image by Disneyland Paris
The MDL Disneyland Paris Major is definitely set to be one of the biggest of this Dota 2 Pro Circuit season and with Ninjas in Pyjamas claiming the final spot, the stage is set.
There are only a few hours left until the event kicks off and with the groups now in place, it seems like a great time to look at which teams from each group could prosper and possibly take the spoils in Paris – as well as the teams who could possibly qualify for The International 2019.
Please remember that this is merely my opinion.
- Keen Gaming
- TEAM TEAM
- Team Liquid
If there’s one thing we know from previous Major tournaments this season, it is that Virtus.pro have ALWAYS done exceedingly well and it is probably safe to say that they will continue on that trajectory in Paris.
My choice: Keen Gaming
With that in mind, I want to focus on the next team in the group that I think could shine – Keen Gaming. This Chinese squad or some of the most well-known names in Dota 2 put on a brilliant performance at the previous Major and claimed a 5th/6th place finish as well as winning the recent ESL One Mumbai event. Zhai ‘yi’ Jingkai has definitely been an absolute pleasure to watch lately, as his mid lane Razor and Ember has torn through opponents. With the rest of the squad always at his back, KG definitely have a shot at taking second, if not even first place in Group A, if they continue on their recent path.
This group also features Team Liquid – who have not really shown much promise in recent events. While the team have consistently qualified to the Majors, their results have not been what we expect from Liquid – with their only victorious moments coming in the non-DPC events of MDL Macau 2019 and the MegaFon Winter Clash. Could this be the time for Liquid’s comeback or will they be waiting for EPICENTER for their return? My guess is EPICENTER, but I could be wrong.
- Team Secret
- Ninjas in Pyjamas
- Team Empire
- Chaos Esports Club
While this is not the “death-group”, it is probably still going to be a challenging one – especially with Team Secret up there. Once again though, I feel that they are the obvious choice for the top of the group, so I will look beyond Secret.
My choice: Ninjas in Pyjamas
Ninjas in Pyjamas (I know, who saw this coming??? Picking NiP twice in succession!?) played a brilliant tournament at the recent OGA Dota Pit Minor. While it was not perfect, their victory in the grand final was due to the entire squad playing in unison. The team have opted to draft very off-meta picks now and then, such as Meepo, Broodmother and Huskar – but have made all of this work for them. If the group stage at the Major does not go their way, however, there is a much higher chance that they will be eliminated early once again.
Things definitely have a chance to go south for NiP if the likes of Team Empire and Chaos Esports Club have anything to say about it. For the South American Chaos squad, they have not had the best showing at the previous Major, although they were the hand that eliminated Liquid from the event. They will certainly be hoping to gain some ground. While Empire will be hoping that their first Major of the DPC season brings them some good fortune.
All-in-all, this will be a very interesting group to watch to see who can climb up to the upper bracket and if anyone can upset Team Secret early on in Paris.
- Vici Gaming
- paiN Gaming
The so called ‘Group of death’ at the MDL Disneyland Paris Major is this one – Group C. And it shows with three massive teams and possibly an extremely tough time for one.
My choice: Vici Gaming/PSG.LGD
After a stunning performance in the previous DreamLeague Season 11 Major, which saw them take down all opposition and win the event, Vici Gaming seem dominant. The Chinese squad were the first team to come through a Minor victory and win a Major and they translated that into claiming a spot at The International 2019. But this won’t be an easy run for VG with another Chinese challenger in the group – the TI8 runner’s up, PSG.LGD.
While we have not seen much from them since the previous Major, LGD need only around 1000 DPC points to secure their spot at TI9. It seems highly likely that VG and LGD will dominate the group stage and possible that we’ll quickly see a magnificent showdown between the two Chinese teams.
Mineski come into the tournament on the back of a great run at ESL One Mumbai 2019, which saw them end in second place. However, without Kim ‘Febby’ Yong-min on the squad anymore, they could have some troubles. This is the Southeast Asian team’s first Major of the season but they seem to be on the rise – unfortunately this group will not be apologetic to small mistakes in game and so I feel they will quickly fall into the lower bracket.
Finally, paiN Gaming round out Group C as the victors of the South American qualifier for MDL Disneyland Paris. Unfortunately, other than some miraculous upsets (which are completely possible) paiN will probably end up at the bottom of the group.
- Evil Geniuses
- compLexity Gaming
This is another extremely interesting group at this Major, with one TI9 qualified team, another on the brink of qualification and two first time appearances at a Major in this Dota 2 Pro Circuit season.
My choice: OG
OG, amazing winners of TI8 last year, have had a rough season so far – but with the return of their star player, Anatham ‘ana’ Pham, the team seem completely refreshed. This will be their first Major of the season and this could also be the event that sees them gain entry into TI9, should they take the victory – and they have a great chance of doing so. This is my team to watch in Group D, but things won’t be easy with the likes of Fnatic breathing down their throat.
Fnatic have definitely taken the crown as the best team in SEA this season as the squad have improved at each and every Major – taking third place in Stockholm recently. Sitting only a few hundred DPC points away from TI9 qualification, they need only a 7th/8th place finish to claim their spot but they will definitely be playing for more. Fnatic are always one of my favourite squads to watch and even more so this season with the inclusion of Daryl Koh ‘iceiceice’ Pei Xiang in the team.
The final two teams in Group D are two North Americans, Evil Geniuses and compLexity Gaming. While EG have been looking fairly promising lately, they just have not seemed to have a special factor at events. That said, they are already heading to TI9 and they will probably give the group stage an extremely good contest. Unfortunately for coL, the same cannot be said – even though this is their first Major, they are in a very tough group and it’s unlikely they will be able to contest the teams in their group.
With just under 24 hours remaining until the first series of MDL Disneyland Paris, we’re all set for an epic Major. The groups are perfect and upsets are always likely but it remains to be seen who can come out on top and how many more teams will qualify for TI9 by the culmination of this Major.