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Part 1: ESL One Hamburg Team Preview

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October 22, 2019 1:03 pm

Part 1: ESL One Hamburg Team Preview

In the first part of the preview, we take a look at last year’s finale and the underdogs of the tournament.

Last year the fans and spectators could follow live on Sport1 how Team Secret, with their new lineup around wunderkind Michal “Nisha” Jankowski, secured the title of the ESL One Hamburg 2018. In a final over the full distance of five maps, they finally prevailed against the competition of Vici Gaming with 3:2. The team started into a season that ended with the third place on “The International 9”. This year, however, the defending champion is not in the game. Team Secret announced that they will not return to the tournament until after the first MDL Chengdu Major in November. Thus it is already clear in advance that there will be a new title winner this year.

This year’s ESL ONE Hamburg will again be about $300,000 in prize money. This event is often the first point of reference to compare the teams from all over the world.

In the following, I take a closer look at all 12 participating teams and report on what can be expected from them.

The Underdogs

Let’s first look at the teams that have arrived with the least chances. Last weekend at the finals of the Dreamleague Season 12, there was already the first surprise of the season when the underdog Demon Slayers entered the finals. But how high is the chance that this will be repeated at the ESL One?

At the bottom of the ranking, in my opinion, is the Wind and Rain team. The European organisation was called in at the last second to replace the Invictus Gaming team. You might imagine by far the smallest chance to get far in this tournament. Already reaching the second round would be a success.

The team with a Finnish core around Jon “Buugi” Fält consists of all kinds of players established in the T2 scene, but in the qualifiers, for the Chengdu Major, it was only enough for the last place. Also, the short preparation and the lack of the necessary experience should turn out to be a hindrance on the big stage.

The same goes for the team from the Europa Qualifiers: Vikin.gg. The team is led by veteran Pittner “bOne7” Armand, who has already had a successful time at Cloud9, but the rest of the team is largely made up of players who have not yet made it into the T1 scene. So the lack of valuable experience could also have a negative effect here. Also, further obstacles were put in the way of the team.

Neither Carry player Vladimir “Chappie” Kuzmenko, nor Offlane player Roy “Rajjix” al Rajji could arrive due to visa problems. Although it was possible to find top-class replacements in time in the form of Pontus “Frost” Frost and the German player Jan “Qupe” Tinnemeier, but it is questionable how quickly these two can integrate into the existing team structure.

This will probably be the biggest disadvantage, but could also become a tremendous strength. If the team succeeds in approaching the matches without pressure, the short-term newcomers could provide the necessary unpredictability to even put the big teams on their feet.

Part two will continue with the unpredictable and the teams that have so far fallen short of their expectations (23.10.2019).

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