Less than two weeks into the new year and already, we’re in for quite the clash as 8 teams are set to battle it out at the PGL Bucharest Minor from January 9 to January 13.
Unlike the previous Minor by DreamLeague, however, the PGL Bucharest Minor will feature some of the biggest teams in all of Dota 2. This includes the reigning TI8 champions, OG, as well as Ninjas in Pyjamas. Six (6) other Dota 2 teams will join these two squads as they clash to seee who will go home with the lion’s share of the $300,000 prize pool. But, perhaps more importantly, teams will also be fighting over the final slot to the Chongqing Major.
All eyes will definitely be on OG and Ninjas in Pyjamas in this particular tournament. However, it will be foolish to count out the other competitors. EHOME, for example, have slowly been making waves in the local Chinese competitive scene. Although they have very little international success to show for their lineup, it only takes one tournament for a team to gain momentum. This is especially true for a team coached by Zhang “xiao8” Ning and with two former Wings Gaming members on its roster.
Who are the heavy favourites to win the PGL Bucharest Minor? What’s the format? Where is it going to be held? We’ve got the answers to all of those questions, and then some, with our quick guide below.
What Is The PGL Bucharest Minor? What Is At Stake?
Since the introduction of the Dota Pro Circuit in 2017, Valve-sanctioned tournaments are now separated into two distinct categories: the Minors and the Majors. In addition to boasting $300,000 and $1 million prize pools, respectively, these tournaments also reward playing teams with DPC points, where, at the end of the season, the highest point earners will receive a direct invite to TI. However, unlike last year, this season, Minors and Majors run in pairs. Case in point, the previous Minor, the CORSAIR DreamLeague Season 10, was held in tandem with the Kuala Lumpur Major, where the winners of the Minor received a slot to the Major.
The PGL Bucharest Minor, which will take place at the PGL Studios in Bucharest, will precede the Chongqing Major, with the winners of the tournament receiving a spot at the said Major, in addition to a huge chunk of the prize pool.
You can watch the Dota 2 tournament free via streaming on Twitch or in the Dota 2 client.
For more information, you can click here to check out the tournament’s official website.
Which Teams are Competing at the PGL Bucharest Minor?
The Bucharest Minor will feature 8 of the world’s best Dota 2 teams, clashing in Bucharest for four (4) days of action.
All of the eight (8) teams earned their slots via one way only and that’s by qualifying.
They are as follows:
- Ninjas in Pyjamas
- Keen Gaming
- Team Team
- Playmakers Esports
- Gambit Esports
- Boom ID
At first glance, the pool of participants is top heavy, with OG, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and EHOME rounding out the top three. Nevertheless, the tournament should make for some of the most exciting matches we’ve seen to date, as the fresh state of the meta and the constant practice most teams are getting these days via third-party tournaments should help close the gap between the competing teams.
Who Are The Heavy Favourites to Win the PGL Bucharest Minor?
At 2.50 odds to win (bet $100 to win $250) the PGL Bucharest Minor according to the oddsmakers over at 10bet, OG are the heavy favourites to win the tournament. However, the win will likely not come very easy.
While Pers Anders Olsson ‘Pajkatt‘ Lille is definitely a capable carry player and one of the most stable cores in the scene, he plays differently from Anathan ‘ana‘ Pham. This has forced entire OG lineup to play differently, and we have yet to see them dominate consistently with their new lineup. But, then again, we could have said the same about the reigning champions prior to The International 2018 and we all know what happened.
In terms of potential, EHOME have some serious upside. For nearly two years now, this team has boasted the services of two former Wings Gaming players, a team lauded by many as the best TI-winning team of all time. Meanwhile, their coach, Xiao8, is no slouch himself, and is one of the most decorated players in Dota 2 history.
Unfortunately, during that span, EHOME have had very little to show for their potential, leaving many to wonder if they’d never amount to anything. But, this season feels different. Although not a lot of fans following the Chinese scene closely, anyone paying attention to how well EHOME have been playing can see that this is a scary lineup when things all fall into plan, and that’s happening more often than not these days.
Even if EHOME don’t end up winning the PGL Bucharest Minor, where they are at 4.50 odds to win (bet $100 to win $450), don’t be surprised to see them make it all the way to the Grand Finals.
Ninjas in Pyjamas
At 5.50 odds to win (bet $100 to win $550), Ninjas in Pyjamas share the same chances of winning with Keen Gaming. However, we’re giving them the edge here simply because they’ve proven themselves the better team so far. Not to mention, they have Peter ‘ppd‘ Dager at the helm, and it’s always great to have a TI-winning captain on your side.
If ppd can somehow find a way to make the meta work in his team’s favour, Ninjas in Pyjamas could take the title right from under everyone’s noses.
All odds courtesy of 10bet.
So far, the Minors have turned out as intended. The lower-ranked teams are getting their chance to gain some exposure, while the fringe contenders get a shot to compete with the big guys. Sure, the argument exists for OG and Ninjas in Pyjamas belonging with other Tier 1 teams, but the fact is, they couldn’t make it to the Chongqing Major and they’re here, which has to mean something.
Having said that, the Bucharest Minor should set the table for other coming DPC events as we’ll finally have a tournament where we’ll see the latest iteration of patch 7.20 in action where there’s actually something noteworthy at stake.
Which team do you think will win the PGL Bucharest Minor? Will OG, Ninjas in Pyjamas, or EHOME win the tournament? Or will another team come out of nowhere to take the trophy? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.