The action-packed Playoffs of the ONE Esports Dota 2 Singapore Major continues, with Fnatic, Team Liquid, Team Aster, and Quincy Crew getting eliminated in the tournament's first set of lower bracket matches.
Upper bracket teams Fnatic, Vici Gaming (VG), Thunder Predator, and Virtus.pro (VP) were knocked down to the lower bracket in the first day of the Playoffs. They had to face OB.Neon Esports, Team Liquid, Team Aster, and Quincy Crew, respectively, who all qualified from the Group Stage.
In the first match of the day, Southeast Asian team OB.Neon Esports upset Fnatic, the top team of their region. OB.Neon was notably playing with their second substitute player in the Major after their initial substitute was ruled out of the tournament due to exposure to the coronavirus.
Chinese team VG dominated European squad Team Liquid in the second series of the day to keep their tournament hopes alive. With Liquid's elimination, Team Secret, the consensus best team in the world and the overwhelming favourites to take the Major championship, remain the only representative for Europe in Singapore.
South American team Thunder Predator, who have emerged as the dark horse team of the Major, bounced back from their defeat to Secret in the upper bracket by sending Chinese squad Team Aster home.
Meanwhile, CIS team VP recovered from a poor showing in the upper bracket by sending North American team Quincy Crew home in the final series of the day, but not before a scare in the first game.
Fnatic, Liquid, Aster, and Quincy Crew all finish the Major in 9th-12th place. Unfortunately, they will earn no extra prize money or Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) points for their efforts. Their stay in Singapore has also been cut short, as teams that have been eliminated from the 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.
The next round of the lower bracket will take place on Friday (2 April), with OB.Neon taking on VG and Thunder Predator facing VP. Those matches will follow the second round of the upper bracket, where Evil Geniuses will take on Invictus Gaming and Secret will be matched against PSG.LGD.
The Singapore Major is scheduled to run until 4 April. The event features 16 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.
Here's a recap of all the matches in Day 6:
OB.Neon Esports 2-1 Fnatic
Fnatic opened the series by putting Marc Polo "Raven" Fausto on Lycan, Kam "Moon" Boon Seng on a mid Monkey King, and Natthaphon "Masaros" Ouanphakdee on Mars. OB.Neon countered with a mobile and burst-heavy trio of semi-carries in Nature's Prophet for Andrei "skem" Ong, Erin Jasper "Yopaj" Ferrer on Puck, and Yang "Deth" Wu Heng on an offlane Death Prophet.
Fnatic were up 10-4 in kills after 20 minutes, but Neon were able to farm better and used their gold advantage to snowball through the midgame fights. While Fnatic's better scaling line-up struck back once the game went late, Neon's relentless aggression paid off as they won the pivotal fights to take game one after 46 minutes.
Fnatic bounced back in game two behind a perfect Alchemist game from Raven, who was left virtually uncontested during the laning phase and thus got off to insane item timings. OB.Neon could do little to stop Raven's ultra-farmed Alchemist from going on a rampage and tying up the series after a quick 24-minute stomp.
Fnatic looked to take the deciding third game of the series late, as they put Raven on Wraith King and had Moon on Puck and Masaros on Sand King to bridge their line-up through the midgame. OB.Neon countered with another fast-paced, aggressive trio of semi-carries in Leshrac for skem, Yopaj on Void Spirit, and Deth on Death Prophet.
OB.Neon absolutely dominated the laning phase, going up 11-2 in kills as well as 8,000 gold by the 20-minute mark while Fnatic struggled to get anything going. Sensing blood in the water, OB.Neon continued their rampage and eventually forced the GG call from their opponents after 31 minutes.
Vici Gaming 2-0 Team Liquid
VG ran an offlane Alchemist strat for game one, with Ren "eLeVeN" Yangwei being put on the hero and tasked with empowering Yang "poyoyo" Shaohan on Juggernaut and Zeng "Ori" Jiaoyang on Storm Spirit. Meanwhile, Liquid countered with a strong midgame tri-core of Leshrac for Michael "miCKe" Vu, Razor for Maximilian "qojqva" Bröcker, and an offlane Puck for Samuel "Boxi" Svahn.
