Set to be held in Chongqing, China, this time around, the WESG 2018 Dota 2 Finals will run from March 7 through March 11, with a total of 24 teams battling it out over a whopping $890,000 prize pool.
Scheduled to run at the same time as the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor, a number of teams have already chosen to drop out of the competition to focus on the DPC event. This includes Boom ID and Vici Gaming. Meanwhile, the Brazilian team, Team Canarinho, opted to bring in Heitor ‘Duster‘ Pereira for Rodrigo Lelis ‘Liposa‘ Santos, as his team, Flying Penguins, are scheduled to play in Kiev as well.
With that said, let’s get right on to business and lay down the facts on which teams are the heavy favourites to win the WESG 2018 Dota 2 Finals.
Favourites to Win WESG 2018 Dota 2 Finals
Team Russia (2.24)
The Russians are looking to take home their second WESG win in a row, and by the looks of things, they could very well do it.
A team composed of Virtus.Pro members plus Andrey ‘Afoninje‘ Afonin standing in at mid — Vladimir ‘No[o]ne‘ Minenko is Ukrainian — Team Russia are, by far, the best Dota 2 team playing at the WESG 2018 Dota 2 Finals and it’s not even close.
EHOME could have given them a good run for their money, but they’re nowhere near in full form. Zhang ‘Faith_bian‘ Ruida is in recovery after a freak injury, and Yang ‘END‘ Pu only recently joined the team, giving them very little time to build the necessary chemistry to play well together. Meanwhile, Team Russia have spent the better part of the past three years together, and last year, even with Igor ‘iLTW‘ Filatov standing in, they had no problems dominating their opposition.
Keen Gaming (6.87)
Composed of a mix of veterans and new bloods, including scene veterans such as Ren ‘eLeVeN‘ Yangwei and Hu ‘Kaka’ Liangzhi, Keen Gaming is not to be underestimated.
Unfortunately, because the lineup has had very little experience playing against international competition this season, we don’t really know well they’d fare against different styles of play. This is especially true with Team Russia leading the charge. Historically, Chinese Dota 2 teams have had difficulty dealing with the aggression of CIS squads.
While we should expect Keen Gaming to put on a good show at the WESG 2018 Dota 2 Finals, expecting them to win is pretty optimistic.
Had EHOME played with their full lineup, we would’ve given them a fair shot at winning the WESG 2018 Dota 2 Finals.
That’s not the case, however. EHOME are instead playing with a stand-in and a new player, which doesn’t really bode well for the team’s chemistry. Not to mention, the team hasn’t exactly been in good shape lately. After making a lot of noise at the Chongqing Major with a Top 6 finish following their resounding, near-flawless win at the Bucharest Minor, EHOME have since cooled off. Most likely, the pressure got to their youngsters, resulting in the team’s recent roster shuffle and subsequent slump.
Of course, if there’s someone who could turn around a team in little time, it’s the legendary Zhang ‘xiao8‘ Ning, EHOME’s coach.
If xiao8 finds a way to make sure that the addition of END pans out and puts XinQ in a position to succeed, EHOME might just end up turning a lot of heads at the tournament.
Team Aster (10.00)
Team Aster weren’t half-bad at ESL One Katowice 2019, especially Chai ‘Mushi‘ Yee Fung, who have since made the trip back to China after a failed stint with Tigers in Southeast Asia earlier this season.
A lineup full of known names in the Chinese Dota 2 scene, a lot expected Team Aster to burst into the scene. Instead, six months later, they’ve had very little to show save for an early exit here and there. But, even so, there were the occasional flashes of brilliance, and many felt that all the team needed was a stable mid player after both Deng ‘Dstones‘ Lei and Gao ‘loveyouloveme‘ Yuan didn’t really mesh well with the team.
This isn’t to say that Mushi is a perfect fit, but he is a malleable as they come. Besides, lest we forget, Mushi was famous for his play as a mid player. Now that he’s back to his “natural” position, we might just see some form of resurgence.
As arguably the most “stable” team outside of Team Russia playing in the tournament, Team Aster have a puncher’s chance up against anybody at the WESG 2018 Dota 2 Finals.
Top 10 WESG 2018 Dota 2 Finals Betting Odds
- Team Russia at 2.24 odds
- Keen Gaming at 6.87 odds
- EHOME at 8.30 odds
- Team Aster 10.00 odds
- TNC Predator at 12.00 odds
- Team Canarinho 12.00 odds
- Team Team 17.00 odds
- Room310 at 20.00 odds
- The Final Tribe at 20.00 odds
- Mr Game Boy at 20.00 odds
Outside of the four heavy favourites, the other teams worth watching out for are TNC Predator and The Final Tribe. You could also make an argument for Mr Game Boy, which will reunite Luo ‘Ferrari_430’ Feichi and Zeng ‘Faith’ Hongda who formerly played together under the Invictus Gaming banner where they won The International 2012 over the defending champions, Natus Vincere.
As for TNC Predator, their case is quite tricky, to say the least.
Chemistry-wise, TNC Predator have historically been one of the better Dota 2 teams at playing off of each other. However, their recent lineup hasn’t really been clicking for some reason. It also doesn’t help that they’ll have to play the tournament without their captain, Carlo ‘Kuku‘ Palad, and with a currently unknown stand-in taking his place for the meantime. Not to mention, Nico ‘eyyou‘ Barcelon, hasn’t really stood out in his return to his former team.
When Will the WESG 2018 Dota 2 Finals Start?
The WESG 2018 Dota 2 Finals will kick off with a two-day round-robin group stage from March 7-8. From there, only eight teams will advance to the single-elimination playoffs, which will run from March 9-10.
In terms of preparation, Team Russia already have a leg up over their competition as Virtus.Pro have already spent the past month in Chongqing, China after playing at MDL Macau 2019. The arrival of the new patch might complicate things a wee bit though. It could even be the one change that the other Dota 2 teams in the tournament desperately need to help level the playing field and give them a better shot at upstaging the defending champions.
All odds courtesy of Arcanebet.
Which Dota 2 team do you think will win the WESG 2018 Dota 2 Finals? Will it be Team Russia? Or will any of the other Dota 2 teams step up their game and upstage the defending champions? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.