ESL One Hamburg marks the beginning of the 2018-2019 DotA season by being the first major tournament following The International. Although the event offers some major prize money, it does not award Dota Pro Circut points. DPC points are used as a measure to distribute invites to major tournaments, making the points incredibly important going forward.
New Year, New Scene
After a long roster shuffle period and extended large-scale tournament drought following The International, the DotA 2 pro scene comes back to life. Interesting new teams and organizations trying to make a name for themselves in the new season will battle it out in the group stage.
The group stage event during the tournament ends October 25, which gives way to the main stage event. During this phase, which ends October 28, teams will go head to head in a best of three double elimination setting.
Big Prize Money
Twelve teams from around the world, eight invites and four qualifiers, will fly to Hamburg, Germany, to compete for first place. The top three places will compete for a combined $225,000 with first place taking over half that amount with $125,000.
Although this prize is nothing in the face of larger tournaments such as Majors, it is a life-changing amount of money for smaller teams. This is especially true for new players from teams such as Alliance and EVOS Esports. A large sum of money allows new players to focus more energy toward the game, potentially opening the door for new talent.
Of the teams featured at the tournament, most organizations are very recognizable from past tournaments, but in many cases, their rosters are entirely different. One example is compLexity gaming which has added three new players since The International.
One of these players is Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao who is now playing hard support, or position five, instead of his traditional carry role. This is reflective of his position prior to The International 3 when he played for Alliance as position five. Unfortunately, EnVy was kicked from the team directly prior to the tournament and missed out on Alliance’s victory.
Alliance is a similar example of organizations who are very recognizable and have also significantly changed their roster frequently. Since their victory in 2013 at The International 3, the team has fallen from grace.
Loyal former carry Jonathan “Loda” Berg continues to coach the team despite the original four Alliance players leaving. His veteran experience will be heavily influential on the group of young talent he now coaches.
Both compLexity and Alliance are teams which qualified for the tournament as opposed to being invited. Some of the invited teams’ rosters are identical to the previous season. These teams were invited based on past performance. However, other teams consist of raw proven talent that has not played together yet. One example of such a team is Forward Gaming which features classic veterans from past powerhouse teams. Some of these players include Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora and Roman “Resolut1on” Fominok who will play offlane and carry, respectively.
Following the first day of the group stage, viewers had a good idea of team’s performances at the tournament. The top spot of each group is held by a Chinese team. These two teams have appeared to be dominant, as they are the only two teams which won all four of their games on the first day. Interestingly, Forward Gaming is currently at risk of elimination despite their strong roster.
Tomorrow will double the number of games played and will give a more full picture of the tournament ahead.
Featured image courtesy of Valve
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