ONE Esports Dota 2 World Pro Invitational Singapore reached the playoffs stage and the first to enter the stadium were Na’Vi, Virtus.pro, Vici Gaming and TNC Predator, all fighting for their survival in the $500,000 tournament.
All four teams were seeded in the first round of the playoffs lower bracket based on their group stage performance earlier in the event. For the CIS fans that meant, unfortunately, that Na’Vi and Virtus.pro had to fight against each other to avoid elimination, while the other series had a different kind of storyline, as TNC vs VG was a rematch of the MDL Chengdu Major grand finals.
Na’Vi vs Virtus.pro
Na’Vi and Virtus.pro are both qualified for the second Major of the season and are expected to come full guns blazing next year in January at DreamLeague Leipzig. The event in Singapore served as a perfect testing ground for both these CIS squads, who had a slow start in the new season. Their new rosters took time to be assembled, and none of them was present at the first Major nor the first Minor, although VP did qualify for the latter, but decided to forfeit their spot in order to focus on training their new recruits.
With a new patch recently released and all the overhaul that it brought, the group stage at One Esports Singapore brought somewhat unexpected results, with the likes of Team Liquid and PSG.LGD getting eliminated early, while the Chengdu Major finalists couldn’t secure an upper bracket start for the playoffs.
Na’Vi and VP had mixed results, but in their direct confrontation from today, Virtus.pro proved to be the better team as they made quick work of Na’Vi to secure a top six finish. In game one, they took the early lead by shutting down the two big cores of Na’Vi, Templar Assassin and Drow Ranger. Vladimir “No[o]ne” Minenko was the key element in both games of the series. On Viper in game one and on Puck in game two, he was able to control Idan “MagicaL” Vardanian to open the map for his team and set VP on a path to victory.
Vici Gaming vs TNC
The other lower bracket series of today was a bit more contested, as VG were looking to take revenge over TNC, who defeated them a few weeks ago in the major grand finals. The Chinese team started strong in game one and held the advantage for the first 30 minutes. Despite being cornered on their side of the river, TNC didn’t surrender and instead, they trapped VG into a late game scenario, where their line-up was able to turn the game in their favor.
VG evened the series in game two with a Morphling – Earthshaker combo and a super aggressive Zeng “Ori” Jiaoyang on Timbersaw. Heading into the decisive game, VG kept the aggressive stance going and outmaneuvered the Chengdu Champions with a Slark and a support Vengeful Spirit, who was able to find the right initiations to put his teammates in the advantage in the early skirmishes.
Na’Vi and TNC Predator exit the tournament in the 7th-8th positions, with a $10,000 check each, while VG and VP will return to the Singapore Indoor Stadium for another round of battles. VP will be pitted against Alliance, while VG will fight against Team Secret in the opening series of day 2 of the playoffs.