The ONE Esports Dota 2 Singapore Major continues to inch closer towards crowning the first Major champion of the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC). The thrilling third day of the Playoffs saw Invictus Gaming (IG) and tournament favourites Team Secret get knocked down to the lower bracket while Vici Gaming (VG) and Virtus.pro (VP) were eliminated from the tournament.
North American powerhouse Evil Geniuses (EG) started the day strong, dominating top Chinese team IG in two quick games to advance to the upper bracket finals. EG also secured themselves a Top 3 finish with this win, guaranteeing they will walk away from the Singapore Major with at least US$75,000 and 400 DPC points.
Team Secret, the only remaining European team in the tournament, were knocked down to the lower bracket by Chinese team PSG.LGD in a thrilling three-game series. This was a huge upset win for PSG.LGD, as they defeated the team many considered the favourites to win the Major despite starting the tournament from the Wildcard Stage.
PSG.LGD are also guaranteed to finish the Major in the Top 3 and will now face EG in the upper bracket finals on Saturday (3 April), with the winners taking the first spot in the grand finals while the losers drop to the lower bracket finals.
Meanwhile, the last remaining Southeast Asian team in the Major, OB.Neon Esports, upset Chinese team VG in the first elimination match of the day. OB.Neon's signature hyper-aggressive playstyle allowed them to prevail over another supposedly stronger opponent, a feat made more impressive when considering they are playing with their second substitute player in the Major after their initial substitute was ruled out of the tournament due to exposure to the coronavirus.
South American dark horse team Thunder Predator ended the day with a dominant sweep over top CIS team VP, whose elimination means no more teams from their region remain in contention in the Major.
VG and VP exit the Singapore Major in 7th-8th place with US$12,500 and 200 DPC points as consolation.
The next round of the lower bracket will see Secret take on OB.Neon and IG match up against Thunder Predator prior to the upper bracket finals. The winners of those two matches will then face off to determine the who will be the second team in the lower bracket finals.
The Singapore Major is scheduled to run until 4 April. The event features 16 teams from the DPC's six regional leagues competing for the lion's share of a US$500,000 prize pool and 2,700 DPC point pool.
For everything you need to know about the ONE Esports Singapore Major, check here.
Here's a recap of all the matches in Day 7:
Evil Geniuses 2-0 Invictus Gaming
In game one, IG ran an offlane Alchemist strategy with Thiay "JT-" Jun Wen on the hero tasked with empowering Jin "flyfly" Zhiyi on Weaver and Zhou "Emo" Yi on Void Spirit. Meanwhile, EG put Artour "Arteezy" Babaev on Terrorblade and backed him up with some heavy teamfight abilities from Abed Azel "Abed" Yusop's Puck, Andreas "Cr1t-" Nielsen's support Pangolier and Tal "Fly" Aizik's position 5 Tidehunter.
While JT was able to farm up two Aghanim's Scepters and give them to flyfly and Emo, they could do little against EG's overwhelming teamfight prowess. With Arteezy's Terrorblade also left unchecked, EG cruised to an easy 30-minute victory to start the series.
IG opted for a tri-core of Bloodseeker for flyfly, a mid Morphling for Emo, and Mars for JT in game two. However, EG was able to sneak in a last pick Alchemist for Arteezy with Abed on Puck again and Daryl "iceiceice" Koh to make space for their carry.
EG ran an aggressive tri-lane to great effect, as they were able to shut down flyfly while ensuring Arteezy will have to space to farm freely. With IG unable to disrupt Arteezy, his hyper-farmed Alchemist simply became too powerful to stop as he carried his team in securing the series sweep.
Arteezy notably had over 31,000 net worth in 31 minutes of play, with Battle Fury, Sange and Yasha, Assault Cuirass, Abyssal Blade, Switft Blink, and Phase Boots in his inventory by the time the game ended.
Team Secret 2-1 PSG.LGD
PSG.LGD opened the series with comfort picks, as Wang "Ame" Chunyu had Monkey King, Cheng "NothingToSay" Jin Xiang had Death Prophet, and Zhang "Faith_bian" Ruida had Bloodseeker. Meanwhile, Secret picked Troll Warlord for Lasse "Matumbaman" Urpalainen, Ember Spirit for Michal "Nisha" Jankowski, and Ludwig "zai" Wåhlberg on Pangolier.
PSG.LGD's line-up came online much faster than Secret's, which allowed them to win the early fights and take control of the map. Despite a spirited base defence from Secret, PSG.LGD were still able to cruise to a 41-minute victory to start the series.
Secret quickly bounced back in game two to force the series to a deciding game three behind a perfect Alchemist game by Matumbaman. Secret's carry was able to farm unchecked and lead his team in winning a huge clash at the 18-minute mark, forcing PSG.LGD to call GG after just 23 minutes as they were down 4-18 in kills.
