ESL One Birmingham: A Tale of Three Groups

The penultimate event of this Dota 2 Pro Circuit (DPC) season, ESL One Birmingham is a critical event for a handful of teams. Of the twelve teams attending, two have secured a direct invite to The International 8 (TI8), four are ineligible for an invite due to breaking the roster lock, and six teams are still in the hunt.

Fnatic, Evil Geniuses, and OpTic Gaming are outside of the top eight in the current rankings, while Vici Gaming, Mineski, and Newbee are more comfortably situated within it. This will be OpTic Gaming and Fnatic’s last opportunity to acquire more qualifying points as neither will attend the China Dota 2 Supermajor. Fnatic need a top two finish to make it up into the top eight while OpTic Gaming need to win the tournament. Long shots, perhaps, but it’ll certainly make every game they play exciting to watch.

The event has a unique format, explained here, that has the twelve teams split into three groups. Simplified, two teams from each group will be eliminated, and the rest will be seeded into the single elimination playoff bracket. Each of the three groups has a unique identity and features some compelling stories to highlight:

Group A: Make or Break

Group A features Virtus.pro, Evil Geniuses, Fnatic, and Team Spirit.

Chelsea “Daeja” Jack

I love talking about esports and books. I think compassion and curiosity are really important and that a balance between serious and silly keeps life interesting. You can follow me on Twitter @writingdaeja

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