Home I eSports I eSports Featured Articles I The DotA 2 EPICENTER Epoch Cup XL Betting Preview
DotA 2 entered a short off-season last week. There was no international competition other than the DPL finals and the ESL One Birmingham China qualifiers. However, the DotA 2 official circuit will be revived this week.
The DotA 2 EPICENTER Epoch Cup XL will be held at the VTB Ice Palace Arena in Moscow, Russia, from April 27th to May 6th. Twelve teams will compete for a total of $1 million in prize money and 1,500 DPC points for Ti8.
Since its inception in 2016, EPICENTER has been well-received by the audience with its well-crafted events. This year EPICENTER became the official tournament of TI8 Tour. The prize money has also been upgraded from the previous $500,000 US dollars to $1 million US dollars. The name of the event has also changed from the previous EPICENTER to EPICENTER XL. It is estimated that this year’s EPICENTER XL should be action-packed.
After the completion of the DotA 2 Asia Championships, where Team Mineski became the champions, the struggle for the top eight escalated. At least four teams have chances to compete for the seventh and eighth ranks. Two of them, LGD Gaming and NatusVincere will participate in the EPICENTER XL.
Let’s have a look at some of the favorite sides of the competition.
Team Liquid is the absolute favorite for EPICENTER. In the EPICENTER 2016 final, the team beat Newbee 3-2, and in 2017, they defeated Evil Geniuses with a score of 3-1. The side is no longer struggling for a place in the DPC ranking. The reigning champions of TI7 and EPICENTER should have a comfortable second place finish in the circuit.
The team, along with Virtus.Pro and Team Secret, will receive direct invitations to The International 8. It remains a question of motivation: will Team Liquid want to save the crown and make a hat-trick? Will they take a large portion of the prize fund, or to come to the capital of Russia to enjoy themselves?
The Russian team, FlyToMoon, was formed in 2018, but have already made a solid reputation in the competitive season. The team successfully qualified for StarLadder, and also got the spot to compete at EPICENTER XL. They have played 23 matches, and have 20 wins to show for it. The statistics are impressive! On the way to StarLadder, FlyToMoon defeated strong teams such as Team Empire, Effect, and Vega Squadron.
Recently, one of the stars of the team,Airat “Silent” Gaziev, announced in an interview the desire to qualify for The International. To achieve such a result this year will be difficult for the newbie team. However, it is possible to create a strong foundation for a successful performance in the next season. Nonetheless looking at their stats, they are surely the dark horses of the EPICENTER.
It will be interesting to watch the fight of the best teams in the CIS region. The clear favorite is Virtus.Pro, the leader in the DPC rating. Powerful performances at the start of the season show the true strength of the team. However, one should never take NatusVincere for granted. The Ukrainian team now, like a wounded beast, is capable of inflicting enormous damage to any opponent. All of the competitors of the side understand this perfectly.
Evaluation of the chances of Team Empire is difficult. The team lost the qualifiers for DAC 2018 and StarLadderImbaTV Invitational Season 5. After that, its representatives made a statement that in the near future changes within the team are possible. The conclusion suggests itself: EPICENTER XL will be a serious test for all teams.
In Group A, the presence of strong teams such as the defending TI7 Champions Team Liquid, LGD, and Mineski is probably a breath-taking group for the fans. However, Flytomoon will have something to say to mark their presence in the competition.
Group B will be very interesting and exciting with the participation of Virtus.Pro, Secret, Newbee, OG, and Na’Vi. It goes without saying that these are the best teams in the world. With a very attractive prize, the teams will offer viewers a promising and exciting tournament.
From April 27 to May 2, the teams will play in the best-of-two format. The event will feature upper and lower brackets for the top two and bottom two teams in the groups, respectively.
Matches of the playoffs will be held on May 4-6. The games of the first and second rounds of the lower grid will be held to one victory, all other matches – up to two, and the grand final – to three.
EPICENTER XL will be the sixth major in the competitive season.
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