After the Starladder i-League Invitational Season 4 Minor in Shanghai, the Dota Pro Circuit now moves to Katowice in Poland for the ESL One Katowice Major 2018.
The first Dota 2 Major ever held in Poland will bring sixteen of the best Dota 2 teams from around the world for a shot at $1 million and 1,500 Qualifying Points. Some of the teams from the SL i-League Minor in China are back once again. Most notable of which are Team Liquid, who successfully defended their title for the second time, LGD Gaming, who emerged from the 2018 Winter Shuffle as a team to watch out for, as well as Newbee, who fell short of setting up another rematch with Team Liquid after losing to LGD Gaming in the opening rounds of the playoffs.
Joining the fray this time around are Team Secret, who remain arguably the best Dota 2 team in the world. Barring any food poisoning issues, the European mix led by Clement ‘Puppey‘ Ivanov are pegged to take home their second Major title of the 2017-18 Pro Circuit. But, the path to winning isn’t easy, even for the said four powerhouses; the ESL One Katowice 2018 Major is the first Pro Circuit Major to have sixteen teams, which means we don’t exactly know what will happen until it has happened.
Who will come out on top and kick off the TI8 stretch run on a good note? Follow the action closely throughout the week with our guide to the event.
ESL One Katowice Major 2018 Teams
Direct Invites: Team Secret (Europe); Team Liquid (Europe); Virtus Pro (CIS); Natus Vincere (CIS); Newbee (China); ViCi Gaming (China);Evil Geniuses (North America); Mineski (Southeast Asia).
Qualifiers: Team Kinguin (Europe); OG (Europe); Effect (CIS); compLexity Gaming (North America); Infamous (South America; LGD Gaming (China); Fnatic (Southeast Asia); OpTic Gaming (North America)
Teams to Beat: Team Secret / Team Liquid
At the start of the season, Team Liquid were obviously heads and shoulders above the rest of the scene. Since then, Team Secret have closed the gap to the point that they’re now considered by many as the better team of the two. Regardless of who you think is the better Dota 2 team of the two are, though, they’re obviously the cream of the proverbial crop and every team looking to make a deep run at the ESL One Katowice Major 2018 will have to make it through one or the other (or both, if they’re extremely unfortunate).
Teams on the Rise: LGD Gaming & OG
In the first semifinal match at SL i-League Invitational S4 LGD Gaming have overpowered Newbee and advanced to the final of the tournament.
— StarLadder Dota 2 (@dotasltv) February 4, 2018
While Team Secret and Team Liquid are the heavy favourites, it wouldn’t come off that huge of a surprise if either one of LGD Gaming and OG gave them a good run for their money and took them out. These two teams have simply been on fire lately. The former have fallen no lower than 2nd place in any of the Qualifiers and LAN tournaments they’ve played in since banding together in January. Though the sample size is small, they boost their credentials by having made it through the most competitive region right now (China) and making Team Liquid tap out in just 18 minutes in Game 2 of their series in the Grand Finals of the SL i-League Invitational Season 4 Minor.
4 majors after long stay at home ☺️
Very grateful boy <<<<<
Now it’s time to improve and show our best at these tournaments 💙
— Darth Vader (@Resolut1on_) February 17, 2018
As for OG, the new year and a couple of bootcamps seem to have done the struggling powerhouse well. In fact, since January 04, OG have been on quite the roll, posting a record of 44-8 (as per DatDota), which is good for a winrate of 84.62% and tops by a huge margin — Team Liquid are in second place at 18-5 (78.26%). Obviously, the usual caveats apply. Though OG have been winning, it’s mostly been against opponents in Online Qualifiers who are obviously a tier or two below them. But given OG’s struggles against weaker teams earlier this season, this might just be a sign of things to come.
If OG can continue their streak and make a deep run against better opponents at the ESL One Katowice 2018 Major, Team Secret and Team Liquid will have no choice but to make room for the original European powerhouse.
Click here for our latest Dota 2 power rankings for a complete breakdown of how today’s top teams stack up against each other.
Format and Prize Pool
Official English Coverage: https://www.facebook.com/WatchESLOne/
Prize Pool: The ESL One Katowice Major 2018 will put up as much as $1 million and 1,500 Qualifying Points at stake. Distribution will be as follows:
- 1st Place — $400,000 / 750 Qualifying Points
- 2nd Place — $200,000 / 450 Qualifying Points
- 3rd Place — $120,000 / 225 Qualifying Points
- 4th Place — $80,000 / 75 Qualifying Points
- 5th-6th Place — $50,000
- 7th-8th Place — $20,000
- 9th-12th Place — $10,000
- 13th-6th Place — $5,000
Competition Format: The sixteen Dota 2 teams were divided into two groups of eight teams each on February 7th where they will play each other in a double-elimination style group stage from February 20-23, followed by a single-elimination format six-team playoff stage from February 24-25.
- All opening matches of the group stages will be a best-of-one. The rest will be a best-of-three.
- Only the top three teams from each group will advance to the playoffs: the top team will be seeded automatically in the semifinals, while the runner-ups will face the 3rd-place team from the opposite group in the quarterfinals.
- All matches in the playoffs will be a best-of-three, except for the grand finals, which will be a best-of-five.
Due to the community’s demand for more matches to be played in front of the live audience, ESL decided to add a 3rd-place decider match before the Grand Finals on the last day of the event.
Group Stage Day 1
All times indicated are in CET unless otherwise stated. Match start times are subject to change, depending on the length of the previous match.
OG vs ViCi Gaming (OG to win at 1.78 odds)
Team Liquid vs Effect (Team Liquid to win at 1.05 odds)
Mineski vs compLexity Gaming (compLexity Gaming to win at 2.72 odds)
opTic Gaming vs Virtus Pro (opTic Gaming at 5.54 odds)
LGD Gaming vs Evil Geniuses (LGD Gaming to win at 1.42 odds)
Team Secret vs Infamous (Team Secret to win at 1.03 odds)
Natus Vincere vs Fnatic (Natus Vincere to win at 1.96 odds)
Team Kinguin vs Newbee (Team Kinguin to win at 6.44 odds)
Get Ready for the ESL One Katowice 2018 Major
Click here for a complete breakdown of the tournament schedule.
PR mess aside, ESL’s decision to make ESL One Genting 2018 a 16-team Minor paid off. It’s safe to say then that the ESL One Genting Katowice Major 2018 will be just as great of an event, if not better.
Which Dota 2 team do you think will end up winning the ESL One Genting Katowice Major 2018? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.