It’s a tournament that can rival The International itself.
Riyadh Masters, the culmination of the ESL Pro Tour, is about to begin. 20 of the best teams in the world arrive in Saudi Arabia for almost two weeks of intense Dota 2 action.
Due to their performance in this year’s DreamLeague tournaments, eight of the 20 teams made it directly into the group stage. These are the eight teams competing:
- Gaimin Gladiators
- BetBoom Team
- Evil Geniuses
- Tundra Esports
- Shopify Rebellion
- Team Spirit
- Talon Esports
The remaining 12 will have to prove themselves by going through the play-ins. Teams will be separated into two groups of six, and they will play each other in a single round-robin, best-of-two matches. The top two from each group will immediately qualify for the group stage while the rest will play a best-of-three decider match to see who will move on.
For the group stage, the 16 remaining teams will again be separated into two groups. They will play another single round-robin of best-of-two matches to determine seeding for the playoffs bracket. The bottom two teams from each group will be eliminated.
From here, playoffs will just be a straightforward double-elimination bracket. Every match will be a best-of-three except for the grand final which will be a best-of-five to determine who will become the Riyadh Master champion and take home the lion’s share of the 15,000,000USD prize pool.
The Team to Look Out For
The team to watch out for is definitely Gaimin Gladiators. The West European team has been on an absolute tear this year, winning all five of the previous major tournaments. Their European counterparts in BetBoom Team and Team Liquid are no slouches either, even coming close to beating the Gladiators and ruining their winning streak.
Talon Esports and the Philippines’ Execration are coming in as Southeast Asia’s representatives. While Talon was able to secure a direct invite to the group stage, Execration has a long road ahead of them if they want to reach that grand prize.
Banner image from Gamers8 Esports on Twitter.