It’s time yet again for one of the most prestigious Dota 2 tournaments around – ESL One Hamburg. After a two-year hiatus, ELS returns to Germany.
This is the first Major Dota 2 tournament to be held under the new Majors system, dubbed the 2017-2018 Pro Circuit. It will consist of 11 Majors and 16 minor tournaments, and the teams with most points will receive direct invitations for the International.
Thanks to Valve’s point-based system mentioned above, which awards points to the top three performing players of each team, instead of giving them to the teams themselves, most teams have remained fairly stable. We expect this system to make for more cohesive and consistent teams.
As usual for a major, ESL One Hamburg has a prize pool of $1 million, 50% of which goes to the winners, while the 2nd placed teams goes home with 20%.
Eight teams will compete for the title. Team Liquid and Newbee were the first teams to reach the tournament after being invited by Valve. The rest had to battle it off in the regional qualifiers: Team Secret, Virtus.pro, Keen Gaming, HappyFeet and SG e-sports.
Team Liquid are obviously the favourites to win the tournament after winning the International and cashing in a monstrous $10.8 million two months ago. The runners-up – Newbee – are looking for revenge, and they’re certainly a capable team with an incredible line-up. After all, they eliminated Evil Geniuses, the favourites of that tournament.
Virtus.pro with a consistent roster have been solid performers over the last year, with good overall results, even beating Team Liquid and reaching 1st place at DOTA Summit 7 this June. Most sportsbooks pit Virtus.pro right behind TL as favourites to snag the title.
Evil Geniuses had no issues with the qualifiers, easily outperforming their competitors without losing a single game, while SG have kept the same roster just like Virtus.pro, but without many notable results to show for.
Being less than a month old, KEEN Gaming are the newest team around, however the new team have taken over the roster of former EHOME. Keen after several controversies shook the Chinese parent organisation. Despite the turmoil, they have managed to qualify.
The tournament will be held at Barclaycard Arena from October 26 – 29. Of note to spectators, the tournament is big on cosplay and merch, so definitely consider visiting if that’s your cup of tea.
As always, expect fantastic coverage at Unikrn TV with live streams and quality commentary, analyses and interviews. Even if you cannot watch the whole tournament, definitely don’t miss the finals on Sunday, 29 October.