ESL One Los Angeles is about to enter the Playoffs Stage and only eight of the initial 16 teams are left. These teams will be competing for close to $200,000 and the prestige that goes along with being crowned champion at one of the most important events of the season.
Keep in mind that ESL One LA is the replacement tournament for what should have been the 3rd Major of the Dota Pro Circuit. The original event got salvaged and turned into regional online tournaments. The European & CIS one is the biggest of them and its champion will be rewarded with $60,000, which is about half of what you get for winning a Minor. Unfortunately for the teams, there are no DPC points to be received. But fortunately for esports fans around the globe, the Dota 2 betting opportunities are just as good and even more numerous than they would have been at a typical Major.
ESL One Los Angeles had a very long Group Stage that consisted of two groups played using the round-robin format. In other words, every team competed against each of the other group competitors and the results were as follows:
The following teams advanced to the Playoffs. The first 4 will start in the Upper Bracket while the remaining 4 will start in the Lower Bracket.
Here’s a brief analysis of the 8 teams that will compete in the Playoffs Stage of the European & CIS tournament of ESL One Los Angeles.
Virtus.pro is quickly regaining its former strength. We’ve seen situations like this before, not just in Dota 2 (take Evil Geniuses for example, which is playing with two substitutes and still manages to crush everyone in North America), but in other games as well. In CS:GO for instance, karrigan took a team (mousesports) made up of good but not spectacular players and has turned it into one of the best in the world. Solo, the captain of Virtus.pro, has proved at ESL One LA 2020 that he’s well on his way to accomplishing a similar thing. Even though he lost 3 superstars at the end of last season, his formidable understanding of the game has allowed him to teach relatively modest players how to be the best.
Going into the first round of Upper Bracket matches, Virtus.pro is expected to win and then meet Team Secret in round 2.
It’s hard to tell what happened to Team Spirit prior to this tournament, but the team is certainly performing well above its normal level. Spirit finished 2nd in a tough Group B with 5 wins and 2 losses. And keep in mind that one of those losses came against Secret, so it’s not very relevant considering the fact that Secret beats everyone these days. Especially at an event like this.
In the first round of Upper Bracket matches, Team Spirit will have to overcome Virtus.pro. It’s unlikely that they’ll succeed but they do have their chance.
This is the team that will likely win the title at ESL One Los Angeles 2020. Realistically, only Virtus.pro can stop Puppey and his squad from getting this result. And even VP is probably considerably weaker than Secret at this point. Over the last two seasons, the European giant has won multiple Majors and has been very consistent in its results. They obviously don’t win every time, but they’re in the top 4 almost without exception.
OG may not be the same team without Topson and ana, but it still has Sumail, Ceb and N0tail. Not to mention that 33 and Saksa have strengths of their own and perform quite well in their position 2 and position 4 roles. It’s hard to tell what OG will do in the first Upper Bracket match against Secret. But the odds are definitely stacked against them.
Nigma had an average performance in the Group Stage of ESL One Los Angeles but was able to advance thanks to 2 very convincing performances against HellRaisers and Vikin.gg. I don’t think they’ll go very far in the Playoffs, given that they’ll start in the Upper Bracket and are likely to encounter a strong opponent at every step of the way. But who knows? KuroKy has, after all, won The International by taking the long road through Moria, if you know what I mean.
Chicken Fighters is a very interesting team that gives a lot of CIS fans hope. Led by a former Na’Vi player (SoNNeikO), CF finished 4th in Group B after securing victories against a number of important teams, including Team Spirit. This clearly proves that they will give Nigma a run for their money in the first round of the Lower Bracket.
Alliance is one of the teams that have the potential to produce exceptional results, due to the qualities of its individual players. Nikobaby is one of the most popular position 1 competitors at the moment, s4 is a legend and Limmp is a high-MMR midlaner with a lot of professional experience. The communication within the team is probably good, since 4 of the players are from Sweden and the carry will rarely be involved in what’s going on.
Alliance will have to defeat Vikin.gg in the first round of the Lower Bracket and the match is likely to be a close one. Alliance still has a slight advantage though, just because its roster is much more experienced.
Nobody would have expected to see Vikin.gg in the Playoffs of ESL One Los Angeles. The team just doesn’t have any kind of prestige. Its results up until this point have been poor, its players are no-names. And on top of that, communication is probably difficult simply because there are 4 nationalities on the roster.
In the Group Stage, Vikin.gg’s best performance came against OG. They miraculously defeated the TI champions and signaled to everyone else that they are not to be joked with. This team is for real, even though you may have never heard of it. We’ll see what they can do next.