After Katowice we're flying to Bucharest
Poland witnessed its first Major Valve event in Katowice and in all fairness, it was a great success once again. The competition as well as the show around the event provided us with emotional rollercoaster and a lot of suspense. We can see that the organizers are able to improve their esports events, even though certain aspects are still highly criticized. There were many surprises during ESL One Katowice, such as most of the teams not being afraid to try new strategies which benefited some of them while others did not reach that same level. Virtus.pro won their second Major of the season and VG stood out the most with their outstanding performances throughout the tournament. Find all the freshest Dota Pro Circuit news in this article, as always handed over to you on a silver platter.
- ESL One Katowice
Group A of this competition was by far the most competitive with Liquid, VP, VG and OG fighting for three spots in the playoffs (one of whom would directly reach the semifinals). In the group finals VG defeated Virtus.pro 2-0 while Liquid eliminated OG 2-0. Group B was more accessible for lower tier teams, especially because of the surprising performance from Newbee. An even bigger surprise came from Fnatic that defeated Secret in the group finals 2-1 with an epic ending play from Universe which left us all speechless. EG was the last team to qualify for the playoffs by beating Newbee 2-0.
During the playoffs, Secret pulled out Abed’s Meepo but were unsuccessful with it and ended up losing their series 2-1 against Liquid. Even though EG managed to take the second game from VP, the russians were stronger and moved on to the semifinals to face up against Fnatic. VG and Fnatic were not expected to reach this stage of the tournament, while Fnatic benefited from an easier group sage and a clutch performance against Secret, VG impressed everyone with their very high level of Dota and their ballsy drafts. In the first semi finals, Liquid had the opportunity to take revenge on VG but failed once more to defeat the chinese squad. In game three, Paparazzi surprised everyone by playing Alchemist (an abandoned hero in the pro scene) for the first time this tournament and crushed Liquid’s draft in the late game. It was sensational. In the second semifinals, Virtus.pro was too much their opponents and won 2-0 against Fnatic. Later, Liquid took third place by defeating Fnatic 2-1. Liquid had nothing to lose and even tried a totally new strat in game two by switching up roles: Miracle played a position four Bounty Hunter, while Kuroky went position one Arc Warden. It did not work at all. Fnatic stomped this game and punished Liquid the hard way.
Even though VG had already defeated VP earlier in the group stage, this time the russian team was eager to take the trophy back home. After winning game one in 29 minutes and game two in 25 minutes, we were afraid to see VP stomping the Grand Finals in less than two hours. VP played incredibly well with solid drafts, great team plays as well as amazing individual performances. VG managed to surprise VP and won the third game in less than 30 minutes, but their hopes were quickly shattered in game four with another great game from VP. Virtus.pro dominantly won their second Major of the season, retaking their leadership position in the Dota Pro Circuit general standings. Note that Rodjer who just joined the team was elected as MVP of the tournament.
As far as the show was concerned, it was a pleasure to watch ESL One Katowice. We experienced less of useless and cheesy players/spectators interviews that are usually used to fill in streaming time. The synergy between panel and casters is clearly improving every time and a real story is developing after each tournament. The third place game was a first for a Major or Minor and was a great idea, especially as the amount of points to win in this game are equal to winning a Minor! Even though ESL did this to provide more stage games after the community went mad because only three stage games were initially programed. The biggest negative point remains the decision of ESL to stream their English show on Facebook, a network that does not provide the same user experience yet as can be found on Twitch or YouTube. Besides losing a certain amount viewers, they are still not convincing the community that it was the right move to do.
A Major just finished and we’re already jumping in to another one, the Dota Pro Circuit is definitely speeding up. Starting at the end of this week, the PGL Bucharest Major will take place between the 4th and 11th March. 16 teams will compete to win 1 million dollars and 1500 DPC points. The group stage will follow the Swiss format with all games being played as a Bo1. Eight teams will then move to the playoffs by playing Bo3 and the Grand Finals will be played in a Bo5. Here are the times of the games during each day of competition:
- Sunday 4/03/ 10:00 until 20:30 East European Time
- Monday 5/03 10:00 until 20:30 EET
- Tuesday 6/03 10:00 until 20:30 EET
- Wednesday 7/03 until 22:00 EET
- Friday 9/03 11:00 until 18:00 EET (Quarterfinals)
- Saturday 10/03 14:30 and 18:00 EET (Semifinals)
- Sunday 11/03 14:30 EET (Bo5 Grand Finals)