ESL One Birmingham 2018 Tournament Preview
ESL One Birmingham 2018 is the next to last Dota Pro Circuit LAN event of the 2017-2018 competitive season. The tournament brings together 12 of the world’s best teams and is regarded as a Major, having a prize pool of 1 million dollars and offering a total of 1500 qualification points for The International 2018.
As the name suggests, ESL One Birmingham 2018 is scheduled to take place in Birmingham, UK between May 23rd and May 27th.
Participants and tournament format
ESL One Birmingham 2018 features 12 teams from 6 regions:
- Europe: Team Liquid, OG.
- CIS: Virtus.pro, TBD (CIS Qualifier).
- China: Newbee, LGD.Forever Young.
- Southeast Asia: Fnatic, Mineski.
- North America: Evil Geniuses, OpTic Gaming.
- South America: paiN Gaming.
For the Group Stage, the teams will be divided into 3 groups of 4. Each group will be played in a GSL format (double-elimination bracket). The bottom two teams from each group are eliminated. Runner-ups advance to the Quarterfinals. Group winners play Bo1 matches among themselves to decide who advances directly to the Semifinals and who will join the other 3 teams in the Quarterfinals. The 3rd placed team among these 3 will play in the Quarterfinals.
Points and prize pool distribution
Being a Major within the Dota Pro Circuit, ESL One Birmingham 2018 offers not only prize money but qualification points as well. These rewards will be divided among participating teams in the following way:
- 1st place: $500.000; 750 points
- 2nd place: $200.000; 450 points
- 3rd place: $100.000; 225 points
- 4th place: $60.000; 75 points
- 5th – 6th place: $34.000; 0 points
- 7th – 9th place: $16.000; 0 points
- 10th – 12th place: $8.000; 0 points
Team Liquid will play this tournament with no pressure whatsoever, having already qualified for The International 2018. Still, KuroKy and his teammates will definitely want to prove to themselves and their opponents that they’re fully capable of defending their title at the next TI.
Given the level of competition at ESL One Birmingham 2018, Team Liquid should easily get a top 3 finish.
Like Team Liquid, Virtus.pro will most likely experiment with new drafts and strategies at this event, having already qualified for The International 2018. The number one team in the world has nothing to fear going into this event, but it will probably hide its best strategies until the start of The International 2018.
Evil Geniuses has everything to play for at this event and desperately needs a top 3 finish in order to climb back into the top 8 within the Dota Pro Circuit rankings table. EG is not that far away in terms of skill from the best teams in the world, but still hasn’t managed to score big this season. Its best results were a 1st place finish at a mere Minor (GESC: Indonesia) and a 3rd place finish at a Major (DreamLeague Season 8). Other than that, it’s been a rough season for the former TI champions.