So finally, the MarsTV Dota 2 League Winter Finals is now in the middle of its playoff stage after some scheduling issues pushed the group stage into the second day, forcing the tournament organizers to redistribute the games accordingly. Coming into Day 3, the field is currently being dominated by the Chinese teams, likely to the pleasure of the hometown crowd. If you caught our last minute tips on the group stage wrap-up games from yesterday, our predictions actually hit all their targets right down to the scores.
Three of the Western teams find themselves in the lower bracket along with Newbee, the only Chinese team to fall down after they lost their Group A tiebreaker match against Evil Geniuses. OG, the only Western team still alive in the upper bracket, showed fantastic performances throughout the entirety of Day 2– they didn’t even drop a single map against their opponents.
Now the bracket gets even harder from here on. The juggernauts of the East are all in the upper bracket fighting for spots in the winners’ finals. Anything can happen up there, with each team involved capable of taking maps against each other.
Team Secret (3/4 Betway) v Newbee (1/1 bet365)
Quite frankly, Team Secret looked terrible in their 0-2 loss against OG, where EternalEnVy was supposedly drafting for the team in place of team captain Puppey. The result was a sweep of the series by OG, thanks to Miracle- getting his hands on Anti-Mage in game 1 to counter Secret’s Wraith King pick (where he posted a blistering 902 gold per minute), and the push-oriented draft combo of Vengeful Spirit and Drow Ranger in game 2. On top of that, W33 and Misery haven’t looked like they’re in shape for this tournament at all. With their morale likely down from such a withering loss to OG, beating Newbee later today will be a task more difficult than it would usually be. Secret has also been dropping out of tournaments early as of late, and with their current form it’s easy to see them do the same here at MDL.
Not to mention that the evens pricing on Newbee is already better than what is on Secret. Even though Newbee lost 0-2 to OG in their group stage matches as well, there’s little reason not to back them in this particular fixture, mathematically speaking. If you don’t fancy the odds being this close, you might want to try betting on the total map score, which we think will go 2-1 in Newbee’s favour. bet365 has that at 14/5.
Evil Geniuses (2/7 bet365) v CompLexity Gaming (14/5 Betway)
EG have looked a little bit flustered this tournament with their drafts yesterday not working out exactly as they’d hoped. They seem to be content with drafting greedy, almost four-core lineups despite their limited success with such calls in the pick and ban phase. They also seem to be relying a bit too heavily on Sumail to make the big plays; that game against EHOME where he went 0-7 on Tiny comes to mind. Similarly, CompLexity haven’t exactly been cruising this week, with the only positive in their run being a 2-0 victory in the group stage against Mineski, the eventual winless last place team in Group B. After Group B got locked into a four-way tie, they proceeded to lose both of their tiebreaker games.
CoL are capable of stealing a map in this series, but given the experience and championship pedigree that EG have backing them up, it’s clear why they’re favoured as match winners. Sadly the price on EG means that winning will get you just a bit of change, so we suggest betting just a small amount on the favourites here.
Evil Geniuses to win with bet365 at 2/7 (1.22)
Vici Gaming (1/2 bet365) v EHOME (6/4 Skybet)
Vici Gaming have looked incredible this tournament. They’re firing on all cylinders both individually and as a unit, and at this rate, they’re favoured to win the tournament itself. Super looks comfortable in the mid lane, BurNIng is doing BurNIng things, and of course fy and Fenrir are showing why they are the best support duo in China. Not to be outdone, iceiceice has been getting his comfort heroes and has been playing them all at a high level. EHOME have looked pretty decent in their run as well, although there have been some questionable decisions along the way that may have contributed to some of their losses (looking at you, Cty, with your Midas Anti-Mage shenanigans).
All things considered, VG will probably win this series. However, the way EHOME handled EG in their quarterfinal series yesterday gives us a bit of confidence in the underdogs to steal a map in this fixture. Although EHOME win the series against VG given the latter team’s huge momentum going into the next round, they are capable of scoring at least one point. This can serve as an alternate or additional bet.
LGD Gaming (13/10 Betway) v OG (8/13 bet365)
LGD Gaming showed poise and confidence in Group B’s tiebreakers yesterday, winning both their games against Secret and EHOME. Though both games took them an hour each to finish, they nonetheless secured their winners’ semis spot in front of the home crowd. All in all they’re looking pretty good, maybe second to VG when ranking the Chinese teams in this tournament. That star-studded lineup of theirs seems to be doing them a few favors here, and it’s almost scary to think that they’re doing this even without xiao8.
On the other hand, OG completely bopped Secret in their quarterfinal match yesterday, and Fly seems to have figured out how to draft deathball-style lineups in this meta as evidenced by that merciless Venge/Drow combo backed by Miracle-‘s Invoker (which had a Mekansm and Vlads!) in game 2. They also dismantled Newbee in the group stage, setting a record for the fastest victory in the LAN so far with their 14 minute, 27 second win in game 2 of that series. They’re undoubtedly the best Western team in this event so far, and we don’t think this will change in the next round.
LGD have the better pricing in this fixture, but with the way OG are rolling over nearly anyone who gets in their way, they get our vote. In comparison to OG’s 3-0-1 record in the group stage, LGD had the same 1-3-0 record as everyone else in Group A before the tiebreakers. This tells us that OG have been more cohesive over the course of the whole event. Assuming they didn’t celebrate MoonMeander’s birthday too hard, they should come out swinging and away with the win here.
OG to win with bet365 at 8/13 (1.62)