Find out how the Group Stage for Riyadh Masters went!
Riyadh Masters Group Stage is over, concluding the second phase of the tournament. For the past four days, sixteen teams clashed in a feat to step closer to the $5 Million first-place finish. Ultimately, fourteen teams survived the warfare and four teams suffered the fate of elimination. This departure also sees North America dropping out of the tournament.
The four eliminated teams following Riyadh Masters Group Stage are OG, Xtreme Gaming, TSM, and Shopify Rebellion. Xtreme Gaming and Shopify Rebellion placed 15th-16th, grabbing $100,000 in prize money. OG and TSM on the other hand finished a step higher at 13th-14th place, bringing home $200,000.
Riyadh Masters Group Stage: Group A Recap
Xtreme Gaming: Good start, disastrous end
In the last Tour, Xtreme Gaming had missed the Bali Major and looked unstable in their performances. But with the recent addition of the legendary two-time TI finalist, Zhao "XinQ" Zixing, expectations arose.
In this tournament, Xtreme Gaming had undoubtedly showed potential. They managed to become the ONLY team so far that has defeated Quest Esports. During the Riyadh Masters Group Stage, they picked an early momentum, grabbing draws and a victory. But things quickly went south from the third day onward. XG suffered three series losses and their ranking dropped to the bottom of Group A in a flash.
This was unexpected to a lot of fans, especially due to how impressive their form had been in the beginning. We even listed this Xtreme Gaming among the dark horses of Riyadh Masters.
Image via Valve
EG finds stability
During the Bali Major, Evil Geniuses had crashed and burned like never before. The team, known for being consistently in the top 8, took everyone by surprise and finished rock bottom at the tournament. It was revealed that the team wasn't in their greatest form due to Matthew's health.
Nonetheless, right now EG looks tenfold better than before. The team secured two wins, three draws, and two series losses. This puts them just above the elimination line and EG will advance to the Lower Bracket. Hopefully, the South American lineup will be able to recuperate and once again enter their top 8 territory.
Quest Esports: No ATF, no problem
Two days before Riyadh Masters began, Quest Esports faced an odd situation with its star offlaner, Ammar "ATF" Al-Assaf . Due to contract issues, ATF decided to depart the team. This leads to a last-minute stand-in situation with Abdimalik "Malik" Sailau of NAVI filling in his shoes.
A lot of people wondered how Quest will perform without the presence of ATF. But let's not forget that this lineup is also formerly Ooredoo Thunders - the team that pulled upsets in Western Europe DPC.
Despite the last-minute preparations, Quest Esports didn't stumble throughout the tournament. They soared and secured first place during the Play-in and they did it once again during the Group Stage. With a 2-5-0 scoreline, Quest Esports is the only team in the Riyadh Masters Group Stage that has not been defeated 2-0. An impressive feat!
Riyadh Masters Group Stage: Group B recap
BetBoom mercilessly slays Group B
The players of BetBoom Team are thirsty for blood! This team is peaking by every hour and the TI12 invite scare might have just ignited their bloodlust even more.
BetBoom's record during the Riyadh Masters Group Stage fully green with victory, but they did lose a series to a surprising contender, Team Secret. BetBoom is definitely one of the favorites to win this tournament. And they are one of the potential teams that could challenge Gaimin Gladiator's reign in Dota 2.
The team captain, Save-, had also highlighted this in an interview: "Our goal is to destroy Gaimin Gladiators, not to let them win another tournament."
Image via Valve
Team Secret in TI form?
As you have read above, Team Secret is the only team that has defeated BetBoom 2-0. This showcases not only the potential to win this tournament but also make it to TI. If the pattern and prophecy are real, Team Secret is barely warming up to stomp the TI12 Regional Qualifiers and win the entire tournament in Seattle!
But let's not get too excited. Clement "Puppey" Ivanov and his boys have a long way to go. Despite now being a Division II team, Secret is doing spectacularly in Riyadh Masters. The team survived the Play-in and now the Group Stage. Team Secret advances to the Lower Bracket of the event.
No NA for Playoffs
North America's top contenders, Shopify Rebellion and TSM, both leave the tournament following a rough Group Stage. TSM carries a little lesser expectations due to a rough year. They did manage to grab upsets here and there, namely draws against Team Liquid and Team Aster.
On the other hand, the state of Shopify Rebellion has been concerning for fans. This particular tournament witnessed tons of mistakes and questionable decisions during games. But the main concern that was pointed out is that SR has not been improving and their progress has been stagnant for months and perhaps, even years. Here's how SR performed in the past three Tier 1 events.
Riyadh Masters Playoffs, the main stage event, begins tomorrow! Keep track of the schedule and results of Riyadh Masters here.