PSG.LGD continued to stick to their guns in the decider, with Ame on Monkey King for the third-straight game, NothingToSay on Ember Spirit, and Faith_bian on Lycan. On the other hand, Secret's draft had Matumbaman on Phantom Assassin and Nisha on Puck but also featured some unusual heroes like an offlane Windranger for zai and Bane for Clement "Puppey" Ivanov.
PSG.LGD's stronger line-up dominated the laning phase while Secret struggled to get anything going with some of their unusual picks. The Chinese squad's cores far outpaced their counterparts on Secret, giving them a 14,000 gold advantage on top of a 19-9 kill lead by the 22-minute mark.
Despite Secret's best efforts to mount a comeback, they were eventually forced to call GG after 35 minutes. Ame and Faith_bian combined for 19 kills without a single death between them to lead PSG.LGD in completing their massive upset over Secret.
OB.Neon Esports 2-1 Vici Gaming
OB.Neon opened the series with an unusual line-up considering their style, as Andrei "skem" Ong was put on Medusa while Erin Jasper "Yopaj" Ferrer had Void Spirit and Yang "Deth" Wu Heng had Leshrac. VG countered with Juggernaut for Yang "poyoyo" Shaohan, Puck for Zeng "Ori" Jiaoyang, and Bristleback for Ren "eLeVeN" Yangwei.
Both teams were on relatively even footing until the 20-minute mark, but VG was able to pull ahead after winning a huge fight for Roshan. The Chinese squad then continued to overwhelm OB.Neon in the ensuing clashes until they were forced to call GG after 37 minutes.
VG opened game two with an offlane Alchemist for eLeVeN to empower poyoyo's Gyrocopter and Ori's Void Spirit. OB.Neon returned to their signature hyper-aggressive style to counter their opponent's slow line-up, with skem on a carry Nature's Prophet, Yopaj on Puck, and Deth on Timbersaw.
OB.Neon's fast-paced line-up ran over VG in the early game, getting up 8-2 in kills on top of a 5,000 gold lead just 12 minutes in. Even if eLeVeN was able to give Aghanim's Scepters to poyoyo and Ori, VG could do little to stop OB.Neon's onslaught from tying up the series after 36 minutes of action. Skem, Yopaj, and Deth notably combined for 33 of their team's 39 total kills.
In the deciding game of the series, VG ran with poyoyo on Monkey King, Ori on Ember Spirit, and eLeVeN on Pangolier. Seeing their opponents stick to another slow line-up, OB.Neon opted for a lot of aggression once more with skem on Leshrac, Yopaj on Puck, and Deth on Nature's Prophet.
Game three started out much like game two. OB.Neon utterly dominated the early game and notably focused on shutting down eLeVeN's Pangolier, who was VG's only real team fight hero. With their opponent's only team fight threat neutered, OB.Neon proceeded to run over VG to force them to concede the series after 28 minutes.
Yopaj had his best game of the tournament thus far, finishing with 13 out of his team's 25 total kills without getting killed once to keep Southeast Asia's hope for a Major championship alive.
Thunder Predator 2-0 Virtus.pro
VP opened the series with an eye towards the late game as Egor "Nightfall" Grigorenko had Phantom Assassin, with Danil "Gpk" Skutin on a mid Mars and Dmitry "DM" Dorokhin on an offlane Death Prophet.
Meanwhile, Thunder Predator went all-in on aggression with some unusual picks, with Alonso "Mnz" León on Weaver, Leonardo "Leostyle-" Sifuentes on Windranger, Frank "Frank" Arias on Tidehunter, Joel Mori "MoOz" Ozambelo on Snapfire, and Romel "Mjz" Quinteros on Undying.
Thunder Predator's hyper-aggressive strategy worked to perfection, as VP couldn't fight effectively while Nightfall's Phantom Assassin still needed time to come online. But even after Nightfall was ready to fight, Thunder Predator continued to outplay their opponents to force them to call GG after 32 minutes of action. Mnz and Leostyle notably combined for 18 of their team's 25 total kills.
Thunder Predator veered away from their usual fast-paced style in game two, as they had Mnz on Troll Warlord, Leostyle on Puck, and Frank on Beastmaster. VP looked to outscale their opponents with Nightfall on Monkey King, Gpk on Void Spirit, and DM on Underlord.
The game started off slow and with both teams on even footing as expected. However, Thunder Predator went on the offensive in the midgame and outmanoeuvred VP to shut them inside their base. While the CIS squad were still able to put up a stout defence, Thunder Predator simply built up a gold lead that reached over 50,000, hunted down any VP heroes that dared to venture out, and secured the series sweep after 42 minutes.
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