As is tradition we are happy to bring you our Paris edition of the time-tested LiquidDota Power Rank! The penultimate Major beckons and the race for the DPC points is tightening up. This time around due to the lack of tournaments with top-tier competition in-between Majors we have an extraordinary amount of guesstimating going on, but I am sure we still have more than enough of a basis for you to flame!
If you want to show us staffers just how wrong and bad we are, don’t forget to join the Prediction Contest for bragging rights!
Without further ado here are our Paris 16:
16th-13th.Team Team, Complexity, Pain Gaming, Chaos Esports Club.
These are the four underdogs that will probably suffer at the hands of the stronger teams at the tournament, unless blessed by divine energy.
In 16th and last position we have Team Team. Despite earning a 5th to 6th rank during the ESL One Mumbai Major, TT still lacks some consistency compared to the big fish that they will be facing during the Disneyland Major.
Complexity, was ranked 15th by liquid staff due to its mediocre results in recent tournaments, specifically during ESL One Mumbai in which they ended up 7th out of the 8 teams at the event. In addition, Deth left CoL very recently, leaving his place to Monkeys-Forever. While the player change may not be a downgrade, it is a badly timed roster shuffle which led our staff to think that CoL might not go that far this time around.
Pain Gaming has recently gotten a fresh roster and this will be their first big tournament. Therefore this 14th place should come to no surprise. The Brazilians need a lot more time together before we can take them as serious contenders.
Finally, Chaos ranked 9th to 12th during the Dream League S11 and 9th to 12th during the Chongqing major. Chaos seems unable to pierce through these average ranks and struggle to come back to the forefront of the dota scene despite having two exceptional players like Misery and w33ha. Maybe Paris will be their breakthrough but it does not seem too likely.
12th-9th. Mineski, Empire, Keen & NiP
Empire faced a qualifier that is usually assumed to be a little easier than the likes of EU or China. It's hard to continue thinking that way when teams have to fight against VP for limited slots and new CIS teams continue to pop up and perform well against international competition. Empire qualified to their first event, and now at this event they have a chance to prove themselves as well. While people have been waiting for Na`Vi to be back, Empire might beat them to the punch.
This bracket includes teams that might get out in the first round or that can create a surprise and achieve a top 4 finish, but should seriously struggle to make it any farther. None of these teams had an easy path to the Major, but after NiP the one that had the hardest time was definitively Mineski. After a roster change that took out 2 players, they played in a qualifier that only had 2 spots for 3 clear top contenders and a potential 4th in BOOM ID. Mineski showed the required resilience in order to make it through the qualifier with their new squad. As much as their spirits must be high, the SEA players are in the current Major champion and TI8 runner-up group, hence their chances to secure an upper bracket position is low. Taking a series away from VG and PSG.LGD will be quite the tall task for Mineski, although not impossible.
Keen Gaming is kind of a strong team for qualifiers and Chinese brawls but is yet to leave a big impression at the DPC events. They had quite the successful qualifier by sending VG to the lower bracket with a convincing 2-0 with more or less short matches. But other Chinese teams have won the qualifiers and failed drastically in the Major, so Keen Gaming should not feel to overconfident when facing the group of death with Liquid, VP and-who could have said it-TeamTeam.
Finally, the most interesting path to this event is the one that PPD’s boys had to take. On the previous Major, it was the Minor winner, Vici Gaming, who ended up wrapping up the whole tournament and earned a great amount of points and praise, but sadly for NiP it doesn’t feel like they can achieve the same feat. Despite winning the Minor, they failed to qualify after being defeated by TFT and then they won a Minor that, truth to be told, didn’t have the strongest of competition, barely winning the final versus an unexpectedly strong EHOME that was using a stand-in (even if it was a legendary quality one). Nevertheless, PPD has shown multiple times a great capacity to understand tournament metas, and he just won one to get to Disneyland. This might give them an unexpected edge in Paris.
8th-7th. OG, Fnatic
OG are back and looking the best they have since TI8. Not surprisingly, that’s lined up with the return of Ana to their lineup. Their first Major of the season should prove interesting. They clearly have potential based on what we’ve seen since Ana’s return and they managed to qualify directly to the Major. While the last-in-EU qualifier spot may not seem significant, it only puts them behind Team Liquid and Team Secret. That’s a position that most teams that aren’t VP often find themselves in. Expect both nothing and everything from OG in this tournament. In the immortal words of N0tail, “Everything can work.”
Fnatic find themselves in a new position. They’ve been improving all season, but the DreamLeague Major was finally their breakout tournament. They made it all the way to the Winner’s Bracket finals before losing back-to-back series to a very hot Vici Gaming and the titans of Majors, Virtus.Pro. Had they won the DreamLeague Major instead of Vici, their positions would likely be reversed here, but alas. Much like Vici above them, Fnatic’s biggest test here will be seeing if they can turn their 3rd place finish into a repeat performance. Such a finish would solidify their position amongst the top teams, though they may fall back into their habit of mid-tier play and mid-tier finishes.
