If a preview for ESL Mumbai been written even a few weeks ago, almost all of it would be completely different by now. Five of the twelve teams initially lined up to attend have pulled out: three for DPC reasons (the DotaPit minor starts right after ESL), one for health reasons (Chaos have said they’re taking a break due to a packed schedule), and one team just last-second changed their mind about what event to attend (J.Storm went to WSOE). Team Team (as runner-up in the NA Qualifiers) joins the list however, bringing it back up to a nifty eight team event.
There’s still loads more uncertainty though. Firstly, due to visa issues Febby is subbing back for Bimbo (aka Raging Potato) on Mineski, just weeks after being kicked. NaV brought Chuvash in to sub for SonneiKo 10 days ago due to health issues; and The Pango brought in Iceberg and XSvamp1Re for Ceyler and Zayac just 1 week ago.
Predicting the GSL groups alone will be a challenge but I’ll go with something like the following:
(NaVi, TNC, Complexity, Team Team)
TNC are on paper the best team here, and with no changes to affect them massively. Beyond that is a mess: Team Team have limited games with EternalEnvy, NaVi have limited games with Chuvash, and Complexity have had a wildly inconsistent season so far (recently just missing qualification to ESL Birmingham by losing 2-3 in the qualifier finals to Forward Gaming). Based on their recent series, Complexity does look better than Team Team so it’s just a question of where to place NaVi. I’m going to go with the following:
TNC > Complexity > NaVi > Team Team
(Keen Gaming, Mineski, Pango, Signify)
In this group there a clear underdog: Signify. Regional teams are never expected to make breakout performances at their first major LAN events - but rather use the experience to jumpstart them within their region afterwards. Keen & Mineski have both had some decent performances this season, currently 12th and 15th respectively on the Datdota Glicko 2 Ratings. Mineski with the recent roster change likely pushes them down a bit more, so my overall group prediction is:
Keen > Mineski > Pango > Signify
All in all the groups each seem to have some interesting matchups - and although there’s a bunch of chaos in the form of changes & subs, we’ll definitely see some exciting matches in the playoffs (the lower bracket round 2 is where things will get spicy).