photo by: PGL
DreamLeague Season 11 European qualifiers are well underway and two have already secured their ticket to the third Major of the season.
Unstoppable Ninjas in Pyjamas
Ninjas in Pyjamas delivered one of the qualifiers surprises by claiming the first slot with a super dominant performance. They managed to take down Team Secret in the group stage to finish first in group A, which placed them one series away from the long time awaited Major ticket. NiP made it to the Kuala Lumpur Major, at the very beginning of the season, but they had to play with without their star offlaner Neta “33” Shapira. Nonetheless, they managed to reach top four in Malaysia, having on their side Ivan Borislavov “MinD_ContRoL” Ivanov, who stood in at the last moment. The Chongqing Major qualifiers went disastrously for NiP who weren’t able to land a single victory in the group stage and were eliminated very early from the contention. The team tried to take the Bucharest Minor road to China, but their losing streak kept going and they had to sit the Major out.
With a new patch deployed just as the Stockholm Major qualifiers were about to begin, NiP were more than prepared to go big. In the group stage, they surprised Secret with a mean offlane Chaos Knight. Today, in the playoffs finals versus OG, while the TI8 champions focused in their bans on NiP’s certain strategies with Meepo or Arc Warden, the master drafter Peter “ppd” Dager put once again his trust in 33. In game one OG banned Meepo and tried to replicate their group stage success with a mid lane Shadow Demon for Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen while their sole carry was Igor “iLTW” Filatov on Terrorblade. NiP had Arc Warden, Chaos Knight in the offlane and a safe lane Timbersaw, they did struggle in the laning stage, but they were beefy enough to survive the early aggression and drag the game past the 40 minute where their line-up started to shine. Game two brought the first Night Stalker of the qualifiers as 33 went on an absolute beast mode and hunted down OG everywhere on the map, making a clear statement that the 7.21 buffs to the hero make it extremely viable in the right hands.
Restless Team Secret
In the other upper bracket finals Team Secret stomped over Team Liquid 2-0. “There is no way we are going to relax until TI is over,” told to us Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng a bit over a week ago when Team Secret were basically already qualified for The International 2019 on the back of their strong performances at the first two Majors. The Stockholm Major qualifiers proved just that. Secret came once again with fresh ideas and today they simply ran over Liquid. Fifteen minutes into the first game of the series, Secret were already leading 11-0 in kill score and had nearly 10K gold advantage, which they never let go. Game two escalated rapidly with MidOne on a mid Pangolier on which he built a 12-minute Maelstrom and by the 19-minute mark he had full Guardian Greaves to help his team seal the deal in a 22-minute game.
Neither OG or Team Liquid are over just yet. They will both fight tomorrow, February 6 for the last ticket to the Major. In the lower bracket rounds, the biggest surprise was Alliance’s elimination at the hands of Troels “syndereN” Nielsen’s stack, Kaban. Four teams are now battling for the final pass to the Stockholm Major and the full schedule for the final day in the European qualifiers is as follows:
16:00 CET – Team Liquid vs Kaban
18:00 CET – OG vs Vega Squadron
21:00 CET – TBD vs TBD (lower bracket finals)