The biggest surprises of DreamLeague Season 22 Group Stage 1 cover image

The biggest surprises of DreamLeague Season 22 Group Stage 1

Here are the biggest surprises and upsets of DreamLeague Season 22 Group Stage 1.

DreamLeague Season 22's first Group Stage has concluded. In the last five days, sixteen teams clashed to collect points in respective groups. Ultimately, eight teams departed the tournament and eight more advanced to the next round. But was what the most interesting stories that unfolded during the first phase of this tournament?

Team Liquid out in second-last place

One of the most shocking turnarounds of this tournament is Team Liquid's bottom finish. This powerhouse has been one of the most consistent teams in the world and they have continuously bagged the runner-up position in numerous tournaments.

But as described by many, Team Liquid isn't an "online" performing team. They are beasts when it comes to LAN events but always seems to struggle in online tournaments. And it seems like this theory might just be true as Team Liquid bows out of DreamLeague Season 22 in second-last place. This takes place just days after they secured the second place podium finish at BetBoom Dacha Dubai.

Aurora exceeds expectations

(Image via Aurora)
(Image via Aurora)

There were a lot of predictions out there, even by pro players, but nobody really saw Aurora coming into DreamLeague Season 22 with style. This Southeast Asian (SEA) team, comprising the former lineup of Talon Esports, has been in a slump this early 2024. They failed to qualify for ESL One Birmingham and finished in the 9th-12th place during BetBoom Dacha Dubai. This lackluster performance likely made MinD_ContRoL rank Aurora in tier E, the lowest of any team, for this tournament.

But it seems like the stars of SEA are finally aligning! Aurora hasn't lost a single series during the first Group Stage, successfully qualifying for the second phase of the tournament. They place above prominent names like Team Liquid, Tundra Esports, and Team Secret. All eyes are set on this lineup to see if they can regain back their old momentum when they were waving the red flag of Talon.

A disastrous tournament for Chinese teams

(Image via G2.iG)
(Image via G2.iG)

Another surprising turnaround in this DreamLeague Season 22 Group Stage is the performance by Chinese teams. Azure Ray, which last finished in the top 4 at BetBoom Dacha Dubai, crashed during this phase. The team failed to win any series except for one against their regional counterparts, G2.iG.

And speaking of G2.iG, this was their official tournament debut of 2024 - it doesn't look promising. The community has a lot of question marks when this lineup was formed. They have the potential to shine but also to completely slip. And it seems that this tournament is the latter for them as they bow out of the tournament in bottom place.

Mind_Control's departure from Tundra Esports

There were no doubt many surprises that took place in the Group Stage of DreamLeague Season 22. But Mind_Control's explosive departure takes the cake!

On the second day of the Group Stage, the veteran TI winner dropped a bombshell to announce that he has been "kicked before match". He revealed on Gorgc's stream that he parted ways with the org due to captaincy issues. Later on, Tundra Esports confirmed that the player has received an indefinite suspension and will be given internal disciplinary action. This is beyond doubt one of the wildest kicks in Dota 2 history.

And that is all for the biggest stories and surprises of DreamLeague Season 22's Group Stage 1. It is only the beginning of the tournament as we head into the second phase, Group Stage 2. We will continue our coverage of this tournament so stay tuned to!