The dust from the Shanghai Major has finally settled, revealing big changes over in China and some modest ones to teams in the West. But we’re not here to discuss that today — as we’ve got some Dota Pit League Season 4 action coming in fast and furious this weekend. This eight-team tournament has nothing but the best teams the North American and European scenes have to offer; even the defending Major champions are here. Heck, even the one team that isn’t from the West, MVP Phoenix, finished fourth at Shanghai, so we’re definitely in for some fantastic games.
Naturally, we’re here to size up the fixtures for tomorrow’s Round of 8 games (all games except the grand finals are best of 3). At a glance, the bracket looks very interesting even for a single elimination tournament, and should produce entertaining matches from the get-go. Without further ado, let’s get down to the preview!
Virtus.pro (4/6 bet365) v CompLexity Gaming (6/5 Skybet)
If we were going by a straight lineup comparison, Virtus.pro definitely deserve to be the favourites in this particular fixture. They have much more experience and skill individually and as a group than their North American opponents in this match, and have the results to back all of that up. When things really come together for this CIS team, they can look really good and take matches even from the best squads in the Dota world. Unfortunately, even that might not be enough to defeat a team brimming with confidence like CompLexity — especially if they don’t get a good start off the bat.
While VP were languishing in the bottom 4 at Shanghai, CompLexity were chugging along in the lower bracket, eventually reaching a very respectable top 6 finish for a team that is considered to be far from EG in terms of skill and power rating despite being the second best team in their region. It’s clear that they’ve taken the time to really get their chemistry and teamwork down, which paid off big time at the Shanghai Major. No doubt they’ve got their spirits up after a relatively good performance at one of the biggest stages in Dota, so for this fixture, they’ve got our confidence up as well.
OG (4/11 Skybet) v MVP Phoenix (2/1 bet365)
We’ll be honest here — this is actually really difficult to call when considering all the factors that come into play in this matchup. OG are by far the better team on paper, but MVP Phoenix’s current lineup works so well for them that it’s hard to count them out at all. Finishing fourth at Shanghai (which they did in very spectacular fashion) was one of the last things anyone ever expected. Therefore, even against a proven team like OG, they have a realistic shot at taking this series.
Unlike past instances where MVP simply disappeared from the map after performing better than they were expected to, they’re sticking with the same roster that they ran with at Shanghai. Thus, this match may not even be an uphill battle for them, if their Shanghai upper bracket run is any indication of what they’re capable of and if their morale and chemistry are intact. As far as the map score bet goes, 2-1 in favour of MVP is the safer bet, but if you’ve got the guts to go all the way, go for the 2-0 bet — the potential payout is big. In QO and gang we trust? We would say so.
Team Secret (2/9 Skybet) v Natus Vincere (3/1 Skybet)
This one shouldn’t even be a contest. Although Na’Vi aren’t in the bottom of the CIS barrel these days, they haven’t really been seen posting significant results in major tournaments as of late. In fact, they’ve done almost nothing for their fans to cheer about since TI5, where they crashed out of the tournament in the bottom 4.
Meanwhile, Team Secret persevered and fought their way through the Shanghai Major, eventually winning it all in a fairly easy 3-1 victory over Team Liquid. Against Na’Vi, they won’t have to exert that much effort towards defeating them, so this should be a breeze for them. As long as EnVy keeps his hands off the captain’s PC, they’ll be more than fine.
Evil Geniuses (1/6 bet365) v Team Empire (4/1 Skybet)
This should be an easy matchup for Evil Geniuses, given that they finished third at the Shanghai Major while Empire failed to even make it to that tournament in the first place. They also seem to have gotten over their tendency to start slow in bracket play, although they still do get knocked down to the lower bracket towards the end of tournaments they’re in. Naturally that shouldn’t be the case in this fixture, considering their opponents and how a recent lineup change in Empire might come into play as far as chemistry and teamwork are concerned.
It would take a lot for Empire to pull an upset here. Without the players they had some weeks ago, they’ve had only a small amount of time to prepare for this tournament to begin with. Expect EG to punch their ticket into the semifinals in this match, so long as Ppd doesn’t try too hard to read into the metagame and end up shooting his team in the foot as a result. Those odds are painfully stingy, though — so if you don’t fancy their match winner bet, there’s the 2-0 bet that nets slightly more.
— written by Patrick “EthanKairos” Bonifacio (@EthanKairosSC2)