In just a few sleeps, the Dota 2 Pro Circuit 2019/2020 season will kick off with the first Minor getting underway from Los Angeles – the DOTA Summit 11, with eight teams fighting for a chance to make it to the Major. With that on the horizon, we have put together a preview to highlight the teams, especially since there are many newcomers and roster changes following The International 2019.
With the groups now announced for the event it is easier to look at the teams facing off in each, so starting with Group A who will kick off the DOTA Summit 11 Minor on Thursday.
- Jin ‘flyfly’ Zhiyi
- Zhou ‘Emo’ Yi
- Thiay ‘JT-‘ Jun Wen
- Hu ‘Kaka’ Liangzhi
- Chan ‘Oli’ Chon Kien
Invictus Gaming are another one of those teams that we have not seen in the mainstream Dota 2 scene for some time, with 2017 really being the last time the Chinese organisation made any impact. Since then the team have gone through countless changes, none of which helped them reach many DPC events – with the ones that they did reach seeing them not performing very well. However, with the start of the new season the new squad has already managed to reach the Minor and qualify for ESL One Hamburg 2019. Unfortunately, due to Visa issues, they withdrew from Hamburg and focused on getting to the LA for the upcoming tournament.
The new roster features some young players who have excelled with the likes of Mineski and Geek Fam but most importantly has the likes of Kaka, the ex-Newbee and Keen Gaming player. Kaka’s involvement in the team seems to have definitely increased their performance in recent events and they could possibly be set to take the DOTA Summit 11 Minor by storm.
Ninjas in Pyjamas
- Oliver ‘Skiter’ Lepko
- Nico ‘Gunnar’ Lopez
- Saahil ‘Universe’ Arora
- Malthe ‘Biver’ Winther
- Peter ‘ppd’ Dager
NiP have recently secured themselves a new lineup featuring the brilliance of ppd and Universe alongside a few younger, well-known players. While the team has been expected to perform extremely well right from qualifiers, they were not able to beat the new Team Liquid roster and progress into the upcoming Chengdu Major. However, this did not stop the squad from the Minor qualifiers to reach the DOTA Summit 11. Apart from qualifiers, we had our first competitive showing of the team in Amsterdam at DreamLeague Season 12.
Even though they were considered one of the favourites to take the event, NiP were unable to make their way past the Demon Slayer squad and would end their tournament in another third-place finish – indicative of ex-Evil Geniuses player on the team. However, with some time since to practice and prepare, NiP are definitely among the favourites to take the first Minor of the Dota 2 Pro Circuit season.
- Nikita ‘Palantimos’ Grinkevich
- Yaroslav ‘Pikachu’ Vasilenko
- Vladislav ‘Kazl’ Kozlovsky
- Danil ‘Bignum’ Shehovsov
jfshfh178 is a CIS squad that made their way into the DOTA Summit 11 Minor due to Virtus.pro’s withdrawal from the event. While the team may be vastly unknown to most, they did post some decent results through the Chengdu Major qualifiers, tying with Natus Vincere and Positive Guys – but unfortunately only enough to reach the Minor qualifier. After being beaten by both VP and Hellraisers, the squad were fortunate enough to have VP withdraw and thus obtained their Visas for the upcoming Minor.
As a squad, this will be the first time jfshfh178 compete in a DPC event but one player on the team has some experience with these events, Palantimos. Possibly one of the most well-known players of the squad, Palantimos spent a lot of time playing alongside Vega Squadron in 2018 and even though they never made it very far in events, they were present at both the Bucharest and MDL Changsha Majors. Things could be very different now that they have another shot with a Minor but it will be a tough journey for them to overcome many of their opponents.
- Therence ‘Therence’ Coelho Ferreira
- William ‘hFn’ Medeiros
- Rodrigo ‘Lelis’ Lelis
- Thiago ‘Thiolicor’ Cordeiro
- Anderson ‘444’ Santos
paiN Gaming’s path to the Minor has reflected the team’s constant ups and downs of their recent years in Dota 2. The South American squad has seen many changes over the years with the likes of Aliwi ‘w33’ Omar and Rasmus ‘MISERY’ Filipsen as a part of their roster but now they have returned to a full-Brazilian roster once more. The team seemed set to make it into MDL Chengdu through the Major qualifiers – going unbeaten in the group stages. But when they came to playoffs, they would stumble and get sent into Minor qualifiers. While they managed to make it through a lower bracket run to the DOTA Summit 11 Minor, it was not an easy path.
Near the end of October, the team were also hit with a major blow as 4dr confirmed via his Twitter that he would be unable to attend the Minor – with Therence taking his place for the event. Even so, the Brazilians are hoping to kick off the 2019/2020 DPC season in top gear and make their way into the Major.
There are just two days left until the Group Stages of the DOTA Summit 11 Minor kick off and with the groups now set we are set for an epic Minor to open the DPC season.