ESL One Katowice 2018 – Predictions and Tournament Preview
ESL One Katowice 2018 is the 12th Dota Pro Circuit LAN event and the 3rd Major of the 2017-2018 competitive season. Organized by ESL and sponsored by reputable companies such as Intel and Mercedes-Benz, the tournament has a prize pool of 1 million dollars and is scheduled to take place in Katowice, Poland between February 20-25.
Starting with the 2017-2018 season, Valve introduced the notion of qualification points in order to create a more transparent ranking system. As a result, tournaments that belong to the Dota Pro Circuit offer not only money, but qualification points as well.
ESL One Katowice 2018 is a Major and offers a total of 1500 qualification points, which will be distributed among participants in the following way:
- 1st place: 750 points.
- 2nd place: 450 points.
- 3rd place: 225 points.
- 4th place: 75 points.
- 5th-16th place: 0 points.
ESL One Katowice 2018 features 16 teams from 6 different regions:
- Europe: Team Secret, Team Liquid, Team Kinguin, OG.
- China: Newbee, LGD Gaming, Vici Gaming.
- CIS: Virtus.pro, Natus Vincere, Effect.
- North America: compLexity Gaming, Evil Geniuses, OpTic Gaming.
- South America: Infamous.
- Southeast Asia: Mineski, Fnatic.
Initially, the teams will be divided into 2 groups of 8 and each group will be played in a double elimination bracket format (GSL). The winner of each group advances to the Semifinals. The second and third placed teams in each group advance to the Quarterfinals. Playoffs will have 6 teams in total and will be played in a single elimination bracket format. Unlike most Dota 2 tournaments that use this competitive format, ESL One Katowice 2018 also has a 3rd place match.
Predictions for the opening matches
Team Liquid vs Effect
Team Liquid are vastly better than their opponents, so they’ll almost surely win this match with ease.
OG vs Vici Gaming
This match will likely be very close and either team could win, although Vici Gaming is slightly favored. They won their latest battle against OG (score 2 – 0 in the Captains Draft 4.0 Semifinals) and even though they’ve been recently losing a lot of matches against their regional rivals, they should still be able to take away this one.
Mineski vs compLexity Gaming
Mineksi is in pretty good shape right now, so I can’t imagine them losing to a much weaker team.
OpTic Gaming vs Virtus.pro
After their recent roster change (RodjER replaced Lil), Virtus.pro have an even stronger lineup than before. And considering the strength difference between these two teams, I think ppd’s squad will get destroyed by VP.
Team Secret vs Infamous
This can only end one way, unless Secret lose a player or have to abandon or something.
LGD Gaming vs Evil Geniuses
These two teams are very close to each other in terms of strength, so this is another match in which anything can happen. Based on their recent results, LGD is more likely to take the win, but only by a little (~55/45).
Natus Vincere vs Fnatic
After their recent roster changes, Natus Vincere have showed many signs of weakness and lost a number of matches against supposedly much weaker opponents. At the same time, Fnatic have been playing better and better, besting regional rivals and qualifying for important Dota Pro Circuit events. So overall, I would definitely bet on Fnatic for this match.
Team Kinguin vs Newbee
This is a huge mismatch and Newbee should easily win this dispute. However, keep in mind that Team Kinguin will be playing on their home soil and that may have a positive effect on their performance throughout the ESL One Katowice 2018 Major.