The GESC Thailand Dota 2 Minor in Bangkok found itself in a rather difficult situation. For starters, it was scheduled in between Majors in both Moscow and Changsha. This meant that most already had their eyes set on Changsha.
Nevertheless, despite its reduced scope, the GESC Thailand Dota 2 Minor was still an important tournament. This is especially true for Fnatic and Evil Geniuses. Both teams need every bit of additional Qualifying Points they can earn to boost themselves up the standings and squeak into the Top 8.
The GESC Thailand Dota 2 Minor also served as validation for the other teams in the tournament. A deep run here would give them the confidence they need in their current lineup for the upcoming TI8 Regional Qualifiers. But, anything other than a good showing might be a sign that they’re better off trying their luck with a new roster and risk going into the ever-so-perilous TI8 Open Qualifiers.
In any case, a number of storylines emerged from the GESC Thailand Dota 2 Minor, and below are the most intriguing ones.
This Is What a Minor Should Be
Thailand welcomes Team Secret, Evil Geniuses, Fnatic, Keen Gaming, SG e-sports, The Final Tribe, VGJ.Storm and ALPHA Red for 4 days of exciting Dota 2 action. Don't miss out on world class Dota 2 and grab your tickets now: http://geschampionship.com/bangkok-2018/
Posted by Global Electronic Sports Championship on Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Kudos to GESC for running a Minor that truly feels like a Minor. Many might argue that the invitation of Team Secret all but meant that this tournament was going to be easy pickings for them, but we all know how that turned out (more on this later on). The fact is, the GESC Thailand Dota 2 Minor is one of the only few Minors this tournament — the GESC Indonesia Dota 2 Minor being one of the others — that featured more Tier 2 and Tier 3 teams than Tier 1 teams. And yes, we’re saying that both Fnatic and Evil Geniuses are Tier 2 unless otherwise proven.
While Valve did not have any strict requirements for Minors and Majors, it’s only self-explanatory that the Minor feel distinctly different (smaller) compared to the latter. But, that hasn’t been the case. Most of the teams you see playing in Minors are also playing in Majors. Case in point, Team Liquid, who easily have been one of the best Dota 2 teams all season long, earned 1,710 Qualifying Points from Minors alone. For Newbee, they owe their sixth-place spot on the season leaderboards to the 1,180 Qualifying Points they’ve earned from Minors.
This isn’t to say that Tier 1 teams have no place in Minors, because they do. Tournament organizers need them to draw interest from audiences and sponsors alike. Tier 2 and Tier 3 teams could also benefit from the elevated competition. Rather, this is to say that there should be a distinct difference between the two types of Dota Pro Circuit tournaments other than the prize pool.
Team Secret Needs to Step Up Their Play
Many considered Team Secret as the top dog of the Dota Pro Circuit for most of the season. Unfortunately, they haven’t lived up to expectations over the past few months, and no, winning Minors don’t count when you fail to make it to the Top 4 in the Majors you’ve attended in between.
You can only make the “draft experiment” excuse in defense of Clement ‘Puppey‘ Ivanov so much before you start to wonder if losing this often has affected the team’s mentality. So often, Puppey drafts his team into a corner. Although they’re skilled enough to do this and still win against lesser teams, their Top 4 finish at the GESC Thailand Dota 2 Minor proved that they can’t always rely on skill alone to dig themselves out of a hole that they put themselves into in the first place.
With PSG.LGD as the only real title threat at the MDL Changsha Major on Monday, Team Secret will have a chance to finally go on a deep run in a Major since they won DreamLeague Season 8 back in December.
Here’s to hoping that they don’t shoot themselves in the foot with wonky drafts instead.
Trouble for Evil Geniuses
GGs to Keen Gaming as they close out our series 2-1. They send us home from GESC Thailand.
We've got a small break before ESL One Birmingham in late May; there's a lot of learning to do between now and then. Thank you for your support; we'll come back stronger.
— Evil Geniuses (@EvilGeniuses) May 11, 2018
With 1,335 Qualifying Points for the season, Evil Geniuses currently sixth in ninth place and will need to finish third in a Major to inch past VGJ.Thunder for the eighth spot. Though winning the GESC Thailand Dota 2 Minor would have netted them only 450 Qualifying Points, which isn’t nearly enough to get them into the Top 8, every win counts for the boys in blue from here on out.
Worst case scenario, Evil Geniuses will have to go through the Regional Qualifiers — or even Open Qualifiers if they opt to change their roster — to go to TI8, and that’s something they’ll want to avoid if possible.
If we are to assume that North America gets two Regional Qualifier slots this year as the region did last year, Evil Geniuses aren’t exactly a sure bet to get one of them. Not when OpTic Gaming, VGJ.Storm, Immortals, and even compLexity Gaming, all have a fair shot at making Evil Geniuses miss their first TI in five years.
You know, it’s a shame that the two teams who made it to the GESC Thailand Dota 2 Minor Grand Finals are ineligible for Qualifying Points. VGJ.Storm, who’ll play at MDL Changsha and the China Dota 2 Super Major would’ve had a chance to sneak into the Top 8 if they kee performing well. If nothing else, Keen Gaming and VGJ.Storm can take their recent performance as a sign that they have what it takes to go toe to toe with the best Dota 2 teams in the world.
Meta-wise, we didn’t see a lot of new stuff at the GESC Thailand Dota 2 Minor. If anything, the staple picks remained the same from EPICENTER XL. Doom and Leshrac, among others, are still high-value picks. Though Phantom Lancer did emerge as a common pick, it’s probably because the hero is a comfort pick for most teams in the tournament.
It’s highly likely that this will all change at MDL Changsha. That’s probably where we’ll see what kind of effect the latest Dota 2 patch will have on the competitive meta.
What do you think was the biggest takeaway from the GESC Thailand Dota 2 Minor? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.