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In between the WePlay AniMajor and the regional qualifiers stands ESL One Summer. The event featured many teams from the AniMajor looking to test their skills before the regional qualifiers. It also featured teams that did not make it to the AniMajor such as Tundra Esports and Vikin.gg. An action pack tournament ensued, with T1 coming out on top at the end.

ESL One Summer provide first look at the new OG

ESL One Summer was the first opportunity fans got to see Syed “Sumail” Hassan play with his new OG teammates. After Anathan “Ana” Pham’s choice to retire from professional Dota, Sumail joined the team on short notice. OG made it all the way to the third round of the qualifiers, beating out Team Liquid, Team Nigma and Quincy Crew, before falling to Alliance 2-0. OG beat 2-0 Team Nigma, their main competition in the upcoming regional qualifier, which may be a good sign for OG fans. Will OG pull another miracle run to The International? Only time will tell.

Virtus.pro are back on form

Despite an early exit by Virtus.pro during the WePlay AniMajor, the team has rebounded. Virtus.pro made it to the grand finals and pushed it to an exciting five-game series. They even took out T1 in the upper bracket finals before eventually falling to them in the grand finals of the event. Perhaps the most important part of the Virtus.pro run was the ability for them to stick to their identity. They went back to their signature picks that no other team would normally play, primarily Dmitry “DM” Dorokhin’s Kunkka. If it wasn’t Kunkka, DM would cause chaos with his Timbersaw, taking up all the attention on the map and creating space for his team. Even though they fell to T1 in the end, their strong form reminded fans why they were able to win the CIS Dota Pro Circuit twice in a row.

T1 cement themselves as contenders

T1 are in contention to win The International, and the entire Southeast Asian region has played well in the past few events. A five-game series against Virtus.pro in the finals pushed T1 to the limit. However, Carlo “Kuku” Palad once again showed his drafting mastery as he last-picked a Broodmother for himself. Despite playing against counters like Timbersaw and Invoker, he was able to create enough space with his team to bring them to victory. Another standout from the T1 squad was Kenny “Xepher ” Deo’s Nyx Assassin. His ability to farm an Aghanim’s Scepter at a good timing left Virtus.pro with no answer in Game 4 and 5, which eventually led to a T1 victory.