AMD SAPPHIRE Dota PIT League is the fourth Dota 2 tournament of the 2017-2018 competitive season. It falls under the “Minors” category within the Dota Pro Circuit, having a prize pool of 300.000 dollars.
AMD SAPPHIRE Dota PIT League is held in Split, Croatia between November 2 and November 5. Each day, the matches start at around 1 PM CET (Central European Time).
AMD SAPPHIRE Dota PIT League features 8 teams from 6 different regions:
Europe: OG, Team Liquid.
North America: Immortals.
China: Newbee, Vici Gaming.
South America: SG e-sports.
Southeast Asia: Fnatic.
The entire tournament will be played in a double elimination bracket format. Initially, all 8 teams start in the upper bracket.
Upper bracket matches are best of threes (Bo3). Lower bracket matches are best of ones (Bo1) with the exception of the last one, which will be a Bo3. The Grand Final will be a Bo5 match between the lower and upper bracket winners.
The first 4 matches of the tournament are the following:
Newbee vs SG e-sports
The Chinese team (Newbee) is expected to win this match with ease. At their last tournament (ESL One Hamburg), they managed to make it out of the group stage by defeating Fnatic and Evil Geniuses and took 3rd-4th place after losing to Virtus.pro in the semifinals (score 1-2). This was a much better result than their previous 7th-8th place finish at StarLadder i-League Invitational #3, where they lost their first two matches without winning a single game.
Team Liquid vs Immortals
Team Liquid are regarded as clear favorites in this encounter, but the chance of an upset is pretty high. That’s because they have been on a slight decline since their first-place finish in the StarLadder i-League Invitational #3 tournament. At the ESL One Hamburg Major (less than a week ago) they were knocked out of the competition by Team Secret (score 1-2 in the semifinals), a team that Immortals defeated twice just two weeks ago, in the PGL Open Bucharest Minor.
Vici Gaming vs OG
This is a risky bet either way, simply because both teams have had inconsistent results so far in the new competitive season.
Vici Gaming qualified for 3 of the first 5 Dota Pro Circuit tournaments of the season, but so far have 0 circuit points. At StarLadder i-League Invitational #3 they lost their first two matches without winning a single game.
On the other side, their competitors (OG) managed to qualify for just one of the first 5 Dota Pro Circuit tournaments. So we haven’t seen them yet on a big stage this season. All we know is that they’ve been struggling to qualify for important events. Which is quite surprising, considering the team’s roster and its formidable history. However, let’s not forget that Team Liquid were in a similar situation at the beginning of last season, and then they went on to win a lot of tournaments including The International 2017.
Virtus.pro vs Fnatic
The strength difference between these two teams is absolutely massive at the moment. Virtus.pro, who recently won the ESL One Hamburg Major, are favorites to win AMD SAPPHIRE Dota PIT League, while Fnatic are expected to lose their first two matches and take 7th-8th place. So the outcome of this encounter should be an easy 2-0 in favor of the CIS team.
Points and Prize Distribution
Because it belongs to the Dota Pro Circuit, AMD SAPPHIRE Dota PIT League offers not only prize money, but points as well. The prize money distribution has not yet been revealed, but the tournament’s points distribution is the following:
1st place: 150 points.
2nd place: 90 points.
3rd place: 45 points.
4th place: 15 points.
5th-6th place: 0 points.
7th-8th place: 0 points.
Analysis of the Teams
Here’s an analysis of the 8 teams participating in the AMD SAPPHIRE Dota PIT League tournament:
They are a team from the North American region, but with a full Korean roster. In September this year, Immortals signed the Team Phoenix squad, consisting of the former members of MVP Phoenix. This was a team that impressed the Dota 2 world about a year ago, with a series of tournament wins and a 5th-6th placement at The International 2016.
Immortals qualified for AMD SAPPHIRE Dota PIT League by winning the North American qualifier after a victory against OpTic Gaming (Peter “ppd” Dagger’s new team, known as The Dire at the time of the qualifier) in the Grand Final.
At their latest tournament (PGL Open Bucharest), Immortals finished 3rd-4th, after losing to Mineski in the semifinals (score 1-2). Mineski then went on to win the entire tournament.
At the moment Immortals are looking very strong and could cause some serious upsets going into this competition.
They are one of the best teams in the world at the moment (top 3 for sure) and have been for the past 6 months. So far, they’ve participated in two Dota 2 tournaments this season: StarLadder i-League Invitational #3 (which they won against Mineski, score 3-1) and ESL One Hamburg (where they finished 3rd-4th, after losing to Team Secret in the playoffs).
