This weekend, teams from North and South America compete in two separate qualifying campaigns to earn the final places at the forthcoming $1.5 million World Electronic Sports Games Main Event. Haikou, China hosts that tournament from March 12-18.
As of now, 24 teams have qualified for the event following the APAC, Chinese, European, and South Africa finals. This leaves just the five North American qualifiers, plus two from South America, to finalize the field.
The full list of teams currently confirmed is below:
- APAC qualifiers (10) – ORDER, MVP PK, B.O.O.Y-dream[S]cape, NSPR Gaming, Parallax, Team MAX, Recca Esports, NEW4, SZ Absolute, EMC
- China qualifier (1) – ViCi Gaming
- European qualifiers (12) – Team Ukraine, GODSENT, Space Soldiers, Fnatic, Team EnVyUs, Belgium, AGO Gaming, Wololos, NOREG, Limitless Addict, Russia, BIG
- South Africa qualifier (1) – Bravado Gaming
These are the competitors from North America:
- SK Gaming
- French Canadians
- Swole Patrol
It seems certain CS:GO legends SK Gaming and Cloud9 will be two of the qualifiers from this group. This leaves the remaining five teams battling it out for three places.
These squads vie for spots via South America:
- Isurus Gaming
- Team One
- Elite Wolves
This is a much more open contest than the North American section.
This weekend’s qualifiers start a very busy month for the top CS:GO teams in the world. Next weekend’s CS_Summit 2 also features ELEAGUE Major Boston 2018 champions Cloud9 and the in-form SK Gaming.
The week after that, the popular ESL Pro League Season 7 in North America and Europe begins. It runs through April 26. Fourteen teams in Europe and another fourteen in North America battle it out online for spots in the May 14-20 finals.
Just a few days later, StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 4 starts in Kiev. This event is already shaping up to be a veritable festival of top CS:GO talent. Astralis, Cloud9, FaZe Clan, G2 Esports, Gambit Esports, and SK Gaming will attend, along with several other big-name teams and six qualifiers, two apiece from Asia, Europe, and North America.
Finally, just two days after that tournament finishes, all the world’s best teams head to Katowice for the $500,000 Intel Extreme Masters XII – World Championship event.
StarLadder i-League Invitational Season 4
The Pro Circuit qualification system for The International 2018 is underway. This weekend’s StarLadder invitational event marks a chance for teams to earn points, as well as the $135,000 top prize in Shanghai.
Eight teams qualified for the event. Here are the two groups:
- Group A – LGD Gaming, compLexity Gaming, Team Liquid, Infamous
- Group B – Team Kinguin, Mineski, Newbee, Team Empire
The winning team earns a valuable 150 Dota Pro Circuit point. Ninety points go to second place, plus 30 points to third.
Current Dota Pro Circuit standings
- Team Secret – 4260
- Team Liquid – 3060
- Virtus.pro – 2700
- Newbee – 1635
- Evi Geniuses – 885
- Mineski – 810
- Vici Gaming – 810
- OG – 630
- Fnatic – 390
- Natus Vincere – 315
- TNC Pro Team – 270
- LGD Gaming – 202.5
- compLexity Gaming – 135
- LGD Forever Young – 135
- Immortals – 90
- Team Kinguin – 90
- Invictus Gaming – 45
- Team World – 30
The bolded teams currently occupy the eight qualifying spots for The International 2018.
Clearly, Team Liquid, Newbee, and Mineski hope for a good weekend to bolster their positions.
What do the bookmakers say?
Currently, Team Liquid are the red-hot and unsurprising 6/4 favourites to win the event outright. Newbee, who won the last Pro Circuit event, have seen their odds shortened to just 2/1 on the basis of that win. LGD Gaming are a 9/2 shot, with Mineski a somewhat surprising 8/1 chance.
Team Kinguin are 12/1, with Team Empire 18/1 and compLexity Gaming at 30/1. The rank outsiders are Infamous, who are no better than 200/1 chances to win the tournament with some bookmakers.
To Reach The Final stands as another interesting market. Here, Team Liquid sit at 1/4, and Newbee is 1/2. Better options may be LGD Gaming (7/4), Mineski (7/2), or Team Kinguin (5/1). The other three teams remain outsiders in this market — Team Empire as 8/1 chances, compLexity Gaming at 15/1, and Infamous a staggering 100/1 to reach the final.