ESL One Hamburg 2018 Tournament Team Previews
One of the first big Dota 2 tournaments in the new DPC season, ESL One Hamburg, will see 12 top teams pitted against each other. However, two teams face visa issues for their mid players which will impact their performance at the tournament. Regardless of the changes to their lineup, we will still see exciting games and close matches.
Overall the tournament is stacked with talent and serves as a perfect precursor to the start of the DPC season. ESL’s decision not to move these tournaments to within DPC dates might just provide for some quality Dota 2 outside of the DPC season. Here’s a look at some of the teams at this tournament.
Virtus pro (4.50)
Virtus pro spent most of the last DPC season with a dominant win-streak over others. The casual way in which they were able to win most of these tournaments definitely was a taunt to the others. Virtus Pro believes in playing a very risky game in their hero choices as well as mid-game movements, but it is the extremely high individual skill as well as the coordination on this roster which makes it look easy.
Each player on this team is a world class player in his own right and it is not without reason. They qualified for TI8 with months to spare much before any other team. However, during TI8, the team did not seem to be as strong and dominant. It might have been the nerves of playing on the mainstage or just burn out.
Coming out of the International, Virtus Pro still continues to dominate their opponents. They have already won the Maincast Autumn Brawl with a dominating 3-0 over NoPangolier. Their qualification process to the Kuala Lumpur Major was relatively easy until the finals against Ferzee.
Once a really strong team in North America, Complexity received a jolt due to their roster changes. EternalEnVy’s addition to the team presents a lot of opportunities for the roster. However the team never fully recovered from the departure of long-standing player Kyle. The team was unable to move into the playoffs at WSOE 2018. They only managed to reach the semifinals at the King’ Cup 2: North America.
The change in leadership is clearly evident in Complexity’s playstyle. EternalEnvy moved to the support role and is also the In-Game leader. Complexity still has a long way to go before becoming a top tier team. However, they have the time and the necessary skill to reach for the top once more. Their placement in this tournament will provide for a much clearer picture of their future.
Ninjas in Pyjamas (11.00)
The Ninjas in Pyjamas’ reentry into Dota 2 has been with a very strong roster. The NIP roster comprises of talented individuals like Ace, Fata and Saksa. The team is led by PPD who is one of the most influential In-Game leaders in the game. His ability to study the opponents; play-style and pick out some weird combination that counters their play is exceptional. Over time, PPD has evolved into more than just his skills within the game. He has experience in ensuring that the team remains calm and collected throughout their tenure. His experience of playing at the top level for so long is crucial to the development of young talent and individuals on the roster.
So far, NIP looks extremely strong in their matches. They have played in two tournaments and they reached the finals in both. While they lost 0-2 to Team Secret in the Kuala Lumpur EU qualifier, they easily managed to defeat Gambit in the GG.Bet Invitational Season 1. While NIP might not look as strong as the 2017-18 Virtus Pro, they are by no means a pushover. A look at their roster will clearly indicate that the team has not reached its peak performance yet. ESL One Hamburg will be a crucial test for this team as they will be up against some of the big names in Dota 2.
Team Secret (4.25)
Team Secret is known for its quirky drafts in true Puppey Style. The captain has a knack for picking up really weird compositions and somehow they still make it work. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of their various team compositions,
Puppey also periodically reverts back to his push style composition which sees the team focussing on objectives. They do not always want to go to the late game, especially dependent on the draft phase. Just like 2017-18, Team Secret expects to go through a strong start in the early part of the season. Whether they can keep up the performance is also important this season. Since there are only 5 Majors and 5 Minors, each tournament’s significance increases multifold.
The X-factor for this team is Yapzor. The support player always makes influential plays across the map providing a very big advantage for his team. Yapzor has been instrumental in ensuring a great amount of success for the team either via Echo Slams or other Crowd Control Ultimates.
Team Secret has a lot of potential in this current roster. The team does crazy drafts and this ensues in a surprise to their opponents. However, this also leads to Team Secret often digging a grave for themselves.
Forward Gaming (13.00)
Forward Gaming will be without their mid-lane player Yawar who cannot attend due to visa issues. This definitely comes as a huge setback to the team who is used to adjusting their play-style around the young player. They will feature Xcalibur as their stand-in for the tournament.
Forward Gaming is not really the favourites to win this tournament. However, they are a team that can potentially cause big upsets against the best teams in the world. Their chances against the likes of NIP, Virtus Pro while not the brightest is still quite substantial. We don’t know how Xcalibur fits into the team and it is bound to cause problems for the rest of the roster.