In just a couple of days. the 2017 Dota 2 season kicks off with ESL One Genting. The tournament will take place from January 6-8th and is hosted at the prestigious Arena of Stars. For the eight teams competing in the tournament, they will be hoping that they can take home the first tournament of the year.
ESL One Genting Format
The tournament will be played in two stages. The first will be a group stage consisting of two groups, each with four teams. They will play each other in a double elimination format until two teams are left from each group who will proceed to bracket play. As with all ESL Dota 2 tournaments, bracket play will be single elimination. Meaning anything can and will happen. As a fan of the unpredictability that single elimination bracket play brings to competitive Dota, I am excited to see what the teams have in store for us over the weekend.
ESL One Genting Prize Pool
ESL One Genting boasts a $250,000 prize pool, which is a large amount considering it is possible to win the tournament only playing four series. The prize pool is broken down as follows:
- 1st Place – $100,000
- 2nd Place – $50,000
- 3rd Place – $25,000
- 4th Place – $25,000
- 5th – 8th Place – $12,500
ESL One Genting Teams
Eight of the top teams will arrive in Malaysia, all with aspirations of winning ESL One Genting. The winners of the last ESL One event, OG, are not attending the event so a new champion will be crowned over the weekend. Lets take a look at who is fighting it out to be ESL One Genting 2017 champions.
Virtus Pro (VP)
Position 1 (Carry) – Ramzes666
Position 2 (Mid) – No[o]ne
Position 3 (Offlane) – 9Pashaebashu
Position 4 (Support) – Solo
Position 5 (Support) – Lil
Heading into the Boston Major, VP was touted by many, including myself, as firm favorites to win the event. Unfortunately for VP this was not the case, Evil Geniuses (EG) defeated them, resulting in a 5-8th finish.
With ESL One Genting just round the corner, VP will be desperate to avenge their failure at the Major with a dominant display over the weekend.
Prediction:- 1st in Group A
VP are famed for playing a chaotic style, combine this with their niche picks (Phantom Assassin / Weaver supports) and a single elimination tournament, I foresee VP performing very well and taking home first place in their group.
Position 1 (Carry) – InYourDream
Position 2 (Mid) – Mushi
Position 3 (Offlane) – Ohaiyo
Position 4 (Support) – Febby
Position 5 (Support) – Yamateh
Following disappointment at the Boston Major, Fnatic made the decision to drop three players from their roster. Leaving Mushi and Ohaiyo to look for three players in time for ESL One Genting, but they managed to pull it off. Fnatic announced their new roster on January 4th, a mere 36 hours before their first group stage game against heavy favorites VP.
Fnatic will be hoping that they do not regret leaving it to last minute to finalize their roster for the event. Instead they will be hoping to benefit from taking the time to select the correct players for each role.
Prediction:- 4th in Group A
Unfortunately, I think that Fnatic have decided on a roster too late. The team will not have had a chance to play together very much, and at this level of Dota, skill is not enough to win a series, let alone a whole tournament. ESL One Genting has come too soon for this Fnatic roster, and I expect that they will be hoping to use this tournament as a chance to bond as a team.
Position 1 (Carry) – Uuu9
Position 2 (Mid) – Sccc
Position 3 (Offlane) – Kpii
Position 4 (Support) – Faith
Position 5 (Support) – Kaka
Newbee is currently one of the two best teams in China, the other being Wings Gaming, and will be hoping to assert their dominance on the international stage at ESL One Genting. Following a very disappointing 9 – 16th finish at the Boston Major, they bounced back in the recent Dota 2 Professional League Season 2 to finish first in the all Chinese league. They will be hoping that they can start 2017 with a bang.
Prediction:- 2nd in Group A
Combine the brilliance of Mid lane player Song “Sccc” Chung with the reliability of the rest of the team, Newbee are one of the favorites to take the tournament. Although I have predicted them to finish second in the group, it would not be a surprise if they nabbed the top spot from VP.
Position 1 (Carry) – Aui_2000
Position 2 (Mid) – Eternal Envy
Position 3 (Offlane) – MSS
Position 4 (Support) – SVG
Position 5 (Support) – Rose aka 1437
Fan favorites NP boast an International winner, in Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling. Aui, along with Shangai Major winner Jacky “Eternal Envy” Mao, will be hoping to lead NP to the ESL One Genting crown. Having formed in September 2016, NP will be hoping to build on recent performances and get the teams maiden first place finish at ESL One Genting.
Known for his insane plays and almost reckless abandon, EE will be hoping that the solidity of the four other players on the team will propel them to glory. Team NP are on the cusp of the elite Dota 2 teams, and they will be hoping that 2017 is the year they join the elite teams.
Predictions:- 3rd in Group A
Unfortunately for Team NP they are in the harder of the two groups and up against the likes of Newbee and VP. I believe that they will finish third in their group. If NP can start hot and catch other teams in their group by surprise, I think that they may have a chance at making it to bracket play. As heavy fan favorites, the Dota 2 community will be willing NP to greatness. Whether they can achieve it or not, is a different question.
