Second golden age of Dota esports is almost around the corner. After the cancellation of Winter Major, ESL One Stockholm will be the first Dota 2 Major event with a live audience since 2020, heralding the comeback of Dota 2 tournaments with spectators and gigantic stadiums. The event will end the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) Spring Tour for the 2021-2022 season.
The Major will include 18 of the finest Dota 2 teams from each Region's Division I bracket, with two to four spots available per region –China, Eastern Europe, North America, South America, Southeast Asia, and Western Europe. The teams compete for a portion of the $500,000 total prize pool as well as extra DPC Points in order to qualify for the prestigious The International (TI) 11.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about ESL One
ESL One format, date & prize pool
The ESL ONE Stockholm Major is scheduled for May 12 to 22,
Teams playing in the ESL Stockholm Major 2022 compete for a total prize fund of $500,000 USD and their share of 3,530 Pro Circuit points.
Only the top eight teams will get a share of the prize fund and DPC points. The prize pool distribution for the tournament is shown below.
- 1st place - $200,000 and 680 DPC points.
- 2nd place - $100,000 and 610 DPC points.
- 3rd place - $75,000 and 530 DPC points.
- 4th place - $50,000 and 460 DPC points.
- 5th & 6th place - $25,000 and 385 DPC points.
- 7th & 8th place - $12,500 and 240 DPC points.
ESL has also changed the rules for the upcoming major recently. Abolishing the contentious Wild Card and direct playoff seeding of previous Majors, and instead grouping all eighteen participating teams into two groups of nine. Tournament will look more like The International instead of a Major this time.
This should result in a far more entertaining group stage and a more competitive double-elimination playoff format.
The top six teams from each group will advance to the double-elimination playoff stage, where they will compete in front of a live crowd in Stockholm's Hovet arena on May 22 to eventually lift the trophy.
ESL One match schedule & betting odds
- The ESL One Stockholm Major 2022 will be split into two groups of seven teams apiece.
- Evil Geniuses, BetBoom Team, OG, Beastcoast, BOOM Esports, T1, Tundra Esports make up Group A.
- Thunder Awaken, Fnatic, Gaimin Gladiators, TSM, Mind Games, Team Liquid, and last year’s The International’s champions Team Spirit make up Group B.
Below are the current predictions for the upcoming matches. Teams that are highlighted in bold have the odds in their favour. You can click on the dates to take yourself directly to the detailed match page, and watch the matches as they play out live.
- EG vs. Tundra (May 12, 2022 - 12:00 CEST) 4.20 vs. 2.80
- OG vs. beastcoast (May 12, 2022 - 12:00 CEST) 1.55 vs. 10.00
- BOOM vs. BetBoom (May 12, 2022 - 12:00 CEST) 2.40 vs. 5.00
- EG vs. T1 (May 12, 2022 - 14:30 CEST) 2.40 vs. 5.00
- OG vs. BOOM (May 12, 2022 - 14:30 CEST) 3.00 vs. 4.00
- BetBoom vs. beastcoast (May 12, 2022 - 14:30 CEST) 2.60 vs. 4.80
- Liquid vs.Thunder Awaken (May 12, 2022 - 17:20 CEST) 1.98 vs. 6.60
- Fnatic vs.Team Spirit (May 12, 2022 - 17:20 CEST) 1.88 vs. 7.50
- TSM vs. Gaimin Gladiators (May 12, 2022 - 17:20 CEST) 2.30 vs. 5.30
- Fnatic vs. TSM (May 12, 2022 - 19:40 CEST) 3.80 vs. 3.00
- TSpirit vs. Gaimin Gladiators (May 12, 2022 - 19:40 CEST) 2.40 vs. 5.00
- TA vs. Mind Games (May 12, 2022 - 19:40 CEST) 1.70 vs. 8.50
Which teams to watch out for?
WEU has undergone a huge overhaul among its representatives, making it one of the most coveted regions in DPC Tour 2.
But this time many of the known names or ex-powerhouses aren’t here such as Team Secret and Nigma Galaxy, which were once DPC mainstays. Western Europe is giving birth to the future star players of the Dota.
