After a group stage lasting close to two weeks, the ESL One Los Angeles Online playoff participants are finally rolling in. Virtus Pro, OG, Team Nigma, and Vikin.gg are moving on to the next round of the tournament.
The pivotal matchup in Group A was the final-day series between Nigma and Vikin.gg. Nigma were on the verge of elimination but managed to leverage two w33 Meepo games en route to a swift victory. Vikin.gg were fighting for a chance to enter the upper bracket. Having won head-to-head vs. OG, Vikin.gg would have usurped the two-time The International champions’ spot if they beat Nigma.
Nigma haven’t been the most convincing team throughout the season, so it wasn’t altogether surprising to see KuroKy’s squad fighting for a playoff spot until the last day. But it seems like every time opponents and fans start underestimating Nigma, the team’s power levels begin to churn into overdrive. In Miracle-‘s now-immortal words: “Upper bracket’s for bitches.”
Both Vikin.gg and Nigma will begin their playoff campaign in the lower bracket and will await the final results of Group B to confirm their opponents.
Elsewhere, OG held on strong to second place with a stellar performance against Gambit. Even with two stand-ins because two of their stars are staying in Malaysia, there were still games where they put the OG spirit on display, such as a comeback victory vs. Cyber Legacy and an all-out slaughter against Nigma.
With Team Secret confirmed as the winners of Group B, we have at least one matchup set in stone. OG will clash against Secret in round one of the upper bracket in a titanic matchup. Secret have been in peerless form, but it seems like OG, no matter how many replacements they have, never lose the magic and confidence that they’ve gained in recent years.
VP, after countless roster changes since their huge shakeup at the onset of the season, have finally had a string of good results. Solo and his squad ended the group stage at 7-0, finishing the final day with an emphatic victory over Dendi’s B8.
Having recruited some of the CIS region’s brightest stars in Resolut1on and Zayac, the team is regaining the unrivaled and cocky aura the Bears earned over the past few years. They’ve even brought some unusual heroes into their mix, including Zayac’s signature and obnoxious Techies.
Aside from VP, the CIS teams in Group A didn’t do too well. All four eliminated teams—HellRaisers, Gambit, Cyber Legacy, and B8—hail from the region. Aside from Cyber Legacy, who played surprisingly well, the others will still make an appearance at the WePlay! Pushka League beginning April 23.
Here are the final standings for Group A: