PGL Wallachia Season 1 Round 1 Predictions

PGL Wallachia Season 1 uses the Swiss System for the group stage. This means that the 16 competitors will... Radu M. | 8. May 2024

PGL Wallachia Season 1 uses the Swiss System for the group stage. This means that the 16 competitors will play between three and five matches each. Three victories are required to advance to the playoffs. Three defeats are required to get eliminated. Every match is best-of-three.

Usually, organizers that use the Swiss System format like the best-of-one match format because it allows them to complete one round per day and finish faster. However, the same result can be achieved with best-of-three matches if you’re willing to have at least two of them running in parallel at any given time. PGL chose the second option.

In the first round of matches, a total of eight matches will be played and at this point we know who will play against whom. Here’s a brief analysis of those matches.

Aurora vs. MOUZ

This is a match between a highly experienced team from Southeast Asia and a recently created international team that represents MOUZ. The coach and the captain of MOUZ are well-known Romanian players. Both ImmortalFaith and UInit understand the game very well, but their expertise doesn’t come close to that of Jabz and 23.

In 2024, Aurora finished 9th – 12th at BetBoom Dacha Dubai, 8th at DreamLeague S22, and 9th – 10th at Elite League. With these results, they are significantly stronger than their opponents. In principle, given that the match is a best-of-three series, even if Aurora lose one game, they shouldn’t lose overall.

Azure Ray vs. nouns

Azure Ray have played very well so far in 2024, finishing 4th at BetBoom Dacha Dubai, 11th – 12th at DreamLeague S22, and 3rd at Elite League. This team is one of the best in the world right now, so it’s a bit unrealistic to think that they will lose against nouns.

Even though the North American squad is led by Fly, who is one of the most experienced captains in Dota 2, his team does not have the talent required to win a match of this difficulty. There’s a small chance that Fly managed to transfer much of his knowledge to his players in the last three months, but they will still need to think for themselves during the match.

When you struggle regionally, against teams like Shopify Rebellion, what are the odds that you’ll succeed against two-time TI Grand Finalists like fy?

BetBoom Team vs. Shopify Rebellion

BetBoom will start this match as the clear favorite. The two teams met earlier this year at ESL One Birmingham, where the CIS squad won 2 – 0. The same thing happened at DreamLeague S22.

Another thing we know is that BetBoom finished 2nd at ESL One Birmingham just several weeks ago. In this tournament, they drew against Team Falcons in the group stage and defeated opponents like Talon, OG, and Tundra.

All of these results indicate that BetBoom are in great shape right now. The caliber of their players far surpasses that of Shopify’s players, with the exception of Arteezy.

For Shopify, who finished 11th – 12th at ESL One Birmingham out of 12 participants, this opponent looks very hard to beat. However, at DreamLeague S22, which took place in March, Shopify finished 7th. If they play the same way here, they might qualify for the playoffs. But it’s hard to give them much of a chance against BetBoom.

Xtreme Gaming vs. BOOM Esports

Xtreme Gaming finished 7th – 8th at BetBoom Dacha Dubai, 3rd at DreamLeague S22, 7th – 8th at ESL One Birmingham, and 1st at Games of the Future and Elite League. Based on these results, we can assess that they’re currently one of the strongest teams in the world. They also have Ame as their carry, who is arguably the strongest position 1 player in all of China.

BOOM Esports, on the other hand, don’t have very much to rely on. They did finish 4th at Games of the Future, which was a surprising result, and they also have players like Pakazs, who finished in the top six at The International several years ago. But it will take a lot more to win against Xtreme.

This is one of those matches in which it’s hard to believe that the underdog can win more than one game out of three. Xtreme would need to make serious errors to lose this battle, which is not likely to happen. It happened at ESL One Birmingham a few times, but after a disappointing result, good teams tend to train harder and improve their strategies.

Team Spirit vs. Virtus.pro

Virtus Pro

Team Spirit showed signs of life at ESL One Birmingham. Despite being eliminated in the group stage, they ended the tournament with five consecutive draws. This means that they didn’t lose against opponents like Gaimin Gladiators, Xtreme Gaming, Tundra, and OG.

The best-of-three format should favor them. Their captain is highly experienced and helped them win two editions of The International, as well as Riyadh Masters 2023. Their carry player, Yatoro, is known to be one of the best in the region.

The only problem is that in the last month, Spirit had poor results at two important tournaments, Elite League and ESL One Birmingham. So it’s difficult to say for sure whether they’re on an ascending spiral or a descending one.

The appearance is that they are making good progress and the roster is certainly strong enough to become one of the world’s best again. Based on this observation and also on the fact that VP don’t have a strong team right now, we can conclude that Spirit should win this match 2 – 0 or at least 2 – 1.

Team Liquid vs. G2.iG

This match will test both teams and it’s not clear at all who will win it. At Elite League and ESL One Birmingham, G2.iG finished 7th – 8th and 5th – 6th respectively. Liquid did slightly better, finishing 4th and 5th – 6th respectively.

Both teams have a lot of good players. Arguably, Liquid’s roster is more stable because the players have been competing as a group for much longer. But G2.iG have had five months so far to build a solid play style and at the most recent events, we saw them dominating a lot of strong competitors, including Xtreme Gaming and BetBoom.

This match could be won by either team. The odds are roughly 50 / 50.

Team Falcons vs. HEROIC

Team Falcons are far stronger than HEROIC. In fact, they’re probably far stronger than anyone else in this tournament. So far in 2024, they played in four Grand Finals of tier-1 events and won three of them. Practically, in every tournament they competed, they either won or finished 2nd. And when they won, they did it without losing a single map in a best-of-five series.

This level of dominance is very hard to reach and it indicates a very deep understanding of the meta. HEROIC, by contrast, are much weaker. At Elite League, they finished 15th – 16th. At ESL One Birmingham, they finished 7th – 8th. They’re not a bad team, but they don’t come close to Falcons. That’s why a 2 – 0 result is the most likely outcome in this match.

Gaimin Gladiators vs. Team Secret

In principle, Secret should have no chance against Gladiators with their current roster. Puppey’s crew is light-years behind the one that finished 2nd at The International in 2022. Meanwhile, Gladiators have the same roster that won all DPC Majors last season.

It’s clear that they’re no longer the best team in the world, but they did finish in the top six at the first three tier-1 tournaments of the year. Their only failure came at ESL One Birmingham, where they finished last.

Even if Secret win one game, they can’t possibly win two out of three against Gladiators unless Quinn and his teammates play their worst Dota of the last 18 months.

Header: PGL