Thunder Predator and NEON Esports – Underdogs stay alive at the Major cover image

Thunder Predator and NEON Esports – Underdogs stay alive at the Major

Day 3 of the Singapore Major playoffs has thrown quite a few surprsies. Thunder Predator and NEON Esports defeated Virtus.Pro and Vici gaming respectively in the lower bracket.

The ONE Esports Singapore Dota 2 Major threw up quite a few surprises on Day 3 of the playoffs. The day featured four Dota 2 series and three of them were saw the favorites lose out to the underdogs. An exciting day of Dota 2 for fans in the first Major of the year.

Evil Geniuses - The China slayer

Evil Geniuses has a knack for securing the top three at the biggest Dota 2 LAN events. Not surprisingly, the North American team crushed the best China had to offer with a 2-0 score. The first series ended rather quickly with both games lasting just thirty minutes and featuring a similar storyline. Evil Geniuses would give Artour "Arteezy" Babaev the space to farm up crucial items by playing around his farming area. The carry player would then be unstoppable first on Terrorblade (Game 1) and later as Alchemist (Game 2).

Invictus Gaming moves down to the lower bracket after the rather one-sided series against EG. Meanwhile, EG moves ahead to face yet another Chinese team in PSG.LGD. 

PSG.LGD shock the Singapore Dota 2 Major favorites 

Before the ONE Esports Singapore Dota 2 Major, most fans would pick Team Secret as the overwhelming favorite to win the tournament. However, Team Secret has not looked as dominant as fan expectations would have you believe. The sole remaining European representative lost 1-2 to PSG.LGD and is now down in the lower bracket. Secret will face Thunder Predator for survival in the Dota 2 Major.

The first series saw PSG.LGD dominate the lanes; multiple cores out-farmed their opponent number. Both Zhang "Faith_bian" Ruida and Cheng "NothingToSay" Jin Xiang ended game 1 with zero deaths. Faith_bian’s bloodseeker and his support teammate Zhao "XinQ" Zixing were constantly applying pressure on Lasse Aukusti "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen in the top lane. The 26-year-old Finn was never comfortable in the lane despite being the safe laner.

PSG.LGD could not handle Zai’s Venomancer in the second game due to the tanky and pesky nature of the hero. But the story of the first game repeated itself in the final game when Faith_bian’s Lycan ran away with the mid-game.

Puppey and co. will have to navigate through the lower bracket to make it to the finals. While it is not impossible for a team of their caliber, it will present a few more hurdles. Meanwhile, PSG.LGD will have to face off against Evil Geniuses, a team that has historically been a thorn for Chinese rosters.

The lower bracket underdog stories - NEON Esports and Thunder Predator

NEON surprise Vici Gaming

The lower bracket saw two massive upsets in what was an exciting finish to Day 3 of the playoffs. The first game saw NEON esports go up against Vici Gaming. Vici were the overwhelming favorites to take this series and game 1 went along expected lines. However, NEON fell back on its ‘normal’ chaotic SEA playstyle. Vici Gaming is known for its careful, predictable approach to Dota 2. The clash of the two playstyles saw Southeast Asia emerge with the upper hand.

Vici could not handle NEON’s aggression and focus on early-game objectives. As NEON built up leads in both games, the players itemized to counter Vici’s late-game heroes. The Southeast Asian team specifically targeted Ren "eLeVeN" Yangwei in game 3, who was unable to make any plays for the team. NEON Esports is now guaranteed a top-six finish. 

Thunder Predator continues its dream run at the Singapore Dota 2 Major

With Southeast Asia securing a top-six place, all eyes were on Thunder Predator. The South American team had a fairy-tale run through the group stage finishing with a 12-2 score. 

Thunder Predator has been redefining Dota 2 at the Major surprising some of the strongest teams. The team’s aggression and reliance on each other proved to be too much for the best team from CIS. 

Joel Mori "MoOz" Ozambela had a fantastic series and displayed several moments of brilliance against Virtus.Pro. The support player was responsible for making plays catching enemy cores out of position and changing the course of team fights. 

The ONE Esports Singapore Major will resume tomorrow with Team Secret taking on NEON Esports in the opening match. 

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Featured image credit: NEON Esports.