The anticipation for the biggest Dota 2 event in Europe grows as ESL One Frankfurt is now only 11 days away. Last week, we had Salome “Soe” Gschwind-Pensk share her tournament predictions. Now it’s time for Ben “Merlini” Wu to share his thoughts - check them out below!
ESL: Hey there, Merlini! Tell us: which team is your favorite to win?
Ben “Merlini” Wu: Team Secret is my favorite to win. Although they've only had one major LAN victory at The Summit 3, they've shown great strength and tenacity in their grasp of the profound 6.84 patch. Team Secret also shares one of the most incredible group stage runs in history - 15-0 at DAC 2015, rivaling Alliance's 14-0 group stage performance at The International 3.
ESL: How about the underdog?
Merlini: Alliance is the huge underdog here. Already sticking out like a sore thumb as the only ESL One Frankfurt 2015 participant not directly invited to The International 5, their roster's consistency and morale must be have been put into question following the TI5 European qualifiers, where they failed to place top two out of their group of five. Aside from Alliance, Virtus.pro looks the next weakest - all the other six teams are hailed as ‘top ten’ teams by multiple sources including joinDOTA and GosuGamers.
ESL: What upsets might we see?
Merlini: Due to the format of the event and the strength of the competition, upsets are highly unlikely. The top three seeds will pick teams they match up well against, with the 3/6 and 4/5 matchups more or less a 60/40. Even the 2/7 matchup could be a 60/40 given that the ‘seventh’ place at the time of writing is Virtus.pro!
ESL: What teams seem to be in better or worse shape?
Merlini: Hard to answer right now. VG, Secret, C9 and IG are competing at MarsTV league. EG, Alliance, VP and MY are participating at MLG Austin, while VP and Alliance are also playing in DreamLeague. Take from that what you will!
ESL: What is your fondest memory from last year’s event?
Merlini: The unprecedented single elimination format at ESL Frankfurt 2014 drove the teams to a level of competition that was unforgiving and cutthroat. This combined with the record crowd seated in a Colosseum-esque venue that was already frenzied from Germany's World Cup win over the US elevated each series to a furor of excitement that I hadn't felt before. This energy, this passion - that was the heart of the event. Everyone could feel it, and this invigorated casters and players alike to perform in a heightened state of consciousness.
ESL: Thanks for speaking with us, Merlini - see you at the event!
Do you have your own ESL One Frankfurt predictions? What better way to see them unfold than by watching live at the Commerzbank Arena?
For all the latest information about the event, visit the ESL One Frankfurt official website.