The CORSAIR DreamLeague Season 9 Minor is nearing its end, with only four teams lefts in the pool fighting for a chance to take home a huge chunk of the $300,000 USD and 300 Qualifying Points prize pool.
Expected to win a DreamLeague title for the third time in four times heading into the tournament, Team Liquid certainly haven’t performed to expectations. But, that shoudn’t be all too surprising, as the team is currently without the services of Amer ‘Miracle-‘ Al-Barkawi. And though they can get away with an obviously rusty Kuro ‘KuroKy‘ Salehi Takhasomi as the team’s hard carry and coach Lee ‘Heen‘ Seung Gon standing in to fill KuroKy’s role against lesser teams, they just got exposed by Team Secret in a 2-0 stomp that wasn’t even remotely close at any point of the series.
Now, Team Liquid are in the lower brackets, waiting to face off against the winners of Fnatic vs Newbee to get another crack at Team Secret and try to avenge their 3-0 loss at the DreamLeague Major earlier this season.
Fnatic vs Newbee
Fnatic and Newbee have only met once so far this season and much has changed since. Abed Azel ‘Abed‘ Yusop is now in Fnatic, along with Saahil ‘UNiVeRsE‘ Arora. Meanwhile, Newbee’s remained relatively the same powerhouse that they’ve always been, having added two Pro Circuit titles to their name.
At first glance, this is a battle between underdogs and favourites. However, Fnatic are not your typical underdogs. They’re what many refer to as a Tier 1.5: a team who could look better than many Tier 1 teams, but sometimes, often to the confusion of many, would suddenly perform worse than a Tier 2 team. But from what we’ve seen so far, they’ve straightened up a bit. And given Fnatic’s tendency to change things up, both via the draft and in their playstyle, Newbee’s knack for being too one-dimensional — admittedly, they’re very good at what they do — might just end up hurting them.
Betting: Fnatic to win at 2.45 odds (ArcaneBet)
Can Liquid Win It All?
— Team Liquid (@TeamLiquid) March 21, 2018
The biggest question now is if Team Liquid can actually win the tournament with a stand-in and the answer to that question is no. That’s no slight to Team Liquid, though. They are still one of the best Dota 2 teams in the tournament if not the world even with a stand-in. KuroKy has proven, albeit with a small sample size, that he still has what it takes to become a top-tier carry, and Heen isn’t half-bad. They’re just not good enough to beat Team Secret.
Why? The reason is simple, really. Even with Miracle- on their roster, Team Secret were considered by many as the better team of the two. And though Team Secret stumbled quite a bit at both Katowice and Bucharest, they’re in top form right now, having absolutely beaten bloody all the teams they’ve faced in the Corsair DreamLeague Season 9 Minor so far and not dropping a single game en route to securing a Grand Finals berth.
The CORSAIR DreamLeague Season 9 Minor title is as good as Team Secret’s right now. It’d take a miracle (no pun intended) to stop that from happening.
What do you think of Team Secret’s chances of going back to back at the CORSAIR DreamLeague Season 9 Minor? Do you think Newbee, Team Liquid or Fnatic have a chance against them? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.