As Dota2 continues to win over new fans and expands its global outreach, prize pools are getting larger and top events are turning into prime time eSports entertainment. The Kiev tournament will offer a total of $3 million in prizes, along with invitations to Valve’s largest event of the year – The Invitational. Open qualifiers begin on 6th March, and there will be plenty of exciting duels before the final 16 teams headed to Kiev are announced.
Here are the teams to look out for on the road to Kiev:
- Na’Vi, Ukraine’s own team, are the obvious candidates thanks to superstar player Danil Ishutin (‘Dendi’). Once hugely successful, they are yet to secure participation in The International after disappointing results in the Boston Major. With two new players on the roster, Na’Vi will certainly prepare very seriously for an event that takes place in their own country.
- Vice Gaming, China’s former powerhouse, have also made a few moves, combining their best players Xu Linsen (‘fy’) and Lu Chao (‘Fenrir’) on their VG.J squad while weakening their second string.
- EHOME, another Chinese team, are undergoing a total reconstruction after suffering humiliating defeat in Boston, letting go of all but one of their players. This makes it difficult for bettors to stake on their games with any certainty, but they could also attract some very tempting odds going into the qualifiers.
- Team WanteD boast a formidable crew that includes former members of top pro teams such as Peter Deger (‘ppd’) and Rasmus Blomdin (‘Chessie’). They should be seen as real contenders.
- Team Onyx also list multiple proven veterans on their roster, including Jimmy Ho (‘DeMoN’) and Sam Sosale (‘BuLba’), making them a very tempting pick to make it through to Kiev.
If you are looking for a dark horse to back, the South East Asia region has no clear favourites in the wake of the recent dismantling of MVP Phoenix, so it might be a good place to look when considering less heralded teams that could emerge from the crowd and fight their way into the Major.
Bet365 offers a wide selection of eSports betting markets if you fancy a flutter on the outcome of this or any tournament. However, when looking to place bets, don’t forget that spring is traditionally the time when Dota2 teams make changes to their lineups, bringing in new players and reinventing their identities. This can result in a larger number of upsets than would be the case with tournaments taking place later in the year.