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photo by: Andrey Bosenko

The third Major of the season started today with four streams running in parallel as all four groups played their first set of matches. The tournament is running on a GSL group stage format leading into a double elimination playoffs bracket, where 16 of the best teams in the scene are fighting for the $1,000,000 and more importantly for DPC points, which count towards a slot to The International 2019.

The group stage is not an eliminatory one, however there is a penalty for those who place bottom two in their respective groups: playoffs lower bracket start looms ahead and the first round there is a best-of-one brawl for survival. So, with that in mind, all the 16 teams started today their Stockholm Major journey, all fighting for a good start. While in group A Team Secret and Team Liquid smoothly sailed with 2-0 victories, in group B it was PSG.LGD and Ninjas in Pyjamas who bolted ahead of their competitors.

Group C and D opening series were a bit more disputed as Na’Vi, Forward Gaming and EHOME came close to take the spotlight. EHOME in Group C faced Mineski and despite their recent forced shuffle, dued to Zhang “Faith_bian” Ruida’s injury and Luo “eGo” Bin decision to end his stint with the team without notice, they still managed to pose a threat.

EHOME vs Mineski

EHOME lost game one to a carry Sven played to perfection by Lai “Ahjit” Jay Son, who finished with a 20-0-8 K/D/A on the back of a great laning stage that allowed him to get his hands on a 24-minute full Assault Cuirass, followed by a 30-minute Daedalus and 35-minute full Satanic. Mineski were simply unstoppable in game one, closing with a 37 kills on their name and over 35K gold advantage. However, EHOME were not ready to give up and pushed hard in game two with Yang “END” Pu on Luna to force a decisive game three. Despite their efforts and END’s decent farm on Terrorblade, EHOME were forced to a fast paced game three where Mineski had all the right tools to take down buildings and force an early high ground siege.

Virtus.pro vs Forward Gaming

The other series in group C had the CIS kings Virtus.pro being tested by Forward Gaming, who actually started their major adventure by taking the victory in game one. The NA team reserved their last pick for Yawar “YawaR” Hassan, who went mid lane on a Timbersaw to terrorize Vladimir “No[o]ne” Minenko’s Kunkka and with him, the entire VP line-up. YawaR was sitting on Guardian Greaves and Holy Locket completed around the 20-minute mark, which made him basically immortal and helped FWD to be the aggressors and take the victory. However, Yawar couldn’t replicate his amazing laning stage in the next game and VP pushed the series in a game three where they had issues again early and were forced to play much more defensive that they would have liked to,with a mid-lane Outworld Devourer. FWD picked a sneaky Bounty Hunter core, who distracted VP early to mid-stage, disturbed No[o]one’s farm and forced him to go for defensive items on his OD. However, VP played around Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev’s Lifestealer and the two great infest bombs he could utilize, Puck and Clockwerk, to outmaneuver and outplay Forward Gaming.

Virtus.pro and Mineski will fight against each other tomorrow, March 15 in the winner’s series of Group C, while FWD and EHOME will be pitted against each-other in the loser’s series.

Evil Geniuses vs Na’Vi

In group D Evil Geniuses were pushed to a game three as well. Na’Vi, at their first Major this season, managed to take a game from the Boys in Blue. Unfortunately for the CIS fans, game three of that series was a complete fiasco for their favourites, who put all their eggs in the Alchemist basket and lost in just 23 minutes.

Vici Gaming vs Chaos Esports Club

A demoralizing day one went down in the Chaos Esports Club room as well. The Brazilian team was executed 2-0 by the StarLadder ImbaTV Minor Champions Vici Gaming, who seem to be all warmed up from their games in Kiev from last week. VG had to overcome Chao’s aggression in game one as they were forced to long skirmishes and kill trades. The game went back and forth for over 50 minutes, but VG’s secret weapon was Zhang “Paparazi” Chengjun’s Terrorblade. After being able to punish Chaos in game one, VG had a very easy game two, where they claimed their spot in Group D winner’s series from tomorrow in just 22 minutes.

DreamLeague Season 11, Day 2 schedule:

13:30 CET – Winners series:

Group A: Team Secret vs Team Liquid

Group B: Ninjas in Pyjamas vs PSG.LGD

Group C: Virtus.pro vs Mineski

Group D: ViCi Gaming vs Evil Geniuses

16:30 CET – Losers series:

Group A: Keen Gaming vs J.Storm

Group B: Fnatic vs Infamous

Group C: Forward Gaming vs EHOME

Group D: Chaos vs Na’Vi

19:30 CET  – Group A, B, C, D decider series

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