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The CIS closed qualifiers for the ESL One Los Angeles Major may not be a good place for established Dota 2 pro players on new rosters. Both of the early favorites, B8 and Winstrike Team, were eliminated before making it out of the bracket today.
This was the debut tournament Danil “Dendi” Ishutin’s new stack, but even with the more experienced players, the best-of-one format did not lend itself well to the team’s strong points as they fell to Modus Unity.
The first game in top 16 looked good for B8. Dendi and Rinat “KingR” Abdullin helped Alexandr “pio65” Zalivako crush the competition and put them one win away from playing in a best-of-three. But a poor draft against Modus saw a Morphling, Storm Spirit, and Nyx Assassin absolutely tear through anything that B8 were able to muster.
Modus protected their Morphling perfectly and let it farm until it was time to push, which led to a lot of problems on B8’s side, specifically with KingR’s inability to stay alive on Wynter Wyvern, which cost his team a lot of zoning potential. The Morphling went untouched and Modus killed B8 16 times in five minutes to eliminate them from the tournament, which is the second time the team has beaten one of Dendi’s stacks.
Almost the exact same thing happened to Winstrike too; the team won two quick games to make it into the final round but ended up losing to a relatively new EXTREMUM squad coached by legendary CIS veteran Ivan “Artstyle” Antonov.
Winstrike had the advantage in individual talent with players like Alik “V-Tune” Vorobey, Ilya “ALOHADANCE” Korobkin, and even Vladimir “RodjER” Nikogosyan all playing well. But Vladislav “BLACKARXANGEL” Ivaschenko, Fedor “velheor” Rusikhin, and Sergey Alexandrovich “G” Bragin formed a very formidable roster too.
Every game was close. The two teams split the opening matches 1-1 and forced a decisive game three for the final qualifier spot. And while Winstrike held the advantage for most of that final game, EXTREMUM came back in the last five minutes behind G’s Queen of Pain to seal the win.
This will be the first closed qualifier for both Modus and EXTREMUM, and with how volatile the situation is right now in the CIS, both squads have the potential to make a run for the ESL One Los Angeles Major.