Image Credits: PGLWe got all of our predictions right on the 2nd and final day of the group stages with all the bigger teams carving out wins, bringing up our overall token score for this week to 11/12. Which leaves us with 13 tokens for the remaining two days.
With the playoff brackets set, and all the matches for the next couple of days being up on the dota2.com/predictions website. Here’s how I’d bet if I were gunning for the ‘Time Traveller’ achievement.
Literally the only game I am going to ask you to abstain from. Both Team Secret and OpTic Gaming were completely Hit-or-miss in their matchups today. One game, they’d absolutely take-off making all the right moves, and securing the game easily according to the script.
In some games, they threw their lead way too easily, allowing the enemy team to mount a comeback thanks to sloppy play and decision-making. I really don’t like putting my trust in either one of the two and hence would rather abstain from this matchup.
My advice: Abstain
This might be quite a surprising one for many of you but even though Team Liquid finished on Top of Group A, plenty of chinks in their armor were exposed by paiN Gaming in the recently concluded ESL One: Birmingham Major.
And in the two matches, they won in this event, they were once again exposed. However, Team Liquid managed to pull off a win thanks to the many mistakes their opponents made.
TNC Predator is the best SEA team right now. I’d say they might even be the 3rd best laning team in the world right now. paiN Gaming’s success over Team Liquid came through early game movements and decision making. TNC Predator has been spectacular in those aspects, ever since the Birmingham Major. I believe that they will cause an upset using those attributes.
My advice: 1 Token on TNC Predator.
Evil Geniuses have been slandered by almost the entirety of the Dota 2 community following their performances at the group stages. While they certainly deserve some part of it, they aren’t as bad as the community might have you believe.
EG only has one weakness in my eyes at the moment, but it is a bad one. They aren’t that co-ordinated and in-sync with their cores. However, I expect that to change with time. But time is something that they’ll only get after this tournament. In the meanwhile, they’ll have to rely on outskilling their opponents, and Fly’s drafting to carry them through the event. And I think that’ll be enough to ensure that they’ll do better against Team Spirit.
My Advice: 1 Token on Evil Geniuses
VGJ.Storm entered this major as one of the dark horses, as they just proved (in MDL Changsha) they can beat anyone. While consecutive events would probably burn them out in the long run, but many will be expecting VGJ.Storm to be in top form for this playoffs, and I tend to agree.
While they did lose a couple of series against Team Secret and Mineski, it should be noted that they were all extremely close matchups. Personally, I felt that they’d just been dealt a hard group and that they are a team who would have been in the Upper Brackets had they been placed in other groups.
Infamous is just weaker by comparison. Papita is a talented mid player, and can sometimes take over games with his surprise picks. However VGJ.Storm should be well prepared
My Advice: 3 Tokens on VGJ.Storm
PSG.LGD enter this major as one of the favorites, with their second place finish at DAC 2018, and a first place finish at MDL Changsha Major as well as another first place finish at the Epicenter XL Major. PSG.LGD have proven to be a tier 1 team with strong drafts.
Mineski have struggled in the recent weeks leading up to Supermajor. However, they look like they’ve got their groove back in the Group Stages. Moon and Jabz have been on fire making all sorts of unbelievable plays across several series to hold Mineski’s forte as a tier 1 team. And one must remember that Mineski is the last team to beat this rampant PSG.LGD squad in a knockout game.
That said, I just don’t think I can bet against PSG.LGD who have been playing some mind-blowing Dota. I am in awe of Fy, Somnus and Ame considering the sheer amount of plays they manage to pull out in every other game. That trio should be enough to see the Chinese squad through to the next round.
Watching Newbee yesterday was probably heartwrenching for a Newbee fan. After playing 8 matches and beating out two teams, they finally secured a place in the Upper Brackets after a long time… Against Virtus.Pro
Like PSG.LGD, Virtus.Pro are a class apart. And against a struggling team like Newbee, I just don’t see them losing no matter what they pick or play.
My Advice: 2 Tokens on VP
I was wrong yesterday. Na’vi definitely didn’t look like they improved by any measure with their new roster change while Vici Gaming run around with wild drafts like a Treant+Lich as a support duo.
It's really hard to either analyse or predict this one overall, but I’d say Vici Gaming has the advantage thanks to the fact that both of their cores are extremely skilled mechanically, while only one of Na’vi plays at that level.
I am also sure that they won’t experiment with absurd lineups since they are on the brink of elimination which should give them somewhat of an edge in this matchup.
My Advice: 2 Tokens on Vici Gaming
Tough series to call. VGJ.Thunder looked like a top team in China in the DPL Season 5, and have wins over Newbee and LGD Gaming. They have also lost to them as well. Their performance in the Group Stages weren’t particularly impressive but some of their drafts had really good potential which stretched teams like OpTic Gaming.
The Final Tribe is currently the top team in the European qualifiers considering OG’s disband and the fact that Team Liquid and Team Secret are invited to every other LAN. They too managed to stretch Team Secret in their opening match to a BO3 which might cause many to overestimate them. They really aren’t that good.
I think VGJ.Thunder have got this purely based on their play in the Group Stage, however, TFT might spring in a surprise at the playoffs.
My advice: 2 Tokens on VGJ.Thunder