StarLadder i-League StarSeries S2: Reach for the Stars

Check out the live results of SLiLeagueS2. (youtube screencap)
Check out the live results of SLiLeagueS2. (youtube screencap) /

The last premier tournament before TI6, StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 2 begins today. Get your watch on! Some great teams are playing.

The action is picking up leading into TI6. At Beyond the Summit we saw Wings defy the meta and live to tell the tale. Well, that’s a little misleading, because Wings gaming won the tournament, so I guess they triumphed over the meta. If only my games went that way…

Enough about you. SLS2 – will it be worth my time?

Not even SLS2 is better than Zuul. It's pretty good, but NOTHING'S better than Zuul.
Summit came and went, but Zuul remains. I feel like the same will be true for SLS2, even if it rocks my socks. /

Heck yeah it will! I have a feeling that SLS2 will be just as great as Beyond the Summit. Maybe even greater. I mean, look at the lineup! What’s that? You don’t know who’s playing? Well, there are three invited teams to the tournament, one team from each region by way of qualifier, and then one more team from the H-Cup. The tournament will be a double elimination style, with each round best of three except for the grand finals, which will be a bareknuckle best of five. Here’s the list of participating teams:

  • Evil Geniuses (Invite)
  • Team Secret (Invite)
  • Natus Vincere (Invite)
  • F.R.I.E.N.D.S. (EU)
  • CDEC Youth (CN)
  • Digital Chaos (AM)
  • CompLexity (H-Cup)
  • Fnatic (SEA)
That's not a shell game, THAT'S INCOMING! TAKE COVER!
That’s not a shell game, THAT’S INCOMING! TAKE COVER! /

Wait, I thought I heard something about Newbee?

Yeah, well it all started with Virtus Pro. Lemme tell you about it. There’s been something of a shell-game going on with teams involved in SLS2, though the tournament staff have been handling it quite smoothly, in my opinion. Virtus Pro, now disbanded, was replaced with FRIENDS (screw the periods between those letters) for the EU slot. Newbee was supposed to play as the winner fo the H-Cup, but they dropped out of the running for reasons made obscure by my lack of understanding of Chinese symbols. So, it came to pass that Newbee was replaced with the runner up H-Cup team, Invictus Gaming.

But, as you may have noticed, Invictus Gaming isn’t in the list of participants above. Yes, the plot thickens, doesn’t it? Only in the pro-scene of DOTA 2 do you find teams this wishy-washy about making money at international tournaments. Please tell me you remember Phil’s hilarious, righteous anger at the teams that withdrew from Nanyang. In case you didn’t, he raged pretty well against the alleged passport issues two of the teams that bowed out of Nanyang. Well, we saw more that even before the start of SLS2. Invictus Gaming had to drop out due to “passport issues” and was replaced by the next team in line, compLexity.

In case you’re wondering, the quotes are there because at this point in the DOTA’s life as an professional (e)Sport, I believe we should be mostly beyond these issues. I can name no fewer than three teams off the top of my head who have declined large prize, international tournaments because of this silliness and folderol. This is exactly why we need a little more centrality to the sport, as Phil so eloquently pointed out recently.

My thought every time I look at my student loan payment.
My thought every time I look at my student loan payment. /

Any favorites for us?

Uh, yeah. You may have been too busy with your real life or girlfriend or whatever it is you do to pay off student loans, but in case you’re brand spanking new to the DOTA pro-scene, EG and Secret are pretty strong contenders for TI6. They look even stronger against the participants at SLS2. If Valve still allowed (official) gambling, I’d have money on EG winning this, but I also have a good feeling about Navi. Sidenote: I may or may not have a friendly office bet riding on this tournament. Don’t worry. You’ll hear about it if I win.

We’ll be posting the results as they happen. Stay tuned for the post.

For more on the DOTA 2 pro circuit, visit our hub page and follow @diredota on Twitter.