Team Secret, Nigma not invited to DreamLeague Major qualifiers

Steven R. November 27, 2019

The initial entrants into the DreamLeague Leipzig Major regional qualifiers have been revealed and there are a few surprising additions and omissions therein.

All six regions have had their competitors confirmed. All six regions will see 10 teams competing, with eight slots determined by Dota Pro Circuit qualifying points and two slots being awarded to open qualifiers.

While this approach makes sense on some levels, this forces the elite teams that sat out of the MDL Chengdu Major to work through the open qualifiers. For the teams that were already looking to earn a spot at the event through the qualifiers, it has them facing incredibly long odds.

Not only that, but another big shakeup came in the form of one big-name team changing regions.

Ninjas in Pyjamas changes regions for DreamLeague Leipzig Major qualifiers

It was already weird seeing Ninjas in Pyjamas without a single Swedish player on its lineup. Now the team isn’t even going to be competing in Europe.

NiP was revealed among the invitees for the North American qualifiers. They join MDL Chengdu Major and Dota Summit 11 competitors Fighting PandaS, Evil Geniuses, J.Storm, and Chaos Esports Club, as well as a roundup of regional squads.

While one might accuse NiP of trying to duck out of the intensely crowded European qualifiers, NiP will actually fit into the North American region more appropriately with three American players on the team. Saahil "Universe" Arora, Peter “ppd” Dager, and Nico “Gunnar” Lopez arguably make this team fit better into the North American qualifiers than anywhere else.

That said, the North American qualifiers won’t be a cakewalk for any of the teams involved. All three major invitees put on respectable performances and Chaos Esports Club is still brimming with potential. On top of that, it is unclear how many slots North America will be allotted at the major or minor, which means that another of these teams could be left out in the cold.

It’s actually a bit of a surprise that NiP’s roster remained untouched in the aftermath of the MDL Chengdu Major. If they fall short again, big changes will likely come to the team.

Team Secret, Nigma forced into DreamLeague Leipzig Major open qualifiers

Regional qualifier invites being distributed based on DPC qualifying points is harshly punishing teams that opted to skip the MDL Chengdu Major. It’s also a big roadblock for those that would’ve had to go through the open qualifiers anyway.

Team Secret is going to be forced to work its way through open qualifiers. The ex-Team Liquid roster now known as Nigma is in the same boat, assuming the team does plan to return for this event.

This likely comes as a surprise, especially as largely unknown teams like Six Eight Three and Team Singularity received invites. The International 2019 winner OG would face the same challenge, but that organization confirmed that it will not be competing for a spot in Leipzig.

Making matters even more complicated is the massive injection of RNG added to Dota 2 with the Outlanders Update. The newly implemented Neutral Item drop mechanic could end up causing huge issues, especially in a best-of-one setting.

Secret and Nigma are still highly likely to make the major, but their journey just became much more treacherous. Europe boasts a number of solid regional teams as well as newly formed squads like the recently revealed OG Seed.

While the initial decision to skip the MDL Chengdu Major seemed like a fine one, it could end up being a significant mistake.

PSG.LGD likely to face open qualifiers as well

PSG.LGD opted to pass on the MDL Chengdu Major due to Lu "Somnus" Yao taking a break from competition and Xu "fy" Linsen undergoing surgery. It isn’t completely clear if the team wants to return for the DreamLeague Leipzig Major, but if it does, it faces the same challenges that Team Secret and Nigma do.

China remains the deepest Dota 2 region and that should present even the likes of PSG.LGD with some challenges. If the team does make it into the regional qualifiers, Vici Gaming and Invictus Gaming now stand as China’s best while Team Aster, Keen Gaming, EHOME, and more all stand a good shot as well.

The open qualifiers for the DreamLeague Leipzig begin on November 28. This is followed by regional qualifiers that begin on December 1.

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