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FlyToMoon debuts on LAN at StarLadder ImbaTV Invitational Season 5

Posted by Chelsea "Daeja" Jack at 11 April 2018 15:30


Airat 'Silent' Gaziev at StarLadder i-League Invitational Season 2; Photo courtesy of StarLadder

Heading into the last six tournaments of the year, FlyToMoon will make their first Dota 2 Pro Circuit LAN appearance at StarLadder ImbaTV Invitational Season 5.

StarLadder ImbaTV Invitational Season 5 (SL5) is a Dota 2 Pro Circuit (DPC) Minor, and the 17th event of 22 this Dota 2 season. We’re entering the last quarter of DPC tournaments before The International 8. Thirty-five teams have already competed on LAN at DPC tournaments. At StarLadder, CIS team FlyToMoon will become the 36th team to make a tournament appearance.

FlyToMoon roster:

Russia Airat 'Silent' Gaziev
Ukraine Bogdan 'Iceberg' Vasilenko
Russia Alexey 'nongrata' Vasilev
Russia Aleksander 'Nofear' Churochkin
Ukraine Andrey 'ALWAYSWANNAFLY' Bondarenko (captain)

This is a team with some familiar faces: all of the players have come from top CIS region teams. None, however, have the star power or recent competitive record to warrant direct invites to DPC events. Regional qualifiers are critical for giving a team like FlyToMoon opportunities to soar on international stages.  

There are nine teams who have appeared at only one tournament so far this season: Digital Chaos, EHOME, The Final Tribe, Invictus Gaming, PENTA Sports, Planet Dog, Rex Regum Qeon, Sacred, and VGJ.Storm. None of these teams placed in the top four at their respective events and six of the teams have since made roster changes or been dropped by their organizations.

Of course, none of this means that FlyToMoon won’t perform well at SL5. They’ve already qualified for a second tournament—EPICENTER XL via the Madness qualifier—, and the team’s only been together officially since February 2nd, 2018. FlyToMoon is proof that teams formed later in the season can be competitive.

With CIS qualifiers still to come for ESL One Birmingham and the China Super Major, it’s possible if unlikely that FlyToMoon could pick up enough DPC points from all of these events to qualify for a TI8 invite. That’s one of the benefits of having the DPC system and transparent TI8 invitations: teams can still see the potential for invitations to the biggest event of the year, even when they haven’t picked up DPC points yet.

FlyToMoon was placed in Group A with VGJ.Thunder, Team Kinguin, and Optic Gaming. They will face VGJ.Thunder in their opening series. The Chinese squad is the highest DPC ranked team at the event, and though they failed to place well at the Dota 2 Asia Championships 2018, they had second-place finishes in March at both the Bucharest Major and GESC: Indonesia.

The road to SL5 playoffs will start off bumpy for FlyToMoon, but the squad could make a serious impression on the scene if they come out and win early. Performing well at SL5 is the first step in FlyToMoon’s sprint for a TI8 invite.

Check back for daily StarLadder ImbaTV Invitational Season 5 recaps from April 12-15!

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