ESL One New York 2015; not everyone reshuffled
Featuring a $250,000 starting prize pool, ESL One NY with its brutal single elimination format puts a lot of pressure on the participating teams especially now when a victory at Madison Square Garden will not only bring fame, cash and a trophy but more importantly it will guarantee a direct invitation for the First Major.
Set to start on the 3rd of October, ELS One NY is the first and last major LAN event between The International 5 and the Frankfurt Major. Which pretty much boosts its importance even more given the fact that the announcement for the invited teams to the First Major will be made the very day after ESL One NY will reach its conclusion, on October 5th.
This year’s cast is also extremely interesting as the event occurs after one of the most dramatic post TI shuffle that the DotA 2 scene has seen. A lot of teams suffered radicalroster changes, while only a couple of the squads have chosen to keep their cool and carry on with the TI5 line-up. And if we look at the ESL One NY 2015 competitors we can observe that the eight squads can be easily split in two categories: teams that are approaching this competitive season with a totally different roster and teams that remained intact or made minimal changes.
EG have opened the shuffle madness with the shocking decision of removing Kurtis 'Aui_2000' Ling only one week after he had raised the Aegis of Immortal above his head. His replacement was also totally unexpected as EG did not recruit another support player and elected to bring back the rebellious Artour 'Arteezy' Babaev.
This "small" change of their line-up opens the drafting choices for Peter 'ppd' Dager who now has a support who can carry and a carry who can easily go mid. Although Fear announced his transition to the support role and although theoretically RTZ is there to carry the team, all EG’s opponents would have to think twice when it comes to decide their lanes against the TI 5 champions and this might give EG an edge at ESL One New York 2015.
The TI5 miracle team CDEC Gaming had all the reasons to continue with the same line-up given their explosive performance from two months ago in Seattle. But the TI5 and the ESL One NY are two completely different stories for them. As Agressif stated in one of his winner interviews on Key Arena, CDEC had nothing to lose at TI5 and their spectacular climb through the wild card competition, group stages, upper bracket to the grand final was like one adrenaline injection after another for them.
But it’s been more than seven weeks since their last official game and just like EG they got directly invited to all the upcoming events, including ESL One NY. Their challenge now is to prove the world that they are not a one trick pony especially that the Agressif’s Signature Gyrocopter got slightly nurfed in 6.85. ppd himself pointed out during TI 5 that CDEC’s captain and drafter Zhang 'Q' Yi is a master in this area of expertise managing to out draft EG in the upper bracket finals.
At TI5 CDEC have redefined the term “aggressive play” and set a new farming-fighting tempo for all the caries in the competitive scene. There is no doubt that all their opponents should now know by now how to adapt to what CDEC played two months ago but no one really knows what to expect from them now as they haven’t played any official matches since the TI5 grand finals.
Contrasting the success stories of EG and CDEC, Vega Squadron are one of teams that didn’t get their share of greatness at TI 5 after they lost their spot for the main event in the Wild Card stages.
Even so, they didn’t react impulsively on their TI 5 failure and chose to stay united for the upcoming events. Their decision has proven to be a wise one as now they are the European qualifier winners for ESL One NY 2015. One of the biggest advantages that Vega holds at this tournament would be that fact that from all the eight competitors they are the ones with the most played games since TI5 but at the same time their debut series against EG at Madison Square Garden is probably the hardest test they have to pass in the entire event.
With Na’Vi and Team Empire entering into a cone of shadow, Virtus.Pro are certainly the new CIS power house given their incredible performance at TI5 which propelled them to the top of EU rankings.
Their decision to not make any roster changes came absolutely natural and no one questioned their decision. With every game they play they show great synergy and group mentality, even when they lose. The recent WCA EU qualifiers gave us a sneak peek on how they are approaching the new 6.85 patch rebalances but also confirmed that VP are a strong force that should be feared by everyone. Along with Team Secret they have secured one of the two qualifier spots for the WCA main event which is yet another confirmation of their capabilities.
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ESL One New York schedule:
October 3rd, 17:00 CEST/11:00 EDT: Team Secret vs Fnatic
October 3rd, 20:00 CEST/14:00 EDT: CDEC vs Fire
October 3rd, 23:00 CEST/17:00 EDT: Virtus.Pro vs Invictus Gaming
October 4th, 02:00 CEST/20:00 EDT: Evil Geniuses vs Vega Squadron
October 4th, 17:00 CEST/11:00 EDT: Semifinal #1
October 4th, 20:00 CEST/ 14:00 EDT: Semifinal #2
October 4th, 23:00 CEST/ 17:00 EDT Grand finals
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