The next four days will give us the first Minor Tournament of the Season, with eight teams competing over 300 Pro Circuit Points and a $300,000 (~Php 15,000,000) prize pool.
The first Minor of the season is upon us, and the competition will surely be high thanks to the high stakes involved. Fighting over 300 Pro Circuit Points, and a $300,000 prize pool are Team Liquid, Newbee, Team Secret, Na `Vi, compLexity Gaming, SG e-Sports, Vici Gaming and Mineski. The groups for the next couple of days have been released yesterday, and it looks like this:
Photo Credit: Wykrhm Reddy
The two directly invited teams were separated into two groups, with Team Liquid facing off with SG e-Sports, Mineski and Vici Gaming, and Newbee going against coL, Na â€˜Vi and Team Secret. Only two teams from each of the groups will survive the group stages and proceed to the Playoffs. The group stage will be played out in a Bo3 GSL Format, kicking off with VG versus SG e-Sports and Team Liquid versus Mineski on day one.
The victors of this tournament will be getting $135,000 (~Php 6,750,000) and 150 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) Points. The second placers will earn $60,000 (~Php 3,000,000) and 90 DPC Points, while the third placers will earn $30,000 (~Php 1,500,000) and 30 DPC Points. The fifth and sixth placers will earn only $15,000 (~Php 750,000) and no DPC Points, and the seventh and eighth placers will only get $7,500 (~Php 375,000).
Team Liquid will be defending their title here, after winning Mayâ€™s SL i-League Invitational Season 2. Only Liquid and Newbee are returning from the previous seasonâ€™s teams, with the rest of the teams challenging Liquidâ€™s title for the first time since TI7. Save for Newbee and Team Secret, these teams didnâ€™t get to face Liquid in the Main Stage of TI7, so despite of Liquidâ€™s successful TI7 run, Liquidâ€™s challengers cannot be so easily discounted.
This tournament will also give Newbee a chance of retribution for their loss against Team Liquid in the Grand Finals of TI7. Liquid handed out Newbee the first ever clean sweep in Dotaâ€™s International Grand Finals. Surely, Newbee is hungry for revenge, and it would be exciting to see whether or not the two great teams will face again in the Finals of i-League. Similarly, coL, Secret, Na â€˜Vi and VG will not simply let this opportunity get past them so easily. This will be their chance to have a smashing return to the pro scene, establishing themselves are legitimate contenders for next yearâ€™s International.
Meanwhile, we have the underdogs representing the SEA and SA regions, Mineski and SG e-Sports. Though we wish the best for Mineski, their lineup is fairly new and untested against the international teams. This tournament will be the first test of fire for Mineski. Last season, TNC Pro Team lost against Team Liquid in the Finals of i-League, with just one game behind. Can Mineski do the same, or even better? Weâ€™ll see in a couple of days. SG e-Sports are also in the same situation, with their team proving to be one of the best in South America, but remains an underdog in any other tournament outside their region. Will they prove to be a better team this time around, and bring their success out of the SA region?