In little under a day the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Season 3 Minor will kick off as the eight teams involved will begin their journey to determine which of them will reach the ESL One Los Angeles Major.
The groups have been set and the teams are definitely taking their places in Kiev, Ukraine as they get ready to fight their opening battles. With a vast range of teams in the event, we take a look at which team is likely to win their group and even the entire event.
- BOOM Esports
- business associates
- forZe eSports
- Team Aster
Having already made it to both the MDL Chengdu and DreamLeague Season 13 Major, Team Aster could be a team to look out for at the Minor. With Yao ‘QQQ’ Yi having recently joined the squad as coach, there team seemed to be bolstered but, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, QQQ will not be joining the squad in Kiev. In his place, Zhang ‘LaNm’ Zhicheng will be helping the team through their Minor journey.
However, considering the team’s performances at previous events in recent times, things don’t look too promising for Aster. It will take a lot of work from the team as well as their stand-in coach to pull off a victory against some of the teams attending.
Having joined the Dota 2 scene barely two months ago, forZe obtained the Gentlemen squad, featuring some well-known CIS players amongst some new faces on the scene. While the team did lose a player to Danil ‘Dendi’ Ishutin’s B8 squad, they had not made it into any previous DPC events prior to the upcoming Minor and while they could cause a few upsets, this group will not be easy to dominate.
In recent times the Southeast Asian teams have definitely looked as though they would dominate many different events. For BOOM, they have shown some great form so far this season, but unfortunately were never able to make it into a DPC event until now. Reaching the ESL One Major may have not been on the cards, but taking down the likes of TNC Predator and Reality Rift to reach the Minor is a big step and they could easily reach the top of Group A.
While the team name may not instantly stand out, business associates is the North American roster featuring Clinton ‘Fear’ Loomis and David ‘Moo’ Hull that were playing under the J.Storm banner in recent times. However, after being suddenly released from the organisation, the five players decided to remain together and play as free agents – which afforded them the opportunity to reach the Minor.
Having only just missed out on reaching the ESL One Los Angeles Major, this squad seems very likely to dominate their group and maybe even take the entire tournament, if they can hold off against some of the other teams that could halt their progress.
- Gambit Esports
- NoPing e-sports
Group B would be tough for any team to make their way through but for the Brazilian squad of NoPing, they definitely have a chance to create some chaos. With the likes of Otavio ‘tavo’ Gabriel and Adriana ‘4dr’ Machado on the squad, amongst others, the team definitely are not at a loss for talent – but without much playtime against big opposition, things may crumble quite quickly if they don’t find a solid grounding.
CR4ZY (ex-Fighting PandaS)
It was just over a week ago that Fighting PandaS switched out two founding members of the squad for two fresh players – and only yesterday that they were picked up by a brand-new organisation to enter the scene. CR4ZY, a Croatian esports organisation will be looking to enter Dota 2 with a strong squad and hopefully booking their ticket into the ESL One Los Angeles Major too off the back of this.
While the team did not have the best results at FP, their additions of Oliver ‘Skiter’ Lepko and Maurice ‘KheZu’ Gutmann could just be the boost they need to come out on top of a rather difficult group.
Coming into the DPC season, Gambit were looking to make up for the end of last season where everything seemed to go wrong for the CIS squad. While having solid podium finishes at non-DPC events such as ESL One Hamburg 2019 and ONE Esports Dota 2 World Pro Invitational Singapore, the team were not able to make a great showing at either the WePlay! Bukovel Minor earlier this year or MDL Chengdu.
The team seem to have some internal issues which resulted in Danil ‘gpk’ Skutin being benched for a few weeks, the player is now back as a part of the roster and could help them to make some headway in Kiev this week.
It is extremely weird to see Alliance participating in a Minor but considering the strength of the European region now with the likes of Team Secret, OG, Team Liquid and Nigma, it’s not that surprising. With a strong fourth place finish at the DreamLeague Season 13 Major, Alliance seem set to dominate both their group and possibly the entire event. Although the entirety of Group B looks to be a very hard-fought affair, Alliance have seemed dominant in recent events – and while no team should be counted out in a Minor, it’s very likely that this squad have the mental fortitude to push them into a Minor victory.
With just over 20 hours left before things kick off, it will be interesting to see just what these teams bring to the table at the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Season 3 Minor and by the end of the weekend we will have one final team added to the ESL One Los Angeles Major.