The Kiev Major Regional Qualifiers are finished. The qualifiers for SEA, China, Europe, CIS, North America, and South America took place March 10th – 14th. With the addition of two new regions, the qualifiers looked set to be the most competitive in Dota history. They did not disappoint one bit. Let’s take a look at what we learned from the amazing Kiev Major qualifiers.
Kiev Major Regional Qualifier Winners
North America – Onyx are stone cold under pressure
Heading into the North American qualifiers, most fans had Team NP advancing to Kiev. Unfortunately, Onyx had other ideas. After forming in January in the post-Boston shuffle, many were unsure of whether Jimmy “DeMoN” Ho and the rest of the squad could make it big. Onyx made the qualifiers look very difficult. They finished group stages with a 4-2 record, losing to both Complexity and NP. Finishing third in their group, they ended up facing off against Complexity again in the semi-finals, a game which they would lose.
The lower bracket was, however, where Onyx came alive. Beating Team Freedom and NP, the latter thanks to Abed “Abed” Yusop’s outstanding Meepo play. This set up a rematch with Complexity, a team that Onyx was 0-2 against in the qualifiers. Onyx again turned to the Abed Meepo, and again he carried them to victory. Heading into Kiev, teams will have to ban Meepo consistently or else they will likely be punished.
South America – New Region, New Winner?
For the first time in the history of the Major’s, Valve decided to split the North and South American qualifiers. This change allowed the world to get an insight into the relatively unknown South American Dota scene. With roster changes galore, only two teams were given direct invites to the regional qualifiers. With several new teams, the qualifiers were hard to predict. Group stage finished with three teams tied 8-1, showing how unpredictable the region was.
SG esports would eventually take the crown and become the first SA team since 2015 to compete in a Valve event. SG hope that they can bring the unknown to the single elimination bracket and potentially cause a few upsets.
Europe – Secret show their class.
Heading into the qualifiers, most people expected B)ears to advance with relative ease. Secret, however, showed that they are still one of the top teams in the world. Secret looked dominant throughout the qualifier, dropping only one map through all their games.
Clement “Puppey” Ivanov managed to lead his team to an unlikely finish with relative ease. Secret seem to have finally cracked the combination to success. A strong combination of EU and SEA may prove to bring Secret and Puppey back to the dominance they once experienced.
CIS – VP finally reconnect
VP have struggled since the 7.00 patch. A combination of connection issues and the new patch have caused VP several issues. Generally, poor performances prior to the qualifiers, left VP facing a tough battle in the CIS regional qualifiers. VP silenced all their doubters in the first two days. Finishing 9-0 in the qualification rounds, VP looked to be back on top of their game.
The bracket section of the qualifiers was slightly more difficult. However, they were able to handle the opposition and will progress to the Kiev Major. VP are now faced with over a month of waiting until Kiev, where they hope to remind people why they were so heavily favored heading into the Boston Major.
China – Two teams, one org.
The Chinese qualifiers were among the most hotly contested of all the Kiev Major regional qualifiers. The top three teams in group stage all finished with a 7-2 record. Combine this with a three-way tie for fourth place, the Chinese qualifiers were something to behold.
Heading into bracket play, CDEC fell apart and would eventually lose both of their games 0-2. This left Vici Gaming, IG, and IG.V fighting it out for the two qualification places. With all the teams on a very similar level, it is a shame that China did not have three qualification spots. In the end, both IG teams would score a spot in Kiev. Both teams will be hoping to deliver a long-awaited Major title for the Chinese fans.
SEA – A two horse race.
The SEA region is currently going through a period of transition. Losing some of their top talents to other regions has left the available pool of players slightly weak. With this in mind, it is no surprise that both Faceless and TNC managed to secure qualification to the Kiev Major.
When it is so easy to predict a region’s qualifiers, you know something is wrong in that region. Since the fall of Fnatic, TNC and Faceless have been the only two teams that have looked as if they can threaten on a larger stage. However, in this qualifier, not one team looked to be of the caliber to challenge on a world stage. With both Faceless and TNC losing to weaker opposition during the group stage, things look bleak for SEA. It may be time for SEA to start taking the talent from other regions, with the hope of rebuilding their region.
Kiev Major Regional Qualifier – Final Thoughts
Changes to the regions and the current meta led to some of the most competitive qualifier matches in Dota history. Whilst it did hinder NA, the addition of separate qualifiers for SA is the start of a good trend. Valve have identified that SA Dota was on the decline. Giving SA fans the chance to see their favorite team compete against EG will do wonders for the Dota 2 scene in SA.
With the qualifiers in the books, the road to Kiev begins now. For some teams, the next stop is DAC. For others, they will have to wait until next month for some top quality competitive Dota 2.
What was your favorite moment of the qualifiers? Let me know in the comments below.
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