The first Minor of the 2019-2020 Dota Pro Circuit season started today at the Beyond the Summit studio and the first two series have already delivered the unexpected.
Ninjas in Pyjamas in danger of an early elimination
Ninjas in Pyjamas, one of the teams favorite to take the trophy home, and with it, the final spot at the MDL Chengdu Major, are in fact one series away from an early elimination. The TI5 champions Peter “ppd” Dager and Saahil “Universe” Arora, joined now at NiP by three up-and-coming players, got outplayed by the team who arrived at the Minor after Virtus.pro withdrew. jfshfh178 are an interesting mix of tier two players, some grinding their way to a big team for several years, some just at the start of their professional career. They have Yaroslav “Pikachu” Vasilenko in the mid lane, Iceberg’s twin brother, who was extremely disruptive in game one on Timbersaw. He kept diving Nico “Gunnar” Lopez on Ember Spirit and forced NiP to play a dual mid from early stage, however, with no success. By the 15-minute mark, 178 were leading NiP 9-1 and 5 of those kills were on the Ember, who was given no break and no chance to recover. The GG call came 35 minutes into the game, when the CIS squad was holding a 25,000 gold advantage. Game two wasn’t easier for Nip either, they gave three kills to their opponents in the first three minutes of the game, and from there on it all went downhill. 178’s carry, Nikita “Palantimos” Grinkevich on Chaos Knight had a perfect laning stage and wreaked havoc on the map to end the game with nearly double the networth of NiP’s most farmed hero.
Unfortunately for NiP, the loss in first series pushes them in the losers’ match of group A at the DOTA Summit Minor. Later today, they will be playing against paiN gaming who are also coming from a demoralizing experience in their opening series.
Record breaking Invoker from Invictus Gaming sets the bar high
Invictus Gaming, the only Chinese team in the tournament, started their journey with a 2-0 stomp over the Brazilians from paiN Gaming. The young mid-laner Zhou “Emo” Yi, recently promoted in the post TI9 shuffle from iG Vitality to the main team, took the spotlight with his performance in both games. His Zeus in game one was absolutely on point, but the big surprise came in game two, where he was given Invoker. The second game lasted just 16 minutes, courtesy of Emo, who finished the game with record breaking stats.
iG and 178 will play against each other on the second group stage matches. The winner will be guaranteed a spot into the Minor playoffs, while the loser will have to go through a decider match to stay alive in the event.