Dota 2 Berlin Major: Liquid, PSG.LGD, 9 Pandas round out upper bracket teams
Team Aster, Evil Geniuses, Talon Esports, and Xtreme Gaming also qualified for the Playoffs but will have to start from the lower bracket.
The ESL One Berlin Major 2023 Group Stage concluded on Sunday (30 April) and the Playoffs are now set.
Western Europe's Team Liquid, Eastern Europe's 9 Pandas, and China's PSG.LGD became the last three teams to secure an upper bracket berth in the Playoffs.
They join Lima Major champions Gaimin Gladiators, The International 11 (TI11) champions Tundra Esports, super stand-in squad OG, TI10 champions Team Spirit, and North America's Shopify Rebellion, who all locked up their spots in the previous day.
Meanwhile, South America's Evil Geniuses (EG), Southeast Asia's Talon Esports, as well as China's Team Aster and Xtreme Gaming also secured Playoff spots but will have to start from the lower bracket.
Eastern Europe's BetBoom Team, South America's Beastcoast, and Southeast Asia's Team SMG were also eliminated from the tournament.
Liquid, 9 Pandas, PSG.LGD make upper bracket in Group A
Three spots in the upper bracket were up for grabs between Team Liquid, 9 Pandas, EG, PSG.LGD, Aster, and BetBoom at the final day of the Group Stage.
Three of the group's final matches would help decide the outcome of the race, with Liquid set to face EG, PSG.LGD taking on BetBoom, and 9 Pandas going up against Execration, who were already eliminated.
Liquid swept EG to claim an upper bracket berth while 9 Pandas followed suit despite being forced to a draw by Execration.
Meanwhile, PSG.LGD and BetBoom's match ended in a draw, which gave PSG.LGD the last upper bracket spot for Group A and forced a three-way tie between BetBoom, EG, and Aster for the two lower brackt spots.
The tiebreakers saw Aster defeat both EG and BetBoom, giving them the group's 5th seed. EG then beat BetBoom to claim the last Playoff spot and knock the latter out of the Major.
Talon, Xtreme claim lower bracket spots in Group B
With all the upper bracket spots in Group B already claimed, only the two lower bracket spots were in contention for the final day of the Group Stage. Talon and Xtreme ended up surviving the gauntlet at the expense of Beastcoast and Team SMG.
Talon and Xtreme put themselves in position to claim the lower bracket spots after they managed to force draws against Team Spirit and Shopify Rebellion, respectively, in their final matches of the Group Stage.
Team SMG were knocked out of the running after getting swept by Tundra in their last match. Beastcoast still had a shot at forcing tiebreakers for a spot in the Playoffs if they could sweep their last match against Invictus Gaming, who were already eliminated. Unfortunately for the South American squad, they were forced to a draw and were thus eliminated themselves.
Here are the final standings for the Berlin Major Group Stage:
Gaimin Gladiators: 13-3
Team Liquid: 10-6
9 Pandas: 10-6
Team Aster: 8-8
Evil Geniuses: 8-8
BetBoom Team: 8-8
Tundra Esports: 14-2
Team Spirit: 11-5
Shopify Rebellion: 10-6
Talon Esports: 7-9
Xtreme Gaming: 6-10
Team SMG: 4-12
Invictus Gaming: 3-13
With the Group Stage concluded, the Berlin Major now moves ahead to the Playoffs. It will follow a double-elimination bracket where all matches are a best-of-three except for the Grand Finals, which will be a full best-of-five series.
The Top 4 teams from the opposing groups will face off in the first round of the upper bracket, with the fifth to sixth-placed teams waiting in the lower bracket. In order to earn a cut of the Major's US$500,000 prize pool and 2,700 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) point pool, teams that start in the upper bracket will have to win at least one match while those that start in the lower bracket will need to win at least two.
Here's how the bracket looks like in the opening round of the Berlin Major Playoffs:
Upper bracket quarterfinals:
Gaimin Gladiators vs Team Spirit
OG vs Team Liquid
9 Pandas vs Shopify Rebellion
Tundra Esports vs PSG.LGD
Lower bracket round 1:
Team Aster vs loser of Gaimin Gladiators vs Team Spirit
Xtreme Gaming vs loser of OG vs Team Liquid
Evil Geniuses vs loser of 9 Pandas vs Shopify Rebellion
Talon Esports vs loser of Tundra Esports vs PSG.LGD
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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