Dota 2 Esports: ESL One Katowice Overview

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Dota 2 Esports: ESL One Katowice Overview

Despite not being a DPC event, ESL One Katowice is still a tournament that will bring some of the best teams in the world to one place. Following last year's success, ESL has decided to host the same event this year as well. The prize pool is the same as a Minor – $300,000. The only difference is that there will be no DPC points on top of that.


The total amount of teams that will attend the event is twelve. Eight of them are directly invited while the others had to earn their spot in the qualifiers.

All of the participants will be divided into two groups. The games will be played in a best-of-two round robin format. The top two teams from each group will advance to the Upper Bracket of the playoffs. On the contrary, the bottom two will be directly eliminated from the event. It is somewhat rare to see teams getting instantly eliminated from the Group Stage nowadays, but it seems like this will be the case here.

The 3rd and 4th placed teams will go to the Lower Bracket of the playoffs. There are also specific Tiebreaker rules which you can find here.


Like in every other tournament, all of the games up until the Grand Final will be best-of-three. The games will be played between February 22-24, in front of a live audience at Spodek Arena, Katowice.

Group A

Even though there will be no points given for TI 9, some of the best teams in the world decided to attend the event. Of course, the most notable one has to be Team Secret. The European powerhouse has been one of the best teams in the last couple of significant events. The Chongqing Major champions have already secured their spot for TI 9. This means they can now relax and get as much practice as possible on the new patch.

The reigning TI champions will also try their luck in Poland. OG is not in their best form recently, which needs to change if they want to have a chance against the other top teams. This tournament can be just the thing they need to get back on track.

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The two Valentine’s Madness finalist is also here, but unfortunately, they are placed in different groups. Gambit Esports have shown a lot of improvement recently, which makes them an exciting team to follow. If they show the same confidence as before, it’s very likely to see some surprises.

The other teams to join the mentioned above are Forward Gaming, For The Dream and Mineski.

Mineski swapped TNC Predator, which withdrew from the event due to a combination of visa and scheduling conflicts. The same goes for FTD. They are here only because EHOME decided to go to MDL Macau instead. Forward Gaming is one of those teams that is always capable of “exploding” at any given time. I expect them to be the second team alongside Secret to advance to the Upper Bracket.

Group B

At first glance, the second group is a little bit less intriguing compared to the first one. However, the teams are a lot more “close” in terms of their skill level. Probably the one that shines the most is Fnatic.

The SEA team’s performance at the Chongqing Major was pretty decent, despite losing against PSG.LGD in the lower bracket. They seem to improve step-by-step in every tournament, which makes them a deadly foe. If Abed has his A-game, we might see some Meepo action since the hero got buffed in 7.21.

Even though they have not yet shown their full potential, Team Aster is also one of the teams to be on the lookout for. The Chinese squad has the players to achieve great things. It is just a matter of time before that happens.

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One of the directly invited teams in this group is Alliance. The Swedish squad is just a mere shadow of their former glory. They are trying to improve and get back on track, but it always seems like they miss out on something.

The Valentine’s Madness finalist will also try their luck at the ESL One Katowice. Following ppd’s lead, NiP is one of the heavy favorites to win the event. I hope they have learned their lesson from the games vs. Gambit.

The other two teams here are Chaos Esports Club and compLexity Gaming. w33 and Co. have proven themselves to be arguably the best team in South America. The question is if they can keep up with the other regions.

Ever since the departure of Kyle, CoL is not the same. Once a formidable opponent, the NA squad is missing out on nearly all DPC events. I want them to be successful again, but it seems like a roster change will be needed to achieve that.


ESL One Katowice will be held nearly at the same time as MDL Macau. Both tournaments are not included in this years’ DPC, but that doesn’t mean that they are not worth watching. The two events have a pretty different format. MDL Macau has less but more “notable” teams. On the contrary, the broadcast talent list is a win for ESL One Katowice. The host of the event will be the one and only, Redeye.

Expect our overview of MDL Macau soon.

Image Via:, JoinDota and Starladder

Dota 2 Esports: ESL One Katowice Overview
Zlosterr has been a fan of esports for many years and mainly focuses on Dota 2. He has more than five years of experience writing Dota 2 content for numerous platforms. Besides being a passionate fan of the game, he's also played for various amateur teams.