Polarities will be reversed in Poland in 2018.
Esports isnâ€™t a new thing in Poland. In fact, the CS:GO scene have had a couple of major tournaments in Katowice. In 2015, Fnatic defeated Ninjas in Pyjamas to win the first ESL One major held in Spodek Arena. This year, fans stormed the same arena to witness three different games duked out across a whole week in Intel Extreme Masters. In the IEM, CSGO fans crowned Astralis champions; Flash Wolves wowed League fans by beating everyone else; and TY brought it all home in Starcraft II.
Next year, for the first time ever, Dota2 will be played in Katowice. Although IEM will be returning to Katowice for some CS:GO and SC2 action on March 2018, Dota2 will precede it with one Major produced by ESL a month earlier. ESL One Katowice has just been announced to be a Major with a $1,000,000 prize pool, and 1,500 Pro Circuit Points will be at stake.
Strategically positioned right in the middle of the 2017-2018 competitive season, ESL One Katowice will have fierce competition as teams fight over for points that could make or break their chances in getting direct invites for TI8. Sharing the competitive month of February, ESL One Katowice will be the second Major for that month, the first would be the yet-unannounced PGL Major.
ESL One Katowice will be the fifth chronological Major of the season out of 12. By the time of the tournament, four Majors and seven Minors would have concluded, with approximately 8,100 Pro Circuit Points awarded to different teams. After Katowice, there would still be about 10,500 more points to fight over, which puts Katowice in a precarious position for a lot of teams and players. I would dare predict major roster shuffles will occur right after it.
With six qualifiers, one for each of the major regions, a total of sixteen teams will take part of ESL One Katowice. It would be held at the Spodek Arena, Katowice, Poland, from February 20-25. Itâ€™s time to book those tickets.