Less than two days from now, the Bucharest Dota 2 Minor is set to kick off what will be the first tournament of the 2018-19 Dota Pro Circuit.
From January 9 to 13, eight Dota 2 teams from all over the world will be fighting it out for a lion’s share of the $300,000 prize pool and a chance to be one of the sixteen teams who will be playing at the Chongqing Major on January 19 to January 27.
The Bucharest Dota 2 Minor will serve as the first Valve-sponsored LAN tournament of the current patch. At the very least, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of developments unfold. Will we see something wildly new and off-meta? Will one of the eight teams team find a way to break the game in ways that we’ve never seen before? All of that will be the talk of the tournament, perhaps much more so than who will win.
In any case, here are our picks and analysis for the Bucharest Dota 2 Minor.
All betting odds courtesy of 10bet as of January 8 (Tuesday).
The Bucharest Dota 2 Minor Betting Odds
- OG at 2.50 odds to win.
- Gambit Esports at 4.30 odds to win.
- EHOME at 4.50 odds to win.
- Keen Gaming at 5.50 odds to win.
- Ninjas in Pyjamas at 5.50 odds to win.
- BOOM ID at 20.00 odds to win.
- Team Team at 36.00 odds to win.
- Playmakers Esports at 50.00 odds to win.
Chief among them are OG, who are essentially shoo-ins to advance to the second Major of the 2018-19 Dota Pro Circuit. As the reigning The International 2018 champions, all eyes are on OG to see what kind of crazy concoction they’ll come up with to try and regain their spot at the top of the proverbial ladder. Obviously, being away from the competitive scene for months has had its toll on the team, and with Anathan ‘ana‘ Pham missing-in-action, OG are forced to adjust to playing with a stand-in for the meantime.
Although Igor ‘iLTW’ Filatov checks all of OG’s boxes — young, explosive core player with serious potential — he’s also relatively new to the team and more importantly, he is Russian.
While we don’t know what level of English he can speak, it is possible that the language difference could prove to be too much of an obstacle for OG to overcome. If that truly is the case, then the other teams will have a legitimate shot at winning the tournament and taking home the title for themselves.
The Bucharest Dota 2 Minor Winners Prediction
When you factor in the new meta, the fact that they’re playing with a stand-in, and the lack of preparation time, things are looking pretty dire for OG at the Bucharest Dota 2 Minor.
Having said that, it’ll be wise to consider other teams as a winning pick, specifically, EHOME and Gambit Esports.
Ninjas in Pyjamas could be a sleeper pick. So too are Keen Gaming, especially with a roster like theirs — the up-and-coming Chinese team recently added TI7 runner up Hu ‘Kaka‘ Liangzhi and veteran offlaner Ren ‘eLeVeN‘ Yangwei to their roster. However, as far as the eye test goes, EHOME and Gambit Esports look more like potential contenders.
Gambit Esports, in particular, have looked a lot better since adding Artsiom ‘fng‘ Barshack adding to their roster in late December. A stalwart veteran in the CIS scene, fng is lowkey one of the more brilliant minds in Dota 2 and have always done well when afforded a capable roster. That’s something that he seems to have with Gambit Esports, and he’s so far shown that he can take them places, dropping only a single game in the Playoffs portion of the WePlay! Dota 2 Winter Madness online tournament and sweeping OG in the Grand Finals to win it all.
Armed with what seems like a good grasp of the current meta and with momentum on their side, Gambit Esports could turn a lot of heads at the Bucharest Dota 2 Minor.
Betting: Gambit Gaming to win at 4.30 odds. (10bet)