After a strong start with 3 minors with teams competing at the highest level for the first Dota 2 Pro Circuit points, we have finally reached the first Major of the 2017 – 2018 season! This event is a must watch if you are a fan of Electronic Sports (even if you have never watched Dota 2 before).
Below in this article, we are going to go through everything you need to know about this 2017 ESL One edition: betting tips, prize pools, schedule, squads and point distribution so you can profit while watching your favorite pros battling it out – just keep reading and enjoy!
ESL One is one of the most prestigious competition of the entire year for Dota 2. This is going to be the 8th edition of the series, and after being held in Frankfurt for the past 3 years, this time it will take place in a new location: Barclaycard Arena of Hamburg, in the city of Hamburg – Germany.
The event is going to be attended by 8 teams – 2 invitees based on their recent International performances and 1 squad qualified from each of the major regions. The prize pool is set at a staggering figure of 1 million dollars, with the winner taking home $500.000 and the last place earning $20.000.
The tournament will be played in 2 phases: Group stages with 2 groups of 4 teams and then a single elimination playoff with the top 2 crews from each group (semi finals and grand finals). All the matches will be played in a best of 3 format, with the exception of the grand finals who isn’t yet disclosed and could be a best of 5 (it’s likely that it will be).
Team Liquid is one of the few competitive forces in the world to head into the 2017 – 2018 season without a single player change in the roster. This isn’t really surprising as they have just won the biggest event of all time (The International 7) but we have seen squads breaking up in the past even shortly after great victories.
As we have pointed out in a previous article, it is clear to everyone that Team Liquid has a huge skill cap and lots of potential – it was no fluke that they won TI, they really were the best squad in the tournament without a doubt – but it is yet to be seen how they perform in the regular season, fighting for significantly smaller prize pools (anything is small compared to TI).
Putting that uncertainty aside, I would still say TL will finish at least in the top 4, with good chances of reaching a final and taking home the trophy. Kuroky (their captain) won’t settle for anything less than a win, and he will probably help motivate the entire squad to fight hard for it.
The second invited crew is Newbee, runner-up in last season’s TI (lost to Team Liquid in the grand finals). They will also be playing with the same roster that attended The International.
This 4 Chinese + 1 Australian squad is a threat to every single team in this event if they can show performances similar to the ones they had for the last couple of months. With the Moogy + Sccc duo as hard carry and mid player, Newbee frequently wins the laning phase and transition to a very strong and stable late game – they hardly ever throw away leads once they have them.
For my prediction, I also think Newbee will make a deep run in this event, with great chances of reaching the finals – they are definitely one of the biggest favorites here unless they face Liquid in the semis, so bet accordingly.
With the addition of FATA– and Ace to the roster, Team Secret is the org showcasing the best level of play in this early season start. So far, they have won all the qualifiers they signed up for (2 minors and 1 major), dominating the Europe region and securing themselves a spot among the tier 1 professional crews.
If we base our ESL One Hamburg 2017 betting tips on recent performances, I would put Secret just slightly behind Liquid and Newbee, but with the potential to take down anyone if things go their way. TS has always been a force that overperforms during the regular season (even won Majors in the past year) but then disappoints when TI comes around – one more reason to trust that they will do well in all these events they have recently qualified to.
I would bet on Secret to advance to the playoffs and lose in the semi finals, but the matches will surely be intense and nail-biters all the way to the end.
The CIS squad (2 Ukrainians and 3 Russians) ended last season as the number 1 team in the region, miles ahead of their competitors. While it is true that they have shown good performances and obtained a good result in TI, some other crews in the region started catching up to them in the upcoming months. Proof of this is the fact that they lost in the last minor qualifier to Na’Vi, something that no one would even consider happening 2 months ago.
This VP roster has fans all around the world, due to their very aggressive playstyle and diversified hero picks and bans. Their matches are never boring, and they’re one of the most entertaining teams to watch play – even during high pressure games, they don’t let go of their relentless pressure. In this very stacked event, I wouldn’t consider them the favorites to end up in top 4, but it is definitely possible. Right now I would say they’ll most probably end in 5th – 6th place.
Keen is the dark horse of this tournament. In the middle of a Chinese qualifier with many fan favorites and powerhouses, they came out on top with relatively unknown players to the western viewers. As a roster formed last month, this is already a great result for the organization to help build a fanbase and secure a spot among the best forces from the region.
Having won the (arguably) hardest qualifier, you can never count Keen Gaming out of the race for a top 4 finish, but I expect them to place similarly to Virtus Pro.
HappyFeet is truly the underdog of this tournament. I don’t see them beating any of the other squads attending and they will most likely be the first crew eliminated from this ESL One.
They come from one of the weakest regions and the roster is made of players with no international relevance or impact to the scene. With that being said, we can expect some crazy picks and playstyle from them, as it is usual that the Southeast Asia meta is very different from the rest of the world, especially the western squads.
EG has been on a rocky path lately. Widely considered one of the best Dota 2 teams in the world after their victory in International 5, they haven’t been able to perform the same ever since. The organization has won a few events during the last couple years, but none of them were Majors.
After a disappointing performance in this year’s TI, Evil Geniuses swapped out zai for Fear – even though I don’t think zai was their main weakness in the past, I’m sure Fear has the potential to bring the team back to its winning path with his insanely big hero pool and his leadership traits, in and outside of the game.
EG is not a favorite for this competition, but they have good chances of making it through to the playoffs. All things considered, I would put them in 4th place.
SG e-Sports is the South America qualifier winner. The same analysis that was done to HappyFeet can be done here – the organization has had almost no impact on the international scene and the players aren’t experienced enough in big stages like this.
After not qualifying for TI 7 (what many considered a failure), SG e-sports disbanded their roster and came back a few weeks later with 4 new players + 4dr (from the old squad). The South American region is growing steadily, and so is SG e-sports, but they’re still not ready for a deep run in a big Major like this, and will probably be eliminated early together with HappyFeet.
To finish things off, here’s my ESL One Hamburg 2017 betting tips:
May the odds be in your favor and good luck!