Alliance and Ninjas in Pyjamas fell short in the EPICENTER Major qualifiers, but the two teams looked unstoppable in the qualifiers for the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor. With few notable competitors in either of their brackets, the veteran European squads advanced through the ranks with little issue.
The only other team with experience in big events was The Final Tribe, who managed to survive groups and give NiP and Alliance decent challenges during the playoffs. After NiP managed to sweep The Final Tribe in round one, NiP went on to face Alliance, who had yet to drop a game at the event.
The pair clashed, but NiP continued their strong play to take an early lead in under 30 minutes. Game two was the longest match of the event, lasting 64 minutes, but NiP once again prevailed over Alliance.
With that win, NiP are officially heading to their second straight Minor. But even if they don’t perform well at the Minor, they are still qualified for The International 2019, sitting in eighth place with 2470 Dota Pro Circuit points.
Alliance dropped down to face TFT one last time, sweeping them once more and claiming the second seed of the EU qualifiers for themselves. They still have a lot of work to do to jump from 15th to 12th in order to qualify for TI9 and keep that spot secure against the other competitors.
If Alliance does end up making it into the Major, they have a strong chance at claiming one of those remaining spots since Keen Gaming, J Storm, and Chaos Esports Club are not in either event.
The StarLadder Minor will run from June 12 to 16 with the top two teams out of the eight competitors taking the final invitations to the EPICENTER Major later in the same month.