Dota 2’s next big event, the Kuala Lumpur Major, is quickly approaching, but before that, we’ve got the DreamLeague Season 10 Qualifiers to worry about, where we’ll see a number of Dota 2 teams try their luck to be included in the first Minor of the 2018-19 Dota Pro Circuit.
While the prize pool and DPC points on the line are significantly lower, a win is a win. Especially since there are now 12 direct invites to The International 2019 next year. Not only that, but a berth at the Kuala Lumpur Major is also at stake, which makes gaining entry and winning the Minor incredibly important for teams who want to gain some much-needed momentum this early on in the season.
From what we’ve seen so far throughout the Kuala Lumpur Major Qualifiers, the Dota 2 talent pool is much depeer than ever. There are arguably far more high-level teams, including unlikely ones, this season than in the past. As a result, it can be difficult for the typical fan to figure out which team to watch out for and bank on, especially during the qualifiers.
But, worry not! We’re here to help you navigate the wildly competitive waters of Dota 2 and focus in on a few squads that should make a lot of noise at the DreamLeague Season 10 Qualifiers.
So, which teams in the DreamLeague Season 10 Qualifiers are worth trusting your money with? And, more importantly, what makes them worth keeping a close eye on?
Read on more to find out.
Team Liquid — Europe
Seeing Team Liquid in the DreamLeague Season 10 Qualifiers just feels wrong. They’re too good of a team to potentially miss out on the first Major of the season. But hey, if they were really that good, then they wouldn’t be here, which means that they deserve to be where they are.
Why the sudden slump is anyone’s guess, but what’s more important than why is that it is happening and just how good of a team the former TI7 champions are in their current state.
The answer? Still very good.
Even with Lasse ‘MATUMBAMAN‘ Urpalainen out on a break, with team captain Kuro ‘KuroKy‘ Salehi Takhasomi likely filling in as the team’s carry and Roman ‘rmN-‘ Paley standing in for the team, Team Liquid are still a tough team to beat.
Lest we forget, KuroKy was one of the best carry players in all of Dota 2 just until a few years ago, and it’s not like he hasn’t had a chance to show what he’s capable of as the team’s hard carry, helping the team notch 3rd place at DreamLeague Season 9 earlier this year with Amer ‘Miracle-‘ Al-Barkawi out on a break.
Losing consistently just isn’t what Team Liquid have done for the past three years and it’s highly unlikely that they’re going to start doing that anytime soon.
CompLexity Gaming — North America
As far as teams of misfits go, compLexity Gaming’s latest roster should be on top of the list.
Jacky ‘EternaLEnVy‘ Mao as a position five is weird enough as it is, but adding Clement ‘Fear‘ Loomis and Jingjun ‘Sneyking‘ Wu to the mix is just pushing it. How this team ever came together is anyone’s guess, and it’s not like Andrei ‘Skem‘ Ong eventually joining the team will make this lineup look any less weird.
Even so, compLexity Gaming’s lineup is also extremely talented and brimming with potential.
Although we know EternaLEnVy is a good carry player, his mind for tactics and strategy might be better suited for his new role as a support, while Zakari ‘Zfreek‘ Freedman and Linus ‘Limmp’ Blomdin are one of the more underrated Dota 2 players in the world.
Sneyking may not have had that good of a time at TI8, but he is a good player and his most recent experience might just make him a better player, and while Fear is only a stand-in, he did win a TI while playing as a hard carry and he is one of the most versatile players in Dota 2 history, so there’s no denying his potential.
With very few notable Dota 2 teams to contend against in North America left, expect compLexity Gaming to use the DreamLeague Season 10 Qualifiers as a way to prove that they’re not a team to be messed with.
Royal Never Give Up — China
Royal Never Give Up may be more well-known for its League of Legends team, but their Dota 2 squad is no slouch.
The organization did well in choosing to build around relatively young players such as Tue ‘ah fu‘ Soon Chuan and Du ‘Monet‘ Peng. It wasn’t too long ago that these two made The International 2017 their playground en-route to a 3rd-place finish with LGD.ForeverYoung. And, while they didn’t really get much success last season, it wasn’t for the lack of effort — they remained standouts in an LGD.ForeverYoung squad that spent the entire season in turmoil.
