Just a few days after Team Liquid’s successful title defense at the Starladder i-League Invitational Season 3 Minor tournament in Kiev, we now move on to Bucharest for the PGL Open Minor on October 19 to 22 where 8 of the top Dota 2 teams from all over the world will battle it out for a $300,000 prize pool and 300 Qualifying Points.
Read on more below to find out everything you’ll need to know about the PGL Open Minor, from the list of participating teams, seedings, tournament format, and so much more.
The Participating Teams
Six (6) qualifier teams and two (2) direct invites will duke it out in Bucharest for four days of back-to-back Dota 2 action.
LGD Gaming, fourth-place finishers at The International 7, and the perennial North American powerhouse, Evil Geniuses, both received direct invites to the event.
The qualifier teams are as follows:
- Europe – Team Secret
- CIS – Natus Vincere
- North America – Immortals
- South America – Infamous
- China – VGJ.Thunder
- Southeast Asia – Mineski
Noteworthy attendees include Mineski, Natus Vincere, and Team Secret, who all will be playing in their second straight Dota 2 minor to open up the new season.
Tournament Format and Breakdown
Similar to the Starladder Minor, the PGL Open Minor is split into two parts: a GSL double-elimination format group stages and a single-elimination playoff.
During the first three days of the event, the 8 participating teams, who will be divided into 2 groups of 4, will battle it out for the right to advance to the playoffs. Only the top two teams from each group will move on to the final day of the event.
The PGL Open Minor will then feature a single-elimination bracket format for the one-day playoffs.
The distribution of the $300,000 prize pool and 300 Qualifying Points are as follows:
- 1st Place — $135,000 / 150 QP
- 2nd Place — $60,000 / 90 QP
- 3rd/4th Place — $30,000 / 30 QP
Mineski currently leads all the participating teams with 270 Qualifying Points, followed by Team Secret with 90.
You can visit Valve’s official pro circuit page for more information about players and team standings for the 2017-18 season.
The Heavy Favourites
With LGD Gaming reeling and Evil Geniuses looking out of shape in their limited time playing in officials so far, Mineski are the de-facto favourites to win the PGL Open Minor by virtue of their stellar performance in the Grand Finals of the Starladder Minor.
Mineski looked like a solid team all throughout the tournament and gave Team Liquid much more of a fight than the results indicate.
More importantly, of the 8 teams in the tournament and the 4 who faced Team Liquid, the cast of talented players from Southeast Asia were the only ones to have taken a game off of the reigning champions — in dominant fashion at that!
Is Team Secret the best team playing in the PGL Open Minor? Well, you really can’t say for sure, but there’s definitely a case to be made for it. After all, similar to Mineski, the European powerhouse was actually much closer to beating Team Liquid than what the 2-0 record shows in their semifinals matchup.
Had it not for a few costly misplays by the normally-spectacular Yeik ‘MidOne’ Nai Zheng, especially in Game 2 of their matchup against Team Liquid, the series, and even the entire tournament, arguably would’ve gone differently.
But of course, we don’t live in an alternate reality and in our world, Team Liquid hoisted yet another trophy and Team Secret went home with a Top 4 finish.
Still, you can’t discount the fact that Team Secret have looked like one of the most solid Dota 2 teams so far. And with one LAN tournament experience finally under their belt, you can expect the entire team to only mesh better and improve.
If there’s one thing that you should never forget about competitive Dota 2, it’s that you should never count the Chinese out. And, between LGD Gaming and VGJ.Thunder, the former is a more storied franchise with a historically better track record.
Sure, losing their position five support Chen ‘Victoria’ Gunahong to a “chronic disease” sucks. However, something tells me that their replacement — the team’s coach and former EHOME and Team DK player — Yao ‘357’ Yi will do just fine.
If LGD Gaming’s latest addition Xu ‘fy’ Linsen shows up with his A game in his first LAN with the organisation, a top 4 finish is all but guaranteed already.
Teams to Watch Out For
Did you notice anyone notably missing in our list of heavy favourites? Yeah. Evil Geniuses just didn’t quite make the cut.
You can argue that qualifying for a tournament in North America this season isn’t with the emergence of teams such as OpTic Gaming, Immortals, and CompLexity Gaming, as well as VGJ.Storm, but saying that they’re preventing Evil Geniuses from qualifying sounds more like an excuse. But still, this is Evil Geniuses we’re talking about, and with Clinton ‘Fear’ Loomis at the helm, you can’t just take them lightly.
Speaking of North America, the Korean Overlords, Immortals, are always a threat to take down just about any opponent. Their ultra-aggressive, full davai playstyle makes them entertaining to watch and simply a nightmare to play against.
Of course, who could forget about Natus Vincere? Being that this is going to be their last tournament so far, expect the popular CIS team to make the most out of their opportunity.
The same goes for VGJ.Thunder, who will see the Dota 2 veteran Liu ‘Sylar’ Jiajun playing in his first LAN tournament since coming out of retirement earlier this season.
Don’t Miss Out on the PGL Open Minor
Of course, as with any Dota 2 tournament, anything can happen; SG e-sports — and to a lesser extent CompLexity Gaming — proved this when they swept Vici Gaming on Day 1 of the Starladder Minor.
With that said, we can only be sure that the PGL Open Minor is going to be a must-watch event filled with spectacular plays from each of the participating teams.
The PGL Open Minor will kick things off with the group stages from October 19 (Thursday) until October 21 (Saturday) followed by a one-day playoff on October 22 (Sunday).
Which team do you think will win the PGL Open Minor? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.