As the DPC season enters its last legs before the international, we come to the second last minor in the calendar
The Dota PIT minor will take place from the 22nd of April to the 28th in Croatia, Split at the Spaladium arena. Its offerings include a $300,000 prize pool and 500 DPPC points.
Groups will follow a round robin best of 3 format, having the teams in two groups of four. Performance in groups only affects seeding with all teams starting in the playoff upper brackets.
Playoffs follow the usual double elimination format; however, the first 3 rounds of lowers are all best of 1’s.
The Dota PIT minor is being played on 7.21d and is a lead-in to the Disneyland Major that takes place from the 4th of may to the 12th. 1st place in the minor takes the last spot for this $1,000,000 tournament that also offers 15,000 DPC points.
This feed in system allows teams that don’t see a lot of premier international tournaments to test their metal against the other regions. It’s also a good indicator of regional strength before the major, putting local results in perspective.
The below ratings are for general performance, and many teams have differing matchups with each other. The teams are in order from best-to-worst from my own interpretations.
NiP has run into a bit of trouble in the European region. The qualifiers for EU are now packed with the likes of Secret, Liquid and the recently invigorated OG. Unfortunately for NiP, they haven’t been able to keep up with the better teams at international events which is a far cry from their pre-season hype. It’s very apparent they don’t have the ability in their current form to beat tier 1-2 teams with any sort of consistency. The Disneyland qualifiers saw them take two loses to Secret and Liquid, before an upset to the Swedish team Final Tribe. The DreamLeague 11 followed a similar pattern with them running out of weaker opponents to beat. They are however in their element in the minor and I would no be surprised to see them take the last spot at the major.
With China’s dominant performance in the Major, a team being able to constantly perform in the region is a sign of strength. Royal have had mixed performances. Falling in the open qualifiers for ESL Birmingham and then putting up a good fight against scene leaders in the Disneyland Qualifiers. Recent changes to the coach, a new position 3, and swapping of 4/5 hasn’t yet yielded great results. The team themselves have a lot of experience on the international stage, but there is ambiguity about their current form. I still think they're one of the better teams at the minor and have been limited internationally by China’s strong tier 2 scene.
Gambit started the year as a juggernaut, claiming some incredible placements against international steadfast teams. Their absent in recent competitions has come from an unexpected loss to NaVi in the Dreamleague qualifiers, and then having to deal with a rampaging ViCi gaming in the minor. In identical circumstances they fell to NaVi in the Disneyland qualifiers putting them in the minor and are now looking to not repeat history.
Alliance have very much struggled to find a footing in the intense European scene. The issue they currently have is an inability to beat established teams, if we exclude the minor $5000 Birmingham Invitational, they haven’t beaten a stable international team in a series since Aster at the Chongqing major. They have however shown promise locally and this has significant weight due to the intensity of European competition, dropping only 1 series against NiP. They did also won the Birmingham Invitational, beating the likes of Team Empire and the Pango.
BOOM ID have unexpectedly taken the minor spot from TNC, who are generally the number 2 in the SEA region. BOOM’s last international appearance at the Starladder minor saw them eliminated early on. Locally they have posted good performances but have struggled dealing with teams of TNC and Mineski’s calibre. How much they have improved since the last minor is yet to be seen.
Forward Gaming have recently lost 3 players after the Dreamleague major. Since then they have played a fair few internal games, posting good results for the region. The issue with this is how we infer their performance internationally as NA has recently had a weak performance globally. Team TT, who have been a strong competitor in NA, recently finished 5th - 6th at ESL Mubai. Additional weak performances from NA’s secondary teams at the major has brought into question the regions internal strength. Their performance is one to look out for as it will probability dictate how all non-EG NA teams will do at the major.
With south America being given two spots, the few stable teams they have are already qualified for the DisneyLand Major. Formerly Pacific eSports, Majestic hasn’t had any international experience and have struggled in the recent SA tournaments. It’s up to them to show that they’re ready to perform on the global stage, or if their qualification was due to a strong run in their region.
While China might currently have a strong scene, EHOME have done nothing to suggest that they can run with the bulls. They still haven’t recovered from the loss of Faith and eGo. The current rooster seems unstable and they are still playing with their coach. Their weak performance at Dreamleague 11 has been followed up with failures to qualify for the Disneyland Major and ESL Brimingham. Their qualification to this event almost seems like an anomaly. Their performance is going to depend on the regional difference and if tier 3-4 in China can compete with other regions tier 2-3.