DreamLeague Season 12 is only a few days away and constitutes one of the most important Dota 2 events of this Autumn. Even though it’s not a part of the Dota Pro Circuit, this esports tournament offers $250.000 in prizes and features at least four of the world’s best teams.
DreamLeague Season 12 is scheduled to take place between October 18th – 20th in the Netherlands.
DreamLeague Season 12 Teams
DreamLeague Season 12 features some well-known teams from Europe, North America and CIS.
- Ninjas in Pyjamas
- Team Liquid
- Demon Slayers
If you watch Dota 2 events at least from time to time, you probably recognize all of them with the exception of Demon Slayers.
In theory, the strongest of these teams is Alliance while the weakest is Demon Slayers.
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DreamLeague Season 12 Favorites
These are the tournament’s strongest teams and the ones we will most likely see in the Grand Final.
Alliance proved to have an excellent new roster at the recent MDL Chengdu Major Qualifiers, finishing 1st in Europe. The organization lost its entire roster at the start of this season after Team Liquid decided to buy an existing team instead of rebuilding one from scratch. If you’re not up to date with the changes, KuroKy left Liquid with all of his teammates after The International 2019. And since Liquid had finished 1st, 4th, and 2nd at the last three TIs, it was obvious that they were not going to simply abandon Dota 2 just because they lost their greatest roster ever.
Following the loss of their entire lineup to Liquid, Alliance brought in five well-known players: Nikobaby, Limmp, 33, Handsken and Fata. The most accomplished of them is definitely Fata, whose performances for Team Secret and Team Liquid have helped him get some very important results as a pro player, including a 5th – 6th place at The International 2018 and the 1st place at the DreamLeague Season 8 Major.
At the MDL Chengdu Major Qualifiers, Alliance finished 1st following a solid Group Stage and two consecutive Playoffs victories against Ninjas in Pyjamas and Team Liquid.
Going into DreamLeague Season 12, Alliance is one of the two big favorites to win the competition.
As I’ve already mentioned, Liquid is no longer KuroKy’s Liquid, but rather the former Alliance roster. This practically means that they are considerably weaker than they were last season, but still a top ten team. The current roster of Team Liquid showed great potential towards the end of last season, finishing 5th – 6th at EPICENTER Major and 1st at DOTA Summit 10. And even though they only got a 13th – 16th place at The International 2019, the team’s potential is high.
At a tournament such as DreamLeague Season 12, Liquid should easily finish in the top three. And based on everything I’ve seen them do in recent weeks, I expect them to play in the Grand Final.
One thing that may help Team Liquid at DreamLeague Season 12 will be the crowd. The organization has its roots in the Netherlands and since the competition will be held in this country, there’s a high chance that a lot of people will be cheering for them throughout the event.
DreamLeague Season 12 Dark Horses
DreamLeague Season 12 has two potential dark horses.
Ninjas in Pyjamas
NiP may have lost all of their players with the exception of ppd after their TI9 disaster (17th – 18th place) but the fact that the former TI champion is still the captain of NiP’s roster has great implications for the troubled Swedish organization. Their new lineup does not look as strong as the one from last season, so I don’t expect them to shine, even at an event like DreamLeague Season 12. However, they might play well enough to secure a place in the top three and perhaps even a Grand Final participation.
NiP’s strongest assets are their captain ppd, who is one of the best Dota 2 captains of all time, and their offlaner Universe, who is one of the best at his role as well. Hopefully, he hasn’t lost his edge during the six months he spent training without a team prior to joining NiP around three weeks ago.
At the recent MDL Chengdu Major Qualifiers, NiP finished 3rd in Europe and barely missed the first Dota Pro Circuit Major of the season.
The second potential dark horse is J.Storm. The North American team has two world-class players in their roster: Moo (former TI finalist) and Fear (former TI champion). At the recent Major Qualifiers, they finished 3rd in their region and qualified for the event.
On paper, J.Storm is slightly weaker than Alliance and Liquid but has all the ingredients to produce big upsets during the tournament.
Images courtesy of DreamHack