After winning The International 2017 and becoming world champions, many people wondered whether or not they could maintain their level of play. Team Liquid cleared all doubts during the first two events in which they participated this season, proving that they’re still a top team.
Going into AMD SAPPHIRE Dota PIT League, Team Liquid are expected to get a top 3 finish.
They seem to be regaining their strength, even though they’re still much weaker than the Newbee team that finished 2nd at The International 2017 just a few months ago.
After the StarLadder i-League Invitational #3 disaster (where the finished 7th-8th after losing their first two matches without winning a single game), Newbee managed to get a 3rd-4th place finish at the ESL One Hamburg Major.
They are an almost entirely different team from the one that failed to qualify for The International last season. Only one player (Zeng “Ori” Jiaoyang) and the team’s coach (Zhang “LaNm” Zhicheng, who has transitioned to the role of support) have remained. The other three roles have been filled by well known top Chinese players from other teams.
Locally, Vici Gaming are performing well, defeating strong teams and qualifying for big events. But at the international level they’ve disappointed so far. In their first tournament of the new competitive season, they finished 7th-8th after losing 2 matches without winning a single game.
They’ve been on the decline for the last 6 months, struggling in tournaments and qualifiers alike. This will be their first tournament participation in the new competitive season, and people are eager to see what they’re capable of.
OG made one roster change at the end of last season: they replaced their midlaner (Anathan “ana” Pham) with a world-class carry player from the CIS region (Roman “Resolut1on” Fominok), who is currently playing as their new mid.
They played very well last season, obtaining a series of impressive results: first place at The Summit 6 and Dota Summit 7, second place at The Kiev Major and 5th-6th place at The International 2017.
The team is coached by Ivan “ArtStyle” Antonov (a former Na`Vi player) and lead by Alexei “Solo” Berezin (a 27 years old, highly experienced Dota 2 player with multiple trophies under his belt). ESL One Hamburg marked their start into the new season at the helm of Virtus.pro, and they didn’t disappoint. The team won the competition, defeating Newbee, Team Liquid and Team Secret in the process.
As a result of this performance, they are now expected to win again.
They are a Southeast Asian team with a newly formed squad. Their participation in this event is a result of Mineski’s withdrawal. At their latest LAN event (ESL One Hamburg), Fnatic played poorly and finished 7th-8th. And that happened just a week ago, so it’s likely that their level of play has remained the same.
Going into this tournament, Fnatic are expected to lose their first 2 matches and finish 7th-8th.
With a newly formed roster and no impressive results, they are a heavy underdog going into this tournament. At their first 2 events of the season, SG e-sports were knocked out of the competition during the group stage, finishing 5th-6th at StarLadder i-League Invitational #3 and 7th-8th at ESL One Hamburg.
So far, SG e-sports have had a dominant season start in their region, qualifying for 4 of the first 5 Dota Pro Circuit tournaments, including this one. But, in spite of all this, they don’t stand much of a chance against the likes of Newbee.
Here are a few betting tips and tactics that you can use when betting on matches during the AMD SAPPHIRE Dota PIT League tournament:
Try not to bet on a game until you’ve seen the drafting phase. During this stage, a team will often out-draft the other and gain an important advantage. If you can’t figure out which team has the better hero composition, listen to what the analysts are saying and look for signals that one team clearly has a better draft than the other. The ideal scenario you’re looking for is one in which the better team also has the better draft. In such a case, you should bet on the result of the particular game you are watching.
Keep in mind that for one of the participants of this tournament (OG), this is their first event of the Dota Pro Circuit. So their strength is yet to be revealed. To avoid taking big risks, watch at least one of their games before deciding whether or not you should bet on or against them.
If you want to bet on the result of a match in which one team is much stronger than the other, you can get improved betting odds by betting on a game event that is consistent with the result of the match. For example, betting that team 1 (if it’s significantly stronger than team 2) will be the one to destroy the first set of barracks is a game event consistent with a victory in its favor. But the odds of this event will be significantly higher than the ones associated with a victory for team 1.
Look for drafting strategies that revolve around securing the first Roshan and putting early game pressure on the enemy team’s structures. In these scenarios the team that goes for the early push draft will often be the one to kill the first Roshan. Especially if it’s also the stronger team.
If you happen to place a bet on a top team who is playing against a much weaker opponent and the match starts to go heavily in their opponents’ favor, you can often cancel out the bet by betting enough money on the opposing team during the match, while it still has good enough odds to allow you to do this. Make sure however that when you place this second bet, the stronger team doesn’t have a line-up that could easily come back from the brink of defeat and win the game.
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