TI11 WEU Regional Qualifier is the most anticipated qualifier for the International 11 (TI11). Packed with strong contenders, from former International Champions to high-profile players, Western Europe is one region every Dota 2 player recognizes and wants to represent.
While OG, Tundra Esports and Gaimin Gladiators hailed as TI11 direct invites, many powerhouses are still eyeing for tickets. Which of the four big ones misses out entirely?
Opening matches to set the tone
We have four openers and all “favorites” have an opponent they will be tested against. Let’s dig into each one.
Team Liquid vs DGG Esports
Team Liquid started off a stack of promising players, featuring Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen and Ludwig “zai” Wåhlberg among other prominent players. Yet, Liquid fell off drastically over the past Tours, setting them back from securing a direct invite.
Up against DGG Esports, the odds are against the latter despite Liquid’s poor performance throughout ESL One Malaysia 2022. DGG is merely a stack of all-stars, and while they performed decently to place third in Division 2, we won’t expect any upsets on Liquid.
Goonsquad vs Nigma Galaxy
The match-up gets slightly more interesting with Nigma involved. The former TI7 Champions have remained together for the longest of their career, except for Syed “SumaiL” Hassan. On paper, SumaiL is arguably among the greatest mid-players but carries an infamous reputation to be a very unorthodox player. With a record of poor synergy with many teams besides Evil Geniuses, it baffles us why Nigma decides to recruit SumaiL.
Nevertheless, Nigma likely has a better chance of success against goonsquad, which is led by former TI3 Champion, Gustav “s4” Magnusson. While most veteran players deteriorate as a carry player with age, s4 still seamlessly hold his own against the current competition.
That said, goonsquad as an overall team just doesn’t pose much threat, especially after they placed last at DPC WEU Tour 3 Division 1.
Team Secret vs Into The Breach
Secret regained their momentum as a powerhouse they were once recognized as. After picking up Roman “Resolut1on” Fomynok, Secret managed to showcase their capabilities at the ESL One Malaysia 2022, placing a commendable third place. As such, we can expect Secret to be among the fan favorites to win TI11 WEU Regional Qualifier.
Into The Breach is certainly no pushover and delivered a decent showcase of a consistent team in Division 2. Unfortunately, Secret is more favorable as they could leverage on Resolut1on as their wild card going into the qualifiers.
We witnessed how Secret snowballed with strong picks and gave Team OG a run for their money. Especially Reso’s Enigma, which became an underlying threat in every team fight. Baqyt “Zayac” Emiljanov, who replaced YapZor as semi-support, has done wonders too. Furthermore, we have yet to see Zayac’s signature heroes, which he’s notoriously known for.
Alliance vs Entity
Amongst the old-school powerhouse namesakes, Alliance has been the worst in performance and still failed to recuperate from the trench. They have been bashed time and time again for every loss, which highlighted the roster’s problem as a whole.
What begins as a slow transition from the new players, quickly begins to make Nikolay “Nikobaby” Nikolov look sloppy. Frankly, Alliance might just need to reform the entire roster from scratch because it has been an absolute disappointment.
On the other hand, Entity is the new staple in Division 1 and made its major debut this DPC (2021-22). It features young prodigies, including the controversial Ivan “Pure” Moskalenko. There’s no questioning that Entity can defeat Alliance, and be in the running to win the qualifier altogether.
The TI11 Western Europe Regional Qualifier has several interesting candidates to qualify for TI11 this year, and it’s not just the familiar powerhouse brands. This is great, considering how low traditional powerhouses have fallen off, so we can see some new faces at TI11.
Nevertheless, it is only one qualifying slot, but two others can have their second chance in Last Chance qualifiers.