ONE Esports World Pro Invitational First Six Invited Teams
One Esports World Pro Invitational is an upcoming Dota 2 event scheduled to take place in December (17th – 22nd). It’s not a Dota Pro Circuit Minor or Major, but it will be a significant tournament attended by some of the best teams in the world.
With all those protests going on, you’d think that Singapore has something better to do at the moment than to organize large Dota 2 tournaments. But that’s not the case. Esports is a Universal language, and the people of Singapore are ready for a massive event with a prize pool of $500,000. Six of its 12 participants have been invited, and in this article, I’ll take a close look at them.
One Esports World Pro Invitational Participants
One Esports World Pro Invitational will feature 12 teams. Six of them have received direct invitations and the other six will either have to go through qualifiers or receive invitations of their own. Of course, given the fact that the TI9 Grand Final took place between OG and Team Liquid, you might ask: Were any of these two teams invited to the event? And I suspect they were, but most likely turned down the invitation.
Keep in mind that One Esports World Pro Invitational takes place just several days before Christmas and both of these European teams are known to put more value on rest than on chasing pointless cups (for them of course). After winning $15.6 and $4.4 million in prizes at TI9, you can imagine that neither of them will care much for the tiny amount of money that will be made available for them at this competition. The complete prize pool distribution is the following:
|7th – 8th||$10,000|
|9th – 12th||$5,000|
The known participants in the One Esports World Pro Invitational are:
- Team Secret
- Evil Geniuses
- Vici Gaming
- Natus Vincere
Here’s a brief analysis of the six known teams at One Esports World Pro Invitational.
Puppey and his team had a fabulous season in the second year of DPC, winning the overall competition that spanned over the 10 Dota Pro Circuit events and then placing 4th at The International 2019. By anyone’s standards, it was a good year for Secret and their fans. Of course, Puppey would have loved to claim his second Aegis of Champions, but Liquid proved to be stronger and eliminated them in the direct match.
One of Secret’s key advantages as a team is their vast experience in playing as a unit. Two of the five players joined the organization a year ago, and the other three have more than two years of experience as teammates. In esports, that’s a very long time. This stability and the fact every member is among the best in the world at his role, allows Secret to play at a very high level. Their main limitation is the drive they have to succeed. When they train hard, the results are exceptional. Just in 2018-2019 alone they won six tournaments including two Majors and were in the Grand Final of three of the five DPC Majors.
Going into One Esports World Pro Invitational, I expect Team Secret to be in the Grand Final. Even though there will be plenty of exceptional competitors at the event, Secret’s performance from last season and the fact that they still have their roster intact while most of the other teams don’t give them the upper hand in my opinion.
PSG.LGD was China’s second-best team in the previous season, although they did place higher than Vici Gaming at The International 2019. They finished 3rd after losing to OG in the Upper Bracket Finals and then to Team Liquid in the Lower Bracket Finals. Overall, PSG.LGD finished the year in 6th place, with two 4th place results and three 5th – 6th place results at the five DPC Majors.
Right now, PSG.LGD is going through a very delicate moment. After a long time of stability, the team has lost two key members: the coach and the captain. Finding the right people to replace them will be tough, although I do suspect that they might bring in Heen, the former coach of Team Liquid and TNC Predator, and some excellent IGL. If they manage to do that, then their strength should not drop very much. Otherwise, they’re in trouble.
China is not the region where you want to be on shaky ground with your roster. Because you can quickly go from king of the hill to local nobody in just one or two qualifiers. Some very strong teams have been assembled in the region for the upcoming season and PSG.LGD will have to fight to preserve their place among the top three teams that are consistently participating at DPC Majors.
Going into One Esports World Pro Invitational, my expectation from PSG.LGD isn’t very high, because the opposition will be powerful and they will most likely lack the experience to triumph against adversaries such as Team Secret or Evil Geniuses. But I still believe that they’ll finish in the top six.
Virtus.pro finished the Dota Pro Circuit (2018 – 2019) in 2nd place after a very successful season in which they played in three of the five Grand Final Majors. Unfortunately, their TI9 performance was far from what they would have hoped for. They ended up finishing 9th – 12th and looked like thy were about to disband. That didn’t happen, but some changes were necessary. The management ended up selling 9pasha to Natus Vincere and releasing ArsZeeqq, the team’s coach.
It is not known who the replacements will be. Just like PSG.LGD, VP needs to find highly skilled players to compete alongside Solo and the rest of the squad. If they manage to do that, then I’m sure they will continue to be a force at the highest level of pro Dota. Otherwise, we might see them drop at least five positions in the global rankings.
At One Esports World Pro Invitational, I expect Virtus.pro to finish in the top six, as long as they recover well after their recent roster changes.
EG is still the strongest North American team, and just like Team Secret, they haven’t made any roster changes after The International 2019. They finished 5th – 6th at this tournament and 4th in the Dota Pro Circuit, making them one of the best teams in the world. Because of their consistency, at the roster level and in their results, I expect them to do well in the new season. By the time we reach the month of December and One Esports World Pro Invitational, they will have mastered the meta and turned into a global force once more.
Going into One Esports World Pro Invitational, I believe that Evil Geniuses will finish among the top six. There’s no real reason for them not to continue to be one of the toughest teams to beat unless they end up making a significant roster change before the start of the season.
Based on the Dota Pro Circuit rankings from last season, Vici Gaming is the best team in China. At The International 2019 they only managed to finish 5th – 6th. However, they won two of the five Majors and proved their immense skill numerous times. In victory, they were the best team in the world. In defeat, they were still near the top and very consistent. At three of the DPC Majors they finished 7th – 8th. So throughout the entire season, they were present at every important event and always finished in the top eight.
The main problem with Vici Gaming is their most recent roster change. After failing to do well at The International, Fade, the team’s captain, collapsed under the pressure and announced his retirement. He soon started to regret his decision and eventually joined Team Aster. But the point is that he’s no longer playing for Vici Gaming. Without his leadership, the team might lose a lot of the strength they had last season. It remains to be seen who will take Fade’s place and whether or not he can offer Vici Gaming the same level of leadership that Fade did.
Going into One Esports World Pro Invitational, Vici Gaming should quickly finish in the top six. But it’s hard to say how high they can climb until we see who they bring in to lead them.
Na’Vi had a horrible season in 2018 – 2019 but still managed to somehow qualify to The International after it had missed the previous two editions. There, they got eliminated in the first round of Lower Bracket matches. Overall, their DPC performances did not land them a spot in the top 12 and not even in the top 20.
What may change Na’Vi’s future is the recent roster change they’ve made. Blizzy was replaced by a much stronger player, 9pasha from Virtus.pro. Following this move, Na’Vi may turn into a greater regional force. But at the international level, I still can’t see how they could overcome the likes of Team Secret or Vici Gaming. Subsequently, I believe that Na’Vi will be one of the underdogs at One Esports World Pro Invitational. My expectation from them is quite low. Anything better than 9th – 12th place would be an absolute miracle at that competitive level.
Thanks for joining us for a look at the first six ONE Esports World Pro Invitational teams! Stay tuned for more Dota 2 news and updates!