In just under a day the first Dota 2 Pro Circuit event of 2020 will get underway as the WePlay! Bukovel Minor kicks off with eight teams descending on Bukovel, Ukraine to fight for a chance at reaching the upcoming Major.
With the event quickly approaching, we’ll take a look at both groups and which teams in each have the best shot at making it to the playoffs and who has the best chance at reaching the DreamLeague Season 13 Major later this month; continuing with Group B.
- Fighting PandaS
- FURIA Esports
- Gambit Esports
FURIA Esports have been around for barely six months, forming just prior to The International 2019 and even making it through the open qualifiers for the event. However, the team has been void of any real action, especially after missing out on the first Minor and Major of the Dota 2 Pro Circuit Season and thus we’ve not seen much from them. The entirely Brazilian squad seemed as though that they could cause a stir in the South American region with the likes of Otavio ‘tavo’ Gabriel and Heitor ‘Duster’ Pereira, but in early November – just two months after joining, tavo would leave.
Since then the team have only been involved in qualifiers and while they may have only managed to make it to the Bukovel Minor, we know from Infamous just what havoc the SA teams can cause. However, considering that this will be their first outing against tough international opponents, it’s unlikely that FURIA will make it into the playoffs.
Jacky ‘EternaLEnVy’ Mao is always an enigma when it comes to Dota 2, creating a ton of drama wherever he goes. When his latest roster was announced, he seemed to have finally found a formula that would work with a string of amazing players around him – and it looked even ore promising when they qualified to the first Major. But that was the end of the high life as they were dismantled in Chengdu. With surprisingly no roster changes since, FP managed to beat out J.Storm and take a spot at the Minor.
However, this squad really only looks good once every few series and with the group that they find themselves in, it’s likely that we’ll not see FP making it beyond the group stages at this Minor, let alone managing to reach the Major.
A CIS Gambit
Following their reformation after TI9, Gambit Esports begun the season looking rather strong with a second-place finish at ESL One Hamburg 2019, but following that, their DPC season begun poorly with a quick elimination from the first Major. The CIS region had definitely stepped up its game since and with the likes of Virtus.pro, Natus Vincere and Team Spirit all raising the bar for the region, Gambit missed out on a second Major appearance.
Even with missing the DreamLeague Season 13 Major, Gambit had a great performance at the recent ONE Esports Dota 2 World Pro Invitational in Singapore, finishing in third place. Even after making a few changes in the last few months, Gambit remain a force to be reckoned with and definitely have a high chance of breaking into the playoffs – although winning outright will not be a simple task.
Out of eight teams at the WePlay! Bukovel Minor, none is more famous than Nigma, formerly known as Team Liquid. We may not have seen a lot of Nigma so far this season and they may not have been able to crack the Major through qualifiers either, but they are easily the best team at the Minor, on paper at least. There’s no denying the amazing prowess of the team and with absolutely no changes from their TI9 runner up brilliance, they are probably the complete favourites to take the Minor and reach the Major.
However, looking back to their performance at the recent qualifiers, Nigma need to heavily step up their game if they want to take the title of Minor champions and get their DPC season off to a good start.
At a glance, Group B seems quite easy to predict with Gambit Esports and Nigma most likely to reach the playoffs, but when it comes to Dota 2, there’s always an upset waiting to happen. If Nigma are not prepared and have not found their footing in Outlanders yet, it is possible that they don’t make it into the playoffs but with just under a day until the WePlay! Bukovel Minor kicks off, we’ll soon find out just who will take the top honours at the first DPC event of 2020.