The DreamLeague Major kept on rolling on Saturday and while there wasn’t nearly as much action on Day 2, there was a load of entertainment to be had. Here is the tournament bracket entering Sunday:
The actual Day 2 results read as follows:
- Upper Bracket- Team Secret def. Team Liquid 2-1
- Lower Bracket- Natus Vincere elim. Newbee 2-1
- Lower Bracket- Evil Geniuses elim. Virtus Pro 2-0
- Lower Bracket- Evil Geniuses elim. Natus Vincere 2-0
Of course, not all series are created equal and not all wins look the same. Here are the biggest winners of Day 2...and the biggest losers.
Biggest Winner: Evil Geniuses, Returning to Form
Evil Geniuses really needed to perform well at the DreamLeague Major. The boys in blue have looked decent to this point in the 2017-2018 season, qualifying for a number of Dota Pro Circuit tournaments...but decent isn’t what fans expect from EG. Fans, and the players themselves, expect excellence and that has eluded them on a consistent basis thus far.
Falling behind in the standings and with morale possibly on the slide, the DreamLeague Major gave the de facto Team USA the chance to jump back into elite status. On Day 2, Clinton “Fear” Loomis helped his squad capitalize on that opportunity.
After a rocky Day 1, Day 2 kicked off with an intimidating matchup with Virtus Pro. The Russian squad is known for its vicious play in-game, and pointed smack talk outside-the-game. It was a potential recipe for disaster for EG but instead, the team swept the series 2-0, marked by a dramatic, 63-minute comeback in Game 1.
The day didn’t stop there, though. After earning its way into the lower bracket semi-finals, EG toppled yet another CIS team, Natus Vincere, in emphatic fashion. After scoring a big win in Game 1, Na’Vi seemed poised to fire back, amassing a significant lead in Game 2. EG, though, showed that it remains resilient and rallied back to seal the series.
After looking like it was going to be handed an early ticket home, EG has navigated its way to the lower bracket finals. It’s a great spot for the team to be in, with a minimum third-place finish (which nets $100,000 and 225 Qualifying Points for the DPC) now in its pocket. They’ll have the chance to go for gold on Sunday, and it wouldn’t be a shock if they managed to do it.
Biggest Loser: Virtus Pro and Newbee, Sent Home Early
Momentum is a very, very hard thing to maintain in Dota 2. There are just too many variables in play on the professional level. Top teams will stumble and fail to recover. Underdogs will get hot at an opportune time and run the gauntlet. That isn’t even touching on the factors outside the game, like personal issues, visa troubles forcing substitutions, jetlag and more.
The 2017-2018 season, and the DreamLeague Major in particular, is highlighting that well.
Virtus Pro was the first team to win a Dota Pro Circuit major event, taking home the top prize at ESL One Hamburg last month. The last team to win a DPC event? Newbee, which took first place in the Perfect World Masters Minor just last week.
Both of them will exit Jonkoping with a 5th-6th-place finish, and 0 Qualifying Points.
Neither looked bad, mind you. VP and Newbee both looked strong at various points in their losing series to EG and Na’Vi and neither one lost to second-rate opposition.
Staying on top in Dota 2 is just very, very difficult. Whether it’s over the course of years, months or even days.
Day 3 Preview
Sunday will mark the end of the DreamLeague Major, with just two series scheduled to be played.
First, Evil Geniuses will face Team Liquid in the lower bracket finals. After wins over Fnatic and Virtus Pro, Liquid was felled by Team Secret in the upper bracket finals. They’ll look to rebound off EG in order to get the rematch with Secret in the grand finals.
Whether it’s EG or Liquid, though, they’ll have some trouble against Secret. The team helmed by Clement “Puppey” Ivanov has been a force throughout the season thus far and have looked particularly fearsome in Jonkoping. Whoever winds up facing them in the grand finals will be in for a real fight.
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