compLexity and Effect are the first casualties of ESL One Katowice 2018

Dota 2 Cristy “Pandoradota2” Ramadani

Photo courtesy of ESL

compLexity Gaming and Effect are the first two teams knocked out of ESL One Katowice 2018 after the first day of the group stages. 

With 16 teams and only five days of competition, the days are numbered for the bulk of teams participating in ESL One Katowice 2018 as eliminations come fast and furious. 

Two teams have already been dropped from Poland's first Dota 2 Major. The opening best-of-one series for Group A were then followed by the Upper Bracket semi finals and first round of the lower brackets. 

ESL One Katowice 2018 Group A Upper Brackets Quarter finals

Effect had the unfortunate luck to be seeded against one of the tournament favorites - Team Liquid for their first best-of-one series. Without much surprise, the TI7 champions dominated the CIS team. Despite doing their best to stand their ground and fight for the upset, Team Liquid had knocked Effect into the lower bracket, sealing their fate early on in the tournament. It was there, later on in the evening that they would have to come face to face with another European threat - OG.

While Effect were giving it their all, OG was battling it out against Vici Gaming. The 'dream green' team came out of the gate swinging, looking to be riding in high on their qualifier and Bootcamp momentum that gave them a 37:2 record in the last month. With an 8:1 lead over the Chinese team in 11 minutes, the gap continued to widen between the two teams and OG looked to be in the top form fans were hoping for. Vici Gaming started out looking about average in the first portion of the game, but steadily started to close that gap and maintain their focus. One mistake by OG and 42 minutes later, ViCi Gaming turned the entire game on its head. A 25k gold swing and 10 minutes were all that was needed for ViCi Gaming to trample all over OG and take the victory, sending the Europeans to the lower bracket in a surprise turn around. 

Mineski and compLexity Gaming clashed in a 35-minute battle that would end up being a crushing loss for the North American representatives. Although they started out trying to keep Mineski's slight lead to a minimum, they were not able to withstand the assault of the Timbersaw and in 35 minutes compLexity were left with a 30k gold deficit and their first bump in the tournament's road. 

Meanwhile, Virtus.pro were looking to show off their new roster and silence any critics that judged their roster change decision. Heading up against OpTic Gaming the CIS juggernauts didn't start out looking to be as cohesive in their new lineup as some fans had hoped. Optic Gaming were cruising through the early game with quick rotations and synergy.  Despite Optic trying to set up good team fights, VP seemed to be one step ahead of them always, anticipating and coming out on top of the engagements. One bad team fight about 22 minutes in was all that Virtus.pro needed to turn things around and send the NA team to the lower brackets. 

ESL One Katowice 2018 Group A Lower Brackets Round 1

The first match between OG and Effect in the elimination series was a complete bloodbath with a score of 38:7. Effect were quickly looking down the barrel of elimination and came into the second game trying to keep their tournament dreams alive. They started out much better and confident against OG in the second match, securing an early lead. Effect held on strong, but OG ripped through their base pretty easily and claimed a second victory, knocking the CIS team out of contention. 

The NA grudge series between coL and OptiC was nothing less than expected pushing the series to the limit with full three games. In each of the matches, it seemed that both teams were trying to catch the other off guard with their hero selections and assignments. A battle of drafting seemed to become the theme for the series with OptiC ultimately coming out ahead in the end. While Game 1 was in favor of compLexity, Game 2 belonged all to OptiC who showcased an overpowering gyrocopter and Phantom Lancer in the midlane. As things came down to the wire, the healing power behind OptiC's lineup proved to be too much for coL to surmount and they were left throwing in the towel for the remainder of the event.

ESL One Katowice 2018 Group A Semi Finals

Team Liquid entered into the semi finals as confident as ever. Although ViCi Gaming were poised to take the first game of the series after gaining the lead about 22 minutes in, Team Liquid purchased a rapier, headed straight down middle lane and one minute later claimed the victory. ViCi Gaming had looked great in the first game, but already seeing it wouldn't be enough to take down Liquid, they stepped up their game again instead of getting demotivated and tied up the second match with a heavily one-sided performance. In the deciding game, ViCi Gaming stepped up to the plate once again to take the control and lead early on and dominate over Team Liquid. The 2:1 victory allowed ViCi Gaming to advance in the upper brackets to the finals while Team Liquid will need to find their way out of the lower brackets. 

Virtus.Pro seemed to have found their stride rather quickly in the event as they toppled over Mineski in a 2:0 sweep that looked relatively easy for them. The first match they heavily outdrafted their SEA opponents giving them no room to do much of anything but call 'gg' by 30 minutes. In the second match Mineski managed to keep things more even and stay neck and neck with the CIS team, but VP were able to outplay Mineski when it mattered most. Their victory will now pit them against ViCi Gaming in the upper bracket finals for a battle for a playoff spot.

ESL One Katowice 2018 Group Stage format:


  • Group Stage will be held from February 20th to the 23rd:
    • Two eight team, double-elimination groups
    • Top teams from each group advance directly to the semifinals of the playoffs
    • 2nd and 3rd placed teams advance to the quarterfinals of the playoffs



Who will advance to the playoffs first from Group A?

ViCi Gaming
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Thank you for voting!
Cristy “Pandoradota2” Ramadani
Pandora is a behind the scenes Dota 2 professional Jack of All Trades. When not busy with Dota 2 work, she is out trying to save the world or baking cupcakes. Follow her on Twitter @pandoradota2


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