Earlier today the playoff stages of the WePlay! Bukovel Minor kicked off with only four teams remaining in the event and some magnificent Dota 2 action from all teams involved.
Opening the day would be the Southeast Asians of Geek Fam, who had finished second in Group A, going up against the number one seed of Group B, Gambit Esports. The first game of the series seemed to be in the bag for the CIS squad as the early game was all in their favour but as things progressed, Geek Fam’s strength begun to show, and things quickly got away from Gambit. Once again we saw something that has happened many times with Gambit, even though they were heavily on the back foot – the early GG call.
Game two was a much more drawn out affair with both teams throwing everything at one another for over an hour. While GF were able to constantly take the lead away from Gambit, the CIS squad fought back as much as they could but, in the end,, they could not withstand the brilliance of Marc Polo ‘Raven’ Luis Fausto’s Naga Siren and a 2-0 victory was recorded. Gambit will now drop into the lower bracket where they will fight to avoid elimination later today.
Next up would be a massive series with Royal Never Give Up fighting against Nigma, with the winner joining Geek Fam in the upper bracket finals later today. From the group stages, RNG looked dominant, while Nigma were still struggling, even though making it to playoffs. Game one was indicative of their struggles as they were torn apart by the seemingly unstoppable Chinese squad. It may have taken 40 minutes but there were no moments where RNG looked as though they would fall behind.
Even though they made some errors in the first game, the next game was all Nigma as they were the first team able to make a dent in the RNG dominance at the Minor. Nigma managed to easily tie the series and take the series to an epic final game and what a decider it was. From the get-go it seemed as though Nigma would quickly and easily run away with the game and series as Amer ‘Miracle’ Al-Barkawi’s Templar Assassin ripped through RNG’s lineup at every turn but the Chinese team were not about to give up. It took 40 minutes for their lineup to come online but once it did, Nigma were left in the dust as RNG took a 2-1 series win.
With that, the upper bracket finals for later in the day were set with RNG going up against Geek Fam – while the next series would see the end of the WePlay! Bukovel Minor for either Nigma or Gambit Esports.