ESL returns to Dota 2 on Monday, October 5 with ESL One Germany 2020. This entirely online event runs through November 1. Sixteen European and CIS region teams will compete. Let's take a closer look:
What's at stake?
There's a $400,000 USD prize pool on the line, one of the largest since the global pandemic shut down LAN events.
Of the sixteen teams, eleven were directly invited and five earned their invites through a closed qualifier.
Come back to TrackDota over the weekend for previews of the CIS and European teams separately. Obviously, Team Secret is the clear favorite for ESL One Germany 2020. They've won their last several tournaments and are undeniably the best team in the world at the moment.
There's nothing more fun than an upset. We're eager to watch each and every Team Secret series.
Barring the question of who will likely win, there's also a question of who might come in second place. Mudgolems and Vikin.gg are coming off of a hot-streak at BTS Pro Series Season 3: EU/CIS. That said, teams like Nigma, Liquid, and Alliance weren't competing in that event. This could be the last big tournament of the year for the European and CIS region, so expect all the teams to give it all of their effort!
Format & Schedule
ESL One Germany will veer off the typical format for events. The tournament will begin with a modified five-round Swiss format group stage. What does this mean? In the first round, all the teams will be paired off for a best-of-three. The winners of those best-of-threes will be paired off in round two, while the losers will be paired. Teams with similar records will play each other in each round until eight teams have qualified for the playoffs.
How do you qualify for the playoffs? Win three series. Once a team wins three series, they're removed from the pool of teams playing in the group stage. Similarly, lose three series and you'll be eliminated. This means rounds four and five will be much quicker than the first three rounds. It also means we have no idea which teams will play each other in rounds two and beyond.
All eight teams to advance from the group stage will be seeded into the upper bracket of a double-elimination playoff bracket. The grand finals, taking place on November 1, will be a best-of-five series.
How do I watch ESL One Germany 2020?
You can access our event coverage, including our live match stats, via our ESL One Germany 2020 event hub, which will be available soon. The event itself begins on October 5.