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| 13. June 2021

European Dota Is in Deep Trouble

Today marks the last competitive day of WePlay AniMajor but for Europe, the tournament ended yesterday and the hopes of many fans were crushed by Evil Geniuses. Nigma needed just one more victory to secure a top 12 result in the DPC and get a direct invite to The International 10. But since they failed to finish in the top 4 at this Major, they will need to go through regional qualifiers and win. Because there’s only one available ticket for each of the 6 regions.

The WePlay AniMajor Disaster

WePlay AniMajor could have spared Europe the pain. Both Team Liquid and Team Nigma looked great going into the tournament and their mission seemed doable. But they both got eliminated sooner than expected and will now have to battle against each other plus several other competitors to make it to TI.

Another team that looked capable of getting a good result was Team Spirit. But they too failed to score enough points and will need to compete against Na’Vi in Eastern Europe’s qualifier.

The Battle for Western Europe’s Ticket

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Realistically, there are 6 teams that could qualify for The International 10 in this region.

  • Nigma
  • Liquid
  • OG
  • Brame
  • Tundra
  • Hellbear Smashers

The big favorites are Nigma, OG, and Liquid. But the other 3 are not too far behind and could give them a lot of headaches.

The tragedy is that the former TI 9 finalists will not be able to defend their result. In 2019, OG defeated Liquid (now Nigma’s roster) in the Grand Final of The International and created a memorable match in the process. But now, at least one of them is going to watch TI 10 from home. And it must be difficult to accept the situation given that this will be the first TI in the last 2 years and that its prize pool is $40 million.

The teams that miss this tournament will practically have a 3-year gap between their last TI and the next one, assuming of course that they’ll qualify in 2022. For a Dota 2 professional, this is quite depressing.

If OG trains hard and learns how to make use of ana’s talents, it might win the qualifier. But if they don’t, I expect Nigma to win. KuroKy and his crew were by far the strongest European team at WePlay AniMajor and there’s no reason to believe that they’ll lose their edge in the next few weeks.