StarLadder ImbaTV Minor Season 2 was Na’Vi’s very last chance to earn a slot at The International 2019 via Dota Pro Circuit points. Three time TI grand finalists back in the day, Natus Vincere are yet to find their way back to the top of the competitive Dota 2 scene.
This season they attended only 2 out of the 10 possible Dota Pro Circuit tournaments and gathered just 140 points. SL ImbaTV Minor held in Kiev, Ukraine would have been the best tournament for them to make a sprint at the end of the season, but despite an undefeated run through the first two days of qualifiers, Na’Vi got out played by Winstrike in the grand finals.
For Winstrike, the Minor in Kiev marks their first appearance on a tournament stage in the 2018-2019 Dota Pro Circuit. It’s their first and only chance to write a Cinderella story, but it will be a long and hard fought road to TI9 for them. The Winstrike roster changed a lot through the year, only this month they swapped three players, the final change being made a week before the Minor qualifiers. Ilya “Lil” Ilyuk and Alexander “Nofear” Churochkin joined the team on the 12th of May, while Zaur “Cooman” Shakhmurzaev was transferred from Empire three days later.
Winstrike roster from position 1 to 5:
Airat “Silent” Gaziev
Zaur “Cooman” Shakhmurzaev
Alexey “nongrata” Vasilyev
Ilya “Lil” Ilyuk
Alexander “Nofear” Churochkin
Winstrike’s lineup is a mix of former teammates at various other CIS teams, some tasting the sweet taste of success with FlytoMoon last year. Their synergy definitely showed up today in the Minor finals where they started with a win over Na’Vi on the back of a very good laning stage and a perfect Storm Spirit performance from Cooman. Winstrike had multiple tools to control Na’Vi’s spell intensive line-up and imposed a fast tempo to prevent the enemy Alchemist from taking over the late game. The second game went Na’Vi’s way as the team in black and yellow matched Winstrike’s aggression and had better heroes at taking objectives and control the Roshan kills.
However, in game three, although they had the lead for the first 30 minutes, Na’Vi got caught off guard by Lil’s Sand King initiations and were wiped two times in a row, which allowed Winstrike to turn the game on its head and make a full comeback in the last five minutes of the game.
Winstrike will be the only CIS team going at the StarLadder ImbaTV Minor Season two and so far they are joined by EHOME and Team Sirius from China. Five more teams will make their way to the Minor the next two days as the regional qualifiers are in full swing in Europe, SEA, NA and SA.
SL ImbaTV Minor will take place at the Cybersport Arena from Kiev, Ukraine between 12th and 16th of June. It’s going to be the only Minor where two teams will secure a spot at the Major. The winners and the runner-up team in Kiev will qualify for the final Major of the season, EPICENTER 2019.