After two days on intense competition, we have our four teams that will compete in the playoffs of the WePlay Bukovel Minor. Sadly, we have also had to say goodbye to four teams along the way. Let’s look back at the Group Stage and see what we’ve learnt so far.
Royal Never Give Up (Advance To Playoffs)
Chinese Dota 2 is stacked at the moment! RNG recently finished 3rd in the Chinese Pro League Season One. Now, they look to go far in this Minor after an impressive Group Stage performance. They swiftly defeated Team Spirit before then sweeping Geek Fam in equally dominant fashion! This means that RNG will play Nigma in the Upper Bracket Round One, and considering how good the Chinese roster has looked so far, I wouldn’t put it past them to upset The International 2019 runners up!
Geek Fam (Advance To Playoffs)
I was really discouraged with the performance of Geek Fam during the DOTA Summit 11 Minor. Thankfully, the team looks to have greatly improved. Perhaps this is due to the team replacing “Ryoya” with ”Karl” (What a name!) Nevertheless, Geek Fam opened up the tournament with a convincing 2-0 victory over Ninjas in Pyjamas. They then fell to RNG who proved too strong for the SEA roster. However, they quickly recovered as they knocked out Team Spirit with a decisive 2-0 victory, locking their place into the Playoffs in the process.
Team Spirit (Eliminated 5-6th)
I’m not sure what to think about Team Spirit. They sort of just showed up and put in a very sub-par performance. This will come as a huge disappointment, as they were playing in front of their home fans in Ukraine, and while they did manage to defeat NIP, they were quickly swept by RNG and never looked like beating Geek Fam. With Virtus Pro, Natus Vincere and Gambit Esports all ahead of them in the CIS region, Team Spirit has quite the task ahead of them if they want to make TI10 or even perform at another Major/Minor this DPC season.
Ninjas in Pyjamas (Eliminated 7-8th)
What is going on with NIP? The team that was king of the minors last DPC season went out in last place without winning one game! The Ninjas did receive some criticism before the event, as on December 18th, they replaced Oliver “Skiter” Lepk (after he helped them qualify for the event) with Jason “TANNER” Weedon. (this meant that Nico “Gunnar” Lopez had to transition from the mid-lane into position one carry) Perhaps PPD didn’t have enough time to gel his new roster together, or maybe ”Gunnar” needs more time practising playing position one. Nevertheless, after this rough performance, are more roster moves on the way or is it time to bring in a coach? Time will tell, but with 40% of the DPC season already done for NIP, PPD and his team will need to get their act together if they want to make it to TI10.
Gambit Esports (Advance To Playoffs)
Gambit is such a fun team to watch; ”fng” is truly a magician, being able to make this these incredibly solid CIS teams in such a small space of time. Recently, this roster finished 3rd at the ONE Esports Dota 2 World Pro Invitational Singapore, and it seems they are keeping that momentum going as they planted themselves straight into the Playoffs. On day one, they destroyed Furia 2-0 with both games lasting less than 35 minutes! The following day, they played an amazing series against FightingPandaS, who managed to take the first game after a 60-minute slugfest where EternalEnvy’s Alchemist proved too strong. However, the CIS squad didn’t give up and managed to overturn the series with ”dream” showing off his skills on Morphling to secure an Upper Bracket match against Geek Fam!
Nigma (Advance To Playoffs)
As the clear favourites coming into this tournament, Nigma will need to reflect on their worrying Group Stage performances. Scrapping into the Playoffs by barely defeating Fighting PandaS is simply not good enough for this roster! Nigma’s performances have been looking very sluggish; perhaps this is some ring rust setting in, as they did skip the first Major/Minor of this new DPC season. Before this event, people were scared that Nigma (still an awful name btw) was just going to show up and dominate everyone and ruin the Minor. However, from what we’ve seen thus far, that is not the case and they will certainly need to show some of the form they displayed during The International if they want to win this Minor, go to the Major and get some much needed DPC points.
Fighting PandaS (Eliminated 5-6th)
Wow, what a journey EternalEnvy and the boys went on at this event, defeating the TI9 runners up on the first day before almost overcoming Gambit then just falling short from making playoffs. The fact that they were able to push Nigma and Gambit to the absolute limit is a great achievement! I’m sure they will consider themselves unlucky not to be playing in the playoffs. On the bright side, they can look back at this event as a good growing experience, as they got to face two top teams and can surely learn from their mistakes. I really hope that this team doesn’t make any roster changes, because I truly believe they can The International if they stick together. Don’t let me down, Envy!
Furia Esports (Eliminated 7-8th)
You have to feel bad for Furia. This young and inexperienced roster was put into a group with the roster that finished 2nd at the International 2019, plus a team that just finished 3rd at the Singapore Invitational, on top of a veteran filled NA stack led by EternalEnvy. They never stood a chance. While they were crushed by Gambit in their opening match, they looked much stronger in their elimination match against Nigma. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. Hopefully we will get to see this young Furia roster at the next Major/Minor where they can show us more of what they’ve got to offer.
I feel I need to mention this: the production quality at this event has been top class! They have made some very impressive graphics, memes, hype videos, the list goes on. Even the ad breaks have been entertaining. WePlay! are really showing how to make an Esport event fun at all times, not just during the matches!
Considering this the first DPC event that WePlay! have put together, I’m extremely impressed. Could a major slot be coming their way in the future? The MVP so far has to be host Rich Campbell whose wacky sense of humour and terrific chemistry with his fellow pundits has led to some delightful segments.
The first playoff game of the WePlay! Bukovel Minor will be between Royal Never Give Up vs Nigma starting January 11, 2020 – 12:00 CET.
The follow up game will be between Gambit Esports vs Geek Fam starting at 15:00 CET.
You can watch the WePlay! Bukovel Minor at twitch.tv/weplayesport_en
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