One by one, the team lineup for ESL One Frankfurt 2015 is taking shape. Alliance managed to secure the first of three EU qualifier slot in the midst of April Fool’s Day tomfoolery, while last weekend the battle for the qualifier tickets to Frankfurt continued with Team Empire and ASUS Polar duking it out for the second invite. Find out what happened in the EU and SEA qualifiers over the Easter break here!
EU upper bracket final: Team Empire vs. ASUS Polar
The second upper bracket final of the ESL One Frankfurt 2015 EU qualifier saw the best CIS teams currently in the scene duke it out for an invite to Frankfurt. Neither team made it to previous ESL One competitions, with only ASUS Polar captain fng having attended ESL One New York during his time with Na’Vi last year.
With everything to play for, ASUS Polar looked especially sharp in game one of the series, sneaking an Io pick through the banning phase that proved deadly in combination with Illidan’s signature Slark. The duo wreaked havoc on Empire’s safe lane, setting the tone for the early and mid game. Only ASUS Polar’s greed kept Team Empire in the game by overextending a few times too many. However, Empire’s comeback would not succeed, as Illidan’s top-drawer 21-kill performance and God’s strong Lina play were too much to handle in the end.
In game two of the series, Lina would again be a deciding factor. ASUS Polar switched it up and let Illidan handle the fiery sorceress this time around, who applied a more hard carry item build compared to God’s mobile mid Lina in game one. However, the biggest thorn in Empire’s side was by far fng’s Treant pick, which dragged the match out to the ultra late game thanks to the global warding provided by Aghanim’s Scepter. Over the course of the drawn-out game, Empire lost more and more map control before eventually being overrun by ASUS Polar, who have secured themselves a spot at ESL One Frankfurt 2015 with their 2-0 victory over Team Empire.
EU lower bracket: Cloud 9 vs. Hellraisers
The eyes of the European fans then turned to the lower bracket of the EU qualifiers, where the final ESL One Frankfurt participant from Europe was to be decided. Cloud 9 and Hellraisers were both seeded into the third upper bracket round but got immediately bumped down to the lower bracket after disappointing performances. Fortunately for Cloud 9, the team really hit their stride across multiple competitions following the disheartening start in the ESL One qualifier, much to the dismay of Hellraisers, who were no match for the reinvigorated two-time ESL One attendees in the do-or-die lower bracket series. If you haven’t yet seen the matches, you should check them out below - it’s definitely worth it!
Clear-cut victories are the name of the game in the ESL One SEA qualifiers so far. Every single series has been decided in just two games, and the second round was no different. In one of the biggest upsets, Rave - one of the fan favorites after their performance at the Dota 2 Asian Championship - were one of the teams who had to bow out of the single elimination bracket after getting trumped by underdogs Underminer. You can check out the complete SEA qualifier bracket below.
A complete overview of all the ESL One qualifiers can be found at the joinDOTA ESL One hub.
We’re also going to reveal the Chinese qualifier brackets later in the week, so stay tuned and follow @ESL to keep up to date!