Group A Predictions Recap
- Virtus Pro
Digital Chaos (DC)
Position 1 (Carry) – Resolution
Position 2 (Mid) – w33
Position 3 (Offlane) – MoonMeander
Position 4 (Support) – MiSeRy
Position 5 (Support) – Saksa
DC recently finished second place at The International 6 (TI6), a few days later and to the surprise of many they made a roster change. They dropped fan favorite David “Moo” Hull and replaced him with David “MoonMeander” Tan. After a good showing at the Boston Major, finishing 3rd/4th, DC will be hoping that they can start the year with a victory at ESL One Genting.
In many people’s eyes DC have a roster with the ability to take the Dota 2 scene by storm, although they have yet to realize this potential. Will ESL One Genting be the start of a great 2017, or another bump in the road to greatness?
Prediction:- 1st in Group B
Being placed in the same group as the TI6 champions could be both a blessing and a curse. DC will be looking to avenge the defeat they suffered in the finals of TI6, and I fully believe that they will be able to at ESL One Genting. I expect them to finish top of their group, although they will be fighting it out with TI6 champions Wings Gaming.
Position 1 (Carry) – Nando
Position 2 (Mid) – Gabbi
Position 3 (Offlane) – Dj
Position 4 (Support) – Owa
Position 5 (Support) – Kimo
2016 was a massive year for XctN. They have shown themselves to be one of the best teams in the South East Asian (SEA) region. However, 2017 started with uncertainty, XctN lost two players and were left searching for replacements. With the addition of Fernando “Nando” Mendoza and Joshua “Owa” Dela Serna, they will be hoping that they can continue to improve in 2017.
XctN will be hoping that their Mid player Khim “Gabbi” Villafuerte can make the same stylish plays in 2017 that he made in 2016 (Click here to see Gabbi’s amazing Puck play at MPGL in September).
Prediction:- 3rd in Group B
The difficulty with an eight team tournament is that you are inevitably going to face extremely tough opposition in the group stages. Unfortunately for XctN, this is the predicament that they find themselves in. Being grouped with the first and second place teams from TI6, Wings and DC respectively, means that their chances of making it out of group B are slim. I do, however, hope that they can prove me wrong as they are an exciting team to watch.
Position 1 (Carry) – Shadow
Position 2 (Mid) – Blink
Position 3 (Offlane) – Faith_bian
Position 4 (Support) – y’
Position 5 (Support) – iceice
2016 was a rollercoster year for Wings, which saw them achieve six first place finishes. This includes taking home the Aegis of Champions at TI6, and also winning ESL One Manilla in April. Many expected them to challenge for the crown at the Boston Major, however this was not the case. They achieved a disappointing 9 – 16th placing, followed by another disappointing finish at China Top 2016.
With the groundbreaking 7.00 patch still relatively new, Wings will be hoping that they can use their highly unpredictable play style to achieve a good placing at ESL One Genting.
Prediction – 2nd in Group B
Expect Wings to make it through their group relatively easily. In my opinion, it is a straight fight between Wings and DC for top spot in Group B. Wings have the skill and team play to win the entire tournament, however their most recent performances have been lackluster to say the least. I expect Wings to finish 2nd in the Group, but they may prove me and many others wrong.
Position 1 (Carry) – Ahjit
Position 2 (Mid) – NaNa
Position 3 (Offlane) – KaNG
Position 4 (Support) – Ahfu
Position 5 (Support) – Wenn
WG are one of the best teams in SEA, and at the Boston Major they shocked many people by battling to a respectable 5 – 8th placing. WG are somewhat an unknown entity in the international Dota 2 scene. Apart from their performance at the Boston Major, they have mainly played in SEA based tournaments where they have seen great success.
Prediction – 4th in Group B
WG are going to suffer the same issues as I mentioned in relation to XctN. Their group has two of the best teams in the world, who have the potential to win the entire tournament. I expect WG to be fighting it out with XctN for the bottom two places in the group. There is always the chance that WG could potentially catch DC or Wings off guard, but I find this highly unlikely.
Group B Predictions Recap
- Digital Chaos
- Wings Gaming
ESL One Genting Final Thoughts
7.00 has reinvigorated Dota, and I am excited to see some of the best teams in the world play on the new patch. With the ability of teams like Virtus Pro and Wings Gaming to make almost all the heroes work in some way, I expect to see a weekend of world class Dota
In terms of my overall event predictions, I think that Virtus Pro will take the whole event, with Digital Chaos finishing second.
1st Place – Virtus Pro
2nd Place – Digital Chaos
3rd / 4th Place – Newbee / Wings Gaming
5th / 6th Place – Team NP / Execration
7th / 8th Place – Fnatic / WarriorsGaming.Unity