The MDL Changsha Major is finally heating up with half of the 12 teams competing in the Major, getting eliminated without securing any points. Tomorrow marks a crucial day as 2 more teams will be eliminated without any DPC points. We will also find out who amongst the 2 sister teams Vici Gaming, and VGJ.Storm will secure themselves a minimum of 1350 DPC points and $200,000 in prize money.
It also gives me the opportunity to share my predictions for the playoff stage having fully analysed the teams. Bear in mind that these predictions are gonna be quite hard considering the calibre of teams remaining in this event.
I feel like this is the only easy prediction of the day. While Mineski has stuttered a bit in the group stages, and in the playoffs, their losses have been fairly close ones. They’ve shown that they’re willing to experiment and showcased a variety of drafts in the group stages. This gives them a draft advantage in this stage of the tournament since almost every other team has revealed their preferred picks/bans while the same can’t be said for the SEA team.
There are other factors as well. MooN, and Jabz have been on fire in this tournament. Both players have been in tremendous form putting the team on their back and carrying them to victory on multiple occasions. iceiceice, Mushi, and ninjaboogie have also carried some of the burden in the last couple of weeks.
The same cannot be said for Newbee. Sccc and Kaka have been carrying their team for many months now. Faith, kpii and especially Moogy have not been playing to their fullest potential and Newbee has suffered as a result. They barely made it through to this stage, with ‘A Crit of Destiny’ being the only reason they’ve made it to this stage.
I just can’t see them beating Mineski in a full BO3.
My Advice: 5 Tokens on Mineski
Not many would have been surprised if this match was taking place in the Grand Finals. Coming into this event, PSG.LGD and Team Secret were the favorites to take this Major along with Mineski. But things have gone wrong for both teams.
PSG.LGD had a horrid group stage, which saw them getting pushed down to the lower brackets. But they have seemingly recovered with some clutch performances coming out of their new-tri-core based drafts. Ame is IMO the MVP of the whole tournament (along with JabZ). He has delivered in almost all of their games in the lower bracket. With teams having to waste multiple bans on him, PSG.LGD might just have the draft advantage which could be the key difference maker.
Team Secret on the other hand shockingly lost to VGJ.Storm which pushed them down to the lower brackets. While their executions and the actual in-game play has been pretty good, their drafts have become lackluster with Puppey often outdrafting himself. However, their trump card is YapzOr who never really has a bad game and has an extremely high impact from a 4-position.
So it all comes down to whether Team Secret can put enough pressure on Ame to force to have a bad game and whether PSG.LGD can hold the fort against YapzOr. Or whether Puppey outdrafts himself. Or whether Fy/Maybe pull off ridiculous plays (like the ones against TNC Predator in Game 1).
There are just too many variables. I’d give the edge to PSG.LGD for now, but I’d recommend not betting on this matchup.
My Advice: Abstain
Fortunately, unlike most of these other matchups, we have already seen a trial of this particular matchup in the Group Stages. And It was a massacre, with Vici Gaming coming out on top going 2-0 against VGJ.Storm
While that does paint a pretty good picture of what will transpire in this match, VGJ.Storm has gone from strength to strength in the course of this tournament. IMO no one understands the meta better than this team right now. SVG and MSS are the key players for this team to succeed, and so far they’ve shown no signs of slowing down.
Vici Gaming had quite a scare against Mineski, but they played some top-notch DotA to prevail 2-1 in the BO3. Their drafts too, have been on point thanks to Fenrir. Paparazzi is the key, if he gets a free game, I don’t see Vici Gaming losing the game. Which is where VGJ.Storm might find an opening. Sneyking’s play in the laning stage has been phenomenal over the past couple of tournaments, I think the pressure that he applies to Vici Gaming in the early game will disrupt their momentum, and prove to be the key to victory for the NA Team.
My Advice: 3 Tokens on VGJ.Storm
Predictions for the Loser Bracket Semifinals (Winner of Team Secret/LGD vs Winner of Mineski/Newbee) will also be posted. Be sure to check this page out as soon as the 2nd game finishes