EHOME is in a rough spot right now, although they already won a Minor. Three young talented players left the team and Zhang 'Faith Bian' Ruida is still not playing because of a shoulder injury. This is why coach Zhang 'xiao8' Ning is active again to lead the squad.
On top of that, TI2 winner Luo 'Ferrari_430' Feichi joined the squad in the mid lane. Right now, Zhang 'y`' Yiping is the only remaining player from the lineup that won the Minor in Bucharest.
The other team that will represent China at the Minor is Royal Never Give Up. They beat EHOME in the Upper Bracket Finals. It is Zhi Cheng 'LaNm' Zhang's first DPC tournament of the season.
If there are any records of how many games teams have won or played at the Minor, AS Monaco Gambit would be the record holder. The CIS squad already attended two Minor tournaments and made it both times into Grand Finals. However, they lost both games against their Chinese opponents: first against EHOME and then against Vici Gaming.
Gambit will be back at their third Minor in a row after they beat Natus Vincere and Old But Gold in the CIS qualifier. Captain Artem 'fng' Barshack found the right strategy for his team to beat their tough opponents.
Now they'll need to prove that they can overcome the Grand Finals curse and finally make it to a Major by winning the Minor.
There's a huge discussion if North America shouldn't be granted three Major slots. However, at least in the Minor qualifier nobody is arguing that North America has too many slots - the region just has one. This is why we already knew that one DPC streak would end: Forward Gaming and J.Storm were both at every Major tournament so far. This time, both teams missed the qualification.
It's not a surprise that they ended up in the Grand Finals of the Minor qualifier since they were by far the strongest teams attending. However, the Grand Finals were not as close as the community had hoped for: Forward won the two games in 29 minutes respectively 32 minutes. That means that Clinton 'Fear' Loomis and his team-mates at J.Storm won't participate in the fourth round of the DPC.
The best player for Forward Gaming was again Yawar 'YawaR' Hassan who feels pretty confident swapping from mid lane to hard carry. In the first game he had 16 kills, no deaths and 9 assists with Phantom Assassin. He literally stomped J.Storm on his own.
Does this position swap make Forward a threat to the favourites at the Minor?
Photo credit: StarLadder