The Wildcard Stage of the WePlay AniMajor has concluded, with Vici Gaming (VG) and Team Nigma advancing to the Group Stage while Team Secret, Invictus Gaming (IG), Execration, and AS Monaco Gambit make an early exit from the tournament.
VG had a middling showing in the first day of the Wildcard Stage, as they were forced to a 1-1 draw in all three of their matches against Nigma, Secret, and Execration. However, they stepped things up in day two and scored 2-0 sweeps over IG and AS Monaco Gambit to finish the Wildcard atop the standings and earn the first of two spots in the Group Stage.
With Execration and AS Monaco Gambit both getting 2-0'd in their opening matches of the day, the last remaining spot in the Group Stage was left up for grabs between Nigma, Secret, and IG.
The crucial match between Nigma and Secret resulted in a controversial 1-1 draw. Nigma easily won the first game of the series and were in control of game two despite getting outdrafted by Secret. However, the server suddenly crashed and the game could not be recovered.
Secret offered Nigma a complete remake with new drafts in a show of sportsmanship. However, Dota 2 developer Valve Software stepped in and forced both teams to replay the game with the same heroes, starting items, and laning setups. WePlay AniMajor organiser WePlay Esports noted that neither they nor the teams had any say in Valve's decision to remake the game.
Nigma were unable to replicate their successful start from before in the remade game, thus resulting in a 1-1 draw with Secret. IG then swept Secret, 2-0, to knock them out of the running for a spot in the Group Stage and force a tiebreaker match with Nigma.
In one last do-or-die showdown for the right to stay in the Major, Nigma outplayed IG in a 28-minute beatdown to earn their spot in the Group Stage.
Here's how all the matches for the second day of the Wildcard Stage went down:
Vici Gaming 2-0 AS Monaco Gambit
Execration 1-1 Team Secret
Team Nigma 2-0 Execration
Vici Gaming 2-0 Invictus Gaming
Invictus Gaming 1-1 AS Monaco Gambit
Team Nigma 1-1 Team Secret
Invictus Gaming 2-0 Team Secret
Team Nigma 1-0 Invictus Gaming (tiebreaker)
VG and Nigma now join Team Liquid, PSG.LGD, TNC Predator, Team Spirit, Evil Geniuses, and Beastcoast in the Group Stage, which will take place from 4 to 7 June. The Group Stage will follow a single round-robin format, where all the teams will take turns facing one another in a best-of-two match. At the conclusion of the Group Stage, six teams will advance to the Playoffs.
The top two teams of the Group Stage will start the Playoffs in the upper bracket while the third to sixth-placed teams will have to start the Playoffs from the lower bracket. Meanwhile, the two bottom teams will be eliminated.
The WePlay AniMajor will run until 13 June as the participating teams battle for their cut of the US$500,000 prize pool and 2,700 DPC point pool. For everything you need to know about the WePlay AniMajor, check here.
The WePlay AniMajor also serves as the final chance for teams to earn DPC points in order to secure a direct invite to The International 10 (TI10), which will be held in Stockholm, Sweden this August and features massive US$40 million prize pool.
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