One of the biggest Esports events in Germany, ESL One Hamburg 2018 is only a few weeks away now. The main event starts on 23rd October 2018 and the playoffs start on 26th in the Barclaycard Arena. Twelve invited teams and four qualified teams will battle it out for a prize pool of $300,000. The qualifiers for the event have only recently finished and I will be covering the qualified teams in this article. Unlike last season, ESL One Hamburg 2018 will not be part of the 2018/19 Dota Pro Circuit.
There were a total of 4 qualifiers – Europe, North America, China and South East Asia Regions. South America region did not have a qualifier for this tournament and paiN X is the only team from SA that made it in through the NA open qualifier. The Europe qualifier served as a qualifier for both the European and CIS teams. Each qualifier had a total of 4 teams – 2 invited teams and 2 teams from open qualifiers.
Alliance and Winstrike Team were invited to the qualifier while Team Spirit and Espada made it through the open qualifiers.
The newly completed Alliance roster, coached by Loda are looking very strong this season. They qualified for The Kuala Lumpur Major and also won the recent European Tournament, Reshuffle Madness. They were easily the favorites for the tournament.
Even though Winstrike Team made it to TI, they are looking relatively weak this season. They placed 5-6th in the Major qualifiers and they did not even make it through the open qualifier for DreamLeague Season 10.
Alliance swept through the tournament like a breeze, dropping only a single match in a total of 7 matches. They beat Espada with a dominating 3-0 in the Grand Finals, securing their spot at ESL One Hamburg.
North America Qualifier:
J.Storm and compLexity Gaming were the invited teams. StarLuck.S and pain X made it through the open qualifier.
EternaLEnVy’s team for this season, compLexity along with J.Storm which was previously known as Marchoutofarmy were the favorites for this qualifier.
Even though J.Storm beat compLexity in The Kuala Lumpur Major qualifier, they placed 3rd in this one, losing to pain X with a 0-2.
The Grand Finals was compLexity vs pain X. pain X was playing at a disadvantage as compLexity got a default win in the first match as the winner of the upper bracket. Moreover, pain X was playing at high ping as they are located in South America.
Still, they managed to take off two games from compLexity. However, compLexity beat them twice and secured their spot.
Keen Gaming and Newbee were the invited teams. Team Aster and Team Serenity made it through the open qualifiers.
After placing 9-12th at TI8, Team Serenity’s form has dropped severely as they could not qualify for neither the KL Major not the DreamLeague minor.
The newly reformed Newbee with Inflame and Waixi also suffered the same fate as Serenity. They could not make it through the qualifier for the major nor the minor.
Kaka’s new team, Keen Gaming is having a worse time. They couldn’t make it through the open qualifiers for any tournament this season.
Team Aster on the other hand are looking strong as they managed to qualify for the KL Major. They breezed through in this qualifier as well, making it to the grand finals without dropping a single game.
Newbee made it to the grand finals through the lower bracket after being defeated by Aster in the upper bracket.
The Grand Finals stirred up some drama as Team Aster apparently broke a rule during the fourth game of the series. Lin ‘Xxs’ Jing and Lu ‘Fenrir’ Chao swapped computers to play their roles which was against the rules. A rematch will be held on October 5th to complete the series.
TNC Predator and Lotac were the invited teams. EVOS Esports and Tigers made it through the open qualifiers.
TNC Predator is ninjaboogie’s new team. Raven and Sam_H left the team on September 5th. Gabbi and ninjaboogie replaced them.
Tigers is 1437’s team which was previously under the TNC organization as TNC Tigers. However, they have two new players this season. Ahjit and Moonmeander replaced 458 and kYxY as position 1 and position 3 respectively.
TNC Predator dominated the qualifier. They did not lose a single game in their run. They beat EVOS Esports in the grand finals with a 3-0, securing their spot at ESL One Hamburg.
Tigers came third after losing to EVOS Esports in the Semi Finals.