List Of Teams For ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023
The bloodbath that is the Closed Qualifiers for ESL One Kuala Lumpur has ended. All twelve teams that will fly to Malaysia and compete for $1,000,000 have been decided. Here’s a complete list of the participants:
ESL invited the top four teams at The International 2023 to the tournament. However, you’ve probably noticed that one of them is missing. Team Spirit has decided to skip ESL One Kuala Lumpur due to health issues, so we won’t see the TI winners back on the first Dota 2 LAN after the break.
- Blacklist International
- Invictus Gaming
- Team Liquid
- Team Secret
- Team Falcons
- BetBoom Team
- 9 Pandas
- Wawitas Sagazes
Nine teams over seven regions have fought through Closed Qualification to earn their spot at ESL One Kuala Lumpur. Let’s go over each team one by one.
The new star-studded Filipino roster failed in the first round of Open Qualifiers but tidied up their gameplay to make it to the Closed Qualifier on their second try. In the Closed Qualifier, Blacklist ran through BLEED and Talon before losing to Geek Fam in the Upper Bracket Final.
The new Invictus Gaming roster made waves throughout the Dota 2 scene, as they have completely rebuilt their roster and added considerable names to the team. LikeBlacklist, IG failed to qualify for the Closed Qualifier in the first round of the Open Qualifiers.
Still, they made it to the Closed Qualifier and demolished Team Eagle, Team Zero, and Team Bright to make it to the million-dollar tournament. Three Malaysian representatives, NothingToSay, JT, and xNova, can play in front of their home crowd.
Team Liquid swapped Zai for 33 after the Swedish player decided to take a break from competitive Dota. Though 33 has already proven himself as a TI winner, many fans were concerned because Zai was Liquid’s captain.
However, Liquid showed they are still a force to be reckoned with and breezed through the Closed Qualifier. They defeated all their competition without dropping a single map to book flights to Kuala Lumpur.
Team Secret received a lot of hate after announcing their new roster, and fans thought this was the weakest iteration of Team Secret ever. And, at first, it seemed that way. Secret barely made it out of the Open Qualifier and lost their first match in the Closed Qualifier, instantly knocking them down to the Lower Bracket.
They won a nail-biting series against Alliance in their first Lower Bracket match, and everyone thought Secret was a dead team walking. Somehow, Team Secret began ramping up, defeating Team Tickles, OG, and Entity Gaming to claim the second WEU slot to ESL One Kuala Lumpur. Truly an unexpected result, but a well-deserved one.
In the MENA region, there were only two notable teams: Team Falcons and PSG Quest. Ex-Nigma Galaxy player Mikey also had a stack in the qualifier, but his team did not stand a chance against these two titans.
Falcons met PSG Quest in the Upper Bracket Final, where PSG Quest took the series book a spot in the Grand Final. However, in the rematch between the two teams, Team Falcons won the Grand Final with a score of 3-1. It’s exciting to see what this new “super team” can do in international competition.
The BetBoom Team is one of the few teams that decided to stick together, and they were rewarded for it with their qualification to ESL One Kuala Lumpur. The BetBoom Team defeated MoneyMakers and Natus Vincere to reach the Upper Bracket Final.
Like WEU, two slots were given to EEU. So, BetBoom's Upper Bracket Final match against Virtus.Pro was for qualification. The BetBoom Team could defeat Virtus.Pro, who was missing their carry player Kiritych, to be the first EEU representative in Malaysia.
The 9 Pandas made a significant change to their roster, not only changing three players but also changing positions on RAMZES666. The roster looked solid on paper, but the results didn’t show. The new team struggled in the Closed Qualifier, losing their opening match against a weaker team.
However, like Team Secret, 9 Pandas could improve in the Lower Bracket and defeat all the teams to reach the qualifying match against Virtus.Pro. With Virtus.Pro not being at full force, 9 Pandas stole the series and will join the BetBoom Team in Malaysia.
Shopify Rebellion was absent in the Closed Qualifier, so the only competition in the North American region was between TSM and Nouns. TSM had changed one player, Ari, for Immersion, in the fourth position.
As everyone expected, TSM met Nouns in the Grand Final. The new Nouns roster was up 2-0 in the Best of 5 series, but TSM made a reverse sweep to win. TSM’s new roster will appear at ESL One as the only North American representative.
The entire South American region underwent roster changes after Evil Geniuses and Beastcoast disbanded. As a result, it was tough to predict which team would come out on top in the SA Closed Qualifiers.
Though people thought it would be BOOM Esports, Wawitas Sagazes, a stack consisting of Lumiere, DarkMago, and Pandaboo, eventually won the Closed Qualifier to represent their region. Most of the regional teams will need time to develop, but Wawitas Sagazes was the clear winner of this qualifier.
The ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023 tournament will run from December 11 to 17 and will feature a prize pool of $1,000,000.