After Group A wrapped up at the StarLadder Ukraine Minor, Ninjas in Pyjamas cleaned up Group B and finished the third day of the event with the best record.
NiP were the heavy favorites heading into the Minor because in addition to having won a Minor event this season, they are one of only eight teams with a spot secured for The International 2019. As the highest ranked team coming in, their competition looked relatively weak in comparison. Despite this, Team Sirius beat down NiP in game one. Sirius racked up 42 kills in less than 40 minutes and absolutely dominated the lanes in the early game, which allowed them to jump out to 1-0 lead over NiP.
Things were highly competitive from there, but NiP was on top for the majority of both game two and three. Pulling away in the mid-game of the second match, NiP managed to close things out without much trouble.
Game three was tight, and NiP was having a particularly difficult time working around Sirius’ Sand King. The zoning put Sirius in a great position to pull off the upset until their opponents broke through the zone and managed to score some major kills, which turned the tide and pushed NiP into the lead for the last stretch of the game. They held that advantage and kept disrupting the Sirius offense before wrapping things up just before an hour passed.
Moving into the winners match, the Ninjas faced Mineski, the only other team with some form of Major experience during the 2018-19 Dota Pro Circuit season. Mineski probably had the best odds of actually taking down NiP before the event started, too, but NiP stomped all over them in game one.
Game two went back and forth until the very end, but NiP managed to pull away to seal their win and improve their overall record to 4-1. This puts them above Alliance in the playoff seeding as they prepare to face Team Anvorgesa in the next round.
In the end, whatever teams claim the top two spots at the StarLadder Minor will claim the final two spots at the EPICENTER Major later this month.
Matches resume at 2am CT on June 15 as Alliance and Sirius face off.