The Manila Major after the group stage
The group stage of the Manila Major is over. Eight teams got the right to start the main tournament in the Winner’s Bracket while the other half will have to battle through the Lower Bracket. Now, as we have a few days break let’s take a look as how the group stage panned out and focus on some of the more interesting story lines.
Real effort put in by PGL in production value
The thing that makes this Major stand out from the other Dota 2 tournaments is its so called “production value”. It is refreshing to see the organisers put effort in some little features such as in game intros, courier cameras or really well divided screen between all three lanes at the beginning.
Such features not only are really cool but also are a significant set up from what we have seen in all the previous events. Let’s hope it starts a trend in Dota 2 tournaments to innovate what was a pretty stagnant way of showing the game. Regardless, PGL should be given a huge thumbs up for what they did so far. Hopefully we will see much more of this during the main event as they have been teasing us with “the reddit will blow up”.
Na`Vi is back baby
By far the most interesting and surprising during the whole group stage was group B. First and foremost, we are finally coming closer and closer to being able to say “Na`Vi is back”. The sentence obviously became a meme with the old good Natus Vincere not playing as they used for a couple of years. However, with the current squads things are truly starting to work out.
At their first Major, the biggest tournament the team have played so far, the Ukrainians have won the group without dropping a single game. They have demolished Team Secret, dominated against Digital Chaos in game one and kept their cool in a nail biting, back and forth game two vs DC. Not much people expected such performance from Na`Vi in the group stage. It will be incredibly interesting to see how far they can go in the main event, but the potential to go deep is certainly there.
Digital Chaos doing well not only in American qualifiers
There were a ton of questions marks around DC coming into this event. The squad has been crushing in all of American qualifiers taking LAN spots left and right. However, as we all know NA is not the strongest of regions. Would they perform at the Major, at their first event on an international stage? Many doubt that.
However, DC have certainly showed up to play. Taking the second place in group B and starting the main even in the upper bracket is good in itself. But the style in which DC did it is even more impressive. They have been picking a variety different heroes and making them work in a unique way. Moreover, how they adapted from the first seriers played vs Wings to second one was very impressive. After struggling in the first match, DC understood their opponents and dominated them without any problems in the second time the two teams met.
Team Secret at the bottom yet again
The way Team Secret performed before the Manila Major clearly didn’t suggest that the team will do well at the event. Some believed that with hardcore practise the squad will turn it around at the valve event as rosters lead by Puppey had done in the past. But this time the worst nightmares of the Team Secret fans have came true.
Secret has taken the last place in the group. The squad didn’t look impressive at all, if anything they looked like one of the weaker teams in the entire tournament. The roster changes they have done before the roster lock looks to be disastrous. Misery’s and w33’s DC is looking strong while Secret with UNiVeRsE and Arteezy is the weakest we’ve ever seen. If things continue the same way they have been going so far we might very well see the winners of the previous Major eliminated in the first round of this one.
EG better than Secret but still not the same
A few words should probably be also said about Evil Geniuses, the victims of Secret’s roster changes. The TI 5 champions have been performing a little better than Team Secret in the Manila Major pre season and they have done similarly in the group stages as well.
EG placed third in their group they have fought hard and put themselves in a position to advance place in top 2 in their group but ultimately weren’t good enough. It is obviously not the same team that have won TI 5, DAC and place 3rd at two Majors.
Even split in the Upper Bracket
Looking ahead to the main event one thing should be noted. We have a very even split of teams in the Upper Bracket, the most even we have ever had at a Major. Three teams from Europe, Two from China and SEA as well as one from America. It’s interesting to see if the final standings will be similar at the end of the event. If so, that might mean that Dota 2 scene is in a pretty healthy state when it comes to strength of regions.
The Main Event of the Manila Major will start at the 7th of June around 4:00 AM CEST. The first day we will see two Upper bracket matches: Team Liquid vs MVP.Phoenix and Natus Vincere against OG Dota 2. We will also witness all four elimination matches in the Lower Bracket which will be played in a cruel Best of 1 format!