Even though this DPC season presented us with loads and loads of Dota 2, the past 4 days felt really overwhelming, especially if you were trying to follow most of the action. Of course, with dozens of matches happening at the same time, it was close to impossible to keep track of what was going on during this year’s Open Qualifiers for TI 2018, so let’s make a quick recap and see how Bloodseeker, Sven, and Fear affected it all (Kappa).

Each region had two separate Open Qualifiers, two days each, with best-of-1 bracket up to round-of-16 and best-of-3 from round-of-8 onwards. This made up for a total of 12 Open Qualifiers played in just 4 days, from 14th to 17th of June. Each of the regions had 6 teams advance to the Regional Qualifiers (3 from each round), apart from Europe, where we had only 4 teams advance further. At the end of the said 4 days, here are the teams from each region that made it:


North America

Open Qualifier 1


Evil Geniuses

compLexity Gaming

Team Baidu

1. RTZ
2. SumaiL
3. S4
4. Cr1t
5. Fly

1. Moo
2. Limmp
3. MoonMeander
4. Zfreek
5. Adam

1. -bty
2. Cg
3. BaiduKING
4. Orange
5. Mad


As you can see the only team that was expected to go through the Open Qualifiers but didn’t manage to do it on the first try was VGJ.Storm. Unfortunately for them, the bracket faced them against EG in the round of 8, where they were eliminated by the NA powerhouse. This was a perfect opportunity for the relatively unknown stack of Team Baidu to make it through by placing 3rd, only losing to compLexity, who complete the list of 3 teams. Along the way, Baidu eliminated the fan favorite Team Leviathan who had to attend next qualifier round.


Open Qualifier 2


          Team Leviathan


Just a Squad

1. BSJ
2. Sammyboy
3. Jenkins
4. Newsham
5. LokarN

1. YawaR
2. Resolut1on
3. Sneyking
4. MSS
5. SVG

1. Scourge McDuck
2. $k3tch
3. Evadin
4. chives
5. versatile


Luckily for their fans, both Leviathan and VGJ.Storm had no problems “walking” through the second qualifier without losing a series. A pleasant surprise was the third qualified team – Just a Squad from which versatile stood out with his excellent plays that helped his team beat every single team apart from VGJ.Storm, but what was enough for them to secure a spot in the closed qualifiers.


South America

Open Qualifier 1


SG e-sports

PaiN Gaming


1. Costabile
2. 4dr
3. Liposa
4. Flee
5. Stan King

1. hFn
2. w33
3. tavo
4. Kingrd
5. Duster

1. Kotarō Hayama 
2. Papita
3. StingeR
4. Matthew
5. Accel


SA was the region with the least amount of surprises during the qualifier. The top 3 teams in the region performed as it was expected from them and managed to walk over the contenders, occupying the top spots, securing their places in the Regional Qualifier.

Open Qualifier 2


Torus Gaming

Thunder Predator

Midas Club

1. Benjaz
2. LeoStyle
3. Kingteka
4. Kaze
5. Sl4d1n-

1. Atun
2. Jeimari
3. Frank
4. Scofield
5. Prada

1. Mandy
2. Sooths
3. Sword
4. Hyko
5. rZs


With the top 3 teams already out of the picture, South American teams had the chance to prove themselves and the three squads that managed to overcome everybody else are the ones you can see above. From them, only Torus Gaming is the new name that kind of showed up out of nowhere, but looking at the players in the team, it makes sense that they managed to achieve this. It is worth mentioning the there were a lot of delays and problems throughout these two qualifiers, which caused severe delays. A little disappointing performance during the qualifiers was seen from Fear‘s new stack – Gira de Venganza. Unfortunately for everyone that wanted to see more of this team/stack, they were eliminated in the round of 8 on both qualifiers.



Open Qualifier 1



       Wind and Rain

1. ana
2. Topson
3. 7ckngMad
4. Jerax
5. N0tail

1. ritsu
2. Bryle
3. FoREv
4. MiLAN
5. Kitrak


The new line up of OG seems to be doing alright as they managed to (seemingly) easy roll over the rest and qualify without any issues. The second team, however… well, let’s say that the way Wind and Rain qualified was spectacular. During the final series, they played against non-other than the ex-TI champions Alliance. It was a crazy series with a crazy ending, I REALLY suggest that you watch it, if you haven’t already! Without spoiling too much I will just say that the NA stack managed to overcome the Sweedish team in a heartbreaking… no, I won’t say more, go and watch that series or at least the final game of it.




1. Qojqva
2. miCKe
3. Boxi
4. Taiga
5. iNSaNiA

1. Madara
2. Greg
3. KheZu
4. Saksa


Loda’s boys managed to redeem themselves and qualified for the Regionals via this second Qualifier. Team BlinkPool (or how casters were incorrectly referring to it – MISERY’s stack) completed the final 4 teams that advance to the closed qualifier for Europe. With a lot of hype around them and expectations already set high, BlinkPool fell short in the last stages of the Opens, but this time with MISERY’s lead they had no mercy. I will be following them closely during their path to TI so hopefully, they will find their way to Vancouver.



Open Qualifier 1


Team Empire

Double Dimension


1. Fn
2. Naive-
3. Ghostik
4. Miposhka
5. ArsZeeq

1. Cooman
2. Pikachu
3. chshrct
5. KingR

1. iLTW
2. Nix
3. 633
4. Immersion
5. Misha


I dare to say that these were the most stacked qualifiers of them all. Hundreds of teams playing for the few spots that would allow them to proceed further… new heroes arose, dreams were shattered and friendships were broken. This is the harsh CIS reality. With seemingly easier bracket Team Empire were the first to reach out the next phase, closely follower by Double Dimension, who beat Team Spirit in best-of-3 series in the quarterfinals and ESPADA, who eliminated the fan favorite Na’Vi. Other notable teams and stacks also fell short of reaching out the final three, but they had their chance in the following


Open Qualifier 2


Team Spirit

afk 20 min les

Gambit Esports

1. Illidan
2. G
3. DkPhobos
4. Biver
5. Fng

1. Nikobaby
2. .Ark
3. Flow
4. SoNNeikO
5. Sonic

1. Yoky
2. Daxak
3. Afterlife
4. Bignum
5. yume


Team Spirit and Gambit Esports were the teams that everybody expected to do well and qualify. Afk 20 min les whoever is a stack that initially didn’t catch the attention of anybody. Nikobaby (more information on this up and coming star can be found in issue number 1 of Buyback magazine) and his fellow SoNNeikO however, played as everybody expected from a team and lead their team to victory. They were uncompromising and “won” the qualifier only dropping one game to Gambit in the final series. Stellar performance from them, considering the fact that they were not scrimming or anything before the qualifier, it was a stack they composed in the last minute. The real heartbreaker here was the story of Na’Vi. A lot of people were hoping for this, a lot of people knew it might happen but nobody actually believed that Na’Vi will be eliminated from the second Open Qualifier by a completely random CIS stack. It was a sad moment for every single one of their fans which triggered this twitter post by their CEO (if you don’t know Russian basically he is accepting the blame for the shameful state of his team and he is letting us know that changes are on the way). I feel for every single one of their players and managers, but this had to happen in order for them to wake up and see that their Dota 2 team is in shambles and action has to be taken. More information on what is to come from them should be announced the upcoming Sunday.



