June 26, 2019
Not even a week ago, Mineski dropped Lai ‘Ahjit’ Jay Son from their lineup, making changes heading into TI9 qualifiers with hopes of clinching a spot for the big event.
Fans didn’t have to wait long to find out who the replacement player would be.
Nikolay “Nikobaby” Nikolov is a Bulgarian player that has spent almost the entire 2018-2019 DPC season playing in SEA. Regional fans will recognize him from Clutch Gamers and WG.Unity. European fans will remember him from various tier 2 teams in EU between 2015-2016 before taking an almost two-year hiatus.
Valve has not yet announced how many teams per region will be able to qualify for TI9. In the last several years 18 has been the magical number of teams headed for the pinnacle of all Dota 2 events. If that stays the same, with 12 invites being handed out, only six teams - one per region- would end up at TI9 via the qualifiers. The competition will be cut-throat and teams are seeking out any competitive edge.
Bulgaria Nikolay “Nikobaby” Nikolov
Malaysia Kam ‘NaNa/Moon’ Boon Seng
Australia Damien ‘kpii’ Chok
Philippines Ryan ‘Bimbo’ Jay Qui
Philippines Michael ‘Ninjaboogie’ Ross