Due to scheduling reasons, several teams withdrew from ESL One Mumbai and the event will now feature just eight of them, rather than the originally-planned 12.
The matches in Group B will be played in GSL elimination format with each series a best-of-three. The winner of two matches will be crowned champion of the group while the second best will have gone through a win-loss-win cycle. The last two teams will not be eliminated but will instead enter the play-offs in the lower bracket.
Signify – The Indian team dominated their qualifier, losing just one game in the three matches they played. Finding themselves involved in competition with some of the best Dota 2 teams around will be both a dream come true and the greatest test for them so far. It will also help the Dota 2 scene in India gauge the level that the game is currently at.
Mineski – One of the stronger teams in the tournament coming from South East Asia. The team started convincingly in the group stage of the DreamLeague Major but eventually finished 9-12th. Mineski are a team used to playing on big stage and are one of the best SEA sides around. One of their key players is TI7 finalist kpii, who is a very good at space making and initiations with heroes such as Slardar. The team also recently acquired a new captain in the shape of ninjaboogie, a well-respected and talented player on the SEA scene. Immediately after joining, he helped the team secure a spot at the forthcoming MDL Paris Major and is likely to be instrumental in any success the team achieves on this stage, as well.
The Pango – A young team making their name away from the shadow of Virtus.Pro in the CIS region. They are formed around CemaTheSlayer, a long-time Vega Squadron player with lots of experience. The Pango have experience on the international stage and even qualified for the Chongqing Major where they finished in the bottom four. The team were also recently eliminated early in the open qualifiers for the Paris Major. The Pango play typical CIS Dota – with an aggressive laning stage – but they also like to focus on team fights in the mid-game. Jakiro is one of their favourite heroes to play and brings them success.
Keen Gaming – Will arrive at the tournament as a team in form. The Chinese representatives had to qualify but their recent performances have been quite impressive. Keen Gaming were one of the dark horses at the DreamLeague Major, finishing 5-6th and beating teams of the calibre of EG and Team Liquid. Kaka and eLeVen are the most notable players with the former being a TI7 finalist with Newbee and the latter a highly talented and volatile player, who can be inconsistent. In the face of dark, Keen Gaming have arguably one of the best Keeper of the Light players. With this in hand, Keen Gaming are coming in as strong contenders to win the group.
Keen Gaming and Mineski look the teams most likely to grab the top two spots in the group and it’s quite likely that they will progress to the winners’ bracket.
The Pango are contenders and will definitely try to get something off the favourites. Signify seem to be the evident outsiders given their lack of experience with international Dota, but playing at home is always helpful with the halls echoing their names.