While most Esports have been able to adapt to the challenges caused by the coronavirus, DotA 2 has struggled. There has only been one premier level tournament held so far this season, and The International might have to be cancelled too. This game’s tournaments are much more international than other games, and that has really affected teams and prize pools. That puts added emphasis on teams to perform well at ESL One Birmingham.
Team Secret +120
VP Prodigy +300
Team Liquid +650
Ninjas in Pyjamas +1300
Winstrike Team +1500
Natus Vincere +3400
Cyber Legacy +4900
Aggressive Mode +5900
Team Unique +9900
Team Secret have been red hot over the last couple weeks. They only lost to Team Liquid in the Group Stage of the WePlay Pushka League, and then they ripped the competition in the playoffs. Secret won all nine Esports games on their way to the title, sweeping Natus Vincere, Liquid, and Virtus Pro Prodigy twice in route to claiming the title. MATUMBAMAN and Puppey were the two most valuable players of the tournament for their play, and this squad followed that up last weekend.
The Ministry of Sport of Saudi Arabia put together an eight-team tournament with a $1.5 million prize pool called Gamers Without Borders, and this competition was hotly contested as it had the largest purse of any event this year. Secret claimed the $750,000 first prize with wins over Ninjas in Pyjamas, Alliance, and a sweep of Natus Vincere in the Grand Final. They won all three matches in the Grand Final in just over 90 minutes, showing that they are the team to beat this weekend.
Virtus Pro’s youth team has outshined its regular team in recent weeks. They finished second to Secret at the WePlay Pushka League, and then VP Prodigy trounced the senior team at the Epic Prime League Season 1 Finals last weekend. That earned them a spot in ESL One Birmingham over Virtus Pro proper, and they are out to make the most of their time.
The winner of the last two editions of The International is always a contender. OG pocketed nearly $27 million from those two victories, and they are now the most successful organization in terms of prize money in the history of DotA 2.
However, we haven’t seen great play from this squad in 2020. OG performed well in the ESL One Los Angeles qualifiers, but they were unceremoniously knocked out of the We Save Charity Play event in the quarterfinals two months ago. They finished runner-up behind Virtus Pro at ESL One Los Angeles to win a bit of prize money, but then they were very disappointing at the WePlay Pushka League, posting a 2-4 record in the Group Stage to not even make the knockout rounds.
OG added three new players to the roster in January, and Topson has not taken part in the last four events. With that in mind, it’s difficult to bet on OG to get the job done at this price.
Winstrike Team was a last minute addition to this competition as Team Spirit will not be able to participate. This is a relatively new team, as the full roster was signed back on February 20, so it will take some time for them to come together. They were 3-4 in the Epic Prime League and finished behind Spirit in the competition, and all three of their wins were against teams with a combined record of 4-17 at that event.
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