International Dota Is Back – Singapore Wildcard Over & Playoffs Preview

4 min read

The four days of chaos are over!

Wow, finally, some good DPC non-regional Dota! Singapore Major's, the simultaneously so-called best and worst major of all time, is on its way. Wildcard and Group Stage have come to an end, so let's make a couple of intermediate conclusions based on the results of the first four chaotic but very interesting days.

Tournament Format: A Rollercoaster of Emotions 

Despite all that catastrophic situation associated with the non-arrival of several players and even teams in Singapore, the process seems to have begun and the only big problem could be perhaps the forced replacement in Neon Esports right during the group stage.

There are questions as to why the replacement of Rappy by Deth happened on the second day, whether other players talked to Raphael during the playing day, but in fact, this replacement brought great benefit to the Asian team. At least they managed to drive from a depressing 1-7 statistics to an acceptable 5-9 and earn a place in the playoffs.

Despite the fact that the Singapore Major playoffs are very similar in format to The International (just without the infamous first round of the lower bracket, also known as Bo1-roulette), the early stages come in a certain contrast to what happened in the DPC winter league.

If during the "regular season" the teams complained about the small number of meetings, then here the participants had a hard time. Team Liquid played twenty-five competitive maps in four days! This period have turned out to be an extremely eventful marathon.

Some teams had to play eight maps with little or no breaks.

In addition to contrasting with the DPC league, this saturation of the Singapore Major group stage diminishes the quality of the game (because concentration obviously decreases over time). The second side effect is that the opponents did not have time to flourish.

Some teams who came to Singapore after spending a lot of time in meta-bubbles in their region. They could simply not be ready for the style of other teams and lost, because they did not have time to adapt.

Viva, Peru!

Thunder Predator were unexpectedly excellent. The Peruvian team pleased with a strong performance in the laning stage, as well as confident aggressive play. Their opponents just weren't ready for such a playstyle. It was especially significant on the first day, which the South Americans finished 8-0. On the second day, the situation has already become a little more predictable, but it has not changed fundamentally: TP only lost a map each for OB.Neon and Vici Gaming, finishing the group stage in first place with 12-2.

Be that as it may, the magic of Peru allowed TP to become the main surprise of the major with a plus sign. It often happens that the teams that shine in the group stage cannot maintain a high pace in the playoffs, but we hope that this is not the case.

The Dusk of Europe?

Now the sad part: European teams. Of the three teams that received quotas for Wildcard and Group Stage, only Team Liquid made it to the playoffs, and not without luck.

Liquids were not allowed into the group stage of ASM.Gambit only on a tiebreak, but still managed to break into the lower bracket. The 5-9 result can be easily attributed to the intense schedule and the freshness of teams that did not play for two extra days.

Alliance were not at ease during the whole tournament, both terrible misplays and macro errors were visible. Just a regular case of a team who had a bad day from the very beginning.

However, Team Nigma was the biggest sadge. We knew that the team had some problems playing online, but in LAN conditions KuroKy and his team are among the strongest. Instead, we saw the squad disassembled and not ready for the tournament, ending the wildcard with the infamous 1-9. Yes, it is possible to refer to the fact that they played without MinD_ContRoL, but even in this case, it was possible to show a higher level of play.

Together with this tweet, it can be assumed that Team Nigma will witness reshuffles, and this could launch a large transfer chain throughout the region. It seems that the most interesting events will take place on April 5 and 6: the two days after the end of the Singapore Major, when its participants will be able to expel players from their lineups without an additional penalty (only 15% of points).

China!

Unlike the European region, the representatives of the Celestial Empire are doing very well. Both teams (PSG.LGD and Vici Gaming) successfully passed the wild card and even won a place in the upper bracket of the playoffs. Team Aster is not doing so well (5-9), but the situation does not look catastrophic. Perhaps, if they played in full force, everything would be better...

PSG.LGD and Vici Gaming are in perfect order. Yes, the teams have their mistakes, but it is felt that both of them can still improve. These two's advantage is that they have already rolled into the pace of the tournament.

Imba-Io

Despite the fact that Elder Titan has the highest winrate stats (82%, 14-3), the main discovery of the tournament is Io. Of the fifteen maps he was picked, ten ended in victories, but there is one caveat. Looking at the Io carry win rate, the stats are 9-1! Only Team Aster, who failed the second day, managed to lose with Wisp in the first position.

The scenario of a game with Io is very much reminiscent of the horror that OG arranged at The International. The only difference is a slightly slower pace (after all, the hero is nerfed). So far, it's hard to talk about a successful counter to this hero, but in the playoffs, everything will be much more interesting!

What does the CIS have?

NAVI withdrew from Singapore: some of their players got COVID-19, and they had to stay in Kyiv and watch the tournament from home. 

ASM.Gambit could not get through the group stage, but they fought very well in the heat and quarantine conditions. The main hope of the region is, of course, Virtus.pro. The Bears will start fighting tomorrow and judging by the current level of the game, they will be among the favorites for the high places. VP's main competitors are Team Secret, as well as teams from China. It seems that among these five teams (Secret, LGD, VP, VG, iG) we will get our grand finalists.

 

Five days of exciting Dota 2 await us ahead, in which there will no longer be such confusion and intensity, which means that the teams will be able to show everything they are capable of. The road to The International is just beginning!

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