October kicks off the 4th iteration of DOTA 2's Summit 4 Reginal Qualifiers which determines who heads to LA for the LAN finals in December. Lets examine some Round 1 & 2 Matchups.
The European qualifiers for The Summit 4 kicked off this weekend and the Americas qualifier has also just started up, so here’s a rundown of the first two rounds of the European qualifier and some thoughts on the Americas to help you along as you bet on these teams.
European Qualifier Upper Bracket Round 1
Monkey Business vs. NewTeam
Before the patch this match would have been very much a given, with Monkey Business arguably among the 2-3 best teams in Europe. However, the focus on teamplay and execution has hit the somewhat greedy play centered around mid laner Miracle quite hard, and the team has struggled a bit to find their footing, going 8-8 on the patch against a mixed bag of top teams and middle of the pack opponents. NewTeam meanwhile are posting 6-4, but against much weaker opposition. Overall, NewTeam seem unlikely to take a Bo3 even against a stumbling Monkey Business, especially after having lost star player yoky to Team Empire and with his replacement UBAH still struggling to capitalize on the expectations placed on him.
Alliance vs. CIS Rejects
CIS Rejects first ever official match was against Alliance, taking a 2-0 win as part of their MLG qualifier run where they eventually fell in the finals to Monkey Business. Since then they’ve only played lower tier CIS and EU teams, posting an ok record of 9-6 on the patch. Alliance meanwhile have been facing slightly tougher opposition on the patch, going 7-6 against the likes of NiP, MFF, Vega and Monkey Business. While CIS-R have the better record numerically, objectively it’s hard to argue that Alliance hasn’t been the more impressive team of late, showing considerable growth over the past month. The final nail in the coffin for CIS-R should be Alliance recent playstyle of steady timing strategies. This allows Alliance to contend with early aggression while focusing on their own game and forces their opponents to be more efficient in order to defeat the Swedish squad, something which a young team like CIS-R is unlikely to be capable of.
European Qualifeir Upper Bracket Round 2
Vega/Alliance vs. CIS Rejects
Vega will be coming into this second round match as the winners of ESL One New York and undoubtedly favoured to defeat either opponent. Against CIS Rejects the result is almost a given, however Vega did have a recent close series taking a 2-1 victory over Alliance in the Nanyang qualifiers. Breaking down the game within that series, Vega generally controlled the early tempo of all three games of the series, however losing to a timing push from Alliance in game one. Overall, Vega may be slightly too potent and on top of the meta right now for Alliance to handle, however there is a chance that if the Russian squad are fatigued after their U.S. trip that they might give enough of an opening for Alliance to produce an upset. There’s potential to gamble on Alliance here, with Vegas odds likely inflated following ESL One.
Na`Vi vs. Monkey Business/NewTeam
Na`Vi’s recent record has been less than flattering and has not improved with the patch, going 0-3 in their two matches against Monkey Business and Alliance. If NewTeam were to somehow slip past Monkey Business, there might be some room for Na`Vi to take the series, but against Monkey Business they seem almost inevitable to make enough mistakes for the European squad to take the game late, at which point Monkey are more than comfortable enough to secure a win.
Virtus.Pro vs. 5Jungz
If Virtus.Pro looked a bit too experimental in their match against Invictus Gaming this weekend that maybe shouldn’t have been much of a surprise, as that one series is their only showing on this new patch. Going up against 5Jungz who haven’t dropped a series so far on this patch, with 11-3 in games and 4-0 in series, this seems almost too easy to call. 5Jungz are considerable favourites and should proceed without much issue to the winners bracket semi-finals.
Team Secret vs. Team Empire
Although Team Secret looked at times a bit vulnerable at ESL One, their run to the finals was still mostly impressive. With a bit tighter draft and shoring up some questionable plays, Team Secret is still in the running for one of the best teams of Europe. Their opponent meanwhile has had a really rough time after a horrible performance in the post-International shuffle, eventually having to move star mid player Resolut1on to the offlane in order to convince their former star offlaner turned mid player yoky to return to the team. In addition, Empire has struggled to nail down their second support, currently playing with Nofear, formerly of NewTeam. At face value, this should be a given, however a recent 2-0 victory over Monkey Business in DreamLeague does indicate that if Empire hits a stride, they may be able to make this series closer than expected, potentially even upsetting Secret. The odds still favour Team Secret by a good margin, but there’s room for a value bet on Empire here.
European Qualifier Lower Bracket
The match-up’s are not yet set for the lower bracket, but of the teams eliminated in the first round only Ninjas in Pyjamas stands out at this time as a potential team to defeat whomever comes down from the second round of the upper bracket. NiP have been one of the more active and solid teams, playing six series on this patch already and facing exclusively 5Jungz, Alliance and 4C&L which are all strong European teams right now. Their record is not that great with a 5-8 score, but they did take 5Jungz to a third game in their upper bracket series and the ugly 0-2 and 0-1 results against Alliance and 5Jungz were their first two series on the patch, so overall NiP has been showing a steady upwards trend.
North American Qualifier
The NA region doesn’t really heat up until the third round of the upper bracket, with Cloud 9, Digital Chaos and Team Archon favourites going into the qualifier. There is however an interesting match potential match if Archon and High Council meet in the second round, with High Council being a fairly unknown entity having played no games on this patch and having made a fairly recent roster change, dropping Clairvoyance and bringing in Justin. Archon are the favourites going into this series, but there is considerable upset potential if High Council hit a stride. Overall for the qualifier Cloud 9 should be considered favourites as they’ve recently established themselves as the consistently better team whenever they match up with the regions other powerhouse of Digital Chaos (outside of Evil Geniuses, who naturally don’t have to play these online qualifiers). Overall the records of the big three for NA on the patch are 0-4 for Archon (against Digital Chaos and CDEC), 2-3 for Digital Chaos (against Archon and Cloud 9) and a single 3-0 win for Cloud 9 over Digital Chaos.