ESL One Germany is a breath of fresh air in what has been a fairly stagnant Dota 2 scene over recent months.
Every week, the same group of teams made up of the same groups of players competed against one another in round robins with no real stakes or intrigue. There was a bit of spice added with events such as Omega League and some hot up-and-coming teams including 4 Zoomers and Sparking Arrow Gaming. But for the most part, things were bland.
Over the last few weeks, a global roster shuffle has seen a number of top teams shaken up and several new teams form. One of those new teams is Yellow Submarine. The CIS squad has been on a hot streak and debuted in ESL One Germany with an impressive win.
But can they keep it up against a seemingly unstoppable Team Secret?
At this point, everyone with even a vague familiarity with Dota 2 knows who Team Secret is. The European squad is the best in the world and has proven it several times over with a historically strong 2020.
Team Secret entered ESL One Germany with eight straight tournament victories to its name, with the team rarely dropping series along the way. The lineup in ESL One Germany is the same as ever:
Secret debuted by slam dunking on qualifier winner Tempo Esports, a team led by CIS journeyman Nikola “LeBronDota” Popović. Team Secret the favorites to win any given matchup and that’s not changing here.
Dota 2 fans who have been around for a while might remember the name Yellow Submarine. Many top CIS players had a layover with the team between 2014 and 2016, staying active in qualifiers and various regional events.
The brand resurfaced earlier this year in the qualifiers to Omega League with a fledgling squad led by Ilya “Yatoro” Mulyarchuk. But one of the original members of the team in Yaroslav “Miposhka” Naidenov came aboard for ESL One Germany. The full lineup for the event is as follows:
While Yellow Submarine had no real expectations attached to them, the team started out its run in ESL One Germany with an upset victory over Team Nigma. That adds a bit of intrigue to their matchup, but fans and bettors shouldn’t get too excited over this new team quite yet.
Not all betting sites have markets available for Team Secret vs. Yellow Submarine quite yet, but those that do have Secret as a prohibitive favorite in the realm of 1.06 vs. 8.00.
That line is largely justified. Though it’s possible that Yellow Submarine is jam-packed with young talent ready to break out, odds are that the squad just happened to draw the ever-inconsistent Team Nigma at an opportune time.
The best approach to this would be focusing on side markets. Though Secret will almost certainly win the series, there is likely to be lines around 5.00 on single-map bets for a Yellow Submarine victory. That’s likely the best opportunity in what’s a lopsided matchup on paper.