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Over the past couple of weeks, things have gotten that much more exciting as the tour 2 action from the Western Europe Division 1 of the Dota 2 championships veers past the halfway mark. Eight sides in all have been competing – six from division 1 of the previous tour along with two sides from division-2 of the previous tour, who have earned a promotion.
Five games in, Team Liquid are currently placed third with three wins and two losses. Their opponents Nigma Galaxy, who finished sixth and just about retained their place from tour 1, have struggled to remain afloat, having lost each of their five games this time around. So in terms of where they are at on the form spectrum, Team Liquid are the overwhelming favourite as the odds suggest.
Nigma will prove to be a highly risky bet as things stand, but ones who can earn you a windfall should they cause an upset. What are the chances of that happening, though? Very slim.
After six weeks of frenetic action that ended mid-January, six of the eight teams in the Western Europe Division-1 category all ended up closely packed. That teams struggled to wriggle away from one other reinforces the close nature of the competition.
Team Liquid racked up six wins in seven to finish at the top. It earned them a Major Playoffs spot apart from making them richer by USD 30,000. In a heavy mid-table jostle, Nigma were placed sixth with four wins and three losses. They pocketed USD 24,000.
Team Liquid are coming off a 2-1 win over Tundra. In terms of Gold count, the first game that Liquid pocketed was rather one-sided. They collected 103.5k gold to Tundra’s 91.1k. Fans may wonder why gold count is a significant factor. It is because it is the measure of currency, and in Dota-2, it can be got by killing heroes, creeps or buildings.
Liquid pocketed 27 kills, five more than Tundra and just about managed to outdo their opponents on Towers they managed to capture. Game two was the complete opposite, with Tundra stamping their authority over the contest to convincingly close out the game.
It boiled down to a final game that was neck-and-neck right until the end, with Liquid nicking it with a 1.5k gold lead, which is as slender as leads go. Overall, though, they managed 37 kills to Tundra’s 9 – a mark of their efficiency across the lanes. You wouldn’t look back at the end result and say Liquid got lucky.
They were clinical, efficient and cashed in on the odd slices of luck teams deserve from time to time. When the team needed him the most, Zai and iNsania stood up to make an impact. Zai finished with 11 kills, 2 deaths and 13 assists, while iNsania managed 5 kills, 4 deaths and 24 assists. Nigma, meanwhile, were blanked 2-0 by Entity Sports in a one-sided affair.
Brame revamped their core group prior to the Spring tour, and until a couple of weeks ago, things were looking rather bleak for them. They began the DPC with three successive losses, and were right on the edge. Then they got the better of Them Secret in their previous game to trigger a turnaround.
While they aren’t entirely firing to full potential yet, they are currently placed fifth in tour-2, with two wins and three losses. OG, their opponents, don’t have too many worries and are perched as joint-toppers with Gaimin Gladiators, having won four out of five.
That Brame have staved off relegation to get to where they are means they are very much the underdogs going into this contest. The odds are such that a dollar on them could get you 3X returns should they force an upset. This, however, may not manifest itself the way things stand.
Among the newer teams to break into the league, Brame were placed third with a 6-1 record on the EU Division-2 table, having just finished outside the promotion zone. Each of the top three finished with six wins and a loss, but Entity and Brame progressed, leaving behind the Chicken Fighters.
How They Fared in Their Most Recent Outing
We spoke earlier about Brame’s terrific win over Team Secret. Let’s delve a bit more into it. Firstly, they were made to earn the win. Secondly, Brame had to use every bit of their resources to get to a winning position before prevailing eventually.
Essentially, it was no walk in the park. It was super intense and it left them drained at the end of a long, winding battle. And the manner of their turnaround must be lauded. With the fight for spots for Stockholm Major still on, the win came as a morale boost for them, and they are very much in the hunt for a fourth-placed finish.
ThuG and SsaSpartan proved consistently good over sustained periods for Brame, while Eleven, too, found his bearings when the team needed him to rise up to the occasion.
It is perhaps the most even contest on paper that we will potentially be seeing among all clashes held over the next couple of days. Like Brame, Entity, who made it through from Division 2, appear to have hit a bit of a rut, and are currently joint fifth with two wins and three losses.
But if there is an opportunity to set their house in order, then this is a great opportunity because Team Secret, also struggling with a 2-3 record, have been in a rut themselves. So in terms of a match-up, this is a contest between two sides searching for lost confidence and a combination they believe can get them over the line. And when two hit-and-miss teams clash, it is a perfect recipe for some exciting action.
It promises to take you into the unknown. The odds are with Entity, but if ever there was a chance for you to get a little adventurous, it is now. Go ahead, take a punt on Team Secret to maximise your earnings, because it is really that close. There isn’t much to choose from between the two sides at the moment.
Like Brame, Entity performed phenomenally well in EU Division-2 to make the upward move. A 6-1 record isn’t to be scoffed at, and while one may argue it was supposedly in the lower rung, they still staved off fights from two other top sides to emerge toppers.
In Chillax and Test Bald Reborn, they found opponents who kept challenging them repeatedly, and needed to find that extra gear to push past the line. Apart from earning them a promotion, Entity also pocketed USD 17,000 in prize money. Overall, their win-loss record in games stood at a healthy 13-5 heading into tour two.
Entity had a relatively easy outing on Saturday. They didn’t really have to soul search in getting past Nigma Galaxy. As far as victories go, this was straightforward, far different to some of their other wins in recent times where they have really had to stretch.
In finishing off the match in just two games, it was a statement of intent of sorts without really trying to make one. It was a mark of their renewed confidence of having come up the hard way, after an underwhelming start that sees them joint fifth currently. Still, the fight for the top four is well and truly on and Entity have made the other teams sit up and take note.
If Game 1 was about consolidation, then Entity did really well. They landed 85.5k gold to Nigma’s 62.8. They finished with 15 kills more apart from capturing eight towers to Nigma’s 2. Having set themselves up, they continued to maintain a stranglehold over Nigma, by taking a significant Gold lead in the second, which then formed the crux of their emphatic win.
They collected 111.5k gold to Nigma’s 87.9k. They landed 38 kills to Nigma’s 22, and captured nine towers, four more than Nigma. Stormstormer and Crystallis landed 10 and 15 kills respectively, apart from finishing with 14 and 22 assists.
Their proficiency was such that the two deaths apiece that they encountered was nearly negligible. Katomi’s support role of 7 kills, 5 deaths and 14 assists, and Tobi’s 21 assists shouldn’t go unnoticed either. If ever Nigma came across a complete team performance, this was it.
|Dota 2 WEU Division Information|
|Teams||Brame v OG, Entity v Team Secret, Liquid v Nigma Galaxy|
|Location||Conducted in Western Europe|
|Time||Tuesday, April 12 at 10.00 AM EST onwards|
|How to watch||Official Twitch channel|
With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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