The ONE Esports World Pro Invitational is the last premier level tournament of the 2019 calendar year. While it isn’t a DPC event, the 12 team field makes it one of the most exciting tournaments in the last couple months. Here are our best picks.
The last big Dota 2 tournament of the year is drawing nearer, and it looks like it’ll be a good one. While it isn’t a DPC event, the field of teams has been invited directly to compete. All of these rosters are championship caliber, which is reflected in the odds. With a field this competitive it can be tough to figure out where to put your money. Luckily you have esports experts at your fingertips, like myself, to help guide your hard earned cash.
The teams are now SET! 👊 Here are your teams that will be competing in Singapore this December. Who will you be rooting for?#ONEDota2 #ONEDota2SG #oneesportsgg #esports #dota2 pic.twitter.com/yDSzHvRGmu
— ONE Esports 👑#ONEDota2 (@oneesportsgg) November 13, 2019
The Pro Invitational starts December 17th and runs through December 22nd, in Singapore. The event has a $500,000 prize pool. Unfortunately, the format for the group stage hasn’t been announced yet, but it would be fair to assume it will be a group system that feeds into a playoff bracket.
And remember if you need any help, check our How to Bet on Dota 2 quick guide.
Team Secret +350
We haven’t seen Team Secret since The International, but they looked poised to make a deep run at the Invitational. Since TI they’ve done a bit of roster shuffling, removing MidOne and adding MATUMBAMAN. This move resulted in Nisha moving to the mid lane, MATUMBAMAN has taken the carry position.
The Invitational will mark MATUMBAMAN’s return to Tier One Dota 2, after his unceremonious kick from Team Liquid late in the season this year. He’ll no doubt be hoping to beat Liquid, who are also attending, and prove that the kick was misbegotten.
The rest of the roster will be trying to claw their way back into the number one spot. They began 2019 with a win at the Chongqing Major, then won ESL One Katowice, MDL Disneyland Paris, and ESL One Birmingham. Even with their (rather embarrassing) loss at the EPICENTER Major, they were looked at as one of the favorites at The International. They suffered a loss in the first round of the upper bracket before running it all the way back for a fourth place finish.
TNC are the other favorite at the Invitational, and the near mirror image of Team Secret. While Secret has been secreted (hah) away somewhere since The International, TNC has been playing in tournaments left and right, with first place finishes at ESL One Hamburg and the MDL Chengdu Major just last week. It wouldn’t be a stretch to call TNC the hottest team in Dota right now, which makes this +350 look about right.
There’s a good reason for their proactiveness. In September TNC switched out Kuku and eyyou in favor of kpii and March, and they’ve clearly been using their time helping the team to mesh. The process has already paid off, as TNC’s win at the Chengdu Major is about as dominant as you could want. A 4-0 group stage, winning Grand Finals 3-1 from the loser’s bracket, beating Alliance, Invictus and Vici, all encouraging results.
PSG LGD +375
PSG LGD were third place finalists at The International this year, and this week they lost to a team called FTD.apollo, that I’m sure you’ve never heard of. Now, I’m not saying that that means that means they’re washed or anything. What I am saying is I wouldn’t want any of my hard earned cash riding on resting on their backs. No offense.
Vici are another team that’s been active since The International. While their resume is less impressive than that of TNC, they’ve at least been actively playing games since August. They have a 5-6th place finish at ESL One Hamburg and a 2nd place finish at the MDL Chengdu Major. That Chengdu loss came at the expense of who else but TNC, in a 1-3 rout no less.
The addition of Pyw seems to be working out about as well as you could hope, seeing as how he’s been a Tier Two player for most of his career, having spent most of the last two years playing with Team Serenity.
Evil Geniuses +700
Evil Geniuses have appeared at just the MDL Chengdu Major since The International, earning their spot through the North America Closed Qualifier. This gives us a pretty small sample size to analyze one of the biggest roster changes in this group of teams. EG removed s4 and SumaiL from the roster in September, replacing them with Abed and RAMZES666.
Abed is a position 2 formerly of Fnatic, with whom he spent several (generally unproductive) years with. RAMZES is a position 3 who had a successful run with Virtus.Pro over the last few years, with wins at several Premier level events throughout his tenure.
This team could be very scary in theory, but I don’t think they’ve had enough time to put it together after an overhaul like this. SumaiL and s4 were two of the longest tenured players in Dota 2, and removing them will mean a sizable adjustment from the rest of EG.
Alliance aren’t a team that I, or the oddsmakers, have a ton of expectations for. If you’re unfamiliar with their roster situation, they dropped their whole roster after The International this year. In October it was announced they would be fielding a new team primarily comprised of free agents from throughout Europe.
While a fresh start is definitely needed for Alliance, who floundered at The International, I’d be surprised to see this core make any waves in Tier One. There’s a reason all five of these guys were available – none of them had seen much success on their most recent teams.
Remember just a minute ago, when I said that Alliance definitely needed a new start? I said that because their last roster was pretty unsuccessful throughout most of 2019, with a ton of middling results. In fact, their only real win of the year was at DOTA Summit 10, where they 3-0’d paiN Gaming in the Grand Finals.
That Alliance roster? They’re all on Liquid now. So no, I don’t have high hopes for these guys.
At this point, the rest of the field is so weak that we can just skip them. As far as my best pick goes, I like TNC and Vici Gaming. This is the first tournament back for a couple of teams, Team Secret being one of them, and that big of a gap tends to make teams rusty. TNC should be in a groove right now, which should make them dangerous.
If you’d like to take some riskier odds, I suggest Vici. They put up a solid fight against TNC at the Chengdu Major, and they’ve been playing consistently since The International in August.