Dota 2 Lima Major: Gaimin Gladiators, Liquid make Top 3, Talon send HellRaisers home
Western Europe remains dominant as two of its teams will be facing off in the upper bracket finals.
While the first two days of the Dota 2 Lima Major Playoffs have featured some very competitive series, a quick day three of competition saw back-to-back-to-back 2-0 stomps.
Southeast Asia's hopes remain alive after Talon Esports booted Eastern Europe's HellRaisers in the final match of the first round of the lower bracket.
Meanwhile, Western European juggernauts Gaimin Gladiators and Team Liquid are set to meet in the upper bracket finals after they swept Entity and Shopify Rebellion in their respective upper bracket semifinal matches.
Here's how the action went down in day three of the Lima Major Playoffs:
Talon Esports 2-0 HellRaisers
The day began with Talon Esports cruising through HellRaisers in back-to-back 43-minute games to advance to the second round of the lower bracket.
Game one was a bloodbath, as Talon finished with a 56-19 kill lead and with three players notching double-digit kills. Nuengnara "23savage" Teeramahanon on Lina led the way with 24 kills, the highest of the tournament thus far, against just two deaths.
Rafli "Mikoto" Rahman on Puck and Anucha "Jabz" Jirawong on Snapfire pitched in with 15 and 10 kills, respectively, while each conceding only three deaths.
Game two was yet another rout, this time with Talon leading 44-16 in kills to secure the sweep. 23savage on Sniper once againt notched the game-high in kills with 12 against three deaths while Mikoto on Batrider added 11 on two deaths.
Gaimin Gladiators 2-0 Entity
Up next was the first upper bracket semifinal match between two Western European powerhouses: Gaimin Gladiators and Entity. The Gladiators have bested Entity in all their matches so far this season, and that streak continued as the latter took just around an hour of game time to secure the sweep.
The Gladiators went all-in on aggression in game one — picking up a carry Nature's Prophet for Anton "dyrachyo" Shkredov, Queen of Pain for Quinn "Quinn" Callahan, and Broodmother for Marcus "Ace" Hoelgaard — to counter a slow Entity draft centered on Alimzhan "watson" Islambekov's Naga Siren.
The Gladiators then ran over Entity in 35-minutes of action, with dyrachyo and Quinn each having 10 kills against just one death to pace their team's 27-15 kill lead.
Game two was an even more one-sided affair, as it only took the Gladiators 26 minutes to force the GG call. Quinn led the way with seven kills against one death on Pangolier while dyrachyo on Terrorblade pitched in with a clean six kills.
Team Liquid 2-0 Shopify Rebellion
Day three closed with a highly-anticipated showdown between Western European juggernaut Team Liquid and top North American team Shopify Rebellion. While Liquid were expected to take this series as the overwhelming favourites to claim the championship, it was still surprising how one-sided the result was.
Liquid came out swinging in the 31-minute game one, leading from the laning stage and never looking back to finish with a 31-13 kill lead. Michael "miCKe" Vu led the way on Lina with 10 kills against two deaths while Ludwig "zai" Wåhlberg on Timbersaw had nine kills on three deaths.
Game two actually started out with Shopify Rebellion looking to force a decider, as Abed "Abed" Yusop absolutely dominated the early game on Primal Beast.
However, Liquid managed to weather the storm and get their carry duo of Drow Ranger for miCKe and Morphling for Michał "Nisha" Jankowski ready to take over in the late game.
Despite Abed's best efforts to will his team back from the brink, Liquid could not be stopped as they secured the 2-0 sweep after 46 minutes of action.
With today's results, Gaimin Gladiators and Team Liquid have secured at least a Top 3 finish as well as US$75,000 and 300 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) points in winnings. They will face off in the upper bracket finals on Day 5 of the Playoffs to determine the first team that will advance to the Grand Finals.
Meanwhile, Entity and Shopify Rebellion drop to the lower bracket, where they will await the winners of the bracket's second round.
Here are the matches to be played in Day 4 of the Lima Major Playoffs:
Lower bracket round 2:
Evil Geniuses vs Team Aster
Talon Esports vs Team Spirit
Lower bracket quarterfinals:
Shopify Rebellion vs winner of Evil Geniuses vs Team Aster
The Lima Major Playoffs will take place from 28 February to 5 March and will be a double-elimination bracket. All Playoff matches will be a best-of-three except for the Grand Finals, which will be a full best-of-five series.
Teams will have to make the Top 8 in order to earn a cut of the Lima Major's US$500,000 prize pool and 1,900 DPC point pool. Those precious DPC points will go towards earning an all-important direct invite to this year's iteration of The International (TI), Dota 2's annual world championship tournament.
The Lima Major is the first Major of the 2023 DPC season and will feature 18 of the best teams in the circuit battling for their share of the US$500,000 prize pool and 1,900 DPC point pool. For everything you need to know about the Lima Major, check here.
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