Photo courtesy of EPICENTER
In the last day of the group stage at EPICENTER XL, Natus Vincere couldn’t hold on to their momentum and was eliminated by paiN Gaming 2:0. The teams and seedings for the main event are now set to begin on May 4th.
The group stage at EPICENTER XL has come to a close, signaling the final run for teams to battle it out for the highly coveted DPC points and the championship title and trophy.
Yesterday, Newbee, compLexity Gaming and Team Empire were knocked out of contention. Today, despite overpowering two of the top three teams in the world and Pro Circuit rankings, Natus Vincere fell at the hands of paiN Gaming and left the team and fans around the world shaking their heads at things worked out for the Ukrainian team. On the other side of the world, South Americans were celebrating the Brazilian’s advancement into the main event.
With the seeding all settled up, the top four teams —Team Liquid, Virtus.pro, PSG.LGD and OG have landed into a safety net of starting in the Upper Brackets Round 1 while the lower four teams —FlyToMoon, Mineski, paiN Gaming and Team Secret will have to first survive the unforgiving best-of-one elimination series in the Lower Brackets Round 1.
Team Empire 1:2 FlyToMoon
Even though Team Empire was already knocked out of the event yesterday, they continued to put their best foot forward and played a full three-game series against FlyToMoon. The first match belonged solely to FlyToMoon and the newly formed CIS team was able to close out in 30 minutes with relative ease. The second game, however, did not come as easy for them. Team Empire put up quite the resistance and the roller coaster game finally came to an end after 51 minutes in favor of Empire. FlyToMoon had already secured a place in the main event and Team Empire was already out, but a win or loss in the series determined which team FlyToMoon would have to play in the dangerous elimination series next —something that could cast their fate for the rest of the tournament. Alexey “nongrata” Vasilev had a flawless game in the offlane on clockwerk and helped to secure the series win, giving them the edge and eventually with Mineski’s loss, the third place seed in the group.
Team Liquid 2:0 Mineski
Team Liquid came to the series seeking a fight —and to destroy. In two overpowering games, Team Liquid showed no signs of slowing down on their journey to claiming another championship title in the Pro Circuit and their first Major title of the 2017-2018 season. Mineski put up a menacing fight in the first match, but it always was in the hands of Team Liquid and they didn’t let it slip from their grasp. The second match, Team Liquid slaughtered the SEA kings. In the first seven minutes of the game the score was 7:0. By 15 minutes, it was 21:3 with an 8k gold lead. At 20 minutes the game was over. Team Liquid ended their run in the group stage by winning every one of their series.
PSG.LGD 2:0 compLexity Gaming
compLexity Gaming’s participation had been cut short just yesterday with their elimination at the hands of Team Liquid. Showing up with a competitive spirit still, the team first game of the series between the two teams started out fairly close with back and forth trades. It didn’t take long though for PSG.LGD to start building momentum and quickly become out of control. In 34 minutes the game ended in their favor with a 55:21 score. The second game compLexity gaming tried to put the past behind them, but it wasn’t as easy as that with the Chinese rising stars taking quick control and leaving compLexity gaming in the dust with a very convincing second game.
Newbee 2:1 OG
Newbee might have been upset with their surprise elimination yesterday, but they didn’t seem to remember that fact when they locked horns with OG in the series. OG took the first game with ease with more at stake than their Chinese opponents. Newbee didn’t seem to care though and bounced back with a reverse sweep, crushing the Europeans in both matches. OG’s loss ultimately hurt their first place seeding, but were still able to grab the second place and a spot in the upper brackets of the main event.
Na’Vi 0:2 paiN Gaming
Na’Vi’s run at EPICENTER XL was one to remember and a gut-deep churn of emotions. The Ukrainian team excited fans when they overpowered both Virtus.pro and Team Secret, but they weren’t able to hold on to that form and playing making moments when facing the South American representatives. Drafting seemed to play a big part in Na’Vi’s fall with the first game showing Danil “Dendi” Ishutin on the Bat Rider. A bad fight at the Roshan about 16 minutes in let the game swing in favor of paiN Gaming and Na’vi’s draft was hopeless to gain it back, watching the game just slipping through their fingers. In the second match, the CIS team was just completely outdrafted and had no hope as the match was over in just 23 minutes. The Brazilians, on the other hand, had a spectacular showing. William “hFn” Medeiros would end up being the MVP in both games of the series and paiN Gaming’s showing at the event rewarded them with a place in the main event. A fourth place seed would place them in the lower brackets best-of-one elimination series, but they had made it.
Virtus.pro 2:0 Team Secret
The farming efficiency and prowess of Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev are on another level. Finding farm all over, he would easily claim the top spot in networth. With their team play being in complete synchronicity and their draft on point, the first match was a cinch for Virtus.pro as they closed out in 23 minutes and the win secured them the first seed of the group. The second match was much more evenly contested but VP continued to control the map, control the game and control Roshan to take the 2:0 sweep.
EPICENTER XL will be taking a break tomorrow, May 3rd. The action will resume on Friday, May 4th with the Main Event Lower Brackets Round 1 at 12:30 local time/11:30 CEST. FlyToMoon will take on paiN Gaming in the first of the brutal best-of-one elimination series.
Pandora is a behind the scenes Dota 2 professional Jack of All Trades. When not busy with Dota 2 work, she is out trying to save the world or baking cupcakes. Follow her on Twitter @pandoradota2