Just few days after the end of ESL One Genting, another Minior is on the horizon – StarLadder i-League Invitational Season 4.
Eight teams will fight for the 300 Dota Pro Circuit points and a $300,000 prize pool, which makes this Minor slightly less impressive compared to the previous one. However, the teams will surely not underestimate it, because every single Qualifying point is inexpensive at this stage of the Pro Circuit Season.
Taking place February 1st – 4th
Shanghai China opens with a GSL group stage followed by a single elimination bracket playoff. Team Liquid and Newbee were the only two teams to receive direct invites to the event, and as expected they are seeded in different groups. The other six teams had to go trough qualifiers in order to earn their spots. Taking into account the fact that Newbee and Team Liquid played an amazing Grand Final at the ESL One Genting, the hype for a rematch in this Minor is big. However, having the homestage advantage is something that is not to be underestimated, so keep that in mind when you place your bets.
Format, Participating Teams & Our Favorites
The StarLadder i-League Invitational Season 4 will have a Group stage format, where eight teams will be divided in two groups of four teams each. They will play a double-elimination format. All matches will be Bo3 and the top two teams of each group advances to the playoffs, where the semifinals will be a Bo3, unlike the Grand Final which will be Bo5.
- Direct invites – Team Liquid, Newbee
- China Qualifier – LGD Gaming
- SEA Qualifier – Mineski
- Europe Qualifier – Team Kinguin
- CIS Qualifier – Team Empire
- NA Qualifier – compLexity Gaming
- SA Qualifier – Infamous
There is no doubt that Newbee will be considered as the heavy favorite. The fact that they have just won the previous Minor with an impressive 3-2 win over hands down their biggest rivals – Team Liquid, makes the Chinese powerhouse the default choice to place your bets on. Newbee and Team Liquid did an amazing showcase of skill for some of the best Dota games of the event. Both teams performed flawlessly, proving that they were somewhat better compared to their opponents. The Chinese team tactic was just trying to minimize the impact of Maroun ‘GH‘ Merhej, because he is considered to be Team Liquid’s strongest weapon to win.
Having able to achieve that, Sccc and his team were triumphant and secured the first place. What’s more, their win is a gigantic moral boost plus the fact that the tournament will be played in Shanghai puts Newbee in a better spot compared to the other teams.
After all, in Dota a team is as good as its last game.
If there is something worse than losing a final, that is losing it to your most comfortable opponent. Team Liquid did an amazing performance the entire year, all the way from winning TI 7 to just finishing second at the ESL One Genting.
Their never-ending strive for success and also the ability to get a rematch against Newbee in their back yard makes TL a powerful foe. As we have already said, one of their strongest weapon is Maroun ‘GH‘ Merhej, mainly because of his amazing Earth Spirit and his overall impact in the game. He is always there when you need him and usually “side-carries” his team to victory.
This does not mean that the rest of TL are not dangerous on their own. Many people consider them the best players on their respective positions at the moment, which could also be a bit intimidating for them, having to carry this burden on their shoulders. However, this doesn’t seem to be a problem for the European giants, because their performance is always top notch, regardless of the tournament that they play in.
As we can see from the prize pool and the DPC points, this Minor givesless in both compared to the ESL One Genting. Despite that, having both TI 7 finalists in the same event will surely make it a must-watch.
I personally do not think that the other participants can deliver a surprise, mainly because Team Liquid and Newbee are in a league of their own. However, anything is possible, so keep your eyes open for some nice Odds that you can take advantage of.
If you are new to the eSports betting scene or you are still not convinced about who to bet on, don’t rush your decision. Take the team to read, analyze and think which team will be the most appealing to you in order to trust them with your money. We are just here to provide you with some ideas, which in most cases can save you the hassle of doing the entire research aspect. Be sure to follow our Livescore page, where you can find live predictions about each game and you can discuss the games with our passionate fellow eSports fans
What do you think about this Minor? Will it be as exciting as the previous one or the lack of teams and the somewhat dull format make it not as appealing? Let us know in the comments.