ESL One Katowice 2018 Recap and Match Predictions
Day 3 of ESL One Katowice 2018 is about to begin and the first two days provided a lot of great matches as well as a few minor upsets. In particular, Mineski got prematurely eliminated after losing to OG in Group A’s Losers’ Bracket. The other 5 teams that are out of the competition are Effect, Natus Vincere, OpTic Gaming, compLexity Gaming and Infamous.
Four teams are already qualified for the Playoffs, but the winner of each group is yet to be decided. These teams are Virtus.pro, Vici Gaming, Team Secret and Fnatic. Because of the fact that group winners advance directly into the Semifinals and are guaranteed a top 4 finish, the matches between these teams (Vici Gaming vs. Virtus.pro and Team Secret vs. Fnatic) are extremely important.
Vici Gaming vs. Virtus.pro
These two teams are of exactly the same strength, so in theory anything could happen in this match. However, Vici Gaming managed to defeat Team Liquid (score 2 – 1) in the group’s Semifinals, so they’re definitely very good right now.
OG vs. Team Liquid
OG were unlucky enough to encounter Vici Gaming in their very first match of the tournament and they almost beat them in that Bo1. Then they went on to defeat Effect and Mineski in the Losers’ Bracket, but they’re still a long shot against Team Liquid. I just don’t see how they could win against them given the huge skill difference between these two teams, not just at the individual level, but also at the synergy and strategy level.
Team Secret vs. Fnatic
If Secret play their game, this should be a quick 2 – 0 victory in their favor. So far at this tournament, Fnatic defeated a Na’Vi team that has been a complete mess since losing RodjER and SoNNeikO, and Team Kinguin (score 2 – 1), a complete outsider to the world of big Dota. So going up against Secret, I don’t think they have much of a chance. They will likely get outplayed by Secret from start to finish.
Team Kinguin vs. Evil Geniuses
EG are extremely lucky to play Team Kinguin and their chance of winning is above 90% in this match. In all likelihood, Team Kinguin’s victory against Newbee (score 1 – 0) in their first match of the tournament was an accident and a result of overconfidence on Newbee’s part. It’s highly unlikely that EG will make the same mistake and actually lose 2 games (this series is a Bo3) against a much weaker opponent.
LGD Gaming vs. Newbee
Overall, Newbee is arguably the stronger team, as the Dota Pro Circuit rankings clearly show. Newbee is sitting at number 4 with 1725 points while LGD Gaming is sitting at number 10 with just 472 points. However, when you consider the fact that these two teams are from the same region (China) and play against each other very often, the assessment changes. Newbee may be better at dealing with foreign teams, but in their direct matches against LGD Gaming they often get crushed. The last 5 matches between these two teams ended with 1 draw, 1 Newbee victory and 3 LGD Gaming victories. Two of these wins came in the last two matches and both of them finished 2 – 0 in favor of LGD Gaming.