Team Aster join ranks of ESL One Katowice 2019
Photo courtesy of ESL
Team Aster will be representing China at ESL One Katowice 2019 as they join up with some of the top teams to compete in Poland in February.
The Chinese rising stars always seemed to be on top of their game for various group stages and qualifiers, but really couldn't keep things together when it counted most. After struggling in the playoffs of the Chinese qualifiers for both Kuala Lumpur Major and ESL One Hamburg 2018 the team made a bold change in their lineup before the first Major.
Gao "loveyouloveme" Yuan from FTD replaced Deng "Dstones" Lei who was benched and Team Aster took the 40% point reduction at Kuala Lumpur for the change. In the end, the team still struggled and took a 13-16th place finish.
Back on top, Team Aster seized the first slot for the upcoming Chongqing Major and are looking to find themselves in the top ranks for the new year.
Eight teams will receive direct invitations to the group stage. Team Secret was the first team to receive an invite as the defending champions with NiP receiving the second invitation. TI8 champions, OG, have already confirmed their appearance and the fourth invited team is none other than paiN Gaming. Fnatic's invite was quickly followed by Alliance's and then Team Aster. Only one more team will be directly invited.
The remaining four spots will be filled through regional open qualifiers in Europe, North America, China, and Southeast Asia. The open qualifiers kicked off this last weekend with a few teams such as compLexity Gaming, Team Spirit and Team Empire claiming slots in the closed qualifiers. The regional team invites have not yet been announced and are expected to take place next week.
February 19-24th, 12 of the world’s best Dota 2 teams will be competing for a $300,000 prize pool. The group stage is set to take place from February 19-21th, followed by the main event in the Spodek Arena from February 22-24th. Once again, the ESL tournament will not be part of the DPC events for the new season.