ONE Esports World Pro Invitational Singapore
The last big Dota 2 tournament of 2019 is finally here and, needless to say, it’s quite a spectacle. So let’s do a somewhat quick ONE Esports World Pro Invitational Singapore preview to see what’s in store! First of all, there’s one thing that has to be said outright: this is the first time we’ll get to see some of the best teams in the world clash on the latest patch. After six months of playing on patch 7.22, Valve has recently shipped a monumental set of changes with their most recent Outlanders update.
The Evolution of the Game
To say that this patch changed things would truly be an understatement. The average game time went down considerably, Observer wards are now free, each player has his own courier, supports have earlier power spikes, new team comps are rising in popularity, side shops are a thing of the past, there’s an emphasis on early game proactivity, capturing Outposts, Neutral items, and so on. If you can think it, odds are Valve changed it in patch 7.23. Frankly, many of the recently shipped changes pushed the game in a positive direction, especially after the drought known as patch 7.22.
But at the same time, by shipping so many changes teams will have to work harder than ever to attain a solid enough grasp on the meta. Right now, as things stand, there’s a single most important thing for each and every top-tier team in the world of competitive Dota: figuring out the best and most optimal way to play the game.
Because of the Outlanders update, the line between top-tier and mid-tier teams has been blurred, at least for a brief moment. Everyone has to go back to the drawing board and think things through. This means the twelve teams competing in Singapore will fight on somewhat even footing. That’s exciting news for the fans as we’re bound to be entertained from the first moment these teams step foot on stage.
We can expect a lot of chaos, a fair bit of uncertainty, and a pinch of craziness. Last but definitely not least, we’ll see just how big of an impact the two new heroes Void Spirit and Snapfire will have on the competitive meta. Both picks skyrocketed in priority (and win rates) over the last couple of weeks, and while they both received numerous nerfs they’re still a bit too strong at the moment.
Even the many heroes we all became accustomed to received noticeable changes (nerfs, buffs, entirely new abilities, heavily altered Talents, etc) which should, by proxy, heavily impact the pick and ban micro-meta.
Finally, the results of the Dota 2 Chengdu Major still hangs in the air. There are many burning questions and yet there are no answers in sight. Was it just a one-off thing, or rather an indication of just how strong each team currently is? Is TNC Predator as good as it seemed, or was it a flash in the pan?
No one’s quite sure what to think, and the recent 7.23 patch doesn’t help much either. In fact, quite the opposite. The ONE Esports World Pro Invitational in Singapore has a lot of potential to veer into absolute chaos which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We’ll see a plethora of insanely talented top-tier teams compete with nothing but money on the line. They can experiment without fear of any impending consequence. This also means that, in a way, anything can happen going forward.
With that out of the way, let’s dive a bit deeper into our ONE Esports Worlds Pro Invitational Singapore preview!
Twelve teams will participate in the Group Stage that’s being held from December 17th — 19th. After that, the Playoffs (Upper and Lower Bracket) will commence on December 20th and will conclude on the 22nd. The Group Stage will be played in a round-robin Best of 2 format. The Playoffs, however, will be played in a double-elimination Best of 3, with the Grand Finals being Best of 5.
The Playoffs will be held in the Singapore Indoor Stadium in front of a live audience.
Prize Pool Distribution
The total $500,000 prize pool will be distributed in the following way:
1st Place — $200,000
2nd Place — $100,000
3rd Place — $60,000
4th Place — $50,000
5th Place — $30,000
6th Place — $20,000
7th-8th Place — $10,000
9th-12th Place — $5,000
The lack of any DPC points certainly makes this tournament a bit less hype, but such an absence could, potentially, motivate teams even further, seeing how they’ll be able to compete without any fear. There’s nothing on the line but money, and they can use this moment to not just test their might but also experiment and further deconstruct the meta.
In any case, top-tier play should not be absent.
ONE Esports World Pro Invitational Singapore Preview | Teams Overview
Twelve teams will grace the stage in Singapore, but not all of them are entering the tournament with equal amounts of hype and momentum. Before delving any deeper, it’s important to highlight that there’s a metric ton of uncertainty at the moment. All of these teams — no matter their strength — are entering the tournament without a concrete idea on how to best utilize and “tame” the current meta.
They all had more than enough practice on 7.23, but playing on the big stage is a completely different matter. Mental fortitude, resiliency and the ability to adapt on the fly will be of the utmost importance.
