Should Alliance have been invited to the Summit 3?
The latest iteration of Beyond The Summit's international tournament is expanding its prize pool, its size, and its notoriety. But its a controversial qualifier invite that has fans in an uproar.
The Summit 3 made dubious headlines on social media today when it announced that the embattled Alliance will join premier sides in the event's primary European qualifier. Fans quickly pointed to the former International champion's persistent struggles and the surge in strength of less prominent squads like Hellraisers and Ninjas in Pyjamas.
Ironically, much of the objection to the decision stems from the tournament administration's efforts to avoid a controversy.
To accommodate the increased size of the event, Beyond the Summit opted for a tiered qualifier system, with speculative sides in the bottom tier and proven sides in the top. The bottom tier, or so-called "pre-qualifier," feeds two finalists into the main regional qualifier, where pre-selected participants round out an eight-team, double-elimination bracket. The finalists of that bracket then earn their spot in the live event.
Many of the faces in the main European qualifier, namely ASUS Polar, Team Empire, and Team Secret, have a well-established reputation for rising to the occasion. Alliance, however, has done little to impress disinterested observers since a dismal campaign at The International 2014.
The résumé of the snubbed Hellraisers squad includes an unlikely victory in the European qualifier of the Dota 2 Asia Championships and a top 12 finish in the main event. Ninjas in Pyjamas, another side spurned in favor of the Swedes, recently tore through Power Rangers and ASUS Polar en route to a runner-up finish in the European Major All-Stars Dota 2 Tournament qualifier.
After much dissent, tournament administrator David "Godz" Parker plead his case. "At the time we had the most confidence in Alliance as a phase 2 invite to our qualifier given the timeline for our event to start in two months," Parker said. Unfortunately Beyond the Summit's effort to avoid the kind of scheduling problems that marred DreamLeague have spurred more controversy than content.
Still, Alliance's spot in the qualifier is little more than a chance to make it into the top flight. Furthermore, both Ninjas in Pyjamas and Hellraisers stand a good chance of making it out of the bottom tier against meager competition. For Beyond the Summit, however, the court of public opinion remains wholly unconvinced that the decision was the right one.