OG, Alliance, Fnatic mark first three at ESL One Malaysia: Who’s next?

It’s a blast from the past from yours truly, ESL One. The ESL One Malaysia 2022 welcomes Dota 2 teams across the globe to compete for $400,000 at Genting Highlands. Dubbed as the Malaysia’s Capital City of Entertainment, it’s famously known for its cool weather, outdoor and indoor theme parks, and of course, casino for all the jolly gamblers.

What’s even more exciting is how ESL One Malaysia 2022 is strategically scheduled to be just weeks before the International 11 (TI11) in Singapore. Thus, the selection of teams will certainly be promising on paper.

OG, Fnatic and Alliance headline ESL One Malaysia invite list

Twelve teams are heading to Malaysia this August to fight for the ESL One trophy and $400,000 in prize funds. Out of the lot, seven are getting direct invites, with ESL slowly unveiling invites weekly. The first three invitees show ESL is not only going for recent Dota Pro Circuit performance in their selection.

  1. OG was the first invite announced for the event back on the 29th. The Stockholm Major winners are a sign that ESL wants the cream of the crop represented at ESL One, and there is certainly one team and brand that will make that statement.
  2. Fnatic were the first SEA team to get an invite and be considered a host team. BOOM Esports would be our choice if we are talking team performance, but the Fnatic name carries a ton of weight on its own and just continues to showcase ESL are interested in making a hype event.
  3. Alliance as the third invite comes as a surprise. The team is having a really bad ’22 season, facing relegation into Division 2 twice and on a perpetual rebuild for the entirety of the season. Just a day ago they even released their support symetricaL, meaning they will field potentially a new roster in Genting. An odd invite overall, but one we have to live with.

ESL One Malaysia Invites

Potential team invites to ESL One Malaysia 2022

TI11-qualified teams will likely make up a good portion of invites, which is great since these are really strong teams. If so, ESL One Malaysia 2022 could very well be training grounds for the teams playing in TI11. While DPC hasn’t concluded yet, we do have several notable predictions based on the recent DPC points leaderboard.

PSG.LGD, TeamSoloMid, Gaimin Gladiators, and Thunder Awaken are the top five on the leaderboard, with more than 1000 DPC points. After the Arlington Major 2022, we will likely expect them to be among the top-twelve teams to qualify as direct invites.

Southeast Asian teams from neighboring countries

It would be a shame if ESL One Malaysia 2022 did not welcome the best from its neighboring countries. In DPC Southeast Asia Tour 2, fans were fascinated by the surge of promising teams, such as BOOM Esports, T1, Polaris Esports, and Nigma Galaxy SEA.

Even Team SMG, a Malaysia-based team looks to be a formidable candidate for the ESL One Malaysia 2022.

Potential Visa issues for Tundra Esports

Unfortunately, one team that will likely not participate in ESL One Malaysia 2022 is Tundra Esports. Israeli Dota 2 player, Neta “33” Shapira, cannot enter Malaysia due to the two countries’ lack of diplomatic ties. This has happened in the past, so we can expect the same if Tundra Esports plans on playing ESL One Malaysia.

Fans often wondered whether another Israeli player currently playing in Evil Geniuses, Tal “Fly” Aizik would face similar treatment. Rest assured, Fly can attend with his Canadian passport that permits his entry.

ESL One Malaysia right before TI11 was the right call

This year’s Dota 2 Championship series, TI11 takes place in Singapore for good reasons. It’s a major hub for businesses with little to no restrictions when it comes to tourism. Plus, Singapore is among the earliest countries to open their airport to visitors, so tourism in Singapore is as thriving as it was back in 2019.

Not many teams, especially powerhouses would decline an invite from ESL One to play in their tournaments. After all, ESL One is a major player when it comes to hosting LAN tournaments across the globe. Even so, a tight schedule for most teams, especially those participating in DPC (2021-22), often can lead to a no-show. For instance, the ESL One Mumbai 2019, saw five invited teams withdraw just days before the event.

ESL One learned its lesson and made sure there was no repeat of that fiasco, so hosting its event in a neighboring country is strategic. Teams can immediately leave for Singapore after the event by vehicle or an affordable short flight. Alternatively, staying in Malaysia’s variety of accommodations to enjoy the affordable delicacies and cost of living is viable too.

A Dota 2 fan’s trip to Southeast Asia

Now, ESL One Malaysia will have all the great perks which most ESL One tournaments have, hype, production value, and a massive prize pool. Regardless, it’s the well-scheduled event right before TI11, which makes ESL One Malaysia 2022 a must-visit.

ESL One Malaysia kicks off from August 23-28, which leaves us with a seven-week-long hiatus from Dota 2 action. TI11 is set for October 15-30, so until then, feel free to look up the best tourist attractions in Malaysia to enjoy the vacation. Well, this would hit differently for teams participating at TI11, as they have weeks worth of bootcamp.