The Kiev Major’s group stage has concluded, and all 16 teams have now been seeded into the the single-elimination playoff bracket.
Surprises were abundant throughout the two days of games, with both tournament favorites and established teams struggling in the swiss format group stage.
The biggest winners of the group stage included Team Secret and Virtus Pro, who were the first teams to advance to the playoff stage. The teams now hold the top seeds in the playoffs, as the two squads completed their run through the group stage with a flawless 3-0 record. Team Secret, in particular, delivered an impressive 2-0 victory against tournament favorites Invictus Gaming in the third round of play.
Despite Invictus Gaming’s surprising loss to Secret, the Chinese team recovered in the final round by defeating North American fan-favorites Evil Geniuses in a close 2-1 series. For Evil Geniuses, however, this means the squad will be facing the International 6 runner-ups Thunderbirds in the first round of the playoffs. The North American team’s tournament life now hangs in the balance given their recent form.
Evil Geniuses had something of their upset, however, on their way to the playoff stage: a rather surprising victory against Newbee in the third round of the group stage. The Chinese team, considered to be the second best team in their home country, went 2-2 during the group stage— an unexpected result given the team’s recent performance at the Dota 2 Asia Championship, where the team placed third overall.
Additionally, the team that placed second at the last Valve Major in Boston, mousesports, ended the group stage with only a single victory. While narrowly avoiding a bottom seed, the team now has the unenviable task of facing Invictus Gaming in the first round of the playoffs. In contrast to the Greek roster, Invictus’ form in recent months has looked incredible— meaning the runner-ups from the Boston Major could be eliminated in last place.
The teams will resume play in two days, as the Kiev Major enters its final stage. But given the amount of upsets so far, we’re betting on more unpredictable results in the coming days.