Liquid took advantage of long setup that VG's line-up needed to take control of the early game. However, VG struck back hard once eLeVeN's Alchemist was able to give his two cores free Aghanim's Scepters, which they used to dominate the fights and take the win after 34 minutes.
Liquid pinned their hopes on winning a big team fight by putting miCKe on Sven, qojqva on Storm Spirit, and Tommy "Taiga" Le being moved up to position 3 as Enigma. Meanwhile, VG opted for strong lanes and a lot of burst damage with poyoyo on Monkey King, Ori on Void Spirit, and eLeVeN on Slardar.
VG comfortably won the laning phase, thus denying Liquid easy farm and gank opportunities heading into the midgame. With their line-up unable to get the big teamfight win they needed, Liquid couldn't stand up to VG's onslaught and were forced to concede the series after 36 minutes.
Ori had a perfect performance on his Void Spirit to close out the series, notching a series-high 13 kills with no deaths, while poyoyo on Monkey King added 11 kills of his own.
Thunder Predator 2-0 Team Aster
Thunder Predator opened the series with an eye towards the late game with Alonso "Mnz" León on Anti-Mage, with Leonardo "Leostyle-" Sifuentes on Windranger and Frank "Frank" Arias on Pangolier to bridge him through the midgame. Aster countered with Du "Monet" Peng on Troll Warlord, Liu "White Album" Yuhao on Storm Spirit, and Lin "Xxs" Jing on Timbersaw.
Despite having the Anti-Mage, Thunder Predator were very aggressive early and got to a 17-9 kill lead by the 22-minute mark. However, Troll Warlord proved itself as an effective counter against the Anti-Mage as Aster won the midgame fights to push the game late with both teams on relatively even footing.
With the game on the line, Thunder Predator repeatedly outmanoeuvred Aster in the crucial late game clashes to take the first game of the series after 50 minutes of action. Leostyle led the way for the South Americans with a series-high 19 kills while Mnz added 13 takedowns of his own.
Aster ran with Monet on Troll Warlord again for game two, with White Album on Death Prophet and Xxs on Timbersaw again flanking. Meanwhile, Thunder Predator opted for a more fast-paced line-up with Mnz on Juggernaut, Leostyle on Lina, and Frank on Pangolier again.
The South Americans were in control of the early game again, as their relentless aggression heavily pressured Aster's cores and slowed their progression. Despite the Chinese team peaking in strength by the midgame, Thunder Predator outplayed them in the clashes, with Joel Mori "MoOz" Ozambela notably continuing to shine on Tusk.
Thunder Predator methodically shuttered Aster in their base and demolished their ensuing breakout attempt to close out the series after 33 minutes with a 20-9 kill lead.
Virtus.pro 2-1 Quincy Crew
Quincy Crew started the series strong with a 34-minute stomp of VP behind Quinn "Quinn" Callahan on a carry Io and Yawar "YawaR" Hassan on Monkey King. Game one was very passive, with Quincy Crew holding a 7-3 kill lead by the 20-minute mark before they were able to methodically close out their opponents 14 minutes later.
VP bounced back in game two with a stomp of their own, as Egor "Nightfall" Grigorenko on Alchemist snowballed out of control in the midgame to tie up the series after 27 minutes of action.
In the deciding game three, Quincy Crew put Yawar on Troll Warlord and Quinn on Void Spirit while VP picked Wraith King for Nightfall and Viper for Danil "Gpk" Skutin.
The laning phase ended with both teams on relatively even footing, but VP busted the game wide open by winning a huge clash for Roshan at the 19-minute mark. Despite their best efforts, Quincy Crew couldn't stop the onslaught from their opponents and were forced to call GG after 34 minutes.
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