With the groups for DreamLeague Season 11 in place and the event starting in only a couple of hours, I have decided to take a look at my picks and predictions for the event and who I think will excel coming out of the groups and going into the playoffs.
The picks from each group are merely my own personal opinions based on current meta and the playstyles which I enjoy watching.
This is seemingly the “death group” of the tournament, but in my mind, it just has 2 clear teams that are possibly going to dominate. Unfortunately for KG and J.Storm, they’re battling against ex-TI champions as well as victors of the previous Major. While I fully believe that KG can throw a spanner in the works against Team Liquid, my top pick for this group is quite obviously Team Secret.
With Clement ‘Puppey’ Ivanov at the helm and Michal ‘Nisha’ Jankowski just being fantastic to watch, this Secret squad is easily one of the top contenders to win their group and challenge valiantly for the Major title too.
Ninjas in Pyjamas
This is my personal favourite group, with many players that I can’t ever get enough of – but if I had to choose one right now, it would be PSG.LGD. Even without one of their vital team members, Lu ‘Maybe’ Yao, this squad has talent oozing out of every corner and after their second-place finish at The International 2018, there’s been a lot expected of them. While Chinese teams have been struggling recently in the DPC and LGD have not been present at many of the smaller non-DPC events, we may see a new side come out from the squad.
However, I have to give a special mention to my other favourite in the group, Fnatic if not only due to Daryl Koh ‘iceiceice’ Pei Xiang. There’s nothing about the entire squad that doesn’t scream talent and I’m sure they have a high chance of taking a firm hold of the group too – especially after the team’s great display at ESL One Katowice 2019.
This group, sadly, has a clear best team in the CIS giants, Virtus.pro – who have been looking extremely dangerous even when they’re playing Apex Legends before a game. They found themselves victors of the first Major of the 2018-19 DPC season and while they weren’t able to win the second Major, they came in a close 2nd place. In my opinion, even though the team have already received enough points to qualify for TI9, VP will put up a strong challenge for both the victory of the Major and even TI this year.
EHOME do get an honourable mention in group C, showing great skill to win the Bucharest Minor and take a top 6 finish in Chongqing. Unfortunately for the Chinese squad the incident which saw Zhang ‘Faith_bian’ Ruida have his upper arm fractured shortly before MDL Macau seems to have set them back a long way. They were unable to really perform in Macau and even though their performances have been amazing lately, if they aren’t able to find their rhythm with a standin, they won’t get very far.
Chaos Esports Club
This, to me, is the true “death group” of the Stockholm Major with all four teams maybe not being AMAZING, but still showing off some fantastic Dota 2 often. EG will have their star-player, Sumail ‘SumaiL’ Hassan back on the squad and that could give them the edge they need to dominate the group – but there’s the ever-lurking threat of Na’Vi and Chaos to knock them back down a peg.
VG have emerged looking as if they are a brand-new squad lately with their amazing victory at the recent StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor on top of a 2nd place at ESL One Katowice 2019. As mentioned before, while Chinese teams have not had the best of times in the DPC season, they seem to be on the up-and-up and if this squad plays like they did at the Minor, group D will have a clear-cut winner.
With DreamLeague Season 11 kicking off in just a few hours, all of the teams are already in Stockholm, resting and preparing for the battle ahead. While I may have picked my favourites from the group stage, anything can and probably will happen – but only time will tell who will emerge the champion of the Stockholm Major.