ESL One Birmingham is an event that will take place in May. Twelve of the best teams in the world will gather at the Arena Birmingham in order to fight for that sweet $300,000 USD prize pool. Sadly, the ESL One events are not included in the list of DPC events for this year. Regardless of that, this will definitely be a very interesting tournament to watch.
Eight of the twelve teams got directly invited while the other four had to go through regional qualifiers. There will be two groups of six teams each that will play in a Bo2 round robin. The top two teams from each group advance to the Upper Bracket while the 3rd and 4th placed teams are put in the Lower Bracket. The bottom two teams from each group are going home. There are also specific tiebreaker rules, which you can read about HERE.
The playoffs will feature double elimination and all games will be played in a Bo3 series. Only the Grand Final will be Bo5.
This Chinese team was the first one to receive a direct invite for the tournament. Of course, this is no surprise considering the recent state of Paparazzi and his team-mates. They were able to win both StarLadder and DreamLeague Season 11 Major.
Of course, it is impossible to host a tournament with direct invites and not have these guys on your list. The CIS powerhouse, like many others here, have already secured their TI spot. Now they can just enjoy the rest of the tournaments and get as much practice as possible.
Ninjas in Pyjamas
ppd and co. also made it to the list. NiP has had a decent season so far and are currently ranked 7th in the DPC Leaderboard. However, since this event will not provide any points for that, their only goal will be the prize money.
The second directly invited Chinese team to ESL One Birmingham. The TI 8 finalist is slowly regaining their strength after the return of their superstar player – Maybe. He only had the chance to play in a few games after he got back, so this tournament will be his first big “test”.
The TI champions are also here. OG just lost against Open AI yesterday in a show match, which was amazing and scary at the same time. Now they will have the chance to redeem themselves, especially after Ana has returned to the squad.
Another TI champion that is currently not having the best time so far. Team Liquid are one of the most stable teams in modern Dota. However, their recent performance is still somewhat shaky. Luckily, they still have time until TI 9 to resolve their issues and show their full potential.
The only NA team that is capable of challenging the EU and Asian teams right now. Sumail and his team-mates are always a contender for the trophy, regardless of the other participants.
Last but definitely not least, is the European powerhouse – Team Secret. They are having an amazing DPC season so far. Similar to VP, they already secured their spot for TI, which is definitely a lot of pressure off their shoulders.
Alliance was the victor in the European qualifiers for this tournament. This is kind of surprising, considering the fact that Gambit Esports were also playing in these quals. However, they were unable to deal with Old But Gold and lost in the first round of the playoffs. Alliance had the needed motivation and were able to overcome Illidan and his team-mates in the Grand Final.
Forward Gaming – the second NA representative at this tournament will be YawaR’s team. The Pakistani player is having one of the best periods in his professional career so far. He has been outstanding in nearly every game, which is one of the reasons Forward Gaming got the spot for ESL One Birmingham.
Keen Gaming – KG dropped only a single game on their way to this tournament. They dealt with Royal, and twice took down iG. The Chinese team is slowly on the rise as their results have constantly improved throughout the last couple of months.
TNC Predator – The only SEA representative at ESL One Birmingham is TNC Predator. They completely demolished their opponents during the qualifiers. This further proves the point that they are one of the best teams in this region.
There will be one more ESL event before this one – ESL One Mumbai. It starts in just a few days from now but sadly, some of the teams had to withdraw due to a conflict with their schedule. Hopefully, this won’t happen for ESL One Birmingham too.
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