Over the past week or so, invites for ESL One Katowice 2019 have been going out and now all eight teams attending via invite are confirmed.
The first set of teams that got their invites last week were Ninjas in Pyjamas, OG, Team Secret, and paiN Gaming.
With only four tickets left to give out between a large group of talented teams, the next wave of invites was set to shape the early majority of the tournament.
Invite number five hit Fnatic’s doorstep just as the calendar switched to December. The Southeast Asia leaders are coming into the event after a disappointing outing in the last Major.
Fnatic has had a mixed early 2019 season with just a seventh-place finish at the Kuala Lumpur Major and a few qualifier wins under their belt. They have a few other stops before reaching Katowice, but regardless they will be a contender for the top spot in the event.
The second invite of the group went to Dota 2 mainstay Alliance as they continue trying to climb the ranks. They have placed in the nine to 12 range in both of the major tournaments they have attended this season but being invited to an event like this shows that they are doing something right.
Their matches in the Chongqing Major Europe Qualifiers showed they could compete with some of the best teams in the world as they qualified for the event. Now they will look to place well in the Major and carry that momentum into Katowice.
Invite seven was for Team Aster as the Chinese power was riding high off of their first place victory in the Chongqing Major China Qualifiers.
Aster has competed in both large-scale tournaments post-International, but their fifth-place finish in the previous ESL event was rather disappointing in comparison to their early play. Now they are working to capture that little spark of greatness again for the remainder of the season.
The final spot went to the upstart Forward Gaming, who continue to show great potential just months after forming.
Unlike the other, more established teams on this list, Forward is likely a little more accepting of their lower placements purely because they are so new and as they continue competing, their performance will likely improve. That being said, they have already proven they can compete with the best teams in the scene, and they will aim to take a top spot at Katowice.
With the eight invitees ready to go, now the only spots remaining are the four slots reserved for the Regional Qualifiers in Europe, North America, Southeast Asia, and China.
ESL One Katowice will start Feb. 19 to 24, with the final three days being open for fans to watch the teams battle for their share of $300,000 at the Spodek Arena.