Dota 2 Berlin Major: Gaimin Gladiators, OG lead the way after Group Stage day two
Western Europe is once again looking to reign supreme in the Berlin Major.
Western Europe continues to dominate pro Dota 2 as Gaimin Gladiators and OG have topped their respective groups after day two of the ESL One Berlin Major 2023 Group Stage on Thursday (27 April).
Coming off their victories in the Lima Major and DreamLeague Season 19, Gaimin Gladiators were by far the biggest favourites in Berlin and have lived up to the promise, leading Group A with a 6-2 record.
Meanwhile, OG continues to prove they somehow get better with stand-ins as they hold the best record in the Major so far at 7-1 to top Group B.
Gaimin Gladiators lead Group A as BetBoom and Aster nip at their heels
After putting up a 3-1 record in day one, Gaimin Gladiators put up a similar performance by drawing Eastern Europe's BetBoom Team and sweeping Southeast Asia's Execration to finish day two with a 6-2 record.
The defending Major champions can boast the most experience in the crazy new metagame introduced by the massive 7.33 update, having played the last leg of DreamLeague Season 19 just two days after the patch dropped, which should give them the edge against any team moving forward.
Tied for second place in Group A are BetBoom and China's Team Aster, both with 5-3 records.
BetBoom had an impressive day two, forcing draws against arguably the two strongest teams in the Major: Gaimin Gladiators and Team Liquid. Meanwhile, Aster bounced back from a middling 2-2 showing in day one by sweeping Execration and drawing with Eastern Europe's 9 Pandas.
There's also another tie for fourth place in Group A between 9 Pandas and China's PSG.LGD, with both having 4-2 records. South America's Evil Geniuses (EG) are technically included in this tie, though they have the disadvantage of having a 4-4 record.
Meanwhile, Liquid have been relatively quiet with a 3-3 record. As one of the biggest favourites in Berlin, it's way too early to count them out and we should instead expect them to shoot up the standings in the following days.
Finally for Group A, North America's TSM and Southeast Asia's Execration sit squarely at the bottom. TSM have only managed one win against EG after six matches while Execration has gone winless in four outings.
OG top Group B; Tundra, Shopify, and Spirit not far behind
Despite being forced to field two stand-ins due to visa issues, OG are looking like big contenders as they boast the best record in the Major so far at 7-1.
Nigma Galaxy's Ivan "MinD_ControL" Ivanov and Old G's Kartik "Kitrak" Rathi have performed admirably as stand-ins, helping OG get a perfect 4-0 start in day one and a 3-1 outing in day two off a draw with Team Spirit and a sweep over Talon Esports.
After OG is a three-way tie between The International 11 (TI11) champions Tundra Esports, North American powerhouse Shopify Rebellion, and TI10 champions Team Spirit. All three teams have five wins, though Tundra have the edge with only one loss so far while the other two have three apiece.
Sitting in the middle of Group B are China's Xtreme Gaming at 4-2 and Southeast Asia's Team SMG at 3-5.
After going winless in day one, Xtreme are looking better after scoring back-to-back sweeps over the two Southeast Asian teams in their group: SMG and Talon Esports. After getting swept by Xtreme, SMG vented their frustration on another Chinese team in Invictus Gaming (IG).
Meanwhile, the bottom three of Group B include South America's Beastcoast, Talon Esports, and IG.
After a 2-2 showing in day one, Beastcoast dropped to 2-4 after getting swept by Shopify Rebellion. With that said, it wouldn't be too surprising for the South American squad to start showing up in the next few days.
Talon Esports have arguably been the biggest disappointment of the Major so far. After a third place finish at the Lima Major, Southeast Asia's top dogs only have one win against Beastcoast to their name after six matches. While we wouldn't count them out yet, the clock is definitely ticking for Talon.
Finally, IG joins Execration as the only teams that have yet to pick up wins so far. With their next opponents being OG and Tundra, it'd be fair to say that IG is very likely to head back to China soon.
Here are the standings after day two of the Berlin Major Group Stage:
Gaimin Gladiators: 6-2
BetBoom Team: 5-3
Team Aster: 5-3
9 Pandas: 4-2
Evil Geniuses: 4-4
Team Liquid: 3-3
Tundra Esports: 5-1
Shopify Rebellion: 5-3
Team Spirit: 5-3
Xtreme Gaming: 4-2
Team SMG: 3-5
Talon Esports: 1-5
Invictus Gaming: 0-8
The Berlin Major Group Stage will see the 18 participating teams split into two groups of nine teams each competing across five days for spots in the Playoffs. The Group Stage follows a single round-robin format with best-of-two matches.
At the end of the Group Stage, the six best-performing teams from each group will advance to the Playoffs while the bottom three will be eliminated. The top four of each group will begin the Playoffs in the upper bracket while the fifth to sixth-placed teams will have to start from the lower bracket.
The Berlin Major will take place from 26 April to 7 May and will feature 18 of the best teams in the DPC battling for their share of the US$500,000 prize pool and 2,700 DPC point pool. Those DPC points will go towards securing all-important direct invites to this year's iteration of The International, Dota 2's annual multimillion dollar world championship tournament.
For everything you need to know about the Berlin Major, check here.
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