The first proper Dota action of 2019 comes in the form of the Bucharest Minor and this is where you'll find everything you need to know about the event, with live stream information, tournament schedule and expert opinion on what to look out for.
The tournament starts on January 9th, with the final being held on Sunday, January 13th. It is being staged at PGL Studios in the Romanian captial and is not open to the public. All Bucharest Minor live streams and expected rosters can be found on our matches section.
Last chance to make the Major
The Bucharest Minor is the second minor of the 2018/19 DPC season and is the last chance for a team to qualify for the Chongqing Major, for which 15 teams have already been confirmed.
There is also 500 DPC points and $300,000 up for grabs.
Who will be there?
Eight teams will be contest the Bucharest:
- Ninjas in Pyjamas
- TEAM TEAM
- BOOM ID
- Keen Gaming
Bucharest Minor schedule and bracket
How to spot a Faker
It’s fair to say the world of Dota is ready for a bit of action after the Christmas break. Most of esports is happy to take time off to celebrate in December, but that means January is full of hungry fans, chomping at the bit, having been starved of their competitive fix for a hot minute. Plus, you get to see not just Brax, for the CSGO fans, but a guy named Faker, with a red-and-white flag by his name…
Sadly for fans of crossover gamers, it’s not the League of Legends god, but a Peruvian chap playing for a side called Playmakers Esports. Known to his mother as Eliseo Arancibia, this Faker has made a very bold choice with his name, with the bravery of youth well established and the player just 17 years of age at the time of writing.
Preview and predictions
Head of Esports Content Tim Masters and Director of Esporst Sujoy Roy run the rule over the teams to watch in Bucharest
Secret League gods aside, we must get back to the action, and it’s time for some action after those long, cold, esports-less weeks. Fortunately, we have Bucharest to whet fans' appetites before the first big tournament of 2019, and as far as Minors go this is a juicy one in a lot of ways. It’s not often you have the defending TI champions battling for a place in the Major, but OG will be in Romania attempting to secure the potentially dubious pleasure of a trip to Chongqing, China, where they will certainly enjoy some elite-level Dota.
There are a fair few big names at this event, but those who know seem to think it’s going to come down to the two big names, being OG and Ninjas in Pyjamas. The former are obviously reigning TI champions, or at least some of the team that won TI, while the latter have big names and even bigger voices, with the never-shy Peter ‘ppd’ dager leading a squad that features the likes of Fata and 33 too.
OG are, as we said, not the same as they were in Canada, having changed their roster after their miracle run at the biggest prize in esports. At the time of writing, OG are still to announce who will replace Per Anders Olsson ‘Pajkatt’ Lille, who was brought in to replace ana after The International.
The battle between NiP and OG will be fascinating, and of course it’s rare the TI champs find themselves at this level, but there is intrigue down the ladder too. While the focus will be on the two western sides, some of the biggest names in DotA history are going to be in attendance, having slipped into semi-obscurity after their early triumphs.
SUJOY SAYS: After such a long break since winning The International, OG need to get back to work shaping their team for the new DPC season. Their performances so far have lacked enthusiasm. We’ve seen legendary players come and go from OG, in their attempts to get the team chemistry right. This tournament might show us if they have found that special ingredient to make them a force again.
It’s fair to say Chinese Dota is in a bit of a slump at this point in time, with the only side from that region really competing at the top level currently being PSG.LGD. Newbee and the rest failed to make an impression at TI, and one of the first massive names in Chinese, if not Dota esports is down in the minor too, trying to get a spot in Chongqing to play in front of their home crowd.
That name is EHOME, who featured heavily in Free To Play, the ground-breaking documentary that Valve made around the first edition of The International. Today, they are fighting with players from Belarus and darkest Peru for a spot at the Major, which they are almost certainly not going to win, while there are also a few very storied individuals fans might have fond memories of.
The other Chinese side, Keen Gaming, are living up to their name, with both Wang ‘old chicken’ Zhiyong Ren ‘eLeVeN’ Yangwei on loan from the aforementioned EHOME, as well as having Hu ‘Kaka’ Liangzhi, a man who has worn both Newbee and EHOME colours, also on board. Sadly, Chinese DotA is not where it used to be, and these players have followed their national fate to some extent, as evidenced by their appearance at this level of play.
Completing the line-up will be NA side Team Team, Peruvian org Playmakers Esports, Gamibt’s CIS mix, and BOOM, who are representing Singapore. With $300,000 on the line, loads of DPC points and a flight to China, there is a chance for anyone with clean chatlogs to make a name for themselves in Bucharest this month, and maybe make 2019 a very special year indeed. Be sure to tune in, and stay tuned for more analysis and information as it unfolds.
SUJOY SAYS: While EHOME took second place in the Dota 2 Professional League tournament over the Christmas break, they did not look like the unbeatable team of old that used to terrify Westerners. LGD pulled out of the tournament before the playoffs, handing EHOME a free second-place finish. Despite the great names on the team, they looked outmatched in every game they played against VG.
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