Now playing in a more stable team and with a coach like Tong ‘Mikasa‘ Junjie, both ah fu and Monet can finally go back to their old selves and that certainly doesn’t bode well for the other Chinese teams in the DreamLeague Season 10 Qualifiers.
Odium — CIS
Somehow, it feels like sleeping on Team Winstrike is going to come back and haunt me down the line. But, seeing how badly they performed after taking Top 12 at The International 2018, Ilya ‘Lil‘ Ilyuk’s stack, playing under the team name, Odium, feels like the much safer bet to emerge of the CIS Qualifiers as the winners.
No offense to the other CIS teams, because there are plenty that have a lot of potential, but experience almost always trumps out in the end, and there are only a few teams in CIS that are as stacked as Odium are in nearly every position.
If Lil can rally his troops together, which we’re betting that he probably can, Odium is a scary team worth keeping an eye on.
Mineski — Southeast Asia
While the competitive depth of the region has risen a lot so far in recent years, especially last season, the fact remains that Mushi is one of the most successful Southeast Asian players in Dota 2 history.
Simply put, the guy knows how to win.
And, while Mushi’s latest team with Mineski doesn’t really stand out on paper — him switching positions as a position 5 support is questionable at best — the lineup does have some serious talent and potential.
Finding out their absolute best playstyle is completely up to Mineski. They could ask Damien ‘kpii‘ Chok and Thiay ‘JT-‘ Jun Wen to swap roles and they might end up being better off for it. Or, they can also stick to their current roles, knowing that more time playing together can only make a team better, especially for a relative newbie like JT-.
Regardless, betting against Mushi in Southeast Asia has historically not led to good results.
While Mineski failed to impress at the Kuala Lumpur Major Qualifiers, expect their performance at the DreamLeague Season 10 Qualifiers to be so much better.
Newbee — China
Continuinity is Newbee’s strong suit. Or, rather, was.
After spending more than two years together, Newbee decided to break up their roster following their Top 16 finish at The International 2018. The result? Newbee haven’t looked this awful in a long time. They’re in the midst of an identity crisis, desperately looking for a way to play after losing Hu ‘Kaka‘ Liangzhi and kpii to Keen Gaming and Mineski, respectively.
Putting He ‘Inflame‘ Yongzheng back in the offlane is a good move, as he is a beast when he is on his natural role. However, without someone like kaka to set the tempo for the team, Newbee looks like they don’t know how to play.
Tang ‘CatYou‘ Xiaolei obviously couldn’t fill kaka’s shoes, as he is no longer part of the main Newbee squad after a relatively short stint. Worse still, there’s no telling if Yan ‘Waixi‘ Chao is up for the challenge either.
With Newbee playing in a tightly contested region like China, their margin for error is very slim, and unless they find a way to start playing and succeeding without kaka on the team, it’ll be a while before we start seeing the TI7 runner-ups qualifying for tournaments.
Southeast Asia — Tigers
Last year, Tigers were just one win and a sequence of events away from qualifying for TI8. Had they ran back the same squad for the 2018-19 Dota Pro Circuit, they, no doubt, would have had a better chance. But, alas, they didn’t.
Now, Tigers, while undoubtedly good on paper, are losing to teams that they shouldn’t be losing, and are starting to look less like the next big Southeast Asian team and more like a stack of players that’s going to disband soon.
If Tigers can stick together, maybe they’ll find a way to improve. But, that is a big IF.
Are You Ready for the DreamLeague Season 10 Qualifiers?
While there are fewer tournaments for the 2018-19 Dota Pro Circuit, the stakes have never been much higher.
No longer just “smaller” tournaments, Minors actually mean a lot now, and with most of the big-name teams already preparing for the Kuala Lumpur Major, we can expect the “lesser” teams to take this chance to strut their stuff and start improving.
Be sure to keep a close eye on these teams at the DreamLeague Season 10 Qualifiers because they’re definitely going to give you your money’s worth.
Which of these teams are you looking forward to seeing the most at the DreamLeague Season 10 Qualifiers? Do you think there are other up and coming teams that people should be on the look out for? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.