EPICENTER XL Playoffs Preview
2018-05-03

EPICENTER XL Playoffs Preview

The group stage of the ongoing Dota 2 major tournament EPICENTER XL has concluded with eight out of twelve teams qualifying for the playoffs, which will begin on May 4th.

The group stage was held on April 27th – May 3rd behind the closed doors. It featured twelve teams seeded into two round-robin groups with best-of-three series. Top four teams from each group qualified to the playoffs, with top two teams securing their places in the upper bracket, and the teams placed 3rd-4th advancing to the lower bracket. The other teams got eliminated.

The first two places in Group A were secured by Team Liquid and PSG.LGD, while FlyToMoon and Mineski placed 3rd and 4th respectively. Group B showed way more unexpected results: Virtus.pro placed first with 4-1 score, losing only to Natus Vincere; the second place was taken by OG, who started the tournament with the 3-0 score after defeating Na`Vi, paiN Gaming and Team Secret, but later lost to VP and Newbee. The other four teams finished the group stage with the 2-3 score, so the final placements were decided based on the map count and face-to-face results. One may argue, that such results were provoked by the fact that Valve released a major balance update just a day before the start of the tournament. Some teams, including Virtus.pro, mentioned that the meta changed significantly, which affected their performance. After the uproar in the community Valve promised to not release major patches just before or during DPC event, instead they will be released at the event of the event. Overall, the results of the group stage look as follows:

Group Stage Results

Group A Group B
1. Team Liquid 5-0 10-2 1. Virtus.pro 4-1 9-4
2. PSG.LGD 4-1 9-4 2. OG 3-2 7-5
3. FlyToMoon 3-2 7-6 3. Team Secret 2-3 6-7
4. Mineski 2-3 6-7 4. paiN Gaming 2-3 5-6
5. compLexity Gaming 1-4 3-8 5. Newbee 2-3 6-8
6. Team Empire 0-5 2-10 6. Natus Vincere 2-3 5-8

The competition will continue on May 4th with playoffs, which will be held with live audience at VTB Ice Palace in Moscow. It will have a single-elimination format, with first two rounds of the lower bracket being best-of-one, regular matches being best-of-three and grand finals being best-of-five. In the lower bracket FlyToMoon will face paiN Gaming, and Team Secret will compete against Mineski. Both match-ups are more or less equal, with, according to our odds, FTM and paiN having a slighter higher chance to win. As for the upper bracket, the series have a chance to be much more one-sided: Team Liquid will compete against OG, and Virtus.pro will face PSG.LGD. Based on the previous results, Liquid and VP are obvious favorites here, although the group stage showed that everything’s possible and even OG with their coach filling in the carry role can spring a surprise and at least take one map in the series against Liquid.

Upcoming Matches (UK Time)

Friday, May 4th
  • 10:30 AM: FlyToMoon vs paiN Gaming (bo1)
  • 12:00 PM: Team Secret vs Mineski (bo1)
  • 13:30 PM: Team Liquid vs OG (bo3)
  • 17:00 PM: Virtus.pro vs PSG.LGD (bo3)

EPICENTER XL is a major Dota 2 tournament with $1,000,000 and 1500 Dota Pro Circuit on the line. The grand finals will be played on May 6th, with the winner getting $500,000 in prize money and 750 DPC Points.