With the third Major/Minor qualifier of the 2019-2020 Dota Pro Circuit season officially over, we now know which teams are going to the ESL One Los Angeles Major and the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 3, a.k.a. the Kyiv Minor 2020.

The Kyiv Minor 2020 is set to take place on March 5-8 and will be held in Kyiv, Ukraine.


What’s at stake

First: US$72,000 and 140 DPC points
Second: US$60,000 and 120 DPC points
Third: US$54,000 and 110 DPC points
Fourth: US$42,000 and 90 DPC points
Fifth-Sixth: US$24,000 and 60 DPC points
Seventh-Eighth: US$12,000 and 40 DPC points

The tournament winner also advances to the ESL One Los Angeles Major.


Format

The StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 3 will follow a GSL (round-robin) format, with the eight teams split into two groups.

The teams in each group will be facing off in a series of best-of-three matches to determine the seeding for the Playoffs.

The top two teams of each group will advance to the Playoffs in the Upper Bracket, while the bottom two will have to start from the Lower Bracket.

The Playoffs will continue with a double-elimination bracket with all matches being played with a best-of-three format. The only exception being the Grand Finals, which will be a best-of-five series.


The teams

The StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 3’s Closed Qualifiers included any teams that finished in third-sixth place in the North American, South American, and CIS qualifiers for the LA Major, and any teams that finished in fourth-seventh place of the European, Southeast Asian, and Chinese qualifiers for the LA Major.



Alliance (Europe)

Alliance dominated the European regions Closed Qualifier for the Minor by defeating Aggressive Mode and Team Liquid in the Upper Bracket.

The team then pulled off one of the best comebacks in the entire StarLadder qualifier by defeating Nigma in a final game of the series. They were able to erase Nigma’s 25,000 gold lead and win the game with Nikolay “Nikobaby” Nikolov’s double Divine Rapier Medusa.


Gambit Esports (CIS)

Credit: ONE Esports

Gambit was the first CIS team to qualify for the StarLadder Minor. They defeated both Cyber Legacy and forZe in two best-of-three series that went down the wire.

This is Gambit’s second Minor appearance of the season after finishing in fourth place during the WePlay! Bukovel Minor.

The team has also reinstated their position 2 middle-lane player Danil “gpk” Skutin. This means Rostislav “fn” Lozovoi will not be part of the Gambit roster participating in the StarLadder Kyiv Minor even though he helped the team qualify for the tournament.


forZe eSports (CIS)

forZe is the second team to qualify from the CIS region. After losing to Gambit in the Upper Bracket Finals, forZe defeated Cyber Legacy in a tough best-of-five Lower Bracket Finals that went down the wire.


Business Associates (North America)

Credit: ONE Esports

For those unfamiliar with the team Business Associates, they’re the same players who previously represented J.Storm. The team has not addressed why they no longer are under the same organization, but they’re still active in the North American region and they’ve secured an invite to the StarLadder Minor.

Business Associates dominated the North American Closed Qualifiers by going undefeated in the Upper Bracket, with wins over Zoomies and Fighting PandaS.


Fighting PandaS (North America)

Fighting PandaS is the second North American team to enter the StarLadder Minor. After being dropped to the Lower Bracket by Business Associates, they swept newly formed Zoomies squad for the second spot of the Minor.

After qualifying for the event, both Jacky “Eternal Envy” Mao and Jingjun “Sneyking” Wu decided to leave the team. In response, Fighting PandaS quickly recruited Maurice “KheZu” Gutmann and Oliver “skiter” Lepko a few days before the team was set to begin their boot camp for the Minor.


BOOM Esports (Southeast Asia)

Credit: BOOM ID

BOOM ID is the lone Southeast Asian representative for the StarLadder Minor. First, they upset TNC Predator in the Upper Bracket Semifinals. Next, they outplayed Reality Rift in the Upper Bracket Finals and the Grand Finals to enter the Minor.


NoPing e-sports (South America)

NoPing e-sports is an all Brazilian Dota 2 squad that’s been competing in the South American region since 2018. The team initially lost to FURIA Esports during the Upper Bracket Semifinals. But they bounced back and upset both Infamous and paIN Gaming in the Lower Bracket. They then won their rematch against FURIA in the Grand Finals and are now set to make their DPC debut in the StarLadder Minor.


Team Aster (China)

Credit: ONE Esports

The final team to enter the StarLadder Minor is Team Aster due to the Chinese region’s closed qualifier being delayed. Team Aster bested Keen Gaming but then lost to Newbee in the Upper Bracket Finals.

Team Aster was able to defeat Keen Gaming in a Lower Bracket Finals rematch. Then, they avenged their loss to Newbee by sweeping their Chinese rivals in the Grand Finals.


Expectations

There is no doubt that Alliance will be the favorites to win the Minor. They’ve finished in seventh-eight place in the MDL Chengdu Major and secured a fourth-place exit at the ONE Esports Dota 2 Singapore Pro Invitational and the DreamLeague Season 13: Leipzig Major.

Alliance is the most accomplished squad entering the Minor and they will be the team to beat.

Gambit Esports and Team Aster are the other two teams we see doing well in the Minor as well. Both teams have Major tournament experience in the DPC season and they’re coming from highly competitive regions.


Group Stage

StarLadder announced the group stage seeding last week with Group A having Business Associates, forZe, Team Aster, and BOOM Esports. Meanwhile, Group B will feature Alliance, NoPing e-sports, Gambit Esports, and Fighting PandaS.


How to watch

The tournament’s Group Stage is set to begin on March 5 and viewers can catch the action on StarLadder’s Twitch channel here.

The first two matches of Day 1 are Team Aster versus BOOM Esports, and Business Associates against forZe. The matches are scheduled to take place on March 5, 8 a.m. (GMT +8).

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