Dota 2 Kiev Minor: Big names staring down the barrel

With the Dota 2 Kiev Minor about to get under way, Tim Masters takes a look at the contenders aiming to pinch a place at the final Major of the season and pick up a few valuable DPC points in the process

It’s not long until the next Dota 2 Major rolls around, which means there must be a Minor on its way. This time, we’ve got Kiev as the host for the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor, continuing in the long tradition of Dota 2 events with names that don’t trip off the tongue or stick in the memory. With just a single Major between TI9 and today, this is also last chance saloon for a fair few big teams, so let’s have a look at who could gain what at the Dota 2 Kiev Minor.


The eight teams in action at the Dota 2 Kiev Minor are:

  1. NIP
  2. Alliance
  3. Complexity Gaming
  4. Team Anvorgesa
  5. Winstrike Team
  6. Mineski
  7. EHOME
  8. Team Sirius

Follow the action: StarLadder ImbaTV Minor schedule

Big names on the chopping block

Names such as Alliance, Gambit, Mineski, Na’Vi and paiN all currently find themselves outside the top 12, and not in a position to make it to Shanghai without a final regional qualifier, and while there is no doubt they aren’t in their best Dota 2 years they are orgs of considerable size that will consider this a failure. It’s also true that for a lot of teams, TI9 is the entire focus of the year, and not making it represents a failure that players might end up paying for with their spot on the team, or worse their career.


Of the aforementioned teams, Forward, Gambit and paiN are already sure of a spot at the Major at least, so it’s Alliance and Mineski with the most on the line, and Na’Vi basically absent. It’s a real shame to see a team like Natus Vincere, who were so pivotal to creating interest in the early years of the game, fall by the wayside, but the management at that org has long had a problem with holding onto money when success is the alternative, and the solution is yet to be found.

Bet on the Minor: Live streams and latest odds

NIP are also involved, although they are ok in their eighth spot in the DPC rankings if nothing much changes below them. Sitting 12th in that table is EHOME, who are also involved in Kiev next week, and for the Chinese legends it’ll be an uncomfortable experience if they aren’t able to book a place at the Major and control their own destiny, watching to see if the teams below them are going to overtake their points tally.

Opportunity knocks

The likes of NIP and Alliance should be considered the real contenders here, so this is not an easy one to predict. There is also a Complexity team taking part, with an extremely long shot at making a late run for TI9, but to be honest by this point in the year there is no reason to think a team that has managed 132 DPC points so far will suddenly turn into world beaters.


Failure in Birmingham won't have helped the Alliance and NiP with their mindset, but while there is no reason to think they are going to bounce back this isn't the same level they faced at that event. Of course there is experience and talent on both teams, but the prize is significant and it'll be easy to lose focus with such a long season already in the books.

Form is the key now of course, at all levels, be it Gambit looking for a late entry to the main event or Team Secret wanting to maintain the level that has seen them win multiple titles this year all the way to Shanghai. If you were Winstrike, Alliance, Mineski or any of the other Minor contenders, that should be top of your mind as you fly to Kiev, alongside the fact that last year TI was won by one of the outright underdogs, who only just qualified for the event at all…

Kyle's Dota 2 Kiev Minor predictions

Dota 2 commentator Kyle Freedman joins Sujoy Roy on the Luckbox Podacst to look ahead to the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor and share some of his predictions ahead of the event in Ukraine.

Picture: StarLadder