What We Learned from the SL i-League Season 4 Minor

While Team Liquid used the SL i-League Season 4 Minor to give themselves a much needed boost in confidence heading into two Majors in the coming weeks ahead, the other participating teams left the Minor in Shanghai with more questions than answers.

For Team Kinguin, failing to make it to the playoffs after impressing at The Summit 8 Minor is a huge step back. They’ll have to do some serious thinking going forward. The same goes for compLexity Gaming. They had two chances to make their presence felt in the international stage, only to falter at both the Genting and Starladder Minor. At the same time, another early exit for Infamous is not a good sign, for both the team and the South American Dota 2 scene as a whole.

Mineski Are Good, But Not Great

SL i-League Season 4 Minor

Image via Mineski

Mineski are a good team. There’s no doubt about that. They’re the best Dota 2 team in Southeast Asia, which is neither a backhanded compliment nor light praise, considering that Southeast Asia is right up there along with Europe and China as one of the most stacked competitive regions in the world right now. But, even so, good isn’t just going to cut it if Mineski want to be legitimate contenders.

After placing 2nd and 1st in the first two Pro Circuit Minors, Mineski have done nothing noteworthy since, which is far from what you’d expect with a lineup headlined by Chai ‘Mushi‘ Yee Fung and Daryl Koh ‘iceiceice‘ Pei Xiang. Though they’re far better at this point than last year’s Team Faceless’ squad, we can’t help but think that they may end up suffering the same fate at the end of the season.

Watch Out for LGD Gaming

SL i-League Season 4 Minor

Image via LGD Gaming

Heading into the tournament, LGD Gaming were one of the dark horses. Not because they were weak, but because their latest roster haven’t had a chance to prove themselves in the international stage, especially since we’ve all learned by now to take Regional Qualifier results with a grain of salt.

As it turns out, though, LGD Gaming are closer to becoming legitimate contenders than underdogs. After finishing in 2nd place in Group A during the group stages, LGD Gaming pulled off arguably the biggest upset of the SL i-League Season 4 Minor when they swept the recently-crowned Genting Minor champions Newbee in the opening rounds of the playoffs.

While the loss isn’t enough to bring Newbee down as one of the top Dota 2 teams in the world right now, LGD Gaming’s performance was enough to put everybody on notice.

Status Resistance is OP

With the addition of patch 7.07 saw a glaring change in how debuffs worked in Dota 2 with the mechanic “status resistance” now coming into play. Though it took teamsquite a while to figure out how OP the mechanic is on certain heroes, the 8 Dota 2 teams playing at the SL i-League Season 4 Minor knew just how OP the new mechanic is. Why? Because they either first phase picked or banned Tiny in all of the games.

It’s not very often you see a hero either picked or banned in every game and have a 100% win-rate in the games he sees playtime throughout a whole tournament. Expect Tiny to receive a minor debuff in the next Dota 2 patch. Either that or for a rework for the “status resistance” mechanic.

Catch Is Everything in this Patch

SL i-League Season 4 Minor

Image via Kunimator

The emergence of Disruptor as a top-tier pick came off as a shock to many. Although arguably not for those who have paid a close attention to the meta develop for a while. Now that the fights are more drawn out, with teams doubling back to see if they can bait out their opponents, the catch that Glimpse offers is unmatched. Though Kunkka is pretty much the same with his X Marks the Spot, the difference between both heroes is that Disruptor is relatively easy to play as a position 5 (or the farm-starved 6) all game long, while Kunkka struggles to scale late in the game with little to no farm.

As more and more teams realize the importance of choosing heroes that are better at longer fights, Disruptor’s ability to disrupt an opposing team’s offensive charge becomes much more important. However, with IceFrog choosing to patch Dota 2 more often, the verdict is still out if Disruptor will remain a top-tier pick going forward or not.

Team Liquid Are Historically Good

You know that you’ve been successful for so long that getting to the Grand Finals in two straight Pro Circuit tournaments and not winning is considered a stumble. But, that is the life of Team Liquid and the standard that they must live up to after winning pretty much every tournament they played in from May of 2017 until December 2017. Though they’re not the first to win as many tournaments in a row, Team Liquid are officially the winningest squad in Dota 2 history with at least 250 games under their belt. Their record so far stands at 180-70, which is good for a win rate percentage of 72%, as per DatDota.

So when people say that Team Liquid are the best Dota 2 team in history, both the eye test and the numbers test back it up. If they hoist yet another aegis and go back to back at The International 8, then they’ll have ended the argument right there and then.

Also, kudos to Team Liquid’s captain Kuro ‘KuroKy‘ Salehi Takhasomi for being the first player to reach the 1,000-win milestone. After defending their title at the SL i-League Season 4 Minor, his record is now at 1,001 wins in 1,546 games, which is good for a win-rate percentage of 64.75%.

What do you think were the biggest takeaways from the SL i-League Season 4 Minor? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.

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