8 of the best Chinese Dota2 teams, including 6 direct invites and 2 form the closed qualifier are currently playing in the ESL One Birmingham tournament. They are down to the top 4 and we take a look at their chances in the playoffs and what match-ups we are getting in the first round.
PSG.LGD (1st in Group A)
The top seed out of Group A, PSG.LSD, only dropped one map on their way to a flawless 3-0 in the group stages. Prior to ESL one Birmingham, PSG.LGD had good results at The International last year with a 3rd place finish against the top teams from around the world - the highest placing of any Chinese team. Sadly since then the team has gone through some restructure with Ame swapping for Ahjit, swapping for ASD, swapping for eLeVeN who is currently on loan from EHOME. This roster instability has rocked their consistency.
Royal Never Give Up (2nd in Group A)
Royal Never Give Up are the next strongest in Group A and were the team that took the map off PSG.LGD. At the last ESL One Online competition, ESL One Los Angeles, RNGU managed to top the group stages with a 5-0 WL record. They then continued that momentum into the playoffs and stomped EHOME and Newbee for the first place finish. Since then they have been unable to reclaim a gold medal with a 6th at CDA League, 4th at OGA Dota PIT, and a 7th at DPL-CDA Professional League.
CDEC Gaming (1st in Group B)
The dark horse that shocked everyone with a first place in the group and a 3-0 record doing it. CDEC Gaming had to fight through the Closed Qualifier to even get to this tournament, but still managed to shut down and send home teams such as EHOME. CDEC has a secret weapon in the form of Ame, former member of Internal-3rd-place-getting PSG.LGD, captaining from the 1st position. You cannot count this team out.
Invictus Gaming (2nd in Group B)
Invictus were able to top their groups at both the DreamLeague Season 13 and MDL Chengdu Major in the past 6months, when competitions were still worldwide on LAN. Since the switch to online-based regional tournaments, Invictus haven't been able to have the great showings they once had. Most recently they placed 5th at ESL one Los Angeles and 5th/6th at OGA Dota PIT.
PSG.LGD vs. Invictus eSports
PSG.LGD might be inconsistent, but even at their lowest they are performing better online that the current Invictus squad. Over the last 6 months, using their recent head-to-head results, we see that PSG.LGD have won 14 of the last 17 games played. Every sign is pointing towards a quick 2-0 win for PSG.LGD, but I wouldn't be surprised if Invictus were able to scrape through and claim 1 games.
CDEC Gaming vs. Royal Never Give Up
This match is harder to predict with CDEC coming in out of nowhere, while Royal Never Give Up are on a down-swing. If the RNGU from ESL One Los Angeles shows up, then this one will be over quick. The way everything is at the moment I am actually swinging to the side of CDEC with the upset and continuing their fairytale run and clashing with PSG.LGD in the Upper Bracket Final to set up for some sweet revenge.