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The group stage for WePlay! Dota 2 Tug of War: Mad Moon is almost complete, which means the first two teams have already been eliminated from the competition after being beaten twice during the opening day.
Both Infamous and Ninjas in Pyjamas will be heading home early after being swept in their first series and then failing to make it out of the Elimination Match.
Infamous had the easier matchup of the two losing squads, facing off against Gambit Esports to start off the tournament while NiP played against Nigma. As the early underdog, Infamous needed to have a strong first game to set the tone, but ended up getting blown out badly in both games, basically just letting Artsiom “fng” Barshak and his team control every aspect of the series.
And after getting swept by Gambit, a team that is a proven but struggling, Infamous ended up in a battle against Danil “Dendi” Ishutin and his newly formed organization. Mariano “Papita” Caneda was unable to push his team over the hump, suffering another big game one loss before falling in a closer second match.
That put them out at 0-4, losing every match and becoming the first team eliminated from Mad Moon.
In Group B, NiP had a competitive opening game against Nigma but couldn’t close things out against a push led by Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi’s Faceless Void in the late game. That led into a massive stomp in game two as Nigma’s core of Timbersaw, Meepo, and Snapfire sent NiP packing in just 16 minutes.
In a rematch of the ESL One Los Angeles Major closed qualifiers, Peter “ppd” Dager and his team tried to turn things around against Ilya “Lil” Ilyuk and Aggressive Mode.
This was the closest series for either team thus far, but A.Mode let Nikita “Daxak” Kuzmin get going on Lifestealer in game one, which led to NiP having a strong advantage in teamfights. That paired with Void Spirit and Lina proved too powerful to stop in the opening game of the Elimination Match.
A.Mode flipped the script in game two, running a strong Ember Spirit-Slardar core that led to a strong late-game push. That core and Oliver “Skiter” Lepko’s Ursa coming alive against his former team sent the series to a decisive game three.
Both teams were evenly matched for the first 20 minutes of game three before NiP secured a near teamwipe and dieback on Giorgos “SsaSpartan” Giannakopoulos’ Disruptor. But before NiP could pull away, A.Mode managed to eliminate Daxak’s Lifestealer twice, leaving his team lacking in teamfight and leading to a massive five-man-kill at 35 minutes in.
That swung the match in A.Mode’s favor as they slowly marched and eventually claimed the win, eliminating NiP who will now head home and prepare for the ESL One LA Major.
Matches will resume at 6am CT when Gambit plays B8 to decide the remaining Group A seeding for the playoffs, followed by Nigma and A.Mode playing in Group B.