After many tournaments been played, the last Major has finally come round, the ESL One Birmingham. This event will be particularly interesting, because it will be United Kingdom’s first ever Dota 2 Major. The local Dota scene is growing rapidly, which guarantees a high level interest.
The lucrative prize pool of $1,000,000 as well as 1500 qualification points makes this Major a really important event. This is due to the fact that the pro circuit season is slowly coming to an end. That’s why some teams are obliged to get some qualification points in order to secure themselves the direct invite for TI 8.
Just in case anyone of you are looking attend the main event, it will be held from the 25th to the 27th of May in the “Arena Birmingham”.
Six from the twelve teams have been directly invited, while the other six had to win the regional qualifiers in order to attend the event. The participating teams will be divided into three groups. As usual, the bottom two teams from each group will be eliminated. The teams which finish first in their groups will be playing in a Bo1 match in order to determine which two teams will advance to the semi finals. The others will join the runner-ups of the group in the quarter finals.
The playoffs will be in a Bo3 single elimination up untill the final, which will be Bo5. There will also be a deciding match for the 3rd place.
Note: Only the playoffs will be played on the big stage. The group stage games will only be livestreamed.
— ESL Dota2 (@ESLDota2) May 16, 2018
At the time of writing this article, the last participant in Group A is still unknown. The reason behind this is the withdraw of Na’Vi from the tournament.
The current teams are:
• Evil Geniuses
We can clearly see just from the names of the teams that this will definitely be the “group of death”. Having so many good teams in one group can always be a joy to see. However, this means that some of them will surely get the ticket home way earlier than usual.
Following their recent results Virtus.Pro have gone out of the spotlight for some time now. They were the first team that managed to secure themselves a direct TI invite. However, after that, they have not being able to do much in the other tournaments. Of course, this could be due to fact that they lack motivation. They could also save the best for TI. In any case, they are surely one of the heavy favourites, which means that placing a bet on them might be a profitable idea.
Evil Geniuses are in an awkward position the entire pro circuit season. They have had their ups and downs, but in the end they always miss out on some on something. This is one of their last chances to show that they are worth the direct invite.
Fnatic are in a similar position to EG. They have the needed talent in terms of individual skills and they have recently shown some signs of strength against Team Secret in the DreamLeague S9’s final.
• Team Liquid
• paiN Gaming
• Vici Gaming
Following on from the last tournament MDL Changsha, Vici Gaming are looking strong and could manage to finish with a win. However, as we know, their performance is always inconsistent which is never a good thing when you place a bet. That’s why we would advice you to keep a close eye on them and decide on the go.
Team Liquid are surely the biggest name out of all here. They are always considered as the favourites, regardless of the tournament that they have played in. Having said that, TL are still looking for their first Major win this Pro Circuit. They always manage to get a high placing but fail to win the entire event. We can hope that this Major will be theirs.
• OpTic Gaming
We can see some interesting names here such as OpTic Gaming. The NA team has had some nice games and events through the season but sadly they are way behind in the official leader board. This means getting a direct TI qualification will be nearly impossible at this point.
Mineski is also one of the teams to be on the lookout for, despite their poor performance after winning DAC. The SEA team became legendary after winning the event but they have not being able to find their spot after that. They need just a little bit more qualification points in order to secure their direct invite, which means that betting on them might be a good choice.
Newbee have gone through hell and back couple of times during this pro circuit season. They have just finished 4th in the MDL Macau and managed to secure some qualification points. Their are currently ranked 7th in the leader board, which should definitely be a big motivator for the team. If they bring the same confidence again, they will surely be able to snatch some points here as well. We think that a top 3 finish is highly possible.
Like we have mentioned, this is the first ever Dota 2 Major in the UK. The caliber of the participants and the fact that it is the last Major of the season (there is only one Supermajor left before TI) makes this event a must watch. Dota 2 nowadays is really hard to predict, because teams just pop up out of nowhere and win tournaments. That’s why we advice you to watch the tournament and decide if your team is worth betting for.
Which team will win the event? Can Team Liquid finally win a Major? Let us know in the comments.