OG, Gaimin Gladiators, Team Liquid, and Tundra Esports are among the teams. OG and Liquid are well-known teams who have won several titles. Despite this, they no longer employ the pioneering players who achieved those exploits.
The new OG is still a strong contender for the ESL One Stockholm Major 2022. Despite the early criticism of the new OG's strength for imitating its predecessor's famed taunting, the new lineup deserves respect for being top seeds in WEU. Following closely behind is Gaimin Gladiators, a squad that has competed against OG since the previous Tour.
Additionally Gaimin earlier defeated OG in the DPC WEU Regional Finals, therefore they are matched in terms of ability. Gaimin provides a lot owing to its experienced group of high-profile athletes like Marcus "Ace" Hoelgaard. In contrast, OG's fields young talents that can compensate for their inadequate experience with sheer skill, with the seasoned captain, Mikhail "Misha" Agatov at the helm.
Most dangerous teams that come out of the region are BOOM Esports and Fnatic. Despite the fact that Fnatic won the DPC SEA Tour 2, BOOM beat them in their matches. This would make BOOM the stronger of the two if BOOM hadn't forfeited their match against Nigma Galaxy SEA.
T1 should be mentioned as well, as they have declined since TI10. T1 doesn't appear to be that threatening.
Southeast Asia will be a 3 way battle between these teams.
NA teams are more capable than ever
In North America, Evil Geniuses and TeamSoloMid have long been the finest. Notably, TSM's arrival as NA's alternate superpower to EG undoubtedly bodes positively for the area as a whole.
EG has long been regarded as NA's sole genuine rival. However, it's exciting to know that there are teams in their own region who can compete with them. A gruelling 1st-3rd place tiebreaker ensued between EG, TSM, and Quincy Crew, which resulted in the former's triumph.
Both teams have the potential to surprise at the upcoming Major.
South America, the most obscure region of Dota esports scene
SA is not the first region that comes to mind when you think about Dota esports. They've been weakened even more than its North American equivalent.
Nonetheless, teams like Thunder Awaken and Beastcoast are steadily rolling and picking up steam in their recent results.
Beastcoast is the same old squad we've seen at international competitions. They have a tendency to make it into every major tournament.
Yet they pale compared to their counterparts.
Thunder Awaken, on the other side, contains youthful players who appear to know how to outmanoeuvre and outnumber their opponents. During their Stockholm Major debut, they may tire the top dogs more than anticipated.
EEU/CIS is the shadow of its former self
Last-minute qualifiers resulted in three EEU/CIS teams entering the major. Team Spirit, BB Team, and Mind Games –which have a story on its own that I will get to down below.
BetBoom stunned the EEU regionals by defeating both Spirit and Natus Vincere in a powerful demonstration. On the other hand favourites Spirit had to fight their way through each opponent as they progressed through the losers bracket. Given the paucity of EEU competition on this Tour, it was really good practice for them.
Mind Games joined the tournament out of sheer luck when other teams dropped out, their performance isn’t worthy of being on the ESL but yet here they are. It will be a good experience for the team anyways:
Mind Games confirmed two days before the Major that Ukrainian gamers Semion "CemaTheSlayer" Krivulya and Danil "Bignum" Shekhovtsov will not be attending. Instead, PuckChamp's Genadiy "Astral" Motuz and Andrey "Dukalis" Kuropatkin will serve as replacements.
This reduces EEU to a two-team region, with Mind Games merely functioning as a supplement to ensure that enough teams are formed into groups.
No China this year
Due to travel constraints, PSG.LGD, Team Aster, Royal Never Give Up, and Xtreme Gaming will not be able to make the journey to Stockholm. Ame, Paparazi and other Chinese stars will be absent (but we bet that their return will be sensational).
Most of us esports enthusiasts predicted that the CIS/EEU area would be totally absent from this event, and it kinda is, yet we still miss out completely on the most competitive Dota 2 scene on the globe as of now.
With or without the complete roster of EEU and China as a whole, the first LAN event of the Dota is here after years of long wait. All that’s left for us is to enjoy the all out battle.