After a fascinating first week of action, DreamLeague Season 11 from Stockholm is starting to reach the pointy end, and we have no shortage of cuts suffered by the victims of the razor sharp competition. We’ve had success and failure already, big names being eliminated, and big names being resuscitated, and there still eight world-class Dota 2 teams left to battle for the Major title, and $350,000 in prize money.
Sadly for Ninjas in Pyjamas, they are one of the biggest teams to fail on Swedish soil, but not the biggest. Team Liquid had an awful group stage, finishing behind not only Team Secret, but also Keen Gaming, before losing a best of one to Chaos Gaming in the first round of loser’s bracket. For a side with their ambition and talent that is unacceptable, and there is no doubt questions will be asked back at base.
Tournament info: DreamLeague Season 11 bracket
To the surprise of everyone, Team Secret were upset by Vici Gaming in the upper bracket, and have dropped down to face J.Storm in losers. While they have an innovative system in place for the draft and some very good players, Secret’s domination is not built on pure superiority in the way Astralis’s in CSGO is, and as a result these sort of tests are more likely to crop up. Starting the year well is one thing, but Secret still need to show they can endure, potentially all the way to TI9 in Shanghai.
All killer no filler in the lower bracket
Sharing the lower bracket with the horse heads (can we find a better nickname for Liquid please) are two more giants of esports, let alone Dota, in Virtus.pro and Evil Geniuses. Those two face off, with the loser going home and the winner going on to face the winner of J.Storm versus Secret, making the loser’s side of the event pretty intriguing to the neutral, and nerve-wracking as hell if you’re a fan of a team involved.
One other note is the fact Evil Geniuses have booked themselves a place at TI9 with their win over Ninjas in Pyjamas, although ironically they are the third team to do so, after Virtus.pro and Team Secret. It’s great to know the likes of SumaiL, S4 and the rest will be invited, and gives them time to start working on VISAs long in advance, which is always helpful when travelling to an esports event in China.
TI9 moving on to the horizon
Meanwhile, the upper bracket has a strange look to it, with Fnatic and Keen Gaming on one side, with an all-Chinese clash between PSG.LGD and Vici on the other. It would be a wonderful boon for Dota as a whole if the Chinese teams came back into form prior to TI9, and some of the names on Keen are real blasts from the past, so it’s nice to see them with two chances left at this late stage. There are obviously more divisive figures on Fnatic, but variety is still great, and they have a real chance to book a spot in winner’s finals now.