ESL One Thailand 2020 will truly showcase Asia’s best Dota 2 talents
ESL One Thailand 2020 shines the spotlight at the ever-growing SEA and China Dota 2 scene from August 20 to September 6. Amidst the ongoing OMEGA League in Europe and North America, ESL One still delivered an all-out event to showcase Asia’s finest teams for cheering fans. The event comes just as OMEGA League Asia concluded with 496 Gaming taking the trophy and $14,000 in prize funds.
With a hefty 135,000 USD prize pool on the line, the stakes are high for participants to rake in the generous cash-out.
ESL One Thailand 2020 Format and Teams
ESL opted for the usual format, where group stage games are best-of-three single round-robin series. Meanwhile, the Playoffs are double-elimination games (also best-of-three), except for the grand finals being a decisive best-of-five. However, the group stage, in particular, last a whopping twelve days. While this keeps viewers accompanied over the two weeks with constant games, it also gives the participating teams ample time to study their opponents. This is certainly handy, considering half of these teams have been rather unknown to both viewers and familiar teams.
Speaking of teams, the twelve teams are split into two groups, where only the top 4 candidates from each group will qualify for the Playoffs. The two top seeds earn spots in the upper brackets and vice versa for the remaining bottom seeds.
Prominent SEA teams include Fnatic, TNC Predator, Geek Fam, Boom Esports, T1, Neon Esports and Adroit Esports. The Chinese teams such as Sparking Arrow Gaming, Team Trust and Aster.Aries are certainly worthy mentions too.
Lastly, joining the fray are team Question Mark and Motivate.Trust Gaming, who were the top 2 victors of ESL Thailand Championship 2020 Season 1.
Fnatic’s Troubling Roster Shuffle
The most famed team from SEA, Fnatic had their fair share of achievements this 2020 season. With four championship titles up their sleeves, there’s no doubting that they are considered favorites to take home the main prize. There is however trouble brewing in the legendary roster.
There was big shifts within Fnatic’s lineup recently. After long-time offlane player, Daryl Koh “iceiceice” Pei Xiang announced his break from competitive Dota 2, Fnatic remains with only three core players. This came shortly after 23savage was replaced for Raven (former player in Geek Fam).
Following the roster shuffle, Fnatic shamefully lost a series against underdogs Motivate.Trust Gaming, with their fans started blaming the blatant fall in performance onto Fnatic’s newcomers, Forev and Skem. The organization as a whole took heat as well on how they manage their roster.
In our opinion, until iceiceice returns to the active roster, we probably shouldn’t have high hopes for Fnatic to be at the top. Those interested in Dota 2 betting, can potentially look to bet against fnatic with good odds as FNC is set as a favorite with most bookmakers.
— ESL Dota2 (@ESLDota2) August 20, 2020
Geek Fam receives unexpected help from an old friend
After Raven left Geek Fam for Fnatic, it felt like Geek Fam just lost their crucial piece in becoming a SEA’s strongest team. Fortunately, Geek Fam has an unlikely friend to assist them in their rounds at ESL One Thailand 2020.
Fellow 10,000 MMR player, Abed Azel L. Yusop, lends his hand to his buddies at Geek Fam. While his EG is busy competing in the OMEGA League. Abed found himself unable to leave the Philippines and decided to stand in for the Geeks.
Riding on their wave of victory at ONE Esports Dota 2 SEA League, Geek Fam might potentially make it a consecutive title with Abed’s help. Not to undermine the rest of Geek Fam, Carlo “Kuku” Palad speaks for everyone when he feels confident about winning the ESL One Thailand 2020.
With all eyes are on Geek Fam to take the championships, other participants might have different plans. There might be bigger fishes in the SEA, such as the Indonesian giants, BOOM Esports, who made a name for themselves, after placing second at BTS Pro Series Season 2: SEA and ESL One Birmingham 2020. The once great, TNC Predator, has been rather quiet after earning their first major championship title at Chengdu Major 2019. As of now, it’s definitely too early to be counting any team out of the playing field.
Our Dota 2 odds is a handy tool to assist you in understanding how the odds are stacking against each team.
In the end, the ESL One Thailand is truly the summer event that will decide the best Asian team right now.
Read next: OMEGA League Europe Immortal Division