The Manila Major is well underway and has seen some incredible Dota. The groupstage was a success, but the playoffs have shown that we have not seen everything yet.
EG and Secret with no improvement
The attention was definitely drawn towards the lower bracket with numerous big names present. Evil Geniuses and Team Secret were teams that–despite weak performances going into the Major–still had some fans and experts believing in them. The weak performance of the groupstage continued for both as they were eliminated by VG.Reborn and Team Empire respectively.
Neither line-up showed any promise of improvement whatsoever and it eventually led to a very sudden roster change, as Universe has now been announced to leave Secret for EG, switching places with Bulba. Simultaneously, rumors arose about zai returning to EG to replace Aui_2000.
While Team Empire has been eliminated in the meantime, Vici Gaming Reborn is still in the running and seems to improve with every performance.
NADota drops out early – SEA still fighting
Digital Chaos was the North-American hope in the upper bracket, but they were unable to capitalize on the momentum they had gained in the groupstage. The team was able to take a game off of Newbee, but ultimately dropped to the lower bracket where they lost to Vici Gaming Reborn.
CompLexity Gaming displayed a strong fighting spirit and took out Wings Gaming in a bo1, but ultimately stood no chance against Liquid and got eliminated 0-2.
South-East Asia may have lost Mineski early on vs Alliance, but both Fnatic and MVP.Phoenix are still in the running. MVP in fact eliminated Liquid in two quick games, but were eliminated just as quickly by OG. Fnatic won a nail biter vs LGD-Gaming–including a Terrorblade and Medusa pick in game 3 by Fnatic–but stood no chance against Newbee.
OG, Newbee and Liquid still favorites
Liquid may have been dropped to the lower bracket early on, but the team showed that they are very well capable of performing their best after taking out compLexity 2-0. OG and Newbee cement their positions at the top by walking through the upper bracket with ease. OG especially is strong, not dropping a single game and their star performer Miracle has yet to die a single time in the playoffs.
The playoffs has seen different picks already, with more and more Terrorblade pickups. An early Dragon Lance seems to work wonders on the hero and makes him even more fearsome.
A hero that seems to be a go-to hero in playoffs of big events is Tidehunter. In the entirety of the groupstage, he was picked 8 times and he has now been picked 9 times in the first three days of the playoffs. Similarly, Death Prophet was picked only 8 times during the group matches and is now one of the top picks in the playoffs with 13 appearances. This increase in pickrate has however affected her winrate as she is only successful 46% of the time as opposed to the 87% winrate before.
As for the top heroes going into the event, Beastmaster and Lifestealer are still very much up there, though Lion and Doom have dropped off quite significantly. With only 6 and 5 picks respectively so far, both heroes seem have fallen quite heavily out of favor, likely to Disruptor and Slardar.
THings to look out for
Both Fnatic and MVP.Phoenix can technically face one another in the lower bracket finals, if both advance–which would ensure at least one SEA team in the top 3. OG and Newbee will be a rematch of Epicenter: Moscow’s lower bracket finals, which OG took home 2-1. Both teams look incredibly strong right now and should make for some great dota.
Na’Vi and Liquid could be a one-sided match, however with the crowd on Na’Vi’s side, it could make for a great encounter.
94 heroes have been picked and in the current meta, heroes like Omniknight, Warlock or Ogre Magi could still be picked in certain scenarios. Or maybe Na’Vi will give the crowd what it wants–a Pudge pick.
Headline Image by: Epicenter.gg