Redemption on the line in North America as 4 returning squads from the Major qualifier look to claim the region’s lone spot at the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 2
The final round of Pro Circuit qualifies for this 2018-2019 season are kicking off now, with the field of teams for the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 2 set to be locked in over the next few days. North America finds itself included among the first group of qualifiers for this event,with its regional qualifier set to begin on May 21 as four of the region’s squads will all look to lay claim to the lone NA slot on the Pro Circuit stage in Kiev. All 4 of the participants in the field for this event will be familiar faces for those who watched the previous Pro Circuit qualifier, as the quartet of Complexity Gaming, J.Storm, Young Drug Gaming, and beastcoast have returned from the Major qualifier to take one last shot at earning a place on the Pro Circuit stage.
With just 4 teams in the field for this event and a single slot at the minor on the line, the format for the North America qualifier will be fairly straightforward. The qualifier will feature just a single stage, with the 4 teams placed into a double elimination bracket with all match ups being played in a Bo3 format. With the field of teams reduced from the size that we saw in the recent Major qualifier, we will be shifting the categories for the participants from 4 down to just 2: Favored Teams and Underdog Teams.
The team(s) in this section represent the more formidable or accomplished teams in the field for the qualifier that appear to have the best chance at claiming a spot at the Minor. Given the smaller field of teams for these qualifiers compared to the Major qualifiers, the margin between the squads in this section compared to the other may not be particularly high. However, these teams have, or at least appear to have, some small advantage based upon their roster or results in the previous Pro Circuit qualifiers.
Galvin “Meracle” Kang Jian Wen
Linus “Limmp” Blomdin
Otávio “Tavo” Gabriel
Zakari “Zfreek” Freedman
Adam Erwann Shah “Adam” bin Akhtar Hussein
Complexity Gaming appeared to have a breakthrough moment in the recent Major qualifier, as the squad put together one of its strongest performances in the North American region with a 10-8 record against its regional rivals. With 5 of the team’s 8 losses coming against the duo of Forward Gaming and EG, who will not be participating in this Minor qualifier, Complexity Gaming appears to be in a rather favorable position now that some of its most formidable competition has been removed from the picture. Of course, the squad is going to have to prove that it can sustain the level of play that we saw in the Major qualifier. However, consistency on the home front has not been much of an issue for Complexity Gaming in recent times, and the squad will come into this final Pro Circuit qualifier with a fair bit of confidence and some high expectations as it looks to claim the lone North American spot on the Pro Circuit stage in Kiev.
Roman “Resolut1on“ Fominok
Jonathan “Bryle” De Guia
David “Moo” Hull
Clinton “Fear” Loomis
Park “March” Tae-won
The addition of Resolut1on certainly added a fair amount of hype and excitement around J.Storm in the recent Major qualifier, and the squad managed to deliver a respectable, though not overly impressive, performance in that event with a 6-8 overall record against its regional rivals. The team’s performance was decent, but not nearly as strong as it could have been, with J.Storm putting together just a 3-8 record against ranked opponents in this regional qualifier. The silver lining for the squad was that most of its fellow participants put together significantly weaker showings than that, which helped push J.Storm to its 4th place finish in the event standings. If the team wants to earn itself a place on the Pro Circuit stage in Kiev, then it is going to have to step things up a bit in this qualifier. Considering the incredibly underwhelming performances that we saw from some of the teams in the field in the preceding Major qualifier though, J.Storm appears to have the odds in its favor coming into this event.
The teams in this section are the squads that appear to have a somewhat harder path to success than some of their regional rivals, and will not be particularly expected to come out on top across the majority of its potential match ups. That being said, the teams in this section shouldn’t necessarily be considered long shots or teams that are not capable of finding success in this event. They simply appear to stand as the teams that come in a little bit below the other squads in the field. Whether its a roster change or a poor performance in the previous Pro Circuit qualifier, the teams in this section don’t appear to be quite as strong as the others, though there is still a solid chance that one of them manages to make their way to the Minor.
Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao
Eric “Ryoya” Dong
Braxton “Brax” Paulson
Timothy “tmt” Ong
Michael “ixmike88” Ghannam
Beastcoast’s play in recent times has not done a whole lot to instill confidence in its abilities, as the squad stumbled on the Pro Circuit stage at the previous Major and followed up that poor showing with an equally uninspired performance in the recent Major qualifier. Between the team’s inconsistent play and the changes to its roster, the odds aren’t looking all that favorable for beastcoast heading into this final Pro Circuit qualifier of the season. There is still a small degree of hope for the squad though, as the team still has the advantage of its extensive professional experience to work with. If the squad’s veterans can pull together and bounce back from its recent struggles, then there is a chance that it can turn things around in this event. Even if that veteran leadership does end up playing a significant role for the team, beastcoast will still need to put together an incredibly strong performance to have a real shot at claiming a place for itself on the Pro Circuit stage.
Young Drug Gaming
Zheng “PatSoul” Yukai
Yixuan “xuan” Guo
Coming into the recent Major qualifier, the expectations for Young Drug Gaming were set at an exceptionally low level, as very few people knew much about the squad. With a 2-5 record in that event, the team didn’t necessarily perform any better or worse than had been expected to, but that doesn’t really bode well for the team heading into this event. The fact that the team failed to out perform what was an incredibly low set of expectations doesn’t do a whole lot to instill confidence that Young Drug Gaming will suddenly be able to turn it on against its regional rivals this time around. Perhaps some sort of Cinderella run could be in the cards for Young Drug Gaming, but such a performance from this squad would come as near miraculous shock and is hardly a scenario that one should expect to see in this Minor qualifier.