Dota 2: Blacklist Rivalry collapse in final day of SEA DPC, miss out on Lima Major
The team needed just one more win to qualify for the Major, but lost four straight games to miss out
Despite being the most hyped Dota 2 team in Southeast Asia, Blacklist Rivalry's first Tour of the 2023 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) ended in disappointment.
After a promising start in the DPC's Southeast Asian Winter Tour regional league, the Filipino superteam utterly collapsed in the final day of competition on Monday (30 January) and missed out on coveted spot in the upcoming Lima Major.
Blacklist Rivalry had two chances to qualify for the Major, losing both in disastrous fashion.
They had a 4-2 record and were set to face Geek Slate, who also had a 4-2 standing. The winner of that match will earn the second of three slots for Southeast Asia in the Lima Major.
The loser will then face Talon Esports, who had a 4-3 record, in a tiebreaker for the third and final Major spot.
Here's how Blacklist Rivalry let a spot in the Lima Major slip through their fingers:
A reverse sweep and two 70-minute collapses
Blacklist had a good start to the day, convincingly winning the first game of their match versus Geek Slate in 42 minutes.
The Filipino superteam looked to be in position to quickly secure their spot in the Lima Major as they were in control of game two. However, some sloppy play from Blacklist Rivalry allowed Geek Slate to defend their base and draw the game out to well past the hour mark.
Blacklist Rivalry could not play their usual methodical style of play in the ultra late game, making multiple questionable decisions that eventually gave Geek Slate the opening to force the series to a decider after a 73-minute marathon.
Game three was a similar story. Blacklist Rivalry looked like their usual dominant selves early on and were in a good position to secure the series. However, sloppy plays from the Filipino squad once again enabled Geek Slate to hold out.
With a spot in the Major on the line and in the high-pressure environment of ultra late game Dota, Blacklist Rivalry crumbled while Geek Slate prevailed. After a 73-minute thriller, Geek Slate completed their second-straight comeback to punch their ticket to Peru.
Despite the disastrous outcome of their match versus Geek Slate, Blacklist Rivalry still had one more chance to earn a spot in the Major if they could defeat Talon Esports in the ensuing tiebreaker match.
Demoralised and routed
Blacklist Rivalry were still the favored team in the tiebreaker, as they previously defeated Talon, 2-1, in their regular season matchup. However, their gut-wrenching loss to Geek Slate seems to have shaken Blacklist Rivalry, as they didn't put up much of a fight and were soundly swept.
Talon easily took game one in 39 minutes with a 19-5 kill score. But game two was an even more one-sided affair, as Blacklist Rivalry were forced to concede the series and a spot in the Major after just 30 minutes and with Talon finishing with a 28-7 kill lead.
Blacklist Rivalry ended their first foray in the DPC with a fourth place finish in the Southeast Asian regional league and with US$26,000 and 60 DPC points in consolation. For a team with such a stacked roster and lofty expectations, missing out on the Major and in such a fashion was a massive disappointment.
With that loss, our DPC Tour 1 comes to an end. GGWP, Talon!
We finish 4th and claim 60 DPC Points for this season. We'll see you in the next one! #BlacklistRivalry @RivalrySEA | https://t.co/Z1m7JwELJm pic.twitter.com/jKwvGakXSo
— BLACKLIST INTERNATIONAL 👑 (@BLACKLISTINTL) January 30, 2023
Of course, it isn't the end of the world for Blacklist Rivalry. They still have two Tours to try and qualify for Majors and earn the required DPC points for a spot in this year's iteration of The International (TI), which is surely their ultimate goal. With that said, things aren't looking promising for the Filipino superteam.
Blacklist Rivalry isn't the only big name team to have a disappointing run to start this DPC season.
In Southeast Asia, BOOM Esports and Fnatic, the two teams that represented the region back in TI11, bombed out of the league in seventh and eighth place, respectively, and were demoted to Division II.
Over in Western Europe, Team Secret had an even bigger collapse. The team that finished second in TI11 finished last in their league and were also demoted to Division II.
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