Dota 2 league action is set to kick off on April 15 in the CIS region, with eight of the strongest teams from the region battling it out at ESL One CIS Season 2. Much like in Europe’s DreamLeague, teams are competing over a $205,000 prize pool, Pro Circuit points and a spot at the upcoming major.
With all that on the line, just about every match will be vital for every team as Pro Circuit points are a rare commodity. Additionally, finishing in the last two spots may just spell relegation for those teams.
Before we take a closer look at the event, make sure to familiarize yourself with all things Dota, and let’s jump right into the juicy details.
Who’s Playing at ESL One CIS Season 2?
ESL One CIS Season 2 will feature all the best teams in the region. This includes CIS heavyweights Virtus.pro and Natus Vincere, as well as other big teams from the region like AS Monaco Gambit, Spirit, Unique, PuckChamp, Extremum and Winstrike.
Of these teams, PuckChamp and Winstrike are the two new faces to the league, having earned promotion, while the remaining six retained their places from Season 1.
Once again, the league will be taking place over five weeks, with teams battling it out in a round-robin format, meaning each team will face every other team in the league once.
|AS Monaco Gambit||+450|
Odds as of April 9 at Bovada
Virtus.pro Aims to Continue CIS Dominance
Virtus.pro is one of the best teams in Dota 2. They consistently put up strong performances and have made a massive name for themselves on the international stage. They’re also absolute monsters when it comes to regional competition, holding a pretty amazing record in CIS competition.
The last time this core lost to a CIS team was in April 2020, back when the players were still on VP’s academy. Since then, the squad has evolved into an absolute powerhouse, and it seems no one in the region can stop them.
Season 1 saw Virtus.pro breeze through the league, dropping just one map in 15 as they took home the gold with seven series wins and zero losses. Considering their incredible run, it’s hard to see anyone stopping them.
Na’Vi Looks to Bounce Back
Natus Vincere went from being the most legendary team in Dota 2 to completely disappearing from the game. The legendary team placed in the finals of the first three The International events of Dota 2, and have since only reached the event two times, while barely winning – or even placing in – anything for the last few years.
However, with a brand new squad, the team looks to be bouncing back to their historic heights. The end of 2020 and start of 2021 have been especially great for them, as they placed second at ESL One Germany and Season 1 of ESL One CIS, and won OGA Dota Pit Season 4 over the likes of OG, Nigma and Alliance.
The results are most certainly coming together for them, but the true test is this event’s favorite, Virtus.pro. If Na’Vi can come back as a major player in Dota 2, this event could very well be the start of it. It will certainly be difficult, but this roster was the last team to defeat VP back in April, so there’s some hope at least.
Can The Underdogs Challenge The Favorites?
We’ve mentioned the two favorites – but what about the underdogs? To put it simply, things aren’t looking good. The level of Virtus.pro is just so incredibly high, it’s very difficult to see any of these teams stopping them.
Last season, only one team managed to even make a scratch, with Team Spirit handing VP their only map loss, and they didn’t even do all that well, finishing with a 4-3 scoreline. Overall, there’s definitely going to be a battle over likely every spot but the top one. I’d peg many of the underdogs to do some damage and maybe even throw in upsets against the likes of Na’Vi and Gambit, but the overall league should belong to Virtus.pro.
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