Steven R. February 1, 2019
The North American open qualifiers for the DreamLeague Dota 2 Major had an unceremonious ending.
Just before the deciding game in the final series pitting Jacky “EternalEnVy” Mao’s Flying Penguins against a mysterious stack labeled as Natus Vincere North America, the game was called off. With a 1-1 score in the series, Flying Penguins was declared the winner by forfeit as Na’Vi.NA was disqualified due to a lack of North American players on the team, per Liquipedia.
No statement or explanation for the decision has been made by DreamHack, FACEIT or Valve. None of the players involved have made a public comment on the series of events. It should also be noted that the team has no apparent connection to the Natus Vincere esports organization, despite the stack’s name.
The move comes two months after the surprise disqualification of Test123 from the Chongqing Major. That team, which previously competed as Pain.X, successfully earned a spot in the event by taking first-place in the closed qualifiers. Two days later, Valve announced on the official Dota 2 blog that Test 123 had lost its spot in China due to questions over its status as a South American team.
Na’Vi.NA’s roster was largely comprised of players from the CIS region. The only verified player on the team is Leonid “Sonic” Kuzmenkov, who was banned from the Uprising Champions Cup for match fixing during European qualifiers in 2017, per Gamereactor. Other players on the team were using accounts that had only a handful of games recorded on Dotabuff, comprised largely of tournament qualifiers on European servers.
No other teams are yet known to have been forced out during the open qualifiers for this reason.
This meant Flying Penguins took the final spot in the North American closed qualifiers for the DreamLeague Major in Stockholm. The stack joins invited teams J.Storm, Evil Geniuses, Forward Gaming, and Team Team, as well as other open qualifier winners.