The first phase of the million-dollar Dota 2 tournament in Dubai has ended, with eight teams remaining. The Playoffs matchups have been decided; here’s what to expect.
The first-place team in Group A would face the fourth-place team in Group B. The second-place team in Group A would face the third-place team in Group B, and so on. With this format in mind, here is how the Playoffs bracket has developed.
The first set of matchups will involve:
- LGD Gaming vs. BetBoom Team
- Team Spirit vs. Gaimin Gladiators
- Xtreme Gaming vs. Team Falcons
- Team Liquid vs. Azure Ray
Let’s quickly analyze each of the four matchups and determine which team will likely win the series.
LGD Gaming vs. BetBoom Team
On paper, this series is close to a 50-50 matchup. Both teams recently brought in a new player, Gao “Setsu” Zhenxiong for LGD, and Matvey “MieRo`” Vasyunin for the BetBoom Team.
The storied Chinese organization put up a great fight against Team Liquid, Gaimin Gladiators, and Team Falcons, drawing all three matches in the Group Stage. Meanwhile, the BetBoom Team barely made it out of Group B.
The BetBoom Team has better individual players, but LGD’s team chemistry looks as sharp as ever. This series will be close, but I think the host team should take it.
Team Spirit vs. Gaimin Gladiators
We are treated to an exciting Ti12 Final rematch on the first day of the Playoffs. Overall, the two Titans do not look like they are in peak form.
Team Spirit could only win 2-0 against Nouns and tied all remaining matches in their group. The Gladiators started the tournament with a 4-0 start against Team Liquid and Team Aurora but slowed down and dropped a couple of maps.
If both teams continue to play like this, the Gaimin Gladiators are showing better form than Team Spirit and could take the win. The Mid Lane matchup between Denis “Larl” Sigitov and Quinn “Quinn” Callahan will be detrimental to see which team dictates the pace of the game.
Xtreme Gaming vs. Team Falcons
Wang “Ame” Chunyu is back to professional Dota, and he and Xtreme Gaming look amazing. The Chinese squad convincingly took first place in Group B against Team Spirit and Azure Ray.
Though the Falcons do not look bad by any means, Xtreme Gaming comes into this series as a heavy favorite. All five members of the Asian roster are highly experienced, title-winning players. Three of the five had recently won ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023, meaning they’re in top shape.
The Falcons players are no less reputable than the Xtreme Gaming factors, but Stanislav “Malr1ne” Potorak is the worrying factor. Though Malr1ne is a monster in the Mid Lane, this is only his second big LAN event. His inexperience may cause him to struggle on the big stage.
Still, whether Malr1ne pops off or not, Xtreme Gaming should take this series nine out of ten times.
Team Liquid vs. Azure Ray
Azure Ray had their roster shattered by Xtreme Gaming, and the Kuala Lumpur champions had to scatter and find replacements that could fill the shoes of their former teammates.
Somehow, the Chinese organization still crafted a serious competitor, bringing in veteran players like Zhang “Faith_bian” Ruida and Zeng “Ori” Jiaoyang. They finished third in Group B.
Most fans out of the loop would still consider Team Liquid the favorites to win this series. Though I agree to an extent, I don’t think this matchup will be a walk in the park for the Western European powerhouse.
Team Liquid will probably take the series, but Azure Ray has a real shot at winning it, and I won’t be too surprised if they do.