Held in March 2019 in the welcoming Annexet Arena from Stockholm, Sweden, the DreamLeague Season 11 Major was a landmark for the mid-season of the 2018-2019 Dota Pro Circuit. For some of the teams competing in this Major, the results in Sweden were the last indicator for how their rosters are going to perform going into TI9.
The Stockholm Major standings triggered changes in the case of Forward Gaming, who announced the departure of three of their players even before returning home from Sweden. This is also the tournament where Kim “Febby” Yong-min got jobless, as he states ever since he was kicked from Mineski. Infamous lost Mason “mason” Venne and Romel “Wu” Quinteros, the change also being made even before the tournament concluded. Na’Vi continued to play in the next tournament with a stand-in, while they gave their captain, Akbar “SoNNeikO” Butaev, a break to deal with health issues after the Stockholm Major. But while for all these teams the trip to Sweden ended with bad memories, for Fnatic and for Vici Gaming this tournament was one of a kind.
Fnatic secured their presence at The International 2019 with their performance at the 11th season of DreamLeague. Ahead of the tournament, they had 1350 DPC points gathered from a top 8 finish in Kuala Lumpur and a 9th-12th placement at the Chongqing Major. In Sweden, they got seeded in one of the easier groups and they took full advantage of it to proceed to the playoffs from an upper bracket spot. The big surprise came in the upper bracket quarterfinals where the SEA team defeated Virtus.pro 2-0.
Fnatic’s dominance was stopped in the finals by Vici Gaming and then they got eliminated in third place by VP, who took revenge in the lower bracket finals. Nonetheless, this was the only DPC tournament where Fnatic were among the top 3 finishers. They collected 2100 points in Sweden and were locked in for TI9.
However, the biggest story of success was written by Vici Gaming, who came to this Major via the StarLadder ImbaTV Minor preceding it. VG took the spoils in Sweden and achieved what no other team managed to do during the entire season. They finished the 2018-2019 Dota Pro Circuit as the only team to have won back to back a Minor and a Major. VG’s success through the season didn’t stop there, but more about their feats of strength in the upcoming DPC rewind articles.