The Dota Pro Circuit circles back to Stockholm, Sweden this on March 21 to 25 for DreamLeague Season 9 Minor.
Featuring $300,000 and 300 Qualifying Points, this is DreamHack's second Pro Circuit tournament for the season following the DreamLeague Season 8 Major back in December where Team Secret swept Team Liquid in the Grand Finals to claim their second-ever Major title and their first for the 2017-18 Pro Circuit. Both teams will be returning to the event as direct invites this time, albeit having posted drastically different performances since. Joining both European powerhouses are EG, Team Empire, Newbee, Fnatic, Team Empire and paiN Gaming.
Who Are The Heavy Favourites?
As per bet365, Team Liquid are the heavy favourites to win the DreamLeague Season 9 Minor at 11/8 odds. However, their rivals from the east, the Chinese Powerhouse Newbee, are not too far behind at 11/5 odds. Meanwhile, the reigning DreamLeague champions Team Secret are a bit behind the two at 3/1 odds, which isn't exactly surprising after they failed to notch a Top 4 finish at consecutive tournaments at ESL One Katowice and the Bucharest Major.
Judging by their most recent forms, Team Liquid are easily the better team of the three. They're still right up there among the best in the world, probably neck-and-neck with Virtus.Pro, despite not having won a single Major this season. But, who knows? Historically, Team Liquid have been an experimental team that switched things up and experimented. That's not exactly the best way to go about things these days, as the changes to the recent patch schedule seem to reward teams who are one-dimensional and stick to what works, which is something Newbee are incredibly good at.
Any Outsiders Worth Considering?
There's no telling how well OG will play with Sébastien "7ckngMad" Debs now that Roman "Resolut1on" Fominok is out of the roster. They've done incredibly well in the Regional Qualifiers so far, but after failing to advance to the playoffs in their last two LAN outings, it's clear by now that LANs are an entirely different beast. But, at 16/1 odds to win the tournament and with a whole lot to prove, OG are worth the risk. So too are Fnatic (12/1 odds), who were just moments away of a second consecutive Top 4 finish – and quite possibly more – at the GESC Jakarta Minor.
The rest of the field realistically have little chance of winning the tournament. Team Empire (40/1) are good, but they're terribly inconsistent. PaiN Gaming (80/1) are fresh off a second-place finish at WESG 2017, but who are winning? They probably won't even make it to the Top 4. Finally, Immortals (80/1) are just a huge unknown as they're set to make their Pro Circuit LAN debut with their current roster.
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