Open Qualifier 1


Team Serenity

Keen Gaming

CDEC Gaming

1. zhizhizhi
2. Zyd
3. XinQ
4. Pyw
5. XCJ

1. Mevius
3. dark
4. yoona
5. 天命

1. Sea mew
2. ASD
3. Newbie
4. 教徒
5. marlin


Have you heard of Team Serenity? If you can answer with “yes” to this question then you are either following the scene for a long time, or you are following the China Tier 2 scene closely. In either case, you are not from the majority who are hearing the name of this team for the first time. Well, get used to hearing that name as (spoiler alert*) Team Serenity not only walked over all other competitors during the first Open Qualifier but managed to secure a place on The International 2018 already! Really impressive performance from this relatively unknown team who managed to beat the powerhouses iG and LGD on their way to victory! The other two teams, Keen Gaming, and CDEC GAMING are not that surprising even though we can’t say that either of them is in particularly good shape and position to contest the top spots during TI.

*Due to my slight delay with this article, half of the Regional Qualifier for China is behind our backs.

Open Qualifier 2


For The Dream Young Dumb


1. siumang
2. loveyouloveme
4. James
5. Roddgeee

1. Jiajia
2. Ferrari_430
3. kaidou
4. cat feces
5. Zei9

1. Monet
2. Super
3. Inflame
4. Ahfu
5. Yao


Again, the results we got are different from what we expected. The biggest surprise from the Chinese Qualifiers is that EHOME didn’t manage to survive through all the brawls and won’t have a representative of the organization fighting for all the glory in Canada. Despite EHOME‘s failure, For The Dream, LFY and Young Dumb had what is needed in order to succeed and occupied the last three spots in the Regionals. For The Dream is one of these team, that just like Team Serenity have pretty much disappeared from our sight since they didn’t manage to qualify for any premier event in the past… 2 years? More than 2 years? I am not really sure, but they seem to be on the right track, so I won’t be surprised if we continue to see more and more from them in the future. As for Young Dumb, they seem to be the young and dumb stack of the veteran Ferrari_430, who is trying to prepare the next generation of Chinese Dota 2 players. They are on the right track as well, even though I doubt that we will see much more of this stack if they don’t make it to The International.


Southeast Asia

Open Qualifier 1

TNC Tigers

Alpha Red

1. 458
2. inYourdreaM
3. kYxY
4. Xepher
5. 1437

1. BungsellRotee
2. Fearless
3. MyPro
4. LionaX
5. Boombell


SEA and SA are usually the two most random and hectic regions. You can expect everything from the teams in these regions but most of all inconsistency (disregarding the few top-tier teams from there). Following the tradition, we kind of expected some of the teams to do well however they didn’t perform accordingly – I am referring to teams like Geek Fam, Excecration that have been on the scene forever. Instead, we see TNC Tigers, the team that was founded in March making it to the Regionals, together with a total underdog – Team Alpha. Another surprise we got from the first Open Qualifier in SEA is that Black^‘s team Entity Gaming didn’t make it as well even though they looked promising.


Open Qualifier 2


                 Entity Gaming
Battle Arena Elites Sterling Global Dragons

1. Black^
2. Pingvincek
3. HesteJoe
4. NoiA
5. Jobeeezy

1. FelixCiaoBa
2. AlaCrity
3. Ohaiyo
4. YamateH
5. Net

1. Tino-
2. Kim Elizabeth
3. S-GOD
4. Shanks
5. Flysolo


Entity Gaming redeemed themselves this time and managed to secure a spot in the top of the second qualifier. Among them, we can see Ohaiyo‘s new stack – Battle Arena Elites and the super amazing Sterling Global Dragons! Even though both names sound like coming from a power metal song, both teams are looking promising, especially Battle Arena Elites. It seems like they have gathered a Malaysian dream team so I won’t be surprised if they actually qualify for TI beating Fnatic and Mineski in the Regionals, even though this outcome is unlikely.


What is next?


The Regional Qualifiers have already started and as I mentioned above, there are teams already qualified for The International 2018 in Canada. Between 18th and 21st of June, we can observe the China, South America, and CIS Regionals, while North America, Europe, and Southeast Asia will be played between 22nd and 25th. I hope that you enjoyed this short recap on what happened during the Open Qualifiers and once Regionals are over, you can expect something for them as well.