In less than 12 hours, Day 2 of the Group Stages of the Dota Summit 8 LAN Finals will start. The day’s matches will mostly feature the three teams of Group C: OpTic Gaming, LGD Gaming, and Fnatic. Also included, however, is the very important match up between CompLexity Gaming and Evil Geniuses. Either one of these two North American teams will need to 3-0 the other if they hope to stand a chance of making the playoffs without going through the wild cards.
Much like in Day 1 with Group B, we could very well see one team standing on top of Group C with a playoff spot all but secured after tomorrow’s matches. The question now is, which of the three teams have the best chance of doing so?
Note: The three-game series of the matches during the group stages are essentially three consecutive best-of-ones. Meaning, they’re not exactly the safest for those who want to make bank. You’ve been warned.
OpTic Gaming vs LGD Gaming
— Beyond the Summit (@BeyondTheSummit) December 12, 2017
Despite being from opposite sides of the world, OpTic Gaming and LGD Gaming have a lot of similarities. Both squads are captained by legendary and respected players in Peter ‘ppd‘ Dager and Zhang ‘LaNm‘ Zhicheng respectively. They also have a tendency to play around their superstar mid players, Quinn ‘CCnC‘ Callahan for OpTic and Lu ‘Maybe‘ Yao. Even their offlaners are the same in that both are high-profile players who recently switched from the position 4 and have not had the same level of success with their previous position.
Their play styles are pretty similar as well. Both teams boast excellent high ground defense and both also prefer team-fight oriented lineups that can group up and push, capitalize on their opponent’s mistakes and can take down towers really fast. The only difference? Aside from nationality, LGD Gaming have had much more success in inter-regional competitions.
That experience alone gives LGD Gaming the edge here, especially as the games go late. If there’s one main thing we can take away from OpTic Gaming’s loss against Team Empire in the Grand Finals of the ROG Masters 2017, it’s that OpTic’s late-game decision making is still far away from where ppd probably would like it to be.
Smart Money: LGD Gaming may not have had much success recently, but they’re still the better team in this match up. Expect the games to last shorter than 47.5 minutes, as both teams will likely not risk a demoralizing loss this early on in the Dota Summit 8 LAN Finals.
Evil Geniuses vs CompLexity Gaming
— Evil Geniuses (@EvilGeniuses) December 14, 2017
Dial back a year ago, and this would’ve been Evil Geniuses going 3-0 easy. That’s just how good of a team they were back then, which makes you wonder when exactly they’re going to return to that same form. CompLexity Gaming’s no slouch, though, and they’re significantly better this season than they have been in year’s past. In fact, they’ve had just as many playoff appearances as Evil Geniuses this season. Albeit, both of their appearances came in Minors, which is why they have significantly fewer Qualifying Points.
Match-up wise, Evil Geniuses have won the last three times these two teams met and are hands-down the better team. CompLexity Gaming have huge upset potential, though, and it’ll be interesting to see how they’ll respond when their backs are against the wall.
Smart Money: 6 out of 9 of their matches have lasted less than 48.5 minutes, and 5 of those ended well before the 36.5 minute mark, which means this is likely going to be a quick series. However, expect CompLexity Gaming to try and prolong it in Game 3, especially if they find themselves down 2-0.
OpTic Gaming vs Fnatic
— Beyond the Summit (@BeyondTheSummit) December 11, 2017
Fnatic are good, on paper. In practice, they’ve failed to meet even the lowest of expectations. Though they have since qualified for two LAN tournaments, you can chalk up their performance to more of Mineski playing below their usual standards than them actually improving. No offense, there’s a lot of talent on the team and their potential to pull off an upset or two is huge. It’s just that after three early exits in Pro Circuit LANs this season, it’s easier to see Fnatic disbanding than them realizing their lineup’s full potential in the next few weeks.
Smart Money: This series is OpTic’s to lose. If they end the series against LGD Gaming 2-1, or if by some miracle, 3-0, expect them to go in for the kill against Fnatic. Even if not, look to them to look at this series against Fnatic as a way to rack up some free points to give themselves a better shot at making the playoffs of the Dota Summit 8 LAN Finals.
These are carefully crafted match predictions, made by a team of analysts who studied each team’s history and playing styles. Stay tuned for more match-by-match analyses and predictions for the Dota Summit 8 LAN Finals.