The ESL One Berlin Major 2023 is proving to be a European team extravaganza, with all four WEU teams making it to the Playoffs. In an impressive display, Gaimin Gladiators, Team Liquid, Tundra Esports, and Team OG secured Upper Bracket slots. In addition, 9Pandas (formerly ex-Hellraisers) have also carved a deep path into the competition.
With several strong contenders still in the running, it appears that an EU team is poised to claim victory at the Berlin Major.
KEY PLAYOFFS STORYLINES AT THE BERLIN MAJOR 2023
First and foremost, Team OG, featuring Ivan “MinD_ContRoL” Ivanov and Kartik “Kitrak” Rathi as stand-ins, has been demonstrating exceptional strength throughout the event.
While it’s improbable that MC or Kitrak will join OG following the Berlin Major, their presence has been a treat for fans, particularly those of MC. The remaining WEU representatives at the Berlin Major, Gaimin, Liquid, and Tundra, have been performing as expected, proving themselves to be formidable adversaries. Liquid, however, experienced a minor stumble against an unexpected challenger.
Moreover, 9 Pandas have seemingly outdone themselves, coming in second only to Gaimin in their group.
They surpassed Shopify Rebellion and OG, already securing a top 3 finish.
LACKLUSTER PERFORMANCE FROM CHINA & AMERICAS
Shopify Rebellion, a North American team that has flown under the radar, managed to secure an Upper Bracket position without attracting much attention. However, they fell to the Lower Bracket and were subsequently eliminated by regional counterparts, Evil Geniuses. EG has survived two rounds in the lower bracket and will need to face Talon and OG to have a chance at the finals.
On the other hand, the Chinese and Southeast Asian teams that made it to the playoffs include PSG.LGD in the Upper Bracket and Team Aster, Xtreme Gaming, and Talon Esports in the Lower Bracket. Given the recent struggles of the Chinese scene in the Dota Pro Circuit 2023 (DPC 2023), having three teams in the Playoffs is a respectable achievement.
We have already bid farewell to PSG and Xtreme, while Aster and Talon continue to represent their respective regions.
BERLIN MAJOR PLAYOFFS PREDICTIONS
As the Lima Major champions, Gaimin remains the top seed and favorite in all estimations. 9 Pandas present a challenging opponent to predict, especially with the recent release of Patch 7.33. The winner of that match could very well claim the Major title.
Meanwhile, Tundra and OG form the European line of defense in the Lower Bracket after EG/Talon and Aster/Liquid finish their runs.
It’s difficult to rely on OG’s historical performance due to their roster changes, making their matches a toss-up. On the other hand, Tundra should easily advance against either Aster or Liquid.
The ESL One Berlin Major 2023 becomes more exciting with each match as we count down to the remaining teams. With outstanding production quality and captivating team narratives, the Berlin Major is undoubtedly our favorite event this season.