ESL One CIS Online: Season 2

ESL One CIS Online: Season 2 is an ongoing event that’s part of Valve’s new Dota 2 Pro Circuit 2021. This year’s DPC has been reworked, and instead of the usual standard where we had Minors followed by Majors, this time we’ll have Regional Leagues instead of Minors.

The six regions are operated by different organizers, and as it happens, the CIS region is covered by ESL. The CIS region, like all others, is separated into two categories – the Lower Division and the Upper Division.


The Lower Tier division winners qualify for the Upper Division, while the Upper Division ones qualify directly for the upcoming Majors.

This time we’ll cover the Upper Division that’s currently underway, and we’ll focus on analyzing the participating team as well as offering our own predictions for the matches ahead.

Tournament Format

The Season 2 event features 8 teams from the CIS region, six coming from the Upper Division of Season 1 and the remaining two qualifying from the Lower Division. Only the top three teams will qualify for the upcoming Major:

  • 1st – Major Playoffs
  • 2nd – Major Group Stage
  • 3rd – Major Wild Card

This esports tournament uses a single round-robin format, and all matches are played as Bo3. The event kicked off on April 15th and will last until May 21st, so there’s still a lot of Dota 2 action ahead of us.

Prize Pool

Season 2 features a $205.000 prize pool, and the total amount will be distributed in the following way:

  • 1st – $30.000
  • 2nd – $28.000
  • 3rd – $27.000
  • 4th – $26,000
  • 5th – $25,000
  • 6th – $24,000
  • 7th – $23,000
  • 8th – $22,000

As you can see, the prize pool is distributed pretty evenly. This means that every single team participating will be compensated very well, regardless of their position at the end.

Watch ESL One CIS: Season 2 LIVE!

Let’s check out the teams

The event is separated into multiple weeks, and each week teams will face different teams until they’ve played against each opponent at least once. Week 1 has already finished, and we were able to witness some quality Dota 2 action.

Virtus.pro took a 2-1 win against AS Monaco Gambit, giving them an early lead into the season. Winstrike and Team Unique both took a win in their opening matches too, giving them some much-needed leeway in the upcoming matches.

Team Spirit are currently sitting at the top with 2 wins, taking clean 2-0 victories against Natus Vincere and AS Monaco Gambit.

Things are not looking good for AS Monaco Gambit, as they’re currently the only team with a 0-2 score. They really can’t afford to lose another match.

Week 2 Predictions

We’ll go over the upcoming matches and share our personal picks for Week 2. This week will be an excellent opportunity to watch some high-level Dota 2 action and do some Dota 2 betting.

Natus Vincere vs. EXTREMUM

This is an opportunity for Natus Vincere to pick up the pace and recover from the loss they experienced in Week 1 against Team Spirit. If all goes according to plan, they’ll take a win here and also beat AS Monaco Gambit in the second match just a few days later. This would help them close the gap with Team Spirit and Virtus.pro.

EXTREMUM is fighting an uphill battle here, and it’s going to be a challenging match for them. They have proven to be a capable team by qualifying from Season 1, but they are fighting the same teams once again and it’s likely they’ll show similar results. They fought against Natus Vincere in Season 1 and lost, but not without taking Game 1 first. There’s still a glimmer of hope for them, and if they’re lucky, they could pull off an upset.

Overall, our vote goes to Natus Vincere in this matchup, and we expect them to take a win here.

Winstrike vs. Unique

This is an interesting match. Both teams are competing with some of the best teams in Dota 2, so a win here will mean a lot. Unique qualified from Season 1, but they barely made it. Winstrike is coming from the Lower Bracket and they are hungry to prove themselves, so they have that going in their favor.

Also, both squads have a win from the first week. Unique won against PuckChamp, but Winstrike claimed victory over EXTREMUM. It’s going to be a close match, but we expect Winstrike to take this one.


Virtus.pro vs. PuckChamp

This is a safe bet on Virtus.pro. The power difference between these teams is immense, and PuckChamp crew don’t really stand a chance here. The best they can hope for is to take one Game by surprise, but even that is a long shot.

We see Virtus.pro taking a decisive 2-0 here and propelling themselves to the top of the ladder.

Natus Vincere vs. AS Monaco Gambit

This is an opportunity for Natus Vincere to fully recover from the first loss in Week 1, and if they win, they’ll end the week with a comfy 2-1 score.
However, AS Monaco Gambit should not be underestimated just because they lost two matches already.

First of all, they fought against Virtus.pro and Team Spirit, who are both incredibly strong opponents. Second, they finished 3rd in Season 1, so they are a very capable team. The fact AS Monaco Gambit started off with such bad luck just means they’ll be fighting tooth and nail to take this win.

This is a very close matchup, and if you feel like you just want to roll the dice and hope for the best, this is the match to do it. Since Natus Vincere is playing two matches this week, we expect them to win the first match and use the morale boost to take this one as well. Our prediction is a 2-1 result for Natus Vincere.

Winstrike vs. Team Spirit

This should be a quick win for Team Spirit. They seemed to be in great shape in the matchup against Natus Vincere and we see them continuing their initial momentum and wrapping this match up.

If they win this match, they’ll be sitting at the top with a 3-0 result. This should be another safe bet.