Dota 2 fans from all over the world won’t have to wait too long to get their dose of action as the EPICENTER Major Qualifiers is set to kick off soon.
It hasn’t been more than a week since the conclusion of the MDL Disneyland Paris Major. Yet, here we are now, with 48 Dota 2 teams vying for 14 slots for the EPICENTER Major. As has been mostly the case this season, we’re going to see the usual suspects dominate their respective regions. But, with teams now having had a full season to try and build chemistry, the gap between the powerhouses and the hopefuls are no longer as wide as before.
The smaller gap between the Tier 1 and Tier 2 teams of the Dota 2 scene should make the EPICENTER Major Qualifiers interesting, to say the least.
With that said, we singled out a couple of Dota 2 teams from each of the six competitive regions that are worth keeping an eye out on at the EPICENTER Major Qualifiers.
Roman ‘Resolut1on‘ Fominok is back.
After spending most of the season with Forward Gaming, the Ukrainian professional Dota 2 player returns to his former team, albeit he’ll be playing with a new set of teammates, which means that he’s basically going to be the one adjusting to them now instead of the other way around.
So far this season, J.Storm have teased potential, but almost always come up short.
Whether it’s the lack of explosiveness or stability, we can’t really tell for sure what’s wrong with J.Storm. Luckily, Resolut1on brings both in spades. As a hard carry, he can become that solid rock that the team can rely on late in the game, and be that player that takes over and brings them to the proverbial top.
While it remains to be seen if bringing back Resolut1on is enough to get J.Storm over the hump, his presence should be enough to make J.Storm one of the bigger threats in North America, right next to Evil Geniuses.
It’s always interesting to see where the journeyman, Dominik ‘Black^‘ Reitmeier, goes, and given that this is his first stint in South America, it’ll be worth watching out for his new team, Infamous, and how they fare against relatively weaker competition.
As of the moment, Infamous can fill the vacuum of power left by the departure of Chaos Esports Club, who have since left for Europe. Sure, they won’t be alone in trying to stake a claim, but they’ll likely have the best chance. After all, they’re made up of solid players, and if they mesh together, they could end up achieving more than Chaos Esports Club ever did, especially if they put in some effort into bootcaming and scrimming properly in the lead up to TI9.
It’s been a while since we last saw Jerry ‘EGM‘ Lundkvist playing. Or, at least, a while since he landed himself on a competitive team.
The former Alliance member is easily one of the lesser known members of the lineup that won The International 2013. In fact, he’s probably more known for how he’s often been kicked from Alliance, only to be brought back later on, and not for his actual play.
It’s not like he’s a bad player, either. You could argue that his hero pool, along with that of Joakim ‘Akke‘ Akterhall, was one of the key reasons why Alliance were as successful as they were back then.
Teaming up with the likes of Steve ‘Excalibur‘ Ye, EGM face the tall task of squaring up against powerhouses such as Team Secret, Team Liquid, and OG, as well as Ninjas in Pyjamas at the EPICENTER Major Qualifiers. However, it’s not like we haven’t seen EGM do great things in the past, and given his championship experience, he could help elevate Team Singularity‘s level of play enough to make them legitimate threats.
What is it with Gambit Esports that they can’t just seem to get over the proverbial hump? We know that they’re a good team, and they’ve shown that they’re capable of going toe-to-toe with some of the best Dota 2 teams. But, for some reason, they have a tendency to disappear when it counts the most.
Heading into the EPICENTER Major Qualifiers, Gambit Esports will have one last shot at making it big at a Major this season before looking at making potential changes to try and position themselves better for The International 2019.
It’s always interesting to see a veteran make a position change late in their career. Case in point, Liu ‘Sylar‘ Jiajun moving to the position five support role after establishing himself as one of the best hard carries in the world.
Moves like these rarely pan out. Kuro ‘KuroKy’ Salehi Takhasomi is perhaps the only good example of a player who successfully transitioned from hard carry to support. He’s most likely an exception to the rule at this rate. After all, both positions require a different skill set, and after having had a team play around him for so long, you’d have to wonder if Sylar has what it takes to make the sacrificial play, game in and game out, to put his team in the best position to succeed.
Paired up with relatively young players, Team Sirius is Sylar’s chance at proving if he can successfully lead a team of youngsters.
Geek Fam are perhaps the most intriguing team of the EPICENTER Major Qualifiers. Sure, they’re not a team made up of all star talents. That distinction belongs to Fnatic. But, the names on the lineup could work, theoretically.
Yes, the last time Marco Polo Luis ‘Raven‘ Fausto and Chai ‘Mushi‘ Yee Fung played together under Fnatic years ago, things didn’t go so well. However, Raven has since matured and Mushi has most likely tempered down. Meanwhile, a couple of intriguing pieces make up the rest of the team as well. For example, the much-maligned Rolen Andrei Gabriel ‘Skemberlu‘ Ong is still 19-years-old and has proven himself as one of the talents to watch out for in Southeast Asia.
If Mushi can play the role of a veteran mid and allow Raven, as well as Skemberlu to shine, Geek Fam could mess up the status quo in Southeast Asia.
Which Dota 2 teams are you looking forward to seeing the most at the EPICENTER Major Qualifiers? Do you agree with our assessment of the teams that we singled out? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.