Jacky “EternalEnVy” Mao is heading to Disneyland after taking a long, strange path to get there.
Team Team has overcome the odds and qualified for a spot in the MDL Disneyland Paris Major. Working through the North American qualifiers, it will join fellow teams from the region Evil Geniuses and CompLexity Gaming.
The sudden union of EternalEnVy and Team Team may come as a surprise to fans that haven’t been keeping abreast the Dota 2 news. Not long ago, the Canadian made headlines because his Flying Penguins stack had fallen apart and been rebuilt from scratch within a couple of days.
But when the team washed out of the open qualifiers for the major and quickly scattered, it seemed as though EternalEnVy was doomed to watch yet another big tournament pass him by. Worse yet, he wouldn’t have the opportunity to buy himself a novelty Mickey Mouse headband and an $18 cup of beer.
Then he got in contact with former rival Michael “ixmike88” Ghannam. The Team Team captain had an invitation to the North America closed qualifiers, and was in need of a full-time carry following the departure of Samuel “Sammyboy” Anderson. For all his quirks, EternalEnVy has always been a top notch carry and is capable of helping teams reach the top.
He left the Flying Penguins, joined Team Team, and managed to climb his way into the event.
It wasn’t an easy path. The team put on an unremarkable group stage performance, dropping two series against CompLexity to start the playoffs in the lower bracket.
When regional king Evil Geniuses and CompLexity secured spots in the major, it put Team Team in a tricky spot where it would need to defeat both J.Storm and Forward Gaming. Though neither is established as a top brand, the two teams have managed to qualify for every major this season and are widely regarded as the second and third-best teams in the region.
Team Team showed signs of real hope in the first series against J.Storm, which saw EternalEnVy and company endure a tough loss, overcome adversity, and sneak out the series win 2-1. The squad managed to earn a spot in the major by then knocking out Forward Gaming in similar fashion.
Though it achieved the moral victory of being able to compete at one of the year’s biggest Dota 2 events, Team Team will likely have the longest odds of winning the event. But even if the team falls short, they’re still in for quite the adventure.