May 24, 2019
May 24, 2019

ESL One: Birmingham 2019 event preview

ESL One: Birmingham 2019 odds

Who are the favourites?

Which teams are the outsiders at Birmingham?

Will we see any upsets?

ESL One: Birmingham 2019 event preview

On 31 May 2019 twelve of the best DOTA teams from around the world converge at ESL One Birmingham 2019 to fight for the lion share of the $300,000 prize pool on offer. Read on to find out more.

Fresh from competition at the MDL Disneyland Paris Major 2019, the majority of the teams making an appearance at ESL One: Birmingham have recent experience of playing against each other. Two-thirds of the field fought against each other for the title just over two weeks ago in Paris. This will create an interesting dynamic and tournament meta going into ESL One: Birmingham 2019.

Alliance, Forward Gaming, TNC Predator, and Gambit Esports all did not attend the MDL Disneyland Paris Major 2019, but this could be a positive and negative factor in their games. Whilst the rest of the teams were fighting it out in Paris, these teams were able to watch and research their upcoming matchups, identifying who is strongest and how to prepare for them. However, they will not have the recent experience of playing against them to be able to adjust their play.

ESL One: Birmingham 2019 odds

The odds below represent the outright winner for ESL One: Birmingham 2019. For more Dota 2 odds head over to our dedicated section.

ESL One: Birmingham 2019 outright odds 



Team Secret





Vici Gaming


Evil Geniuses


Team Liquid




Keen Gaming


TNC Predator


Ninjas in Pyjamas


Forward Gaming




Who are the favourites? 

Hot off their win at MDL Disneyland Paris Major 2019, Team Secret (2.69*) are on a dominating streak in the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC). Team Secret dropped just three maps in their run to win the MDL Disneyland Paris Major, which featured an almost identical field as ESL One: Birmingham 2019. This streak is expected to continue in Birmingham.

Team Secret recently qualified for the EPICENTER Major 2019, going 6 - 1 in the European qualifiers. Utilising their prolific offlaner ‘Zai’ and rookie carry ‘Nisha’, they are again the favourites to win at ESL One: Birmingham 2019.

Last year’s ESL One: Birmingham winners, Virtus Pro (VP, 5.98*), were considered amongst the favourites to win the MDL Disneyland Paris Major 2019. However, after a great 2 - 0 group stage, VP lost to OG 0 - 2 and then PSG.LGD 0 - 2, falling out of the tournament in the Lower Bracket Round 3.

VP also recently lost a series to weaker CIS team Natus Vincere (Na’Vi) in the EPICENTER Major qualifiers. Whilst they returned the favour and secured the CIS qualifier spot by taking a best-of-5 game 3 - 2, fans will be hoping that VP regain their former form before the upcoming tournament.

PSG.LGD (LGD, 5.80*) are arguably the strongest team in the hotly contested Chinese region. The International’s (TI) eight runners-up took fourth place at the MDL Disneyland Paris Major and have already qualified for the EPICENTER Major at the top of the region.

They will be looking to carry this form into ESL Birmingham if they hope to defeat the top teams in the world such as Team Secret.

The Chinese powerhouse that is Vici Gaming (VG, 10.05*) started the year off strong with a win at the DreamLeague Major, but the recent performances from Vici have not met the expectations of a world-beating team. With legendary player ‘rOtk’ coaching the Vici team, they will not be settling for any more disappointing placements.

On the side of Vici, we’ll be looking for ‘Paparazi’ to outperform his opposite position one player and their young mid player ‘Ori’ to make space around the map – and hopefully, bring victory back to the Chinese team.

Which teams are the outsiders at Birmingham?

Since TI 2018, in which they placed third, Evil Geniuses (EG, 9.46*) have also placed third in the majority of DPC events throughout the year. Whilst this may be a great consistent performance for any other team, with the world-class lineup of EG, this can be something of a disappointment for both the players and fans.

