Gambit Esports, Alliance favorites for StarLadder Minor Season 3

Neslyn A. February 19, 2020

Some of the teams that fell short of the ESL One Los Angeles Major are getting a chance at redemption in the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 3.

Before these teams could step onto the big stage, they had to brawl in the regional qualifiers. Though 24 teams competed, only eight managed to take a spot in the event. The list of teams set to compete in the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 3 includes:

  • Alliance
  • Business Associates
  • Fighting PandaS
  • Gambit Esports
  • forZe Esports
  • Team Aster
  • NoPing e-sports
  • BOOM Esports

The winner will receive a spot in the ESL One Los Angeles Major, as well as a minimum of 140 Dota Pro Circuit qualifying points. The StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 3 will take place in Kiev, Ukraine from March 5 to 8.

Gambit shines, Nigma and TNC fall short of StarLadder Minor

The CIS region was given two spots in the main event, with Gambit Esports claiming the first spot by defeating Cyber Legacy and forZe in the upper bracket.

Gambit Esports benched mid laner Danil "gpk" Skutin before the ESL One Los Angeles Major qualifier in favor of Rostislav "fn" Lozovoi. The team chemistry seems to be a work in progress. Gambit Esports ended both series in 2-1 fashion. Although these were not dominant wins, the players showed that they thrive under pressure and should be a threat at the event.

In the southeast Asia qualifier, TNC Predator took a stunning loss from Indonesia’s BOOM Esports. While TNC currently stands atop the DPC rankings, TNC has been skidding over the last two months and looked worse than ever here. BOOM faces long odds of winning the minor, which is something of an indictment of how far TNC has fallen in 2020.

The European qualifier featured exciting games from fan favorites Nigma, Team Liquid, and Alliance.

Team Liquid knocked down Nigma to the lower bracket in 2-0 fashion, but Nigma won the lower bracket finals rematch and eliminated Liquid in a clean 2-0 sweep. Nigma’s momentum made it seem like the spot in the minor was already in their pocket, but Alliance was not threatened by Kuro "KuroKy" Salehi Takhasomi’s team.

In the final game, Amer "Miracle-" Al-Barkawi and Ivan Borislavov "MinD_ContRoL" Ivanov messed up a crucial engagement that cost Nigma its spot in the main event. Alliance placed fourth in the DreamLeague Leipzig Major, and will likely be the favorite to win the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 3.

After delays stemming from the coronavirus, Team Aster claimed the last spot in the minor with a clean 3-0 win against Newbee in the Chinese qualifiers. Unfortunately, the team’s performance was overshadowed by allegations of match fixing in an earlier series between Avengerls and Newbee. Aster will look to continue its streak of major qualifications by winning the minor.