The EPICENTER LAN finals in Moscow, Russia are coming in fast — with the first day dedicated to a wildcard qualifier round featuring teams from the four major regions in Dota 2. These teams will be placed in a double elimination bracket, where the prize at the end is two slots in the tournament proper. Each team that survives the wildcard round will be placed in separate groups. From there, the tournament itself will proceed, with a two-group preliminary stage followed by bracket play.
We’ll be giving you the lowdown on the teams in the event and their chances of winning the tournament outright in this tips article, so without further ado, let’s look at the squads in Moscow!
Alliance — 7/1 — bet365
CompLexity Gaming — 33/1 — bet365
Evil Geniuses — 7/2 — bet365
Fnatic — 8/1 — bet365
Newbee — 4/1 — bet365
No Diggity — 33/1 — bet365
OG — 11/2 — bet365
Team Liquid — 9/2 — bet365
Team Secret — 7/2 — bet365
Alliance hasn’t been seen in many LANs since their victory at StarLadder Season 13, unlike some of the other teams in this particular tournament. They haven’t been putting up inspiring results otherwise, as they fell out of the StarLadder i-League invitational in the second round of the loser bracket, and they failed to make a splash at the Shanghai Major. Still, at 7/1, it’s hard to say that the price on them isn’t at all tempting considering how this team can perform well at many events no matter the competition. Plus, with the new items being good for most of Bulldog’s heroes, they might just have a couple strats prepared for the event.
If you don’t trust Alliance due to their lack of event attendance and results as of late, avoiding them here is understandable. But if you want a nice value bet on a team that is capable of going far when things really roll for them, then we recommend the Kings of the North.
EG reached the grand finals of DotaPit Season 4 with the new roster (the one including BuLba and Aui_2000) as expected, but fell 3-0 to MVP Phoenix — which was literally history repeating itself. It seemed to boil down to chemistry and teamwork issues at the event, which is perfectly understandable considering it was their first offline tournament together. Bad luck befell them again shortly after as they left the WePlay Season 3 LAN in third place after losing a close series to Vega Squadron. This tells us that their chemistry problem hasn’t been solved yet.
We’re hesitant to recommend them at this event, therefore. The potential payout on an outright win for EG is just too small considering their tendency to run out of gas late in tournaments nowadays. Look out for them in the Manila Major, though — especially once they’ve got their team play ironed out. Oh, and as a final note, Aui has been more than impressive on his stint back at the 1 position so far.
Another solid choice for the event, Fnatic have kept up their steady improvement over the first half of this year. Although they were eliminated from playoff contention at ESL One Manila, they still played their hearts out and gave hope to their undoubtedly growing fan base. Official sub 343 performed splendidly in Manila, and so did star player and resident Enchantress master DJ. It’s possible that they might perform well here, slight roster changes notwithstanding.
The competition surrounding them is tough, but they gained valuable experience at ESL One Manila that they could use against some of the stronger teams here. Besides, at 8/1, it’s hard to go wrong given their chances.
Newbee have had new life breathed into their squad, evidenced by the spirited 15-0 run they posted at the Manila Major Chinese qualifiers. Granted, the teams around them in that particular tournament weren’t even close to being as powerful as the teams at EPICENTER, but a perfect record is still impressive. Their price at 4/1 is definitely justified here, and it’s entirely possible for them to win it all in Moscow.
Their odds are also just a tad more attractive than what EG have on their name. We’re not saying that they’re surely going to win this event, but they have a very decent chance at it given their recent performances. These guys give fans of the old and venerable Chinese Dota players hope, and may just vindicate old school viewers here. Recommended for those who want a safe bet with slightly more payoff potential.
Team Liquid were last seen losing horribly to Wings Gaming at ESL One Manila, and it was a loss that could be attributed to more than just the Chinese newbloods doing really well at the event. Some questionable drafting and positioning from KuroKy ultimately led to their demise, culminating in a 3-0 defeat. This makes us think twice about recommending them for an outright winner bet, as this has been a problem for them in more than just their last event.
Look towards the other teams for a better deal, as right now it’s hard to trust the rest of Liquid to rein Kuro in after what they showed in Manila.
Team Secret were expected to make it to the grand finals at ESL One Manila, and instead they fell short of the actual playoffs in that event. They were knocked down to the loser bracket of the group stage in the first day, causing most viewers to doubt the new lineup. They picked themselves back up on the second day to stay alive and send EHOME packing their bags, but were eliminated after a grueling series against Empire. By their admission, they still had some chemistry to build within the new roster.
This puts them more or less in the same category as EG. They even have exactly the same odds with bet365. We think following the reasoning we had for EG’s assessment above is reasonable, therefore. Avoid until they have a few more games together.
CompLexity Gaming, OG, No Diggity
It’s hard to believe there’s reason to lump OG in with the other two teams in this section, but given the lack of good results from the Frankfurt Major champions lately, they just deserve to be called a slumping team right now. CompLexity tend to fall apart in the middle of tournaments they join, and No Diggity just came off an exhausting 3-2 defeat at the hands of Empire in the Manila Major European qualifiers. While OG’s talented roster may still kind of justify betting on them (the odds on them leave one wanting, though), the other two are to be skipped entirely.
Alliance to win outright with bet365 at 7/1 (8.00)
Fnatic to win outright with bet365 at 8/1 (9.00)
Newbee to win outright with bet365 at 4/1 (5.00)
Alliance and Fnatic have the best value out of the bunch, thanks to the fantastic prices attached to both teams weighed against their potential to make it far in this tournament if not actually win. Newbee’s incredible streak at the Manila Major qualifiers makes them the safe bet in this event, but keep in mind that the Chinese scene is still the weakest out of the four major regions at the moment.