posted by Abelle,
ESL's latest announcement about qualifier slots stated that seven teams would make it to the LAN event through regional qualifiers, including two squads from China. The one spot left unaccounted for was said to "be revealed in the near future with information coming soon." The final spot remained a mystery until a tweet from ESL yesterday, confirming that the EU qualifier Grand Final would not be played, and the two EU Semifinal winners would head to Genting.
We can finally confirm the mysterious 16th qualifier spot for #ESLOne Genting.The EU Closed Qualifiers will send two teams to Malaysia, meaning both of today's semi-final winners will qualify for the Minor! pic.twitter.com/Rb6sbljnMZ— ESL Dota2 (@ESLDota2) December 21, 2017
This qualification has been a long time coming for both teams. Planet Dog only recently reformed after being dropped by their former sponsor, HellRaisers. The team had been signed after qualifying for The International 2017 but were dropped less than two weeks ago. In the announcement, the organization's CEO stated, "We want to please our viewers with a big number of wins, so we'll look for other prospective opportunities in esports disciplines."
PENTA have also been hard at work climbing the ranks of EU Dota 2 this season. They've come tantalizingly close to qualification many times but, despite quite a few 3rd-4th place finishes, they hadn't made it to a Pro Circuit LAN just yet. Outside of Valve's Pro Circuit, they've seen a bit more success. They took 1st place in the recently concluded joinDOTA League Season 11 EU Division and headed to Kuala Lumpur for ROG Masters 2017, where they finished 3rd-4th after a loss to OpTic Gaming.
Both teams have been labouring in the shadow of Team Secret, who've already won five EU Qualifiers in the new competitive season. Since both major dominating forces in EU, Secret and Team Liquid, were directly invited to ESL Genting and the field was opened up.