On January 9th, the second major of the season and the first big tournament of the year — The Bucharest Minor — will take start. Eight teams will compete for $300,000 in prize money, 500 Dota Pro Circuit points and a slot for The Chongqing Major.

With the tournament set to start tomorrow, we take a closer at the opening matches. Who will come out victorious in the first tournament of the year? Will it be the TI8 champions? Or is it time for Gambit to shine? Or maybe the underdogs Keen Gaming will shock everyone?

For those not so used to esports betting the Bucharest Minor will be an excellent entry point. Teams are well balanced and that promises a week of entertainment for Dota 2 fans. If you’re looking to bet on Dota 2 matches we are here to help you.

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Curious which team to bet on? We take a closer look at the opening matches of the Bucharest Minor.

Group A: Ninjas in Pyjamas vs Keen Gaming

Ninjas in Pajamas — a composition of experienced players with one of the best captains in the world. At The Kuala Lumpur Major, the team reached fourth place, although they played with a substitute. Many believed that Ivan “MinD_ContRoL” Borislav even strengthened the team, which was partly confirmed by the results of NiP with main player Neto “33” Shapira online — not leaving the group for the qualifiers for The Chongqing Major, 5-6th place at the LOOT.BET Winter Masters (loss agains Alliance in winners semi-finals and against Pavaga Gaming in the bottom of the grid) and 3-4th place at the WePlay! Dota 2 Winter Madness (defeated by Gambit Esports in the semi-final).

Despite the fact that Ninjas in Pajamas are now not in optimal shape, they can dial it during the tournament if everything goes well in the group stage and ppd finds the key to the opponents.

In the offseason, Keen Gaming stepped up, inviting three experienced players — Wang “old chicken” Zhiyong , Hu “Kaka” Lyanchzhi and Ren “ELeVeN” Yanveya. However, the results did not improve — the team did not qualify for the closed qualifiers for The Kuala Lumpur Major and the Major DreamLeague Season 10. But after a month of training, they gained good form — first winning the qualifiers for The Bucharest Minor, and then the championship titles of the online tournaments The China Hope Series # 2 and H-Cup Season 12 .

However, to win in Bucharest, the Chinese team will succeed only if the four favorites all struggle to perform. Within the region, Chinese second-tier teams often give battle to favorites, but on the international stage this happens extremely rarely. But still the Chinese remain the Chinese, and any team, especially with experienced players, is able to win tournaments of a minor level.

Group A: Gambit Gaming vs Team Team

Gambit Esports, like OG, changed the lineup a few weeks ago — instead of Rinat “KingR” Abdullin and Ivan “VANSKOR” Skorokhod, Artem “Fng” Barshak and Alexander “Immersion” Khmelevskaya joined the team. With the new captain, the game style of the collective from the CIS has changed — the first matches Gambit lost, but then issued a series of victories, including against Forward Gaming (albeit with a substitute), Ninjas in Pajamas and OG.

If we consider only the results of the New Year’s online tournaments, then Gambit is the main favorite to win the major. But collectives from the CIS usually do not differ in stability: after reaching a certain mark, they often begin a sharp decline. But if Gambit Esports continues in the same vein, then it will have every chance of a trophy and a third slot on the major for their region.

TEAM TEAM, despite the double mention of the “team” in the title, is not an actual team. This is an ordinary American mix, they won the qualifiers, where there were the same mixes and fully disassembled compLexity Gaming.

Everyone loves Michael “ixmike88” Gannam and miss his speeches on stage. But the reality is that it is unlikely that his team will oppose any of the favorites and challengers. TEAM TEAM can rise above the last place only if it meets in an elimination match against Playmakers Esports. And it’s not a fact that ixmike88’s team will be able to defeat the Peruvians.

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