Gaimin Gladiators were knocked out of a tournament for the second time this season by Entity, who themselves were later knocked out by BetBoom Team. Meanwhile, 9Pandas had their run ended by OG.
Here's how all the action in day five of DreamLeague Season 21 went down:
Lower bracket round 1
Entity 2-1 Gaimin Gladiators
The day kicked off with Entity dealing three-time Major champions Gaimin Gladiators their second tournament loss this season in hard-fought 2-1 series despite having two stand-ins.
Entity were already playing in DreamLeague Season 21 with Ammar "ATF" Al-Assaf standing-in for Kim "Gabbi" Santos, who had gone back to the Philippines in order to get his visa. For this match, Stanislav "Malr1ne" Potorak stood-in for Daniel "Stormstormer" Schoetzau, who was attending his brother's wedding.
Game one set the pace for this slugfest of a series, as Entity dominated teamfights behind Alimzhan "watson" Islambekov's Muerta and ATF's Razor. However, Gaimin Gladiators were able to stall things out behind some relentless split-pushing from Marcus "Ace" Hoelgaard's Broodmother and Melchior "Seleri" Hillenkamp's support Nature's Prophet.
While Entity continued winning the straight-up clashes, Gaimin Gladiators slowly chipped away at their base until the opposing Ancient was exposed. An all-in push attempt from the three-time Major champions at the 47-minute mark somehow resulted in them stealing the game one win away.
Despite the loss, watson and ATF put up strong performances and combined for 27 kills and 21 assists with only two deaths apiece in a game that ended with Entity up 37-17 in kills.
— ESL Dota2 (@ESLDota2) September 22, 2023
Entity were quick to shake off their previous loss and once again dominated behind the one-two punch of watson and ATF, who were on Sven and Viper, respectively, this time around. With no heroes capable of split-pushing this time, Gaimin Gladiators could do little to stop Entity's onslaught and were forced to call GG after 38 minutes of action.
ATF paced Entity's 38-13 kill lead with 14 kills and 12 assists on three deaths while watson pitched in with a clean 11 kills and 10 assists.
A chaotic game three saw both teams go blow-for-blow, but it was Entity that managed to pull away in the late game and outlast Gaimin Gladiators after a 75-minute slugfest.
Watson on a carry Pudge and ATF on Razor once again led the way for Entity, with watson putting up 12 kills and 35 assists on four deaths while ATF had 15 kills and 26 assists against seven deaths. Dzmitry "Fishman" Palishchuk also had a standout performance on Warlock, notching 13 kills and 33 assists on nine deaths, in a 57-37 bloodbath.
OG 2-0 9Pandas
The second series of the day saw OG send a struggling 9Pandas packing in a 2-0 sweep — a feat made more impressive by the fact that they were playing with Ivan "MinD_ControL" Ivanov as a stand-in and as the only team in DreamLeague Season 21 that did not qualify for The International (TI) 2023.
Game one saw OG run roughshod all over 9Pandas to the tune of a very lopsided 51-11 kill lead in 47 minutes, with four players also notching double-digit kills.
MinD_ControL on Razor led the way with 14 kills and 19 assists on three deaths, Bozhidar "bzm" Bogdanov on Earth Spirit and Kartik "Kitrak" Rathi on Enchantress both had 11 kills, while Artem "Yuragi" Golubiev on Phantom Assassin had 10 kills and 21 assists on three deaths.
9Pandas put up a much better fight in game two and were actually in control from the early to midgame. However, OG managed to weather the storm and take things late, where Yuragi's Phantom Assassin led them in securing the 2-0 sweep after 45 minutes of action.
Yuragi finished with a game-high 17 kills and nine assists on four deaths while bzm on Ember Spirit pitched in with 12 kills and 15 assists against five deaths.
Lower bracket quarterfinals
BetBoom Team 2-0 Entity
Despite coming off a huge victory over Gaimin Gladiators, Entity's spirited run in DreamLeague Season 21 ended on the same day at the hands of BetBoom Team in a 2-0 sweep.
BetBoom came out swinging to start the series and routed Entity in 31 minutes while racking up 25 kills and only conceding nine deaths. Egor "Nightfall" Grigorenko on Gyrocopter led the way with a clean eight kills and eight assists.
Game two was an even more one-sided affair, as BetBoom completed the 2-0 series sweep in a 32-minute stomp where they finished with a 30-6 kill lead. Danil "gpk" Skutin on Pangolier notably racked up a clean 10 kills and 13 assists while Vitalie "Save-" Melnic on Dark Willow had nine kills and 16 assists on one death.
With the day's results, Gaimin Gladiators and 9Pandas exit DreamLeague Season 21 in 7th-8th place and will take home US$47,500 in consolation. Meanwhile, Entity finish in 5th-6th place and have earned US$57,500 for their efforts.
BetBoom Team have also guaranteed themselves at least a fourth place finish and US$85,000 in winnings.
DreamLeague Season 21 is split into two phases: the Group Stage, taking place from 18 to 20 September, and the Playoffs, scheduled from 21 to 24 September.
The Group Stage split the 12 participating teams into two single round-robin groups of six teams each, where they fought to be among the eight squads advancing into the Playoffs. All matches in the Group Stage were a best-of-two.
The Top 4 teams in each group advanced to the Playoffs, with the Top 2 teams earning an upper bracket berth while the third to fourth-placed teams having to start in the lower bracket. Meanwhile, the bottom two teams of each group were eliminated.
The DreamLeague Season 21 Playoffs will follow a double-elimination bracket format, with four teams starting in the upper bracket while four others will be seeded into the lower bracket. All matches in the Playoffs will be a best-of-three except for the Grand Finals, which will be a full best-of-five series.
With almost all of the participating teams in DreamLeague Season 21 set to play in TI 2023, it will also serve as the undercard event to this year's Dota 2 world championship tournament.
TI 2023 will be hosted across multiple weekends from 12 to 29 October in Seattle, the United States. This year's tournament also features a revamped format split into two distinct phases, called 'The Road to The International' and 'The International' itself.