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The two-day group stage of the ONE Esports World Pro Invitational Singapore has concluded with some surprising eliminations. PSG.LGD, Liquid, Team Aster, and J.Storm are out of the $500,000 Dota 2 tournament.
The event has been filled with surprises so far. Underdogs like Alliance and Gambit Esports have found their stride, securing slots in the upper bracket, while the recent MDL Chengdu champions, TNC Predator, and runners-up, Vici Gaming, found themselves on the brink of elimination.
The biggest upset was LGD’s early exit from the tournament, though. The Chinese powerhouse find themselves out of the competition before it properly began for the second time in less than a month.
Group A standings
Alliance and Secret both played phenomenally throughout the group stage and will match up against Gambit Esports and Evil Geniuses, respectively, in the upper bracket. These two top dogs handed each other their first loss of the tournament.
While everybody expected Secret to do well even with a stand-in, Alliance played a surprisingly clean brand of Dota 2. Alliance’s new roster has been prone to unforced errors, but so far, they haven’t cropped up to derail their championship hopes. If Alliance manage to keep this form up, we may see yet another powerhouse born in Europe.
Virtus Pro’s new roster might have just qualified for the DreamLeague Major, but they still looked unsettled in series against the group’s stronger teams. There’s still room for the young team to grow, however.
TNC were on the brink of elimination, winning only three games out of 10. Thankfully for Southeast Asian fans, their series win against Aster meant that the tie break fell in their favor, keeping them in the lower bracket. The MDL Chengdu Major winners will need to seriously buck up their game if they want to keep their tournament streak alive.
Aster and J.Storm will leave the tournament prematurely without playing at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. They’ll have to focus their efforts on the DreamLeague Major and Bukovel Minor, respectively, having qualified for those tournaments before they attended the World Pro Invitational.
Group B standings
EG are usually a slow starter in tournaments. The North American team has bucked the trend at the World Pro Invitational, with their only loss coming from a surging Gambit team. EG’s retooled roster still has some room to grow, but they seem to be finding their rhythm and could finally prove to be a legitimate championship threat instead of being stuck in third place.
Gambit performed well above expectations. They’re the only CIS team to start the main event in the upper bracket, despite losing their Major slot to VP and Natus Vincere. Their young recruits have matured greatly in a short time, but they’re still more than capable of committing game-losing mistakes. Nevertheless, they’re an entertaining team to watch. Look for them to try to break the VP-Na’Vi duopoly in the CIS region.
Na’Vi and VG had the same records, but their story was different. Na’Vi performed above expectations, while VG looked disjointed. Na’Vi will be glad to find themselves in the lower bracket after two supposedly top-tier teams in Liquid and LGD put in atrocious shifts, while VG will need to improve if they want to return to their championship-winning ways.
LGD, the Chinese juggernaut, seemed unable to get their act together. Their decision to take a break for the first Major of the season robbed them of all their momentum. The perennial championship contenders have been reduced to looking for scraps and will have to play the Open Qualifiers again for the third Major of the season. If LGD fail in the gauntlet again, their rule of the Chinese Dota 2 scene will be in serious jeopardy.
Liquid crushed the European qualifiers for the DreamLeague Major, going undefeated. Here, they won a single game and will be unceremoniously booted from the tournament. Liquid’s hot and cold problems are still apparent and their fans will have to worry when big boss OG returns from their extended break. Will Liquid float or sink? It feels like even they can’t find the answer.
There’s no brakes on the World Pro International train, however. The main event kicks off immediately later tonight with two upper bracket matchups. Alliance and Gambit will clash at 8pm CT, followed by a titanic battle between EG and Secret at 11pm CT.