China domination: PSG.LGD, Vici Gaming, and Team Liquid qualify for Singapore Major group stage

China is off to a roaring start.

Photo via EPICENTER

Chinese Dota 2 teams stamped their mark early on the ONE Esports Singapore Major. Both PSG.LGD and Vici Gaming secured the top two placements in the Wild Card stage.

The two compatriots faced off in the final scheduled series today. Had LGD lost both games, the team would have been forced into tiebreakers. The worry was quickly put to rest off the back of star carry Ame’s performances, picking the increasingly popular Io carry in two games to finish off VG and secure an 8-2 record, good for first place.

Besides this loss and a minor one-game hiccup vs. Nigma, VG crushed the rest of the competition. Both Chinese teams looked a clear step ahead of the field, and used the atypical support Luna to great effect.

The top four teams from China’s Regional League upper division remain in the Singapore Major—the only region to still have all its Regional League qualified teams in the Major, aside from the two Americas regions who only had two berths.

While the League champions Invictus Gaming sit pretty with their playoff upper bracket spot, LGD, VG, and Team Aster will continue to fight for their tournament lives in the group stage. Only one more team will be eliminated, but placements determine seeding in the upper or lower bracket for the playoffs.

Without a change in format due to Natus Vincere’s withdrawal from the Major, both Team Liquid and AS Monaco Gambit would have been sent packing. The two teams, who had the same 6-4 record, instead fought for qualification in a best-of-one tiebreaker, which Liquid dominated handily to eliminate no[o]ne’s new team.

While Liquid’s red-hot 6-0 first day, including a victory over Wild Card first-place LGD, placed them as favorites to enter the group stage unscathed, a 0-4 day two quickly turned their hopes sour. A series loss to Gambit today didn’t stop them from turning the tables on their CIS opponents during the tiebreaker in style. It’s a good sign for a resurgence back to form for the rest of the competition after a temporary blip.

Intentional or otherwise, the two teams, T1 and Team Nigma, who swapped players right before the Major were both eliminated with losing records, winning just three games between the duo. T1 dropped Souliya “JaCkky” Khoomphetsavong for 23savage in a controversial move at the start of March, while Nigma played with their coach due to off laner MinD_ContRoL testing positive for COVID-19.

The full standings of the tournament can be found here.