The MDL Changsha Major Playoffs will see the ten Dota 2 teams remaining in the tournament — Infamous and Vega Squadron were eliminated after placing last in their respective groups — try to best each other in a double-elimination bracket.
What Happened During the Group Stages?
Heavy favourites PSG.LGD remain in the tournament pool. However, their performance during the group stages left much to be desired. Expected by many to take the lead in Group B despite the stacked competition, PSG.LGD instead finished in fourth place. As a result, the recently-crowned EPICENTER XL champions will start the MDL Changsha Major Playoffs playing in the lower brackets.
Speaking of champions, the winners of the GESC Thailand Dota 2 Minor, VGJ.Storm, are looking to prove that they can tussle with the big boys. The North American team took on the giants in Group B and came out in second place. They either swept or split most of their games in the Group Stages. The only series loss they suffered was against ViCi Gaming, who are looking even more dominant and finished on top of Group B.
On the other side, everything went pretty much as expected in Group A. Although there were doubts about Team Secret’s mindset heading into the tournament, it’s pretty clear by now that Clement ‘Puppey‘ Ivanov and his team are playing to win as they topped their Group. In second place are Mineski, followed by OG, and finally Invictus Gaming and iG.Vitality.
VGJ.Storm vs OG
After a great game lasting 35 minutes, we take the 2-0 over @LGDgaming
— Team VGJ (@Team_VGJ) May 15, 2018
Match Schedule: May 16, 2018 (Wednesday 10:00 CST)
There’s a storyline brewing in this particular matchup. Roman ‘Resolut1on‘ Fominok spent more than half of the season with OG before being let go after a string of disappointing finishes in Majors. Since then, OG has tapped their coach Sébastien ‘7ckingMad’ Debs to take over the carry position to mixed results — OG have advanced to the playoffs of a Major LAN more times with 7ckingMad than with Resolut1on.
For the critics out there, it might mean that Resolut1on was the problem, but the success of VGJ.Storm, since he came over to replace Enzo ‘Timado’ Gianoli, seems to indicate otherwise.
In any case, given how well VGJ.Storm have performed recently, it simply makes a lot more sense to bank on them over the struggling OG.
Betting: VGJ.Storm to win at 1.61 odds (GGbet)
Mineski vs TNC Pro Team
Match Schedule: May 16, 2018 (Wednesday 13:30 CST)
Contrary to popular belief, the matchup between Mineski and TNC Pro Team is not as lopsided as most people thought. Although Mineski are 9-6 against TNC Pro Team this season, the DAC 2018 champions are actually pretty even at 3-2 against their Filipino neighbours since TNC Pro Team swapped out Carlos ‘Kuku‘ Palad with Theeban ‘1437‘ Siva back in late January.
But, still, it’s hard to shake away the fact that while Mineski’s record against TNC Pro Team is not as lopsided this season, any team that has had Daryl Koh ‘iceiceice‘ Pei Xiang in it has always had every Southeast Asian team’s number over the past two seasons, including TNC Pro Team.
While we expect this series to be close, it’s highly unlikely that we’ll see TNC Pro Team emerge as the winners.
Betting: Mineski to win at 1.75 odds (ArcaneBet)
Invictus Gaming vs Newbee
Match Schedule: May 18, 2018 (Friday 13:30 CST)
At first glance, this should be Newbee’s series to lose. But, dig in closer, and you’ll see that Invictus Gaming are slowly inching their way back to relevance. In fact, they were actually tied for OG for third place in Group A (they lost the tiebreakers by virtue of more of their points coming from draws).
Given Newbee’s penchant for underperforming and general lack of cheese strats, Invictus Gaming should have this series in the bag.
Betting: Invictus Gaming to win at 2.24 odds (ArcaneBet)
PSG.LGD vs iG.Vitality
Match Schedule: May 18, 2018 (Friday 14:45 CST)
No offence to iG.Vitality, but they barely advanced to the MDL Changsha Major Playoffs. Had they been playing in Group B, there’s a chance we might be seeing Vega Squadron here instead of them.
This one should be a no contest for PSG.LGD
Betting: PSG.LGD to win at 1.25 odds (GGbet)