Chris Higgins, January 5, 2017

What to Expect from ESL One Genting

This weekend, a mountain-top resort just north of Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, will play host to the first major Dota tournament of 2017. ESL One Genting will also be one of the first premier LANs of Dota’s 7.00 epoch, taking place on the new patch with map changes and hero talents galore.

The eight teams chosen to face this leap into the unknown will ascend to the Genting Highlands resort tonight and battle it out for $250,000. Among them are Chinese champions Wings Gaming, looking to gain back some face after a disappointing Boston Major performance to shadow their TI6 win in August. Alongside them are countrymen Newbee, also hoping to make up for a lower half finish at Boston after coming up against the surprise runners-up, Ad Finem.

Wings Gaming win TI6
Wings Gaming win TI6

Local fans will have plenty to cheer for as WG.Unity and Fnatic all have a number of Malaysian players on their rosters, the former being entirely comprised of home-grown talent. They’ll be joined by neighboring Execration, who have undergone a series of player changes in the roster swap window, losing young phenom Abed but gaining Owa, and prodigal son Nando returning.

From further afield, Europe and CIS could only scramble together a single team to make it through to Genting’s high-flying finals. Virtus.pro will carry the weight of two entire regions hopes on their shoulders as they aim to replicate their victory at The Summit 6 in November. But with a quarter-final finish hanging over them from the Boston Major, the heat is on for VP to perform.

Finally, making the long trip from the other side of the planet, North America sends Digital Chaos and Team NP to face the crucible in Malaysia. SUNSfan’s boys in blue (and orange) have the unenviable fortune of being in Wings’ group. The past few times the two have clashed DC have always come away licking their wounds, but with a new patch, anything is possible.

DC's Misery at the Boston Major
DC's Misery at the Boston Major

That leaves Team NP, the new kids on the block. Despite being the newest team in Dota 2, EternalEnvy’s squad of grizzled veterans have a wealth of experience to draw on. Since their creation in the wake of TI6, the team has thrown their weight around America, but international affairs have been another matter. However, there are circumstances on their side.

This will be the first time these teams have come up against each other on the new patch, one which in general has had a major effect on the support roles. Teams which live or die on the success of their supports, particularly roaming supports, could find the new rhythm of the game either a boon or a massive bust.

Dota's 7.00 era is upon us
Dota's 7.00 era is upon us

Newbee triumphed over Digital Chaos and Wings at China Top 16, a small four-team tournament held just as Dota flipped the 7.00 switch. The support duo of Faith and Kaka has always been one of the strongest in Dota and could help see them to further successes in Genting.

But there is always something to be said of support from the home crowd. SEA fans are certainly some of the loudest and most passionate, and a stadium rattling beneath the roar for WG.Unity or particularly a newly refreshed Fnatic roster could be something to contend with. Fnatic’s late reveal of their new roster, mere days before the event begins, could also lend them an advantage as teams may not have sufficiently prepared or be ready for how Febby and inYourdreaM will change the pace of an already aggressive team. It’s all about to kick off in Malaysia, who’s your pick for the podium?

Chris Higgins

Chris is the silent solo support.