6th-5th. Team Liquid and VG
As for Team Liquid, well, they’ve had a rough run at it this year. With only two Majors left, Team Liquid finds themselves in 12th place, the last possible position to directly qualify for TI. This puts them behind the likes of J.Storm, TNC, and Ehome (note that none of those teams are above Team Liquid on this Power Ranking), not a good place to be if you’re a squad like Team Liquid. They even bombed out of the DreamLeague Major in last place, losing to Chaos Esports Club in the process. Really the only thing going for Liquid is the fact that the last time they bombed out of a tournament, at ESL One Birmingham last year, they bounced back and won the Supermajor. Can they pull that off again? Well, anything is possible!
You might be surprised to find Vici Gaming this far down our Power Ranking. They may have won the DreamLeague Major, but that has been by far their best performance this season (it’s also important to note that they didn’t even qualify outright for the DreamLeague Major, they had to win the StarLadder Minor in order to qualify showing they can be slightly inconsistent). Vici clearly has a high ceiling, but whether or not they’re able to play up to their potential is another thing entirely. We’ll see in Paris if they can make the magic happen again.
While we’ve ranked EG in 4th place on our power ranking, that’s no guarantee they won’t secure top 3, and by top 3 we mean their standard 3rd place finish. What more is there to say about EG that hasn’t been said already? They’re still the best team in NA by leaps and bounds thanks to their star-studded lineup. The biggest issue is that this iteration of EG has never won a DPC event, and they probably won’t start to in Disneyland.
Since its formation, this EG lineup’s greatest weakness has been their inability to adjust to beat teams like Virtus.Pro or Secret. They figure out a working strategy, use that to maybe win a match in the upper bracket, then they go to the lower bracket and continue winning with the same strategy until top 3 or top 4 where they hit a brick wall. Even if they’re considered a top team, it would still be a Cinderella story if Artour managed to finally win his first Valve Event in Paris.
Coming in 3rd in our power rank is none other than PSG.LGD, who will definitely seek to seize their first Major win of the season and secure their spot at TI9 in the home city of their partner-sponsors, Paris Saint-Germain. The team hasn’t been looking in the best of shape since Maybe took a break after the Chongqing Major and had Xm standing in, but they still managed to pull through to a Top 6 finish in the DreamLeague Major, falling to VP’s lower bracket momentum in a very close Best of 3.
Unfortunately, the DPC season this year hasn’t been kind in terms of gauging teams’ strengths consistently what with the gap between the Major qualifiers and the Major itself, but PSG.LGD have mostly maintained their form since DAC 2018, and the return of the stalwart Maybe in the midlane has to be a huge morale and skill boost for the team. This was proven through his dominating performances during the China Qualifier, and there should be little doubt that this team has what it takes to win this Major, especially with their full lineup back. Nonetheless, the two dominant teams of the season lie just outside the reach of PSG.LGD in our power rank, hence leaving them 3rd in this PR.
Personally I would have liked to put VP on the first spot, but unfortunately the rest of the Power Rank Staff disagreed. Especially since VP won their last direct duel with Puppey’s team. Nevertheless, the CIS-powerhouse is back for another Major and they just keep on chugging as if the close 2-3 loss to Vici Gaming at Stockholm never happened.
For any other team 3 straight Top 2 finishes in the current season would be something to be proud of, but for a team of VP’s calibre they might only feel the sting of defeat in the last two.
Can they take their second Major of the season or will we instead see their streak of silver medals increase to three? In any case, the Polar Bear is loose and few have a chance of stopping their rampage.
1st. Team Secret
Once again, Team Secret snag the top spot going into the Major. Although they “only” took home a 4th place at Stockholm there is no reason to doubt the sheer dominance Secret has cast over the entire scene. Just in the years prior they are looking close to unstoppable when on top of their game and their roster shows almost no weaknesses to exploit.
But just as ranking them the Top Dog is a familiar story we are also remembered of the “Team Secret Trajectory”: Look incredibly dominant from the beginning towards the later parts of a season, before nose-diving just as TI rolls around. Will Team Secret accept their fate or finally rewrite history? This season’s Team Secret has everything they need to do exactly that, exceptional players, strong drafting and great decision-making.
There is no time and place like Disneyland Paris make dreams come true, but should the favorites stumble here it might be a recurring nightmare after all.
Writers: uberXD, ShiaoPi, Jdc214, Rominus, 2009
Writers: uberXD, ShiaoPi, Jdc214, Rominus, 2009