The easiest way to approach this would be to divide teams into tiers:
S Tier — Team Secret, TNC Predator, PSG.LGD, Vici Gaming
The fight at the top is incredibly fierce. Perhaps that’s even an understatement.
It’s been a while since we’ve last seen Team Secret. They had a very solid showing at the recent Leipzig Major qualifiers and even though they recently underwent a couple of role swaps and roster changes, they’re still a top-tier team until proven otherwise. That said, their lack of recent on-stage play certainly raises a couple of questions. They might need a bit of time to get going, but they should not be underestimated. Their Top 4 finish at TI9 wasn’t a fluke so they definitely deserve our benefit of the doubt.
TNC Predator, on the other hand, are coming in hot after their incredible, nearly perfect runs through the 2019 ESL One Hamburg and the MDL Chengdu Major. They looked like an unstoppable behemoth, but their most recent DreamLeague qualifier run wasn’t anything to write home about. Whether it was a small fumble because of the new patch or a sign of a bigger problem still remains to be seen.
Regardless, they’re one of the favorites coming into the tournament and with good reason..
Vici Gaming already took TNC Predator once at the Chengdu Major. The only problem is that they couldn’t do it twice in a row. Nevertheless, they’re a spectacular team brimming with talent and even though they’re somewhat inconsistent, their sheer mechanical prowess and brute strength should be more than enough to warrant a solid run in Singapore.
Finally, that leaves us with PSG.LGD. No one’s quite sure what to think or say about the Chinese challengers. Their third-place finish at TI9 certainly turned a couple of heads, but their recent failure to qualify for the upcoming Leipzig Major seriously hurt their stock. Regardless, they still have the capacity to compete at the highest of levels and, by proxy, the potential to go deep into the tournament. That said, they’re not exactly entering the tournament with a lot of hype. Not in the slightest.
No one will be surprised if they fail to leave a mark in the grand scheme of things.
A Tier — Evil Geniuses, Virtus.Pro, Team Liquid
Evil Geniuses definitely have all the right tools to compete at the highest of levels. In other words, they’re inches away from being an “S tier” team, but they still need a bit more time before they can fully synergize with one another and start playing like a well-oiled machine. They’ve displayed a ton of potential in Chengdu but were lacking in a couple of key areas. Are their problems solvable in a couple of week’s time? In a way, yes, but it’s still too early to know for sure. We’ll have to wait and see, but the potential is definitely there. If there’s one team that could upset going forward, it has to be Evil Geniuses.
Team Liquid (the former Alliance line-up) had its fair share of ups and downs recently, but all things considered, they’re not half bad. They’re not exactly going to upset the status quo, but they’re more than worthy of playing alongside any S tier team listed above. They have a fair bit of potential and they’re unafraid of throwing down regardless of the opponent. We can expect a showing similar to their recent Chengdu run — nothing extraordinary but far from mediocre.
It’s been a while since a CIS team made waves. Virtus.Pro is perhaps even harder to read right now than PSG.LGD, which could give them an upper hand coming into the tournament. They are, however, deceptively capable and have steamrolled through all opposition back at the CIS qualifiers. They definitely have what it takes to compete, but there are many question marks regarding their overall power level. Fortunately, we won’t have to wait long to find out just how strong they truly are.
B Tier — Alliance, J.Storm, Team Aster, Natus Vincere, Gambit Esports
Finally, we have the B tier. These teams are by no means bad, they’re not just good (talent or performance-wise) when compared to teams listed above. The gap might not be that noticeable — especially on such a huge patch — but it’s still present and palpable. Now, depending on how these teams adapted during the last couple of weeks, they might surprise us in more ways than one. They might come out the gates swinging, now that they can catch the “big dogs” off guard.
That said, these challengers should, by all means, populate the very bottom of the standings once all is said and done.
ONE Esports World Pro Invitational Singapore Preview | Schedule
You can see the full Group Stage schedule down below! All times displayed are GMT +8. Have in mind that three simultaneous streams will be live throughout the first two days of the tournament!
Alternatively, you can check out the official ONE Esports World Pro Invitational website by clicking here!
That’s it for our ONE Esports World Pro Invitational Singapore preview! The Group Stage will commence in a matter of hours and if things pan out as expected, we should be in for one heck of a ride!