It’s the penultimate day of the WePlay AniMajor and just three teams remain to compete at the final DPC event before TI. Even before the event is complete, the DPC points have been settled and the 12 invites for The International 10 are now set in stone. All that remains for the AniMajor is a competition of pure pride and glory. Oh, and the $200,000 first-place prize.
The first casualty of the day was Nigma
. Their only chance of TI qualification was a second-place finish – quite an ask for a team still finding its footing with a revamped roster. Despite beginning to channel their TI7 era powers, Nigma couldn’t cut it, falling to the lower bracket at the hands of PSG.LGD
, before finally being eliminated by Evil Geniuses
, making them the second team to fall at the hands of Artour “Arteezy” Babaev’s carry Nature’s Prophet at this event.
Nigma are now the third high-profile team to be resigned to the EU regional Qualifiers. They will compete against OG
, Team Liquid
and the rest of the EU regional league teams for just one single qualifier slot. Of all the regional qualifiers, this one will be the one to watch.
Meanwhile, another region’s top seed was eliminated; North America’s Quincy Crew
fell to Vici Gaming
, leaving T1
as the only regional champions left in the tournament. Vici were immediately faced with another round of NA challengers, Evil Geniuses of course.
After dispatching Nigma earlier in the day, EG were back to destroy more hopes and dreams.
Luckily for Vici, they had already locked in their place at TI10, as their major run would end here. They started strong, taking down an unusual EG draft that saw Arteezy playing a safelane Outworld Destroyer. Game two was turned on its head as EG stomped Vici down in just 24 minutes.
Game three, however, was much more interesting with three members of EG playing their signature heroes; Arteezy’s Terrorblade, Tal “Fly” Aizik’s Phoenix, and Daryl “iceiceice” Koh Pei Xiang’s Timbersaw.
Arteezy pulled off one hell of a unique build this game, with his last three items being Aeon Disk, Abyssal Blade, and a Swift Blink. Arteezy knew what he was doing though, and the build allowed him to make some perfect plays, such as this game-saving Abyssal Blade stun on Faceless Void, saving himself and Abed “Abed” Yusop from a devastating Chronosphere.
We ended the day with the upper bracket final. T1 took on PSG.LGD for the first spot in the AniMajor grand final. Having battled all the way through the group stage, PSG.LGD benefited from practice and momentum from countless successful series that earned them their place in the upper bracket. We’ve already seen the benefit of this earlier in the event as the top seeds who went straight to the playoffs were systematically destroyed by the teams who had surrounded themselves in the tournament meta on their way to the playoffs.
In the same fashion as every regional champion team before them, T1 fell flat as soon as they encountered a challenger primed from the group stage. That’s not to say T1 didn’t go down without a fight, the series went to a game three after all. Game 1 certainly looked like it would belong to PSG.LGD with little challenge — a 30-minute stomp in which Zhang “y’” Yiping played an impeccable Winter Wyvern; racking up just under 17,000 healing and 87% kill participation. Even with plenty of magic damage on the side of T1, Wyvern’s healing abilities, buffed up by Holy Locket have become more powerful than most line-ups can deal with; this won’t be the last we see of Wyvern at the AniMajor.
Game two looked to be a more slow and steady victory for LGD. As the game approached 40 minutes, they had a comfortable lead as well as the safety of a Spectre to take them into the late-game. However, a critical timing for T1 arose: an Aghanims Sceptre for Carlo “Kuku” Palad’s Doom to provide Break against Spectre, and a Nullifier for Nuengnara “23 Savage” Teeramahanon’s Monkey King. Combined, these two items gave T1 the ability to pile onto LGD’s Spectre with no chance of escape or being saved. T1 equalized the series and bring it to a game three, but LGD returned to their surgical precision of game one, and brought down another stomp to T1, claiming their place in the finals.
T1 will face EG in the lower bracket final. Will the curse of the regional champions remain with them? Or will EG be doomed to yet another 3rd place major finish? There’s a pattern to be found either way you look, but what you can be sure of is one more day of world-class Dota 2. Don’t miss a moment, with our event hub