The Mars Dota 2 League’s second day is now complete, setting the stage for the playoff bracket in the final three days of the event. The group stage games have shown that being a four-time Major champion team comes with incredible comeback potential, and the Chinese teams appear ready to conquer The International. This is significant because non-Chinese teams have historically won odd-numbered iterations of TI. However, the Chinese teams must focus on defending their home turf before they can think about breaking tradition in Seattle.
Despite starting with a 1-2 record on the first day of the group stage, Kiev Major champions OG rallied with a 4-0 run to secure the top seed and the choice of opponent in the next round. Mid player Anathan “ana” Pham showed his skill on day two, reminding everyone why he has two Valve event trophies with his name. OG’s form and momentum suggest they will secure a spot in the top four at the very least. Interestingly, they chose LGD as their upper bracket opponents, the very team they lost to on day one. Perhaps OG wants to figure LGD out in advance for TI, but either way, the matchup should be interesting.
Queen RuRu Smiles Upon her Soldiers
LGD’s manager, Pan “RuRu” Jie, should be pleased with the results of both LGD Gaming and LGD.Forever Young. They have taken the second and third seeds, followed closely by ZOTAC Cup Masters champions Newbee. The main LGD team will face OG tomorrow, and with a victory against them already, they hold a slight advantage in the series. The young LGD squad will face Newbee, making for an exciting matchup as both teams have the same win-loss record. Newbee’s talent should not be underestimated, as every player on their team is capable of playing their respective positions excellently.
Western and Eastern Experimentation
Evil Geniuses and Invictus Gaming find themselves starting from the lower bracket, possibly because they are using this tournament as an opportunity to experiment with unusual strategies for TI7. Evil Geniuses have been running strange draft choices, such as support Puck for captain Andreas Franck “Cr1t-” Nielsen and giving Artour “Arteezy” Babaev the hero Chaos Knight. Despite their experimentation, they are still one of the best teams in the world and should not be written off. Invictus Gaming has made a notable change by placing Xu “BurNIng” Zhilei in the offlane spot and giving Lin “Xxs” Jing the position one carry role. This move could be in anticipation of a possible visa application denial for Xxs, or simply a change in roles to prepare for TI. Regardless, they face a tough road in the lower bracket, starting with a matchup against ViCi Gaming.
Out of Gas
Unfortunately, Clutch Gamers’ run may come to an end as they face off against Evil Geniuses in the first round of the lower bracket. Their only chance of surviving this round is if Evil Geniuses decides to draft even more unorthodox lineups, but even then, EG’s mechanical skill may outclass them. However, Clutch Gamers can use this series as a reference for future events and learn from every loss.
Keywords: Mars Dota 2 League, playoff bracket, Chinese teams, odd-numbered iterations, defending home turf, comeback potential, Kiev Major champions, Valve event trophies, OG, LGD, ZOTAC Cup Masters champions, Newbee, Evil Geniuses, Invictus Gaming, lower bracket, Clutch Gamers.