DreamLeague Season 13, or The Leipzig Major, is only three days away from beginning its group stages as the 16 teams are now all locked in and the groups have been announced. We take this time to look through each team and discern who has the best shot at taking the spoils in Germany.
Earlier today the groups were confirmed and right off the bat it is clear that some groups will be much tougher than others for certain teams, but we’ll look at Group A first.
- Team Aster
- TNC Predator
Possibly the so called “group of death” at the second Major of the season, Group A features the recent Minor winners and the previous Major winners alongside two teams which could throw a spanner into the works if they’ve improved in the past month or two.
The absolute and unquestionable kings of Southeast Asia and the champions of MDL Chengdu as well as ESL One Hamburg 2019 return for the second Major of the Dota 2 Pro Circuit season but things could be different this time. When we last saw TNC in December at the ONE Esports Dota 2 World Pro Invitational, they seemed to be struggling to adapt to Outlanders, much like many teams. However, that event was nearly an entire month ago and it is very likely that we’ll see a very different look from this team now.
With the likes of Park ‘March’ Tae-won, Timothy ‘Tims’ Randrup and now even Kim ‘Febby’ Yong-min joining in as coach, TNC are easily one of the favourites to take the championship in Germany. On the group side of things, TNC should not have too many problems if they have adapted to the patch, except against Nigma who could produce some sparks if the two teams meet – and we hope that they do.
Runners up at The International 2019 as Team Liquid before leaving the organisation, Nigma are still an extremely strong squad on paper – and on the battlefield, as proved at the recent WePlay! Bukovel Minor. While Nigma did seem extremely shaky at time, making some vital errors, it became clear that they were just getting back into the swing of things as they raced into the top spot at the Minor and have become quite the challenger to any team too.
With a lineup that includes one of the greatest drafting minds in the history of Dota 2, Kuro ‘KuroKy’ Salehi Takhasomi, as well as Amer ‘Miracle’ Al-Barkawi, Nigma are always going to be a force to be reckoned with. The team have a chance to top Group A and possibly even do the Minor to Major champion run if they play as they did in Bukovel recently.
Fnatic have not looked like a team that would trouble anyone in a very long time, even though they have managed to make it into both Majors this season. The SEA squad have had major problems and lost a few players along the way too, but it is possible that they are about to turn over a new leaf. In mid-December last year, Fnatic acquired a coach, and a rather well-known one at that, as Lee ’SunBhie’ Jeong-Jae joined the squad. SunBhie had previously been with Team Secret for a long period but now turns back to the SEA scene and could bring Fnatic out of their slump.
With players like Djardel ‘DJ’ Mampusti and Daryl Koh ‘iceiceice’ Pei Xiang, Fnatic should always be dominating and ending in the top echelons of events and maybe it will take Outlanders and a new coach to reach that target. There is a chance that Fnatic could cause some upsets in a tough group, but we have not seen them perform since the qualifiers and with such high-tier opponents, the team may struggle to find their footing.
Aster may have the biggest issues in Group A as they have not shown much strength in recent times. When last we saw Aster in action it was in Singapore at the ONE Esports Dota 2 World Pro Invitational where their best performance was a tied series against Secret. The team were unable to progress further than the group stages in the event and since have not been heard from. From the outside it would seem as though nothing has changed for Aster, except possibly adapting to the Outlanders update – but it’s unlikely that this will change much.
That said, Aster feature Song ‘Sccc’ Chun and Pan ‘Fade’ Yi, two players who could change the entire path of the team and after we witnessed the rise of Royal Never Give Up at the recent Minor, it is possible that Aster could cause some massive upsets.
Group A is not an easy group to pick from at all, even with Nigma and TNC being possible favourites – there is always the chance for an upset and with Nigma seemingly enjoying the lower bracket challenge, maybe the Group is destined for something different than what is expected.
Keep your eyes peeled for a closer look at the rest of the groups as we get closer to the first Major of 2020 kicking off this weekend.