The road to the 10th edition of The International (TI) Dota 2 Championships opens on Friday with the WePlay! Bukovel Minor 2020 getting underway in Ukraine.
Eight teams will battle it out in the second minor tournament of the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) 2019-20 season to qualify for the DreamLeague Season 13: The Leipzig Major, which starts at the end of the month. A USD 300,000 prize pool and 660 DPC points are up for grabs.
Southeast Asian squad Geek Fam — composed of three Filipinos Carlos "Kuku" Palad, Marc Polo "Raven" Fausto, and Karl "Karl" Jayme, along with Singaporean Kenny "Xepher" Deo and Korean Kim "DuBu" Doo-Young — is part of a tough Group A that also boasts North American powerhouse Ninjas in Pyjamas, China's Royale Never Give Up, and the CIS region's Team Spirit.
Group B, on the other hand, has the last TI runner-up Nigma Esports, made up of Team Liquid's Kuroky, W33ha, Mind_Control, GH, and Miracle-. Joining them are NA's Fighting PandaS, led by scene veteran EternalEnvy, Brazil's Furia Esports, and the CIS region's up-and-coming organization Gambit.
Winners of the Bukovel Minor will take home USD 72,000 and 140 DPC points, not to mention the coveted final spot for the next Major in Leipzig, Germany.
The tournament will also be the offline debut of Nigma, which took a break after last August's TI. Other teams to watch for are the PandaS (currently ranks 12th in the DPC ranking with 190 points), Gambit (placed third at the recent ONE Esports Dota 2 Invitational in Singapore), and Spirit (tied with Gambit at 13th in terms of DPC points).