Team Spirit managed to clutch out a '1-1' draw against SEA team TNC Predator in their last matchups of the WePlay AniMajor Group Stage. TNC has beaten prominent teams like Team Nigma and Beastcoast in the Group Stage and were looking to be in contention for the top two spot to the Upper Bracket of the Playoffs. However, the Filipino Dota 2 team’s hopes got crushed by Team Spirit who ironically may have to play tie-breakers to get through to the playoffs. The first game of the series was a 60-minute brawl between the two, but ended shortly after the hour mark as Team Spirit could not handle the late game prowess of TNC’s Ursa and Dragon Knight. The second game was a much smoother affair for Team Spirit as they perfectly executed a Magnus and Ursa lineup who could easily hunt down TNC’s core duo of Lina and Venomancer.
The first game was a 60 minute slow-paced battle between the two teams. Team Spirit managed to slow the enemy Ursa-Puck duo quite well and created ample space for their late-game carry Wraith King. This strategy worked well until it got close to the hour mark when Puck picked up a maxed out Dagon and started sniping Team Spirit’s supports, giving TNC a significant edge in late-game fights. After the one-hour mark, TNC was blessed with good neutral items as their Dragon Knight picked up an Apex, making the behemoth Dragon Knight unkillable with around 7,000 HP! With this significant late game edge, TNC managed to bring the first game to a close.
The second game on the other hand played quite differently with Team Spirit finding a steady lead after the laning stage with their Magnus empowered carry Ursa. Team Spirit made excellent item choices that won them the game such as the Glimmer Cape on Magnus. This provided a secure way to execute around the Reverse Polarity ability given that TNC’s Venomancer served as an efficient counter to Blink Daggers. Refresher Orb rush by Team Spirit’s Phoenix gave them double the potency during teamfights. Armel on the mid Lina had no chance as Team Spirit’s cores always managed to close the gap and kill the fragile hero. Team Spirit secured the win in game two within 41 minutes.
Currently, the bottom three spots of the Group Stage consist of Team Spirit, Team Liquid, and Beastcoast, in that order, of which Beascoast is guaranteed to be knocked out. Although Team Spirit has the sixth position, Team Liquid has one final series against EG on the last day of the Group Stage, the results of which will decide if Team Spirit and Team Liquid play a tie-breaker to stay in the WePlay AniMajor or not.
There are only two series left to be played out in the Group Stage of the WePlay AniMajor and the Playoffs start on June 9, 2021, after a one-day break following the Group Stage.
The week of Wild Cards and the Group Stage has already felt like a tournament on its own and now that the playoffs are about to begin, it is time for the main show where the remaining teams will battle for the Major win, the DPC points, and a chance to secure a direct invite to TI10.