ESL One Fall 2021 is the last Dota 2 tournament ahead of The International 10 that can help us understand how strong some of the TI 10 competitors are relative to others. The event is scheduled to take place over a period of 9 days, between August 21st – 29th. It features 12 teams in total, but in this article I will take a look only at the favorites.
The Best 5 Teams of ESL One Fall 2021
This is the group of teams in which we can almost certainly find the winner of ESL One Fall 2021.
PSG.LGD is regarded by many to be the favorite not just of ESL One Fall 2021, but of The International 10 as well. This Chinese squad has recently won an important regional tournament called OGA Dota PIT Season 5, where it had to defeat the strongest competitors in one of the best regions in Dota 2.
PSG.LGD’s results speak for themselves. In 2021, the team finished 3rd at ONE Esports Singapore Major, won the WePlay AniMajor, and got several other top 4 placements at various events. Ame and his crew finished Dota Pro Circuit 2021 in 2nd place and received a direct invite to TI 10.
It will be interesting to see how strong PSG.LGD is relative to the likes of T1, VP, and Alliance. All of these competitors will be present at The International 10, so its results against them might tell us a lot about what we can expect going into the biggest event in the history of Dota 2.
T1 has had some rough matches recently and its results were much worse than we’ve come to expect. The squad lost against GXR and SMG, two regional rivals of arguably lower skill. Let’s not forget that T1’s roster, apart from representing one of the most successful organizations in the history of League of Legends, has had its best season so far in Dota 2.
T1 started this Dota Pro Circuit by finishing 3rd in the first season of Southeast Asia’s Upper Division. The team failed to do anything significant at the subsequent Major, ONE Esports Singapore, but let’s not forget that 23savage had just been brought in. So the 15th place they got was perfectly reasonable given the competitors they were up against.
The second season of DPC 2021 went completely different for T1. First they won the regional battle in the Upper Division and then they finished 3rd at WePlay AniMajor. These excellent results were followed by a tournament win at ESL One Summer 2021.
T1’s most recent event was BTS Pro Series Season 7, where it finished 4th out of 8 teams. However, this regional failure doesn’t necessarily mean that T1 will fail to get a good result at ESL One Fall 2021. Given everything we know about this team, I think we should expect at least a top 4 result. In fact, we might even see them in the Grand Final against PSG.LGD.
Virtus.pro has not made a roster change in a long time. Keep in mind, the same crew played under the VP.Prodigy prior to becoming VP’s main roster. So this team has a few years of experience in competing together. This alone constitutes a huge advantage at this level.
Needless to say, VP won both seasons of DPC 2021 in Eastern Europe. However, at the Majors it only finished 7th – 8th and 9th – 12th place respectively. Apart from these events, VP also attended ESL One Summer, where it finished 2nd after losing to T1 in the Grand Final (2 – 3).
Going into ESL One Fall 2021, I expect Virtus.pro to finish somewhere around 3rd – 6th.
Tundra Esports came very close to stealing OG’s spot at The International. The team had the lead twice in the Grand Final of the Western European Qualifier and lost mostly because of the pressure.
Tundra has a great roster full of superstars. But the most important man on the team is Fata. He’s the one who comes up with the strategies and the drafts and his knowledge of the game is formidable.
Going into ESL One Fall 2021, I think that Tundra will finish in the top half.
Alliance is the last of the big favorites. The team has had an impressive DPC 2021, ending it in 10th place globally. Regionally, the team finished 2nd at 1st. At the Majors it didn’t do so well: 13th and 9th – 12th. However, right after WePlay AniMajor, Alliance participated in ESL One Summer 2021 and finished 3rd. It could have played in the Grand Final, but T1 was simply too good and won the Lower Bracket Final.
At ESL One Fall 2021, Alliance’s odds of winning the trophy aren’t great. But the team is one of the favorites and is expected to do well.
Photo credit: Valve