Refreshed from MDL Disneyland Paris 2019, EG will be looking to produce another strong finish at ESL One: Birmingham against many of the same teams they played throughout the tournament. With ‘Sumail’ and ‘Arteezy’ hungry for a major tournament win, we can expect a strong performance from the EG carries.

OG are big fans of using the voice lines in game to tilt their opponents. We look forward to seeing them bring that personally to the stage at ESL One: Birmingham

Team Liquid’s (TL, 6.98*) return to form at the MDL Disneyland Paris 2019 granted them a second place finish and confirmed their qualification at TI 2019. Off the backs of their mid player ‘miracle-‘and masterful drafting from ‘kuroky’, they will be looking to continue this form at ESL One: Birmingham.

They have re-established their status as one of Europe’s strongest teams in international Dota, having been defeated by Team Secret in the finals. Over half the teams at ESL One: Birmingham faced Team Liquid at the MDL Major and so expect them to have done their homework, formulating new strategies to beat Team Liquid.

OG (13.34*) is another team that recaptured their form at MDL Disneyland Paris 2019, only losing to eventual finalists Team Secret and Team Liquid. Ana’s return had a dramatic impact on the team’s dynamic and play style, encouraging ‘Topson’ to play more aggressively, with ‘Jerax’ being the ever-stable position four for the team.

The team managed to secure a fourth place finish, 900 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) points, and we look forward to seeing them bring their personality to ESL One: Birmingham.

After failing to qualify for the EPICENTER Major 2019, Keen Gaming’s (22.79*) DPC future is out of their hands. Without the distraction of majors and minors, Keen gaming will be able to fully focus on events such as ESL One: Birmingham.

Keen Gaming have only recently played against Team Liquid and Vici Gaming, who are some of the favourites to take the tournament. This experience may give them an insight on how to beat this team and they could be an outsider that takes it all.

Will we see any upsets?

The number one team in South East Asia, TNC Predator (34.84*) have always been on the cusp of the top tier in international Dota. We expect some great plays from their mid player ‘Gabbi’ if they hope to cause any upset at ESL One: Birmingham.

The South East Asian region has notoriously been the weakest region in Dota 2 history. Can TNC Predator be the team to turn that around?

Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP, 34.84*) secured their qualification for TI 2019 at MDL Disneyland Paris with a strong fourth of five placement. This victory was belittled by their failure to qualify for the next Dota 2 Major at EPICENTER 2019. They will, once again, have to battle through the Minor to get to the main tournament.

At ESL One: Birmingham, NiP will be sharpening their strategies and playstyle against the strong field of teams at the event, in preparation for the lesser field they will face at the Minor.

Forward Gaming’s (54.93*) roster has many recognisable names in it. ‘CCnC’ is an analyst turned pro, ‘pieliedie’ is a former player for Team Secret and Cloud9, and ‘MSS’ began his career at Evil Geniuses. They have also experienced great success, qualifying for the EPICENTER 2019 Major by going undefeated in the North American qualifiers (7 - 0). The players will be expecting to continue this success at ESL One: Birmingham against the world’s best teams, to be considered a top tier team.

For this event, Alliance (68.36*) will be playing with substitute ‘madara’ due to ‘Qojqva’ requiring surgery. This means that ‘Micke’ will transfer to mid so that the Greek carry player will be able to fill his preferred position.

This recent substitution will have a dramatic impact on the team’s ability to play their own playstyle. However, you can always rely on coach ‘Loda’ to do everything he can to repeat Alliance’s glory days.

Thanks for reading the Pinnacle ESL One: Birmingham 2019 preview, be sure to follow us on Twitter for the latest odds, predictions and coverage.

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About the author

Jack Davidson
Jack is an avid follower of all things esports since 2011, with a keen interest in Dota 2 and CS:GO. After managing the social media profiles of multinational companies, he turned his passion into a career working as the community manager for Pinnacle Esports.
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