SLTV: A closer look at Na`Vi's opponents
Our very own Dota 2 squad will take part in StarLadder i-League in Minsk starting January 13. The groups have been already been released, so let’s take a closer look at who Na’Vi will face in the group stage.
The format of StarLadder i-League is as follows: 12 teams have been divided into two groups of six. The top three from each group advance to the playoffs with the winner being seeded straight to the semifinals, while the runner up and the 3rd place finishers start in the quarter finals. The bottom three from each group are eliminated. All the group stage matches are being played in a best-of-one format. Let's take a look at who is in Natus Vincere group.
For the American squad, this will be the first tournament they take part in since their victory at The Summit 4 last month. This means that they haven’t played an official match for over a month. Moreover, the players of the team admitted themselves that they haven’t practiced much during the current patch and aren’t very familiar with it. EG arrived a few days early to Minsk in order to bootcamp and freshen up their game. However, they will still have significantly less experience when it comes to the current version of the game than some of the other teams.
Whenever EG comes to a tournament, they always are considered as one of the favorites for the title. Despite not playing for over a month, that still will be the case in Minsk as well. At the same time, they are also known for underperforming in the group stages, and with less experience on the patch and the Bo1 format, being defeated by a team like Na`Vi, who are more familiar with the state of the game, definitely isn’t out of the question. Nevertheless, they are the strongest team in group A.
Alliance is another team that coming fresh from a LAN victory. Similarly to EG, they haven’t played an official match since December, and it is unknown how familiar they are with the patch. However, contrary to EG, the Swedish roster tends to be very patch-dependent, and it isn’t really certain how Alliance will perform on the new version. Being invited to the Shanghai Major and not playing the Qualifiers might also have a negative impact on their performance in Minsk for the same reasons as mentioned above.
Judging by their recent results, Alliance should be a strong contender for a Top 3 spot in this group. However with no officials under their belt, we will just have to and see.
The only Chinese representative in this group, LGD are coming straight from a win in CN Regional Qualifiers of the Shanghai Major. Ever since TI5, the team haven’t performed on the same level as they did during the event. However, in the past month they have picked up their game a bit, finishing second to Alliance at WCA 2015 and of course winning the Chinese Regional Qualifiers.
With that said, the Chinese will most likely not be very familiar with the European style of playing this patch. Moreover, they have much longer trip to make than some other teams, which leaves them with even less time to practice, as I’m sure they didn’t focus on this tournament until after the Major Qualifiers. Because of all that, LGD may very well find themselves eliminated after the group stage.
Team Spirit are the somewhat surprising runners up of the European Major qualifiers - surprising because they are a relatively new squad , but their online results in December have been very respectable. They are definitely one of teams who are most familiar with the patch. What's more, it looks like the current state of the game fits their style very well.
Natus Vincere met them in the Group Stage of the Major Qualifiers, winning the second game of the match to end it in a draw. This shows that our team is very evenly matched with Team Spirit, and it is likely that the result of this match-up will determine who will go through to the playoffs. Spirit’s captain, Goblak, seems to do very well until he gets figured out, and Na`Vi winning the second game of the Regional Qualifiers Bo2 suggests that ArtStyle is doing well.
The only SEA representative at this event also took part in the Major Qualifiers and also managed to secure their tickets to Shanghai. Despite that, Fnatic will be coming to this tournament as underdogs. The team hasn’t delivered significant results outside of their region and arguably haven't been playing strongly ever since the roster came together. If they reach the playoffs, it would definitely be a surprise.
More information as well as the schedule of the event you can find here.
ProxyPL 12 January 2016, 00:59 1346 0