Western Europe continues to be the most stacked and competitive region in Dota 2.
ESL One Stockholm Major champions OG will be missing out on the upcoming Lima Major after they lost a chaotic three-way tiebreaker with The International 11 (TI11) champions Tundra Esports and Entity that spanned two days of action.
Competition in the 2023 Dota Pro Circuit's (DPC) Winter Tour regional league for Western Europe ended with OG, Tundra, and Entity all tied with 4-3 records apiece.
With Team Liquid and Gaimin Gladiators taking two of Western Europe's four slots in the Major, the three tied teams had to go through a grueling series of tiebreakers to determine which of them would go to Lima.
League rules dictated that three-way ties will be settled through best-of-one matches on Tuesday (31 January), with the team that loses twice missing out on the Major.
What followed was a veritable rock-paper-scissors match between the three teams. In the first round of tiebreakers, Tundra routed OG in 36 minutes, Entity outlasted Tundra in a 67-minute marathon, then OG edged out Entity in a 53-minute thriller.
With the first round having an inconclusive outcome, another round of tiebreakers were played, which ended up producing the same results. Tundra defeated OG in 43 minutes, Entity made short work of Tundra in 29 minutes, then OG prevailed over Entity in a 64-minute slugfest.
While that apparent never-ending cycle of Dota provided a lot of entertainment for the casters and the viewers, the players that were duking it out in the tiebreakers themselves were less than thrilled.
Duality of the tiebreakers rn pic.twitter.com/TW4RjRoGAS
— Ioannis Loucas (@Foggeddota) January 31, 2023
With the second round of tiebreakers ending well past midnight in Europe, league organiser PGL were forced to postpone the third round to Wednesday (1 February) the following day.
The seemingly endless cycle of tiebreakers seemed to be repeating itself once again as the third round began with Tundra defeating OG for the third time. The TI11 champions noticably played with much more caution than their previous games, as they were content to drag things out to 60 minutes to secure this victory.
While the first game seemed to be a repeat of the past two rounds, Tundra finally broke the cycle when they defeated Entity to secure the third spot in the Lima Major. The TI11 champions were once again careful in their approach, methodically securing the victory even if it took 55 minutes and a net worth lead of over 51,000 gold.
Tundra midlaner Leon "Nine" Kirilin seemed eager to finally end the tiebreakers, as he put on a perfect 18-kill, 11-assist performance on Zeus to help his team punch their tickets to Peru.
With Tundra taking Western Europe'st third Major spot, OG and Entity clashed in one last tiebreaker game to determine who will be the region's fourth representative in Lima.
While OG managed to edge out Entity in their previous tiebreaker games, their third meeting ended up being a one-sided affair. Entity had a superior laning stage and held the lead for the rest of the game, all while OG desperately tried to mount a comeback.
Entity midlaner Daniel "Stormstormer" Schoetzau, who notably changed his in-game name to 'Tiebreakbreaker' for the occasion, led the way for his team as they routed OG after a 46-minute beatdown.
Stormstormer paced his team's final 34-11 kill lead with an excellent line of 12 kills and 19 assists against just one death on Invoker.
With the tiebreakers finally coming to an end, Western Europe will be represented by Team Liquid, Gaimin Gladiators, Tundra Esports, and Entity in the Lima Major.
Meanwhile, OG will have to stay behind with US$25,000 and 60 DPC points in consolation.
The 2023 DPC season has been a wild one so far for Western Europe. Not only did the Winter Tour end with those chaotic tiebreakers, it also saw Team Secret get demoted to Division II just three months after they finished TI11 in second place.
Other regions also saw big-name teams miss out on the first Major of the season. Filipino superteam Blacklist Rivalry collapsed in the final day of competition in the Southeast Asian regional league and failed to earn a spot in Lima.
The Lima Major will be the concluding event of the 2023 DPC season's Winter Tour and will feature 18 of the best teams from the circuit's six regional leagues. Up for grabs will be US$500,000 in prize money as well as 1,900 DPC points, which will go towards securing a direct invite to this year's iteration of TI.
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