Half a million dollars are on the line in one of the biggest Dota events left on the calendar in 2020. With Team Secret looking to bounce back to their winning ways after a fourth-place finish at ESL One Germany 2020.
Even without The International, Dota competitions continue around the world in regional fashion to tide us over until Valve’s new league system kicks in.
That being said, the first season of EPIC League is no placeholder event, featuring some of the biggest European and CIS players, including Alexey “Solo” Berezin’s newly formed superteam.
Team Secret Dominates But Falters Late
Team Secret have dominated the online era of Dota 2 with Puppey’s men winning seven consecutive grand finals with a 3-0 scoreline.
However, they couldn’t keep up their blistering form after a return from their short break, losing to Team Liquid and mudgolems in shock fashion, with the former winning the entire event.
Both teams are also present in EPIC League’s top division, promising a swathe of exciting rematches.
Unlike Secret or Liquid, mudgolems made it through the closed qualifiers alongside Just Error (also known as 404), Solo’s new project built on the remnants of the past great Virtus.pro sides, augmented by TI5 winner SumaiL.
Secret still remains the team to beat but it is now an actual possibility rather than a mere mirage.
Other Teams’ Situations
Meanwhile, VP opted to promote their academy roster to the main org off the back of some promising performances, but it remains to be seen whether they can go up against the top dogs in a raucous round robin format.
Two of the other big-name invitees are still lacking their full roster.
Team Nigma has to keep going without talismanic captain KuroKy, who’s still out after his surgery (replaced by their coach).
OG’s ana took yet another customary break for the non-TI portion of the circuit, making them somewhat less effective than they would be at full strength.
Dota 2 EPIC League’s Group Stage
The group stage matches begin on November 12 and last until December 5. The playoffs follow after a three-day break, beginning on December 8 with the grand finals taking place on December 13.
Every match is a best-of-three affair, as is customary in top tier Dota.
EPIC League Dota Day One Matchups
The day one matchups pit VP and OG against each other first, followed by a match between Liquid and Natus Vincere.
VP Vs. OG Matchup
This one is considered to be a close affair by the bookies, with OG the slight favorite at -129, which seems good value for money if only because of any upheaval that may stem from VP’s new roster still settling in.
Liquid Vs. Natus Vincere Matchup
Liquid’s a bigger favorite here than the back-to-back TI winners in their own matchup at -156, which seems a good shout considering their recent uptick in form which led to their title-winning run in “Germany” (you know, online).
EPIC League Dota Day Two Matchups
Day two sees Liquid and OG return to the arena, against Vikin.gg and Alliance respectively.
Seeing how they need to play on back-to-back days while their opponents don’t, we suggest betting against them for these matchups.
Team Vikin.gg is offered at +126 and Team Alliance is actually considered the favorite by the bookies at -134.