rankings before the season comes to a close.
SG e-sports may not have come into this event as a favorite to claim a position on the Pro Circuit stage, but with many of the other squads in the field being either relatively unknown or having put together lackluster performances in the Major qualifier, there was some small degree of hope that the team could put together a strong performance against its regional rivals. Unfortunately, that did not come to pass, as SG e-sports found itself quickly bounced from the event with a 0-2 loss to Pacific eSports in its first series of the qualifier. While the Brazilian squad was able to put up a decent fight in that series, it was playing from behind for the vast majority of its matches and never quite seemed to have the right coordination and execution to pull off any sort of effective comeback effort. The expectations weren’t all that high for SG e-sports coming into this event, but such an early exit with a relatively poor performance is certainly going to come as a disappointment for the team.
As a relatively unknown team within the South American region, TLC Gaming was not expected to find much success against its regional rivals in this event. As it turned out, that projection proved to be pretty much spot on, as the team was handily defeated by Gorillaz-Pride in a one sided 0-2 loss in its lone series of the qualifier. TLC Gaming found itself out killed 20-61 over the course of the series, and trailed in terms of net worth across the entirety of both matches as it was simply out played by its opponent at every turn. Considering the somewhat unorthodox scenario that led to TLC Gaming’s participation in this qualifier, it seem unlikely that we see this squad again before the end of this 2018-2019 season.
Midas Club did not come into this Minor qualifier as a team that was expected to accomplish much against its regional rivals, but the squad ended up having to face a challenge from outside of the game itself. Connection issues in its lone series against Thunder Predator left the squad to play most of Game 1 without one of its players, putting the team at a disadvantage that it proved unable to recover from. After a subsequent loss in Game 2 of the series, the team’s run in the qualifier came to an end with an ignoble 0-2 record. The expectations were not high for Midas Club heading into this event, but you always hate to see a team hamstrung by these sorts of issues in a professional setting.