ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023: A Preview of Teams and QualifiersBodello
Set to unfold between December 11 and December 17 in Malaysia's capital, ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023 promises to be a thrilling Dota 2 tournament, marking the first major event following The International 12. In this article, we delve into the teams that have secured their spots and the exciting qualifiers that shaped the lineup.
Direct Invites: A Trio Takes the Stage
Contrary to expectations of a majority of teams receiving direct invitations, only three squads secured a coveted spot:
- LGD Gaming
- Azure Ray
- Gaimin Gladiators
While the inclusion of Gaimin Gladiators may not be surprising to many, the presence of two Chinese teams raises eyebrows. Notably absent is Team Spirit, TI12 winner, originally invited but forced to withdraw due to health reasons. Stepping in is Azure Ray, the second most successful Chinese Dota 2 team, joining forces with LGD Gaming.
Gaimin Gladiators: The Western European Powerhouse
Among the trio, Gaimin Gladiators stand out as the favorite. Hailing from Western Europe, they clinched numerous victories throughout 2023 and reached the TI12 finals, narrowly missing the championship against Team Spirit.
Western Europe Qualifiers: Intense Battles
Turning attention to Western European qualifiers, the competition showcased exceptional matches. Ultimately, Team Liquid and Team Secret secured the two slots. Team Liquid dominated, remaining undefeated, while Team Secret, after a loss to OG, redeemed themselves in the Lower Bracket.
Eastern Europe Qualifiers: High Stakes
In Eastern Europe, BetBoom Team and 9Pandas emerged victorious, earning their places in ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023. BetBoom Team triumphed in the Upper Bracket, overcoming VP, while 9Pandas secured victory over Virtus.Pro in the Lower Bracket.
North America: TSM's Triumph
With only one slot for North America, TSM stole the spotlight in an epic best-of-five final against nouns, securing the lone ticket to Kuala Lumpur as Shopify Rebellion was absent.
South America: Wawitas Sagares Dominates
In South America, Wawitas Sagares dominated the qualifiers, securing the region's sole slot. Despite a loss to Infinity in the Upper Bracket Final, Wawitas Sagares rebounded to secure their spot.
MENA Region: Team Falcons Soar
The newly established Team Falcons emerged victorious in the MENA qualifiers, showcasing their prowess against tough competitors like PSG Quest.
China: Invictus Gaming Seizes the Opportunity
Given direct invites to LGD and Azure Ray, Invictus Gaming claimed the last slot in China. With a formidable new roster, they navigated the qualifiers with only two map losses.
Southeast Asia: Blacklist International Triumphs
In the final region, Southeast Asia, Blacklist International secured the coveted slot in Kuala Lumpur, defeating contenders like Geek Fam and Talon Esports.
As ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023 approaches, anticipation builds for the clash of these diverse and formidable teams on the Dota 2 battleground.