The eight participants in the $250,000 ESL ESEA Pro League Dubai Invitational finally know who they’ll be facing in the group stage of the competition.
The tournament sees the eight invited teams split into two groups to face off in best-of-one matches. The top two teams will progress through to the semi-final, where the tournament will continue in best-of-three.
Group A features Team EnvyUs, Virtus.Pro, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and Cloud9. The French side EnvyUs head in as favourites to take the group after strong finishes in recent tournaments, a first place at Gamescom and second at ESL One Cologne. Virtus.Pro will also be looking to challenge after their brave performance at the recent major, where they reached the semifinals before falling to eventual winners Fnatic. Ninjas in Pyjamas and Cloud9 are the underdogs of the group, both coming in off the back of disappointing recent performances.
The tougher of the groups is likely Group B, where Fnatic, Team SoloMid, Na’Vi and Titan will face off for a playoff bid. Fnatic enter the competition just weeks after claiming victory at ESL One Cologne, while TSM fell in the semi final in a 2-1 loss to EnvyUs. Na’Vi lost in the quarterfinals in Cologne but are still considered one of the top teams in the world, while Titan are still struggling to find their feet after adding two new members of the roster.
The tournament takes place in Dubai from Sept. 10 to 12 during the Games 15 Expo. The winner will take home $100,000, the same reward as winning a major.