Dota 2 Manila Major 2016 - Day One
The first day of 2016's Manila Major has seen its first eliminations already, with Evil Geniuses and Team Secret both being knocked out in the first round of the lower bracket games. EG came up against VG.Reborn in its best-of-one lower bracket round, while Team Secret was defeated by Team Empire. This is a pair of big name eliminations, since it's the first time that EG and Secret both won't be attending the finals of a Major. For EG it was something of a surprise, since the team has been playing well since the Shanghai Major - but the team just hasn't had the play they needed during the Manila having had a fairly poor group stage losing five games and winning only three. EG just couldn't get the pace they have shown so ably before. Team Secret was up against Team Empire, an opponent whose recent successes - despite a wobbly group stage - were far more consistent that Secret's. By the numbers only it was an kind of obvious result, but Secret was just slow out of the gate and couldn't compete against Empire. Elsewhere the upper brackets saw a couple of confident wins with MVP Phoenix and OG both winning their first rounds comfortably with 2-0. Newbee came out on top against Digital Chaos after winning its first game of three, losing its second but finally taking the lead and the round with the third and final game. As a result, OG and MVP Phoenix will face off against each other in their next round, with the next lower bracket games pitting Team Liquid and Complexity, Natus Vincere and Alliance and Digital Chaos and VG.Reborn against one another as they proceed towards the finals.
Dota 2 Manila Major 2016 - Day Two
The first game of the day went to Newbee against Digital Chaos, but it was by no means a confident victory. Riding on its recent successes it was clear the squad was confident going into its first match, winning the first game with a huge lead. The second match went to with an equally strong lead, but that had no affect on Newbee who went on to smash the third game and go on further into the tournament. The second game was a much closer battle between LGD Gaming and Fnatic. With LGD Gaming on form and certainly the favoured team against an inconsistent Fnatic, and that first game seemed to follow that expectation with LGD Gaming playing fairly confident. Fnatic continued to look uncomfortable in the games that followed, but with a victory of 2-1 that Fnatic found the composure to succeed: and boy, did they! Despite often looking like LGD Gaming would take both remaining games, Fnatic's are easily the comeback kids - succeeding with exceptional team fights and strategic play with enough gumption to claim the title of winners. It was these comebacks that easily made this the most exciting series of the day. In the lower bracket it was Team Liquid and CompLexity that went up first, and it was something of a clear-cut victory for Liquid. CompLexity, who hadn't shown the skill it had once been known for, just couldn't compete with the form of Liquid and lost two games to nil. NaVi versus Alliance wasn't quite as easy to predict. NaVi, who had dropped from the upper bracket the day before, managed to lose its first game to a confident Alliance, but managed to claw its way back with a surprise draft. The final game wasn't as confident for NaVi, falling behind and failing to achieve the necessary lead - but the team was stalwart against Alliance, and finally came out on top.
Dota 2 Manila Major 2016 - Day Three
The day started off fairly typically with the match between Digital Chaos and VG.Reborn, and despite DC managing to pull ahead early it still ended up losing out to VG.Reborn. The final match was a close affair, with VG.R only really maintaining a very slight lead before a late game team fight gave them the opportunity to push onto the Throne for victory. Though LGD Gaming had been placed into the lower bracket at the hands of some shocking plays from Fnatic the day before, the team still maintained the skill and composure it had been showing all tournament and in the matches running up to it. Despite a drawn out first match, LGD Gaming went on to beat Team Empire 2-0. The third series was easily the most exciting, despite the confidence with which OG won against MVP Phoenix. This was a close set of matches since both teams were on hot-streaks, but OG turned up on another level. By playing strategically and figuring out MVP's usual tactics the squad was able to batter an equally skilled team. Most incredible was the second game of the series, which saw the biggest shutout in Dota 2 eSports history - OG managing to achieve a victory in 25 minutes with a kill sheet of 24-0. The final match of the day saw Newbee take out Fnatic fairly comfortably. Fnatic hasn't been on consistent form recently and its struggles the day before - despite the impressive comeback displays - simply couldn't compete against Newbee, a team that has been showing a lot of great play recently. The series ended 2-0 to Newbee, with Fnatic being knocked down into the lower bracket.
Dota 2 Manila Major 2016 - Day Four
Day four was devoted solely to lower bracket games, meaning three teams were guaranteed to fall from the tournament. First up was Team Liquid and NaVi, and it was pretty much a cut and dry defeat for NaVi. The squad's popularity didn't help it come up against Team Liquid, one of the Major's favourites and easily proving itself in the arena. The series ended fairly promptly at 2-0 to Liquid, who would then have to go on and play a second series later in the day against Fnatic. The second match saw VG.Reborn duke it out with LGD Gaming, but with the form that LGD is on at the moment the result was always going to favour the team. It wasn't totally smooth, however; the first game was won by LGD but it was drawn out to over the 50 minute mark. The second game went to a bolstered VG.R, but ultimately it was the dominant team that came out on top with an easy victory in the third match. Team Liquid and Fnatic was always going to be an interesting match. Fnatic still remains a fan favourite and had proven in its match against LGD that it can pull out the stops when it needs to; but that team just didn't show up. Stronger drafting on Liquid's part helped give the team the advantage and though Fnatic were never really looking uneasy early on in the games, both matches would ultimately be won by Liquid who managed their games with ease. This is a confident looking team, and could well contend for victory at the finals. Remember to join us tomorrow as we enjoy the semi-final rounds of the Manila Major to find out who will end up in the finals...