StarLadder ImbaTV Invitational S5 - Survival Guide


10th, Apr, 2018
Just after SEA Dota reigned supreme in Shanghai, we go further north and turn our attention towards the 3rd Starladder Minor of this season, StarLadder ImbaTV Invitational Season 5. With none of the big guns (the top 7 of the DPC points table) attending this event, this could be the biggest chance for the underdogs to garner some points.

While the event will give out just 300 DPC points, and $300,000 in prizepool. This could be a crucial event where teams can look to gain some momentum heading into the final stretch leading into The International 8.

While we’re past the halfway mark of this year’s Pro Circuit (roughly 60% of the season’s DPC points have been distributed) and while the top 4 teams have virtually guaranteed their TI8 qualification, the remaining 4 spots are still up for grabs. Any team that can win this event will have a solid chance to qualify for TI8.
The Format

Group Stages:

  • Just like the previous Starladder events, There are two groups of four teams each.
Group A Group B
Na’vi VGJ.Thunder
Fnatic OptiC Gaming
Vega Squadron FlyToMoon
SG Esports Kinguin
  • Each group will have a Double Elimination GSL style Bracket with BO3 matches. The Top 2 teams from each group will qualify for the playoffs.
  • The playoffs will be played in a Single Elimination Bracket.
  • The Semifinals will be BO3 matches while the Grand Finals will be a BO5 Match.

Broadcast and Schedule Info:

The games will be broadcast on the Official Starladder Channel.
12th April 2018
SL No. Match Time in IST Time in SGT
A1 VGJ.Thunder vs FlyToMoon 02:30 PM 05:00 PM
A2 OptiC Gaming vs Kinguin 06:30 PM 08:00 PM
A3 Group ? final  08:30 PM 11:00 PM
13th April 2018
Sl No. Match Time in IST Time in SGT
B1 Vega vs SG Esports 02:30 PM 05:00 PM
B2 Natus Vincere vs Fnatic 06:30 PM 08:00 PM
B3 Group B final  08:30 PM 11:00 PM
14th April 2018
Sl No. Match Time in IST Time in SGT
A4 Loser of A1 vs Loser of A2 12:30 PM 03:00 PM
B4 Loser of B1 vs Loser of B2 03:30 PM 06:00 PM
A5 Winner of A4 vs Loser of A3 06:30 PM 09:00 PM
B5 Winner of B4 vs Loser of B3 09:30 PM 12:00 AM
15th April
Sl No. Match Time in IST Time in SGT
1 Semifinal #1 TBD TBD
2 Semifinal #2 TBD TBD
3 Grand Finals  TBD TBD
Storylines to follow:

1. Will Fnatic’s gamble pay off?

Image Courtesy: Fnatic

Fnatic will be making a ‘temporary roster change’ as they head into the StarLadder ImbaTV Invitational Season 5. Support player, pieliedie will be sitting out while 343 will be stepping in as a means to "further develop the team's cohesion and shot calling,". Exactly how long pieliedie will be absent from the roster is currently unclear. 

This is most definitely a big gamble considering the fact that Fnatic will only receive 75% of the total points from this event and that this is the last event in the Dota 2 Pro Circuit they’ve qualified for. A change at this crucial stage might upset the team’s balance and mental fortitude as they head down the final stretch to The International.

But, if this pays off and Adam “343” Shah does manage to fit in better with the roster. Then Fnatic is in a much better spot as 343 has previously shown that he is quite a good drafter/captain which would take off the pressure from EternaLEnVy’s shoulders which may lead to further improvement in his individual play which is one of the biggest weaknesses in Fnatic’s lineup.

While they will have to go through the Open Qualifier route for The International 8 if they make this change, they have quite a decent shot at a qualifier berth considering the fact that Mineski won't be taking part in the qualifiers. With TNC Predator turning up the heat and making a push for the direct invite slots. Fnatic might only need to go up against lower-tier teams in the International 8 SEA Qualifiers.

2. Can Optic Gaming secure their first points in the DPC table?

Image Courtesy: Spacesal

With wildly fluctuating results all over the place and still not a single point for TI collected, it is way past time for OpTic to pick up steam or they might just miss the bus to Vancouver. PPD’s squad still has a long way to go before he can unironically say that NA dota is the best.

The StarLadder ImbaTV Invitational Season 5 will be a good place to start considering that none of the Top 7 teams in the DPC points table will be attending the event, giving OptiC Gaming a great shot at securing their first DPC points.


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