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ESL One Katowice Preview


19 February 2018 16:23

History will be made at Katowice’s Spodek Arena when Poland hosts its first ever Dota 2 major. Sixteen teams of the world’s best outfits will descend on the 11,500-capacity complex for ESL One Katwoice, seeking the winning share of the $1,000,000 prize pool and 1,500 qualifying points for The International 2018.

The six-day event from Tuesday 20th February to Sunday 25th February is the fifth Major of the season, with Team Liquid and Team Secret favourites from their respective groups, but will there be an upset on the cards with so much at stake?

The Format

Fans flocking to Katowice will see a hard-fought group stage - where sixteen teams are split into two double-elimination groups - followed by two days of intense play-offs. The top two teams from each group will progress directly to the play-off semi-finals, with the four teams finishing in 2nd and 3rd place going through to the quarter-finals, where only two of those four will make it through to the semi’s.

The Teams

Eight Dota 2 teams have received direct invites to the Spodek Arena, with the other eight securing their places from regional qualifiers in China, South-East Asia, South America, Europe, North America and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). 

The sixteen participating teams are shown below in their groups, along with their odds of winning the tournament outright:

Group A:

  • Team Liquid – 12/5
  • Virtus Pro – 11/2
  • Vici Gaming – 12/1
  • OG – 14/1
  • Mineski – 16/1
  • OpTic Gaming – 40/1
  • compLexity – 50/1
  • Effect – 100/1

Group B:

  • Team Secret – 10/3
  • Newbee 6/1
  • LGD Gaming – 9/1
  • Evil Genuises – 14/1
  • Natus Vincere – 22/1
  • Fnatic – 22/1
  • Kinguin – 66/1
  • Infamous 250/1

The Prize Pool and DPC Points

The sixteen teams will split the $1,000,000 prize pool based on their overall position, with only the top four teams being awarded vital DPC (Dota Pro Circuit) points:

  • 1st - $400,000 and 750 DPC Points
  • 2nd - $200,000 and 450 DPC Points
  • 3rd - $120,000 and 225 DPC Points
  • 4th - $80,000 and 75 DPC Points
  • 5th-6th - $50,000
  • 7th-8th - $20,000
  • 9th-12th - $10,000
  • 13th-16th - $5,000

Who Are The Favourites?

The odds for the region of the winner are shown below, reiterating the fact a European team is the overwhelming favourite to come out on top in their home region:

  • Europe – 4/5
  • China – 9/4
  • CIS – 4/1
  • South-East Asia – 12/1
  • North America – 13/1
  • South America – 250/1

Team Secret are one of the European teams in action in Poland and are likely to be amongst the last teams standing. Secret begin their ESL One Katwoice campaign against the unfancied Infamous in Group B and will be expected to get off to the strongest start possible against the relatively inexperienced South American qualifiers. European teams are dominating most betting markets, and as such are odds-on to secure the Most Kills in a Map, Fewest Deaths in a Map and more.

Player-wise, Team Liquid’s 20-year-old solo middle and carry player Amer "Miracle-" Al-Barkawi is widely tipped to be one of the players to look out for. Odds-on favourite to gain Highest GPM in a Map, Most Kills in a Map and Most Last Hits in a Map in Poland, Miracle- clearly possesses the ability and temperament needed to become one of the tournament’s star attractions. Although he only joined Liquid in 2016, he’s been instrumental in their success to date, helping them triumph in tournaments including the prestigious International 2017 as well as StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3.

The International 2018

The players finishing in the first four-placed teams at ESL One Katwoice receive a combined $800,000 of the overall $1,000,000 prize pool but, perhaps more importantly, they also receive 1,500 DPC Points between them. These points go towards qualifying for The International 2018, where only the top eight teams with the highest point totals will receive direct invites, with the rest having to progress through gruelling regional qualifiers.

Team Secret currently lead the way on 4,260 points, with Team Liquid and Virtus.pro their current nearest challenges with 3,510 and 2,697 points apiece. The five individual players with the most points at this stage are all from Team Secret – MidOne, YapzOr, Ace, Puppey and Fata. This quintet will all be lining up together again at ESL One Katwoice, so you wouldn’t bet against them increasing their stronghold at the top of both the player and team leaderboards.

There are in fact 11 majors and 16 minors over the course of the 2017-18 season, all with qualifying points up for grabs, and ESL One Katowice represents one of those 27 tournaments. Upcoming tournaments include majors in Romania, China and Russia as well as minors in Indonesia, Sweden, Ukraine, China and Thailand, giving players an unmissable opportunity to increase their tally ahead of The International 2018.  

Published on:
Updated on: 2018-02-19

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