The first Dota 2 major of the year kicks off on May 12, with ESL One Stockholm bringing us 10 days of the highest-level Dota action.
This event is a crucial one and has the potential to make or break every team’s year. With the February major being canceled, this is one of just two events this year where teams can earn a vast number of Dota Pro Circuit points. These points are vital, as they are required for reaching The International – Dota 2’s premier tournament – which is the goal of each and every team.
There’s a ton at stake at ESL One Stockholm 2022, so let’s take a look at exactly how the event is set to play out.
Who’s Playing At Dota 2’s ESL One Stockholm 2022?
A total of 14 teams are competing at ESL One Stockholm 2022, featuring the best of the best of (almost) every competitive region, as Chinese teams were unable to attend the event. This means we see four from Western Europe, three from Eastern Europe, three from Southeast Asia, and two from both North and South America.
Every team represents the top of the region, with teams qualifying based on their performances in the regional DPC leagues. The better that each team has historically performed, the more spots they have, with Europe and Southeast Asia leading the way at this event.
When it comes to the format, things are a little different at this major. There’s just one group stage with teams split equally into two groups, still featuring a round-robin format where each team plays the others in its group once. The top four teams of each group advance to the upper bracket of the playoffs, the fifth and sixth go to the lower bracket, and the last team is eliminated.
After the group stage, things move on directly to the double-elimination playoffs, where we see the usual competition. Teams in the upper bracket start with two lives, dropping down to the lower bracket after a series loss, and teams that lose in the lower bracket are eliminated. The last team left standing takes home the ESL One Stockholm 2022 trophy.
Odds as of May 10 at Sportsbook
Team Spirit Looks To Return To Championship Form
Team Spirit shocked the Dota 2 world with their triumph at The International in 2021, completing a massive lower-bracket run and taking down many of the world’s best to win Dota’s most prestigious event.
The result made many consider Spirit to be the world’s best team, and they certainly were world-class. However, they’ve slowed down a bit since, as despite dominating the first regional DPC event, they went on to lose to Boom Esports at Gamers Galaxy, as well as falling to BetBoom Team at the start of May in Eastern Europe’s second DPC event.
They’ll now be looking to regain their form at the first major of the year, once again aiming to take down the international competition and claim another trophy.
Can Team Liquid Continue On Their Upward Swing?
Team Liquid has been a household name in Dota 2 for many years, and despite many ups and downs, they finally look to be returning to the top of the game.
So far, 2022 has been their year, with the team placing on the podium for all three DPC events so far (two regular season and one regional final), as well as winning the Gamers Without Borders Europe and CIS qualifier.
All in all, they enter the major in great form and feature a very promising and experienced lineup. Of course, international competition is a different beast from regional contests. However, Team Liquid is definitely one team to keep your eyes on in Stockholm.
Is BetBoom Team A Potential Dark Horse At ESL One Stockholm 2022?
Coming in at a whopping +1900, which reflects implied odds to win of just five percent according to our Super Calculator, BetBoom may be a team going under many people’s radar. However, they have real potential to not only make some noise, but maybe even pull off a miracle major win.
Coming from the Eastern Europe region, BetBoom is a squad of seasoned Russian veterans combined with young talent. They earned promotion to Division 1 of the EEU DPC at the start of the year and immediately rose to the top, taking down Mind Games, Natus Vincere and Team Spirit on their way to the second season title.
It’s very clear the talent is there, with BetBoom having taken down some of the biggest names in Eastern Europe, including TI champions Spirit. Considering those results, they’ve definitely got the potential to beat just about anyone. However, the question is how well can they perform in their first major as a team.