Three regions have been knocked out of title contention after an action-packed day four of the Dota 2 Lima Major Playoffs.
China, Eastern Europe, and South America had their hopes for a Major championship dashed after Team Aster, Team Spirit, and Evil Geniuses (EG) were eliminated.
Hometown darlings EG kicked things off with a huge 2-1 upset over Aster to send China packing. Southeast Asia's Talon Esports then pulled off their own massive 2-1 upset over The International 10 (TI10) champions Team Spirit, ending Eastern Europe's run in Lima.
Finally, EG's run in front of their home crowd was ended by North America's Shopify Rebellion in an epic three-game slugfest to cap off the day.
Here's how all the action in day four of the Lima Major Playoffs went down:
Evil Geniuses 2-1 Team Aster
The crowd at Lima was fired up to start the day as EG upset Aster to end China's run in the Major.
The Peruvian squad came out swinging to start the series, stomping Aster in a 43-minute opener to the tune of a 23-11 kill lead. Crhistian "Pakazs" Savina led the way on carry Marci with eight kills against one death.
Aster struck back hard in game two, choking out their opponents in a 54-minute rout to force a decider.
Zhai "Xwy" Jingkai on Ember Spirit paced his team's 39-22 kill lead with a series-high 19 kills against three deaths. Du "Monet" Peng on Shadow Fiend pitched in with 11 kills against two deaths.
Adrián "Wisper" Dobles then went ham on Batrider to send Aster packing in a 29-minute game three, notching 16 kills against zero deaths to fuel a 28-7 kill lead for EG to close out the series. Pakazs on Sven also added a clean seven kills of his own.
Talon Esports 2-1 Team Spirit
Southeast Asia's Talon Esports also had the crowd at Lima roaring as they pulled off their own upset over TI10 champs Team Spirit.
Spirit started the series strong, making short work of Talon in a 37-minute opener. Illya "Yatoro" Mulyarchuk on Spectre racked up 16 kills against one death to fuel a 37-12 kill lead for his team, with Denis "Larl" Sigitov on Zeus adding 12 kills on two deaths.
Talon then stormed back into the series in game two, making good use of a strong tri-core of Slark for Nuengnara "23savage" Teeramahanon, Dragon Knight for Rafli "Mikoto" Rahman, and Nature's Prophet for Anucha "Jabz" Jirawong to take a 42-minute victory.
With their tournament lives on the line in game three, Talon chose to take things late with 23savage on Faceless Void while Mikoto and Jabz made space on Ember Spirit and Nature's Prophet, respectively.
However, Larl's Tiny got off to a flying start, letting Yatoro's Terrorblade farm up freely in preparation for a series-clinching midgame push. Talon were able to weather the storm and outmaneuver Spirit, buying more time for 23savage to come online.
Once things got late, 23savage's Faceless Void proved its power as one of the game's best late game carries, leading Talon to a thrilling 55-minute comeback victory.
Shopify Rebellion 2-1 Evil Geniuses
The day ended with arguably the best match of the Major so far, as Shopify Rebellion took down an EG squad empowered by a roaring home crowd.
Wisper was once again the standout for EG to start this series, taking over on Broodmother to give his team the 32-minute win in the opener. Wisper and Farith "Matthew" Puente on his support Snapfire each had nine kills to pace their team's 31-16 kill lead.
After a rough showing in the Playoffs up to this point, Jonáš "SabeRLight-" Volek finally popped off and had a monster 14-kill, 14-assist showing on Snapfire in a 40-minute game two. Artour "Arteezy" Babaev on Luna also had a clean five kills to pace Shopify Rebellion's 34-13 kill lead to help force the decider.
Game three might end up being the best game of the entire Major, as Shopify Rebellion outlasted EG in a 44-minute bloodbath.
A back-and-forth early game saw EG in the driver's seat, as some well-timed ganks from them stopped Shopify Rebellion's midgame deathball centered on Arteezy's Luna and SabeRLight's Visage. Instead, Pakazs on Nature's Prophet led the Peruvian squad in cracking open their opponent's base by the half hour mark.
The game hung on the balance in an epic clash around the 33-minute mark, where Shopify Rebellion survived what could have been the deathblow from EG. Instead, the North American squad regained theri momentum while forcing their opponents to expend multiple buybacks.
Despite the crowd's best efforts to rouse their team, Shopify Rebellion made sure they stayed silent as they methodically picked their opponents apart and closed out the series after a 44-minute thriller.
Abed "Abed" Yusop on Zeus led the way for Shopify Rebellion, notching 15 kills against three deaths. Pakazs notably had 12 kills on two deaths despite the loss.
With the day's results, Shopify Rebellion have secured at least a 4th place finish as well as US$50,000 and 250 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) points in winnings.
Team Aster and Team Spirit end their runs in 7th-8th place with US$12,500 and 100 DPC points in consolation.
Meanwhile, EG bow out in 5th-6th place and will be taking home US$25,000 and 200 DPC points for their efforts.
Here are the matches for Day 5 of the Lima Major Playoffs:
Lower bracket quarterfinals:
Talon Esports vs Entity
Upper bracket finals:
Team Liquid vs Gaimin Gladiators
Lower bracket semifinals:
Shopify Rebellion vs winner of Talon Esports vs Entity
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.