The third day of the WePlay AniMajor Playoffs is now in the books, with Chinese powerhouse PSG.LGD and Southeast Asian squad T1 advancing to the upper bracket finals on Saturday (12 June) after they defeated Team Nigma and Quincy Crew, respectively.
Meanwhile, lower bracket teams Vici Gaming (VG) and Evil Geniuses (EG) keep their tournament hopes alive after they knocked Team Spirit and TNC Predator out of the tournament.
Here's how the matches for the third day of the WePlay AniMajor Playoffs went down:
Lower Bracket Round 2:
Vici Gaming 2-0 Team Spirit
Chinese team Vici Gaming (VG) kicked things off by sweeping CIS/Eastern European squad Team Spirit out of the AniMajor in the first of two elimination matches for the day. While Spirit put up a good fight in a 45-minute game one, VG simply outclassed their opponents in a 27-minute beatdown in game two to survive to the next round of the lower bracket.
Evil Geniuses 2-1 TNC Predator
The second elimination match of the day saw North American powerhouse EG outlast Filipino squad TNC Predator in a rollercoaster best-of-three series. EG outright stomped TNC in a 29-minute game one, notching 23 kills before their opponents were even able to get a single one before finally ending things with an overwhelming 36-3 kill lead.
TNC were able to force the series to a decider after they edged out their opponents in a 51-minute game two, which swung back and forth several times. Game three ended up being an even longer affair, as TNC did their best to survive a dominant early game from the North American powerhouse. However, the Filipino squad's best efforts were not enough to stop EG from taking the win after 56 minutes of action and advancing to the next round.
Upper Bracket Semifinals:
PSG.LGD 2-1 Team Nigma
PSG.LGD and Nigma, the two teams that qualified for the upper bracket from the Group Stage and have emerged as the tournament favourites, clashed in the marquee matchup of the day. An intense best-of-three series saw PSG.LGD emerge victorious and become the first team to advance to the upper bracket finals.
PSG.LGD easily took game one in 34 minutes while Nigma bounced back in a 36-minute game two, forcing the series to a deciding game three. Nigma were able to sneak a last pick Broodmother through the draft and were in control early in the decider as a result. However, PSG.LGD outplayed them in the crucial midgame clashes to eventually take the 2-1 series victory.
With their defeat, Nigma drop down to the lower bracket, where they will have to defeat a very strong opponent in EG to keep their tournament hopes alive.
T1 2-1 Quincy Crew
The final match of the day was a battle between the two remaining top regional seeds of the tournament, with Southeast Asia's T1 emerging victorious over North America's Quincy Crew.
Both squads traded dominant showings in the first two games of the series to force a game three. In the decider, Quincy Crew were able to sneak a Broodmother through the draft and thus dominate the early game. However, T1 were able to survive the early onslaught from their opponents to take the game late and knock Quincy Crew down to the lower bracket to face VG.
With today's results, PSG.LGD and T1 have both secured at least a Top 3 finish, US$75,000, and 400 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) points. Despite being in the lower bracket, Nigma, Quincy Crew, EG, and VG have also guaranteed themselves at least a Top 6 placement, US$25,000, and 300 DPC points.
Meanwhile, Team Spirit and TNC Predator exit the WePlay AniMajor in 7th-8th place with US$12,500 and 200 DPC points in consolation.
With those two squads falling out of the race for direct invites to The International 10 (TI10), South American team Beastcoast secured the 11th of the 12 coveted direct invites to the tournament. Despite failing to come out of the Group Stage of the AniMajor, Beastcoast was able to secure enough DPC points from their performance in the South American regional league.
The final direct invite is now up for grabs between Nigma and another South American team in Thunder Predator, who have 800 DPC points from a solid performance in their regional league and a Top 6 finish in the ONE Esports Singapore Major.
Nigma will have to finish in the Top 2 at the WePlay AniMajor to ensure the last TI10 direct invite will go to them. In order to do so, Nigma will have to defeat EG, the winner of the match between VG and T1, and then win the lower bracket finals. Should Nigma fail to make the grand finals, then the invite will go to Thunder Predator.
The WePlay AniMajor, the second and final Major event of the 2021 DPC, will run until 13 June as the remaining 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 TI10, which will be held in Stockholm, Sweden this August and features massive US$40 million prize pool.
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