The WePlay AniMajor has now entered the Group Stage, with Vici Gaming (VG) and Team Nigma surviving the Wildcard Stage to join Evil Geniuses (EG), Team Liquid, PSG.LGD, Beastcoast, TNC Predator, and Team Spirit in battling to advance to the Playoffs.
EG star carry player Artour "Arteezy" Babaev and Nigma star midlaner Amer "Miracle-" Al-Barkawi put on a show to lead their teams to some much-needed wins to start the Group Stage.
Arteezy pulled off what was possibly the best play of the Major thus far in game one of EG's match against TNC Predator.
In what ended up being the decisive clash of the game, Arteezy found himself alone with Abed "Abed" Yusop's Dragon Knight against four TNC heroes and facing almost certain defeat. But with Abed seconds away from dying, Arteezy used his Sunder ultimate to heal his ally then popped Satanic to heal himself to turn the fight around.
Meanwhile, Miracle's continued excellence from the midlane has fuelled Nigma through the Wildcard and to a strong start in the Group Stage. In game two of Nigma's match against Team Spirit, Miracle on Windranger singlehandedly won his team a huge team fight by using his Black King Bar immediately after seeing his opponents try initiate on him then landing Shackleshot on two enemy heroes to set them up for his teammates to take down.
EG, Nigma, VG, and PSG.LGD all ended day one of the Group Stage with one win and one draw while Liquid, Beastcoast, Spirit, and TNC each lost one series and drew another.
There is not much separation between the teams this early on in the Group Stage. There are still 25 more matches that need to be played across the next three days before we can determine the six teams that will be heading to the Playoffs and the two squads that will unfortunately have to bow out early.
Here's how all the matches for the opening day of the Group Stage went down:
Evil Geniuses 2-0 TNC Predator
Team Liquid 1-1 Beastcoast
PSG.LGD 2-0 Beastcoast
Evil Geniuses 1-1 Team Spirit
Vici Gaming 2-0 Team Liquid
Team Nigma 1-1 PSG.LGD
Vici Gaming 1-1 TNC Predator
Team Nigma 2-0 Team Spirit
Here are the standings after day one of the Group Stage:
The WePlay AniMajor Group Stage will run from 4 to 7 June and follows a single round-robin format, with all the teams taking 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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