ESL One Birmingham 2019 Preview & Predictions

By: Kord’s Network
Apr 15, 2019

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ESL One Birmingham 2019 is the last non-DPC event of the season and will serve as a rehearsal for the last Major of the Dota Pro Circuit. Most of the world’s best teams have already been invited to take part in this tournament and that gives it great importance, in spite of the fairly small prize pool of $300.000.

ESL One Birmingham 2019 features a total of 12 teams. Eight of them received direct invites while the other four had to qualify to get to the event.

The start of the Main Event of ESL One Birmingham 2019 takes place on May 28th. The tournament lasts until June 2nd. The Group Stage, however, will be played between May 23rd – 25th, after the OGA Dota Pit Minor 2019. As the name suggests, the event will be hosted in Birmingham, UK.

ESL One Birmingham 2019 Participants

ESL One Birmingham 2019 brings together 12 amazing teams.

  • Europe: Team Secret, Team Liquid, OG, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Alliance
  • CIS: Virtus.pro
  • China: PSG.LGD, Vici Gaming, Keen Gaming
  • Southeast Asia: TNC Predator
  • North America: Evil Geniuses, Forward Gaming

Event Format For ESL One Birmingham 2019

ESL One Birmingham 2019 takes place in two stages. For the Group Stage, the teams will be divided into two groups of six. Each group will be played in a round robin format. Every match will be a Bo2 series. The top two teams from each group advance to the Upper Bracket of the Playoffs. The next two teams advance to the Lower Bracket. The bottom two teams are eliminated. The Playoffs Stage will be played in a double-elimination format. Every match during this stage will be a Bo3 series, with the exception of the Grand Final (Bo5).

Prizes

ESL One Birmingham 2019 offers a prize pool of $300.000. The money will be divided among the 12 participants in the following way:

  • 1st position: $125.000
  • 2nd position: $65.000
  • 3rd position: $35.000
  • 4th position: $20.000
  • 5th – 6th position: $12.000
  • 7th – 8th position: $7.500
  • 9th – 10th position: $5.000
  • 11th – 12th position: $3.000

ESL One Birmingham 2019 Team Analysis

Here’s a brief analysis of the most interesting teams to watch at ESL One Birmingham 2019.

ESL One Birmingham 2019 Invited Teams

 

Vici Gaming

Vici Gaming is probably the best team in the Chinese region at the moment. They are already qualified for TI 9 and are the champions of the 3rd Major of the season, DreamLeague Season 11.

Even before winning a Major title, Vici Gaming had had a constant presence in the top eight at multiple key events. However, their jump in performance came rather unexpectedly, as Vici hadn’t won an important event in years. We’ve yet to see how they perform at the 4th Major of the season and whether or not they can maintain some level of consistency by getting at least a top 4 result at that event. If they can, then we expect them to do the same at ESL One Birmingham 2019.

Virtus.pro

VP is hands down, the most consistent team in Dota 2. Their results over the past two years clearly confirm that. So even though they’re not the best team, because they always seem to fail at The International, they are the leaders in the DPC rankings and are likely to remain at the top for the rest of the season.

So far, VP has played in the Grand Final of every Major this season, winning once and losing twice. However, experience showed us that the CIS squad is very strategic about events and will play carelessly at smaller tournaments that don’t offer the biggest prizes. Based on that observation, we do not expect them to get a top three result at ESL One Birmingham 2019. Most likely, they will finish somewhere around 4th – 6th.

Evil Geniuses

EG is the best team in North America and one of the best five teams in the world. Their current roster has been playing together for almost a year, which means that the players have probably reached a point where they know each other very well and can communicate effectively during games. Having a practiced set of tactics and strategies means a lot at this level, so veteran rosters have a lot to gain from staying together for long periods of time.

So far, Evil Geniuses finished 3rd at the first two Majors of the season and 7th – 8th at the 3rd. Under the leadership of Fly and BuLba, the team has had a very good season, in spite of not winning any trophies yet.

Going into ESL One Birmingham 2019, we expect EG to get a top three result, as they are known to give it their best regardless of circumstances, while some of the other competitors probably won’t have the same approach.

Team Secret

Team Secret had an amazing season so far. They won the last two ESL One events, as well as another tier 2 tournament plus a DPC Major. They also played in the Grand Final of the 2nd Major of the season and finished 4th at the 3rd.

Based on these results, Team Secret is the participant with the highest chances of winning the title at ESL One Birmingham 2019. Their understanding of the current meta allows them to adapt to any playstyle and succeed against most of the teams with minimum effort. Their only real opponents are Virtus.pro and Vici Gaming.

OG

This has got to be the most exciting team to watch at ESL One Birmingham 2019. They may not do much at the event, or they might just repeat that TI 8 performance. Now that ana is back on the team, OG has all the necessary weapons to compete against any opponent.

OG’s season started poorly, mostly because of their inability to find a reliable 5th player for their roster. The team missed 60% of the season by not qualifying for any of the first three Majors. But as soon as ana returned, they immediately qualified for the MDL Paris Major, where they are expected to get at least a top eight result.

PSG.LGD

This is a top six team that finished 2nd at The International 2018. Since then, they’ve been struggling to regain their former strength and motivation. They haven’t yet managed to do that, but at least they’re consistent. PSG.LGD finished in the top six at every one of the first three Majors, which is no small feat.

Going into ESL One Birmingham 2019, this is a team that’s very likely to get a top four result. By the time the tournament takes place, we expect PSG.LGD to be a much stronger team than they are right now and fully master the current meta.

Keen Gaming

Keen Gaming is a team that’s growing with every event. They started the season slowly, then they made several roster changes and now they’re starting to look more and more promising. The roster has three superstar players: Kaka, eLeVeN and old chicken. All three of them are highly accomplished veterans. And as soon as they joined back in September 2018, Keen Gaming started to turn into a powerhouse and threaten every qualifier in the Chinese region.

At the 3rd Major of the season, Keen Gaming finished 5th – 6th but defeated Team Liquid and Evil Geniuses along the way, before falling to Fnatic and then Team Secret. Going into ESL One Birmingham 2019, we expect Keen Gaming to finish at least 5th – 6th.