Team Liquid joins Ninjas in Pyjamas and Team Secret as the DreamLeague qualifiers from Europe (Image courtesy of Team Liquid)
Fifteen teams are set to go to Stockholm, Sweden in March for DreamLeague Season 11, the third Major in the Dota 2 Pro Circuit (DPC). The North America and Europe qualifiers ran from February 3-6, adding six more teams to the nine that qualified earlier in the week.
The Europe qualifier saw Ninjas in Pyjamas and Team Secret claiming their slots through the Upper Bracket of the Playoffs while Team Liquid took the Lower Bracket spot.
— Team Liquid (@TeamLiquid) February 6, 2019
These results weren’t too surprising. Team Liquid and Team Secret faced each other in the Upper Bracket so one of the two teams had to drop to the Lower Bracket to earn their ticket. The two teams are generally considered the strongest entrants: Team Secret won the Chongqing Major, and while Team Liquid has struggled this season, they did place fourth at The International 2018 (TI8).
Ninjas in Pyjamas faced OG in their Upper Bracket match. The latter team, despite winning TI8 fewer than six months ago, have yet to make an impact in the second DPC season. By contrast, Ninjas in Pyjamas placed fourth at the Kuala Lumpur Major but then struggled in the second set of DPC tournaments. However, Ninjas in Pyjamas were able to come out ahead this time, winning the series 2-0, and getting the spot for the Stockholm Major.
Alliance, who had joined Team Liquid and Team Secret in representing Europe at the Chongqing Major, were unable to win a single game during the qualifier and dropped out in the first round of the Lower Bracket.
The North America qualifier came down to the four teams widely considered the best in the region: Evil Geniuses, Forward Gaming, J.Storm and compLexity Gaming.
Stockholm, Sweden bound!!🇸🇪🇸🇪🇸🇪
GGs to Flying Penguins as we take the series 2-0
— J.Storm (@Team_JStorm) February 6, 2019
Because compLexity Gaming had to go through the Open Qualifier (Team Team got the fourth direct invite to the Closed Qualifier), they were placed in Group A with Forward Gaming and J.Storm, making it easily the more difficult group. They placed third, seeding them into the Lower Bracket.
Meanwhile, J.Storm and Evil Geniuses pushed through the Upper Bracket to claim their spots. This left Forward Gaming and compLexity to push through the Lower Bracket. Forward Gaming had beaten compLexity 2-0 when they met in the group stage and they repeated the feat in the Lower Bracket final in convincing fashion. J.Storm, Evil Geniuses and Forward Gaming all represented North America at the previous Major.
GGWP to all of the teams – looking forward to seeing some amazing Dota 2 in 🇸🇪🎉🎉🎉 pic.twitter.com/rQc7VYzZ43
— DreamHack Dota (@DreamHackDota) February 7, 2019
The fifteen teams to qualify this week will be joined by the winner of the StarLadder ImbaTV Minor to compete in the DreamLeague Season 11 Major. At stake? $1,000,000 USD and 15,000 DPC Points. The Major will run from March 14-24 in Stockholm, Sweden, with the last three days on the stage at Annexet. All of the teams will be eager to earn a few more DPC points and join current DPC leaders Team Secret and Virtus.pro in securing their direct invitation to The International 2019.
Meanwhile, all of the teams that failed to qualify for the Stockholm Major now have an opportunity to compete for a spot at the StarLadder ImbaTV Minor. Open qualifiers for that tournament begin February 7, with regional qualifiers scheduled to start February 9. Most of the regions will have four teams competing, with Europe and CIS featuring six teams. See StarLadder’s site for all the details, including how to sign up with your own open qualifier team.