The Bucharest Minor is the 3rd LAN event of the Dota Pro Circuit for this season. It’s also the 2nd Minor and the tournament that precedes The Chongqing Major. In this regard, The Bucharest Minor has a tremendous importance as its winner will get an invite to the Major that follows it.
The Bucharest Minor is scheduled to take place in Bucharest, Romania between January 9th – 13th. The event has a prize pool of 300.000 dollars and brings together 8 tier 1 and 2 teams with a fair amount of skill.
The Bucharest Minor 2019 Participants
The Bucharest Minor is attended by 8 teams from 6 regions:
- Europe: Ninjas in Pyjamas, OG
- North America: Team Team
- South America: Playmakers Esports
- CIS: Gambit Esports
- Southeast Asia: BOOM ID
- China: Keen Gaming, EHOME
Among these teams, we would make the following separation of tiers in terms of skill:
- Tier 1: Ninjas in Pyjamas, Keen Gaming
- Tier 2: OG, Gambit Esports, EHOME
- Tier 3: Team Team, BOOM ID, Playmakers Esports
Personally, we’re convinced that either NiP or Keen Gaming will win the event, although OG also has its chance. Let’s not forget that they are the TI 8 champions, even though ana was more than essential to their success. Pajkatt is a good player, having played at a very high level in ppd’s former team, OpTic Gaming for a whole season. But he’s definitely not ana. That guy was absolutely godlike during games.
Prizes At The Bucharest Minor
Being a Minor within the Dota Pro Circuit, The Bucharest Minor offers a prize pool of $300.000 as well as 500 qualification points for The International 2019. The money is decent, the points are irrelevant, but there is one thing that’s absolutely huge. And that is the ticket for The Chongqing Major offered to the winner of the tournament.
The money and the qualification points will be shared among the 8 participants in the following way:
- 1st place: $125K, 120 points
- 2nd place: $70K, 100 points
- 3rd place: $35K, 90 points
- 4th place: $25K, 70 points
- 5th place: $15K, 40 points
- 6th place: $15K, 40 points
- 7th place: $7.5K, 20 points
- 8th place: $7.5K, 20 points
The Bucharest Minor will have two stages: the Group Stage and the Playoffs Stage.
For the Group Stage, the teams will be split into 2 groups of 4. Each group will be played in a GSL format (double elimination bracket). The top two teams from every group will advance to the Upper Bracket of the Playoffs while the other 2 will advance to the Lower Bracket.
The Playoffs Stage consists of a double elimination bracket structure, with Bo3 matches until the Grand Final (Bo5).
Attending Teams At The Bucharest Minor
Here’s a short analysis of the best 5 teams that will attend The Bucharest Minor.
Ninjas in Pyjamas
NiP has the strongest roster at this event and is also one of the most skilled teams in the world at the moment. The only reason why they’re here is that they had a surprisingly poor performance during the European qualifier for The Chongqing Major. That qualifier was won by Team Secret, followed by Team Liquid, followed by Alliance. Arguably, the first 2 teams definitely deserved to qualify but Alliance is for sure not as strong as its place suggests.
Ninjas in Pyjamas is captained by ppd, a former TI champion and one of the best captains in the world for sure. In addition to this, he has a team of superstars: Ace, Fata, 33 and Saksa. All former players of big teams, with a lot of experience and top placements at big events. Arguably, this is precisely the kind of line-up that should allow someone like ppd to shine as a captain. And so far he hasn’t disappointed, even though he’s failed to get a direct qualification for the second Major of the season.
NiP is currently occupying the 4th position in the Dota Pro Circuit rankings, with 1350 points. These points were acquired as a result of finishing 4th at the first Major of the season, The Kuala Lumpur.
Going into The Bucharest Minor, we expect Ninjas in Pyjamas to win the event. There are only a few teams that can rival it and raise serious problems for them, but in theory this is still the strongest horse in the run.
Keen Gaming is another strong team with a newly formed and very experienced roster which includes players like kaka (former Newbee member and TI finalist), eLeVeN and old chicken.
This is a team with a lot of potential that has yet to prove itself on a big stage. The conditions are ripe for it to succeed, even though we don’t believe that they can get more than a 2nd place at this tournament.
OG is the TI 8 champion and possibly the most unbelievable team in the history of the game. The run it had at The International 2018 was absolutely miraculous. N0tail and his teammates entered the competition from the position of total outsiders and were expected to finish 18th out of 18 teams.
Soon after their victory, it was obvious that the players needed a very long break from professional training and tournaments and as a result, they lost all the momentum and are now struggling again.
OG also lost their carry player, ana, who has temporarily retired from Dota 2 once more. He was replaced by Pajkatt but so far we haven’t seen the team do so well in the new formula. It will probably take a while until 7ckngMad and his squad are back to their A game. Until then, be cautious with this team.
Going into The Bucharest Minor, OG will likely get a 3rd place finish.
This is a top 4 team in the CIS region, rivaling the likes of Virtus.pro, Natus Vincere and Winstrike Team. Since the start of this season, Gambit has had some pretty impressive results relative to its previous season. First they qualified for the first Major of the season, where they finished 13th – 16th, and then for this event. The placement itself isn’t important. Qualifying for the event is what matters because the CIS region is one of the best in the world and surviving the qualifiers isn’t exactly easy given that only 2 spots are available each time.
Going into The Bucharest Minor, we expect Gambit Esports to finish 3rd or 4th.
EHOME isn’t exactly a giant in the world of Dota, being a tier 2 team in the Chinese region at this point. However, the team’s successes in tier 2 and tier 3 events in this region suggest that EHOME shouldn’t be ignored at a tournament like this, where the level of opposition is not as great as in a Major or a regional qualifier for one.
This season, EHOME took part in Asia Pro League (1st place), STARLUCK DOTA2 Challenge (1st place) and H-Cup Season 10 (2nd place). For sure, these results aren’t amazing given that these weren’t big events, but they still constitute good indicators regarding EHOME’s strength.
Going into The Bucharest Minor, expect this team to finish around 4th – 5th.