The ONE Esports Dota 2 Singapore Major has finally begun, with Team Liquid from Europe and Vici Gaming (VG) from China emerging as the leaders of the tournament's Wildcard Stage after the first day of competition.
The Major's Wildcard Stage, which takes place over this weekend (27-28 March), features six teams, namely Team Liquid and Team Nigma from Europe, Vici Gaming and PSG.LGD from China, T1 from Southeast Asia, and AS Monaco Gambit from the CIS, fighting to advance to the tournament's Group Stage.
Each team in the Wildcard will take on the other teams once in a single round-robin, with each match being a best-of-two series. At the end of this preliminary stage, the three teams with the best record will advance to the Group Stage.
Only two teams were originally supposed to come out of the Wildcard, but an extra spot in the Group Stage was freed up after CIS team Natus Vincere withdrew from the SIngapore Major on Friday (26 March).
Team Liquid ended the first day of the Wildcard atop the standings with a perfect 3-0 record, as they soundly swept Team Nigma, PSG.LGD, and T1. Liquid may notably feature in what could end up being the most lopsided game of the Major, as they won the first game of their series against T1 in just 24 minutes and with a 34-4 kill lead.
Liquid carry player Michael "miCKe" Vu has been the standout player of the Wildcard, as his excellent play fueled his team's hot start to the tournament. He had double digit kills in all of his games today and even notched a streak of three straight games with 14 kills.
MiCKe had a total of 83 kills against just 14 deaths across his six games thus far, with his highest kill count being18 in a 23-minute stomp in Liquid's second game against T1.
VG only played two matches today against AS Monaco Gambit and T1 and won both of them to sit in second place of the standings. The Chinese team is in good position to secure a spot in the Group Stage, though they still need to win at least one of their three matches in day two of the Wildcard to assure they will advance.
AS Monaco Gambit are in third place with a 2-1 record, with sweeps over T1 and Team Nigma and a 0-2 loss to VG. The CIS team can secure a spot in the Group Stage if they win at least one of their matches in day two against Liquid and PSG.LGD.
PSG.LGD split their two matches today and are fourth in the standings, as they got swept by Team Liquid before bouncing back and sweeping Team Nigma themselves to get a 1-1 record. They still have a shot of nabbing the third Group Stage spot, with what should be an easy match against T1 followed by back-to-back must-win matches against VG and AS Monaco Gambit in day two.
Team Nigma and T1 sit at the bottom of the standings at the end of day one with three losses apiece. Both teams are notably not at full strength here in.the Major, with their offlaners sitting out the tournament due to health issues.
Nigma's Ivan "MinD_ControL" Ivanov was ruled out of the Major after he tested positive for the coronavirus, with team coach Roman "rmN-" Paley joining the active roster as his substitute. Meanwhile, T1's Carlo "Kuku" Palad sat out the event due to an undisclosed health problem, with Lee "Forev" Sang-don taking his place.
After losing to Team Liquid, PSG.LGD, and AS Monaco Gambit, Nigma have two must-win matches against VG and T1 in day two if they want to keep their tournament hopes alive. As for T1, they will have to defeat Nigma and PSG.LGD to extend their stay in Singapore.
Teams that have been eliminated from the Singapore Major are required to leave immediately in order to minimise the risk of exposure to the coronavirus to them and the remaining teams in the tournament.
Here are the Singapore Major Wildcard standings after Day 1:
AS Monaco Gambit
The Singapore Major is scheduled to start on 27 March and will run until 4 April. The event will feature 18 teams from the DPC's six regional leagues competing for the lion's share of a US$500,000 prize pool and 2,700 DPC point pool.
For everything you need to know about the ONE Esports Singapore Major, check here.
Check out esports videos from Yahoo TV: