It looks like the third time was finally the charm for OpTic Gaming at the last chance North American Qualifiers for ESL One Katowice 2018.
Matched up against the Animal Planet stack for the third time this month alone, Peter ‘ppd‘ Dager would finally get the best of the surprisingly competitive sponsorless squad. However, the win did not come easy; it took five games for OpTic Gaming to finally qualify for their first Pro Circuit Major of the season.
The last chance North American Qualifiers for ESL One Katowice 2018 is exactly as the name suggests. After handing out invites to 8 teams and giving away 7 spots for the Regional Qualifiers (with two going to Europe), ESL saw fit to hold another set of Regional Qualifiers for North America. This was just the opportunity that both OpTic Gaming and Animal Planet needed; both squads were disqualified from the first set of North American Qualifiers for the Katowice Major after failing to show up to their matches in time.
Animal Planet is a five-man stack headlined by TI5 winner Kurtis ‘Aui_2000‘ Ling and two-time Major winner David ‘Moonmeander‘ Tan. Rumor has it that it’s only a matter of time before Digital Chaos picks up the squad.
The Complete 16-Team Lineup for ESL One Katowice 2018
Direct Invites: Virtus Pro (CIS); Natus Vincere (CIS); Team Secret (Europe); Team Liquid (Europe); Newbee (China); ViCi Gaming (China); Evil Geniuses (North America); Mineski (Southeast Asia).
Qualifiers: Team Kinguin (Europe); OG (Europe); Effect (Europe); CompLexity Gaming (North America); Infamous (South America); LGD Gaming (China); Fnatic (Southeast Asia); OpTic Gaming (North America).
ESL One Katowice 2018 is the first Pro Circuit Major of the year and the first Major to feature sixteen teams. It’s also the first-ever Major held in Poland. Additionally, this marks the first time that Dota 2 will be a part of IEM Katowice, one of the most famous esports events in the world and arguably Polish’s biggest annual gaming festival.
As a Major in the Dota Pro Circuit, ESL One Katowice 2018 will feature the Valve-mandated minimum of $1,000,000 in prize pool and will have as much as 1,500 Qualifying Points for The International 2018 up for grabs.
ESL One Katowice 2018 will take place on February 20-25.
— ESL Dota2 (@ESLDota2) January 26, 2018
Judging by how well ESL One Genting 2018 has turned out so far (controversies aside), expect ESL One Katowice 2018 to be just as hyped.
Which Dota 2 team do you think will end up winning ESL One Katowice 2018? Will it be Team Liquid? Or will Team Secret go for a second straight Major? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.