Dota 2 Berlin Major: Gaimin Gladiators, OG retain top spots as Group Stage continues
While Western Europe's Gaimin Gladiators and OG continue to reign supreme at the Berlin Major, the Eastern European squads are nipping at their heels.
The Dota 2 competition is heating up at the 2023 ESL One Berlin Major after the third day of the Group Stage on Friday (28 April).
Western European powerhouses Gaimin Gladiators and OG continue to top the standings, though Eastern Europe has seen a resurgence as all three of its teams are in position for upper bracket berths.
Meanwhile, North America's TSM, China's Invictus Gaming, and Southeast Asia's Execration are headed for early exits.
Gaimin Gladiators continue reign over Group A, 9 Pandas and BetBoom rise
The Lima Major champions are looking nigh-unstoppable as their campaign for a second Major title this season continues. The Gaimin Gladiators had a perfect day three, scoring huge back-to-back sweeps over China's Team Aster and rivals Team Liquid.
The Gaimin Gladiators now hold the best record so far at 10-2 with only two matches against 9 Pandas and TSM remaining.
After the region put up a lacklustre performance back in Lima, Eastern Europe seems to be rising to the occasion in Berlin. 9 Pandas and BetBoom team are tied for second place in Group A with seven wins apiece, though BetBoom does have five losses against 9 Pandas' three.
Team Aster holds fourth place with a 6-6 record, though they have three teams at 5-5 nipping at their heels: South America's Evil Geniuses (EG), China's PSG.LGD, and Team Liquid.
Liquid were pegged as one of the two strongest teams in the Major alongside rivals Gaimin Gladiators, though their performance thus far has been disappointing. While they're certainly not out of the running for a Playoffs spot yet, Liquid needs to step up as they prepare for their last three matches against PSG.LGD, Execration, and EG.
Meanwhile, TSM and Execration are squarely at the bottom of Group A with 2-8 and 1-9 records, respectively. It's very unlikely that either team will make the Playoffs at this point, so the best they can hope for is disrupt other teams'
OG still lead Group B as Southeast Asia struggles mightily
OG continues to prove that having stand-ins is somehow a buff for the team as they retain the top spot in Group B with a 9-3 record after day three.
While their day three performance saw them forced to draws by The International 11 (TI11) champions Tundra Esports and bottom feeder Invictus Gaming (IG), they are still practically guaranteed an upper bracket berth in the Playoffs. OG's last two matches will be against Beastcoast and Shopify Rebellion.
While they drew with OG, Tundra swept Southeast Asia's Talon Esports to sit in second place of their group with a 8-2 record. Rounding out the Top 4 in Group B are Shopify Rebellion and TI10 champions Team Spirit, who are tied for third place with a 7-3 record apiece.
Sitting in the middle are China's Xtreme Gaming, with a 5-5 standing, and South America's Beastcoast, with a 4-6 line. While Beastcoast is technically in position for a Playoff spot, they're far from being clear as Southeast Asia's Talon and Team SMG nip at their heels with 3-7 and 3-9 records, respectively.
Finally, IG scored its first two wins of the Major by forcing draws with fellow Chinese team Xtreme and OG. But even so, they languish at the bottom of their group with a 2-10 record and are probably packing their bags already.
Gaimin Gladiators: 10-2
9 Pandas: 7-3
BetBoom Team: 7-5
Team Aster: 6-6
Evil Geniuses: 5-5
Team Liquid: 5-5
Tundra Esports: 8-2
Shopify Rebellion: 7-3
Team Spirit: 7-3
Xtreme Gaming: 5-5
Talon Esports: 3-7
Team SMG: 3-9
Invictus Gaming: 2-10
The Berlin Major Group Stage will see the 18 participating teams split into two groups of nine teams each competing across five days for spots in the Playoffs. The Group Stage follows a single round-robin format with best-of-two matches.
At the end of the Group Stage, the six best-performing teams from each group will advance to the Playoffs while the bottom three will be eliminated. The top four of each group will begin the Playoffs in the upper bracket while the fifth to sixth-placed teams will have to start from the lower bracket.
The Berlin Major will take place from 26 April to 7 May and will feature 18 of the best teams in the DPC battling for their share of the US$500,000 prize pool and 2,700 DPC point pool. Those DPC points will go towards securing all-important direct invites to this year's iteration of The International, Dota 2's annual multimillion dollar world championship tournament.
For everything you need to know about the Berlin Major, check here.
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