Playoffs at ESL One Germany 2020 kicked off yesterday with two series of epic Dota 2 action between the likes of Team Nigma, Team Secret, Natus Vincere and OG, as the teams fought to remain in the upper bracket.
ESL One Germany 2020’s group stage came to an end just a few short days ago and the eight teams that progressed into the playoff stage would soon be fight for their spot in the upper bracket, with four hoping to avoid a lower bracket run today. Unfortunately for two of the teams involved, they wouldn’t be so lucky as a lower bracket run would be all they could do to reach the grand finals in a week.
Kicking off the action would be OG and Natus Vincere, the former having only dropped one game in the group stages, while the latter dropped two – only making it into the playoff stage after a round 5 reverse sweep over Yellow Submarines. But today would see a battle like no other as the two teams clashed and gave us one of the best series we could hope to see. Although the entire Na’Vi squad are currently playing on a trial basis, with the possibility of things changing following ESL One Germany 2020, that didn’t stop them from taking the two-time TI champions on at ever step. A magnificent Doom from Bogdan “Iceberg” Vasilenko in game one would run alongside an unstoppable Lifestealer from Alik “V-Tune” Vorobey as Na’Vi claimed a strong series lead.
Even though V-Tune returned to the Lifestealer in game two, it wasn’t enough to hold off the OG onslaught as the series would eventually be tied, as the two juggernauts put on a spectacle of Dota 2 prowess. However, game three was near flawless from Na’Vi – making the team’s supporters really wonder if they can say that they are back, as they stomped OG into the lower bracket with ease. Even though OG attempted to steal away the Lifestealer, Na’Vi had all the answers as they took a commanding 2-1 victory and move forward in the upper bracket, leaving OG to remember their massive mistakes in the lower bracket.
The second series of the day was set for even more fireworks with Team Nigma and Team Secret going up against one another. In recent times, Secret have seemed all but unstoppable, but it has been Nigma who have been able to slow down their run on many occasions this year – BEYOND EPIC: EU/CIS being the most recent. That said, the group stage victories don’t count and Nigma would need to produce something special to take down Secret in the playoffs, and game one saw exactly that.
Although back and forth, Secret could just not find their footing in the first game of the series, especially not against an Amer “Miracle-“ Al-Barkawi Faceless Void which was near unkillable. But you don’t ever keep Secret down for too long as they played a methodical second game to tie the series and take things to game three. Although Nigma played an amazing final game, it wasn’t enough to take down Secret this time, as they had answers to absolutely everything.
With their 2-1 victory, Secret move on in the upper bracket, while Nigma fall into the lower bracket and face possible elimination in just a few days. ESL One Germany 2020 continues later today with more upper bracket action between Team Liquid, mudgolems, Vikin.gg and Alliance, as we head toward the grand finals in just over a week.