Mind Games are the third eastern European team to qualify for Dota 2’s Stockholm Major 2022. Considering the array of potential hopefuls, such as Outsiders (formerly Virtus.pro) or CIS Rejects, who were much more prominent candidates, Mind Games are probably thrilled by the amazing feat.
Their story was not one of legendary victories and hardship. Sheer luck and tournament arbiters paved much of their way into the Major.
One team’s disqualification is another team’s opportunity
Frankly, Mind Games were by no means a phenomenal team in DPC EEU Tour 2 Playoffs. It’s probably not an exaggeration that Mind Games benefited the most, thanks to Outsiders’ disqualification from the DPC EEU Tour 2 Playoffs. For the record, Mind Games earned default wins in two instances (for matches they already lost), which were just enough for them to skip the hustle in the early rounds of playoffs.
They already lost to Outsiders, a much-more formidable opponent, and were one foot out the gate. They elimination rival was Team Spirit, and we saw the result how that match would go in a second-place series. Yet, in a strange third-slot decider scenario, they managed to pull through. Even then, it was arguably a series of unexpected circumstances leading up to their fluke win over CIS Rejects.
The Upper Bracket Semi-finals, which Mind Games “won”, put them in the upper bracket finalist slot. Although they lost to BetBoom Team, the high standing from the upper bracket run put them in the running for Lower Bracket Finals. Here, they essentially skipped the challenges of six opponents, such as Team Spirit, HellRaisers, CIS Rejects, PuckChamp, Natus Vincere, and Outsiders.
Their one series versus Team Spirit in the lower bracket final was a real sight, losing in just 15 minutes on Game 2. Mind Games had many opportunities to snatch a win, having played in every Final they didn’t really deserve, be it the Upper Bracket, Lower Bracket and third-slot decider.
Third time’s the charm for Mind Games
In the third slot decider, Mind Games once again made their way into Finals by default win from Outsider’s disqualification. Natus Vincere and CIS Rejects brawled it out just to reach the Finals.
Mind Games eventually taking CIS Rejects down was the only real series they played. In the decisive best-of-three series, each round lasted on average 45 minutes. Even so, viewers at DPC EEU Tour 2 Playoffs remained disbelieved by the outcomes. Particularly, how Mind Games managed to secure tickets for Stockholm Major against the likes of stronger opponents.
Of course, discounting Team Spirit and BetBoom Team, the rest of the league are not your run-in-the-mill teams either. Frankly, the makeshift double-elimination bracket in DPC EEU Tour 2 Playoffs facilitated this absurdly fortunate circumstance. After all, the teams are in a pinch to finish matches to make it in time for Stockholm Major.
The weakest team at Stockholm Major 2022
Speaking of the Stockholm Major, BetBoom Team, Team Spirit and Mind Games are the DPC EEU representatives. While all eyes will certainly be on Team Spirit to be the region’s best, BetBoom Team’s underdog run from Division 2 is certainly an accomplishment to marvel at as well.
Does Mind Games look like the oddball at Stockholm Major? The short answer is YES.
Given the recent surge of powerful representatives from less popular regions, such as Southeast Asia’s BOOM Esports and Fnatic. Or North America’s latest Esports powerhouse, TeamSoloMid. It certainly puts Mind Games in the negative eye for a team that hasn’t accomplished much to make it into the major.
Regardless, we will give Mind Games the benefit of the doubt here, to perhaps wow us with their hidden strategies and cheese picks. After all, they do have Semion “CemaTheSlayer” Krivulya and Danil “Bignum” Shekhovtsov, who has a decade-long competitive experience.
An upset or underdog run isn’t exactly out of the ordinary in Dota 2 competitive scene, and we have seen a couple in Dota 2 history. That said, we wouldn’t count on Mind Games to win us the overwhelming odds matches.