Dota 2 Esports: StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Overview

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Dota 2 Esports: StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Overview

The StarLadder ImbaTV Minor is only a day away! But it’s another double tournament week of Dota 2, with the WESG 2018-2019 event running simultaneously. If you’re looking for a quick and easy guide to help you keep on top of everything we can expect to see in Kiev, we’ve got you covered.

StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor

The Minor will be Starladder and ImbaTV’s first Minor of this year’s season. The winner will qualify for the final spot in the DreamLeague Season 11 Major, held later this month.

A total of eight teams will fight for not only the spot in the Major, but a $300,000 USD prize pool, and qualification points for TI9 later this year.


Our eight teams are made up of two teams from CIS and China, and one team from each other competing region. (NA, EU, SEA and SA.)

The format for this minor will be GSL based, beginning with the group stages, where will see two groups of four teams. All teams will play a Bo3 series.

The top two teams from each group will advance to the playoffs, while the bottom two teams will be eliminated.

The playoffs will be Single-Elimination, with a Bo3 semifinals and Bo5 grand finals to wrap up the competition.

Groups and opening matches have already been announced. In Group A we’ll see Royal Never Give Up, OG, Flying Penguins and Old but Gold facing off for a spot in the semi-final playoffs. In Group B Vici Gaming, BOOM ID, Gambit Esports and Demolition Boys will battle it out for their chance at the top prize.

South American team, Demolition Boys, qualified for the Minor under the name Team Ood, before rebranding during the break between the SA Qualifiers and the Minor event.

While there’s no doubt that we’re in for an exciting tournament, there’s always some teams who stand out in the lead up to as event. The path to this Minor has been no different. Let’s look at some of the teams whose performances so far earned themselves a spotlight for tomorrow’s opening matches.

Group A – Royal Never Give Up – China

Royal Never Give Up have been one of the most interesting teams to watch throughout the 2019 tournaments. Their recent performance at MDL Macau was something of a Cinderella story, with some unexpected victories against team Liquid and during the round robin event.

But the fairy tale ended in round two of the playoffs. Will RNG be able to deliver a stronger performance this time and make it to the main event? We’ll know for sure after they meet Flying Penguins in their opening match tomorrow.

Group A – OG – EU

OG are competing in this Minor off the back of a strong performance at ESL One Katowice, where they made it all the way to the lower bracket finals, going home with third place.

The TI8 winners finally seem to be finding their feet with stand-in Igor ‘iLTW’ Filatov. He took out the MVP award at WePlay! Dota 2 Winter Madness earlier this year and played an instrumental role in the team’s win over Fnatic in the playoffs.

iLTW replaced OG’s carry, Anathan ‘Ana’ Pham, at the start of the 2018-2019 season. But Ana will make his return to the scene this week. He’s playing for Australia at the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG).

Whether or not this means this will be iLTW’s last competition with OG is still uncertain. There’s no official word yet on Ana re-joining the team’s roster, and he’s still currently listed as one of OG’s inactive players.

Regardless, we’ll see iLTW and the boys from OG go head to head with CIS team, Old but Gold, in their opening match of the Minor.

Group B – BOOM ID – SEA

Thanks to the overlap of the tournament schedules, BOOM ID gave up their spot at WESG in Chongqing to play in this Minor.

BOOM have been a strong team this season, putting in a great performance throughout the qualifiers, and shocking some with their stomp of better-known SEA teams like FNATIC and Mineski. There opening series will pit them against Gambit Esports.

We chatted with Khezcute from Boom ID just after the team qualified for Kiev, who’s confident the team have gained enough international experience to help them perform their best at this event.

Like RNG, BOOM ID have had a great ride this season, and both have had something of a dramatic rise to prominence since the start of this year in particular. If these two fairy tale teams come up against each other in the play offs, it will be a series to watch.

Group B – Gambit Esports – CIS

Gambit Esports have had a solid start to 2019. They took out first place in both Dota 2 Madness events run by WePlay! this year. They’ve also placed second twice. Nabbing at the number two spot at the Bucharest Minor in January, and then taking second place again at ESL One Katowice last month.

The boys from CIS will face against the winners of the SEA qualifiers, BOOMID in their opening match of the Minor. This will be the first time these two teams encounter each other in the tournament circuit. BOOM’s recent winning performances have been fast-paced, while Gambit’s victory over OG at Katowice has shown they can play hard into the late game. It will be interesting to see how these two teams approach each other in their opening match, and who will end up advancing to the playoff stage.

The Starladder ImbaTV Minor start tomorrow. You can tune in live on StarLadder’s stream or watch on Twitch. Want more Dota 2 action? Follow us on Twitter and YouTube to stay up to date with all the latest Dota 2 news and esports highlights.

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Eliana Bollati
Eliana is a freelance editor & journalist from Australia with a passion for esports and video games. An avid player of video games for the better part of three decades, she began following professional esports circuits during the 2010s. She brings both a player and longtime fan perspective into her commentary on the professional scenes.