Cover image source: Adela Sznajder | ESL One Hamburg 2018
A surprising twist of events sees 8 new teams qualify for the Bucharest Minor, leaving behind all the other teams who played last time around. In fact, the 8 teams who played in the first Minor of the season, Dreamleague Season 10 have failed to qualify for any DPC event in the second set of competitions. This is in stark contrast to the Majors where we see 12 teams playing both the first and the second Major of season.
Of course, while surprising, this isn’t completely unexpected as with any organized sport around the world, the upper tiers teams are always relatively more stable than the lower tier teams. But what it does mean is that we are guaranteed to have a new Minor champion and if NiP do win the Minor, then we will have 13/16 teams who played both the KL Major and the CQ Major.
From Europe we see PPD’s NiP and TI8 champions, OG qualify to the Minor, hardly a shocker since they were the better teams in the EU qualifier by far. However, anything other than a first place finish and advancing to the CQ Major will be a disappointment for both of these teams. China sends an old but familiar name to defend their honor, EHOME which is currently coached by TI4 champion, xiao8 and has two members from the TI6 winning Wings squad, y and Faith_bian. The other team is Keen Gaming which features old chicken, Kaka and eleVen in their ranks.
The rest of the 4 teams seem like underdogs at the moment especially when you compare the teams that have qualified from these regions to the might of EU and China. Representing NA will be ixmike88’s stack known as Team Team which features a bunch of NA leaderboard players like brax, Sammyboy, Newsham and Ryoya. SEA will be represented by Indonesia’s BOOM ID whose mid and carry players currently occupy the top two spots on the SEA leaderboards. Vanskor’s Gambit qualified from CIS which is shaping out to be one of the most unpredictable regions this season. And finally, from SA we have the all Peruvian squad, Playmakers Esport who will be playing at the Bucharest Minor.
This gives us the 8 teams who will be in action, competing for a prize pool of 300,000$, 500 DPC points and one slot to the Chongqing Major. The Bucharest Minor will be the first DPC event of 2019 and will kick off on the 9th of January.