The four teams who will play tomorrow at the Starladder i-League Invitational Season 4 Playoffs have been decided after what can only be described as an exhausting 14-hour day group stages that saw Mineski and LGD Gaming come out on top.
Once the day had ended, Team Empire, Team Kinguin, compLexity Gaming and Infamous all bid their tournament hopes goodbye. Already considered as an afterthought, the four eliminated teams never came close to advancing to the playoffs. Although Team Empire did manage to turn some heads with their performance. After pulling off an upset against Team Kinguin in the second series of the day, the CIS organization put up a decent fight against Mineski. In fact, they even managed to steal Game 2 of the series. However, two upsets in a day were one too many for Mineski as they proceded to close out the series in a quick 26-minute rout to advance to the playoffs.
As has been the case since the start of the tournament, all eyes will be on a Liquid-Newbee rematch in the Grand Finals. The fact that they won’t possibly meet until then hasn’t helped with the hype at all. Still, even if Team Liquid and Newbee are easily the better Dota 2 teams tomorrow at the Starladder i-League Invitational Season 4 Playoffs, that doesn’t mean Mineski and LGD Gaming have no chance at pulling off an upset.
Newbee vs LGD Gaming
Match Schedule: February 4 (0300H / 03:00 AM CET)
Newbee will open up the Starladder i-League Invitational Season 4 Playoffs with a matchup against their regional rivals. Now, because of how the Dota Pro Circuit works and how Newbee have received a direct invite to just about every tournament so far, these two teams have seldom met so far this season. Furthermore, LGD Gaming are rocking a new lineup, so there’s little to no data between these two teams. But, from what we’ve learned so far, LGD Gaming are looking like legitimate contenders after beating the likes of LFY and ViCi Gaming (via sweeps, no less) in Regional Qualifiers to qualify for this tournament and the Katowice Major.
Mind you, this is no easy feat. Competition for tournament slots have been very tight in China so far this season. Even so, though, Newbee aren’t exactly one to fret. Their confidence should be at an all-time high after getting their revenge from Team Liquid last week. They’re likely tooking to cement their status as the best Dota 2 team in the world right now with a second straight Minor win, which hopefully will come at Team Liquid’s expense.
Regional matchups are a fickle thing, though. It also doesn’t help that we have seen Newbee lose to teams they’re supposed to dominate. Consider us here as the devil’s advocate by saying that Newbee will be going home earlier than they expected tomorrow.
Betting: LGD Gaming to win at 3.2 odds (ArcaneBet)
Team Liquid vs Mineski
Match Schedule: February 4 (0600H / 06:00 AM CET)
Mineski turned a lot of heads in the Grand Finals of Season 3 of the Starladder i-League Invitational earlier in October when they gave Team Liquid their first loss in quite a while. And though that was mighty impressive, that was more than three months ago. Mineski are no longer considered as underdogs, but as legitimate contenders. An upset win just isn’t enough anymore. They’ll need to take a series off of Team Liquid this time around, and all signs indicate that they’ll have a hard time doing so.
So far this season, Team Liquid have only dropped a series to three teams (Team Secret, Newbee and Virtus Pro) and Mineski have a losing record against all three of them.
Betting: Team Liquid to win with 2-1 series score at 2.85 odds (GGbet)
Which Dota 2 team do you think will come out on top at the Starladder i-League Invitational Season 4 Playoffs tomorrow? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.