Day 1 of BLAST Bounty Hunt went as expected. With both favourites winning their matches in the upper bracket round 1, it’s now time for the day 2 of the event. On day 2 we will watch 2 matches from the upper bracket round 2.
Team Nigma +1.5 @ 1.84
This has become such a classic match nowadays. Team Secret is the most dominant team in Europe right now, and as such they are starting this tournament as a top 2 seed, placed in round 2 directly. Team Nigma needed to fight their way over Team Liquid on Tuesday. And they’ve done it in a nice way. They won vs Team Liquid with a 2-1, but both game 1 and game 3 were really up and front for Kuroky and his boys. Basically they crushed Team Liquid who played with their full lineup, compared to their last match where Liquid played with a stand-in (and got 2-0’ed by Nigma).
Secret and Nigma have had a very rich Dota 2 history lately, especially in the last month or so. They’ve played 3 times, and all 3 times Nigma lost to Secret. Two times they’ve lost with 0-2, while a few days ago they’ve managed to take a map off Secret in the ESL One Birmingham losers bracket finals. Secret is known lately as a team who rarely make mistakes. We still remember their loss vs Unique and Alliance in ESL One, and Nigma did make their road to the ESL One championship slightly harder by bringing them to all 3 maps in their clash.
I think that Nigma is slowly catching their form and they are playing better and better. They ended their ESL One road on a decent note, and they’ve started this tournament with a nice win over a pretty strong team. I don’t think they are yet ready to beat Team Secret, but they can surely surprise Team Secret by taking a map off them, that’s for sure. But it’s a big risk. If you find good odds (1.30+), maybe go for the safest option and that is Team Secret ML win, otherwise take a small risk and go for one of the handicaps. My pick is +1.5 handicap on Nigma, I do think they can take a map off Secret again.
OG +1.5 @ 1.57
Strangely enough, tournament organizers decided that together with Team Secret, OG will be put as the top seed team as well. And that means that they are starting from round 2, same as Team Secret. I’m not sure why that decision was made, since OG didn’t show much in the ESL One Birmingham Online tournament as they ended in 7th place in their group. OG is playing this tournament with the full lineup together with Topson and MidOne. In their last tournament, we saw that Topson is completely out of form. He hasn’t played Dota for a while and it shows. Their last official match was 10 days ago, on May 31st. And it was against Alliance, a ESL One group stage match which they lost 0-2.
Interestingly enough, they are on a 5 match losing streak. They had 10 free days now, hopefully they’ve used them to recuperate and I do hope they are ready for the new tournament. With OG, you never know as you can never write them off. Even though they are in terrible form lately, they have such strong players, one of the best captains in Dota and they have a winning mentality. I believe they can come back from that death pool of losses.
Alliance won vs NiP with a 2-0 on the day 1 of this tournament, and they’ve shown again that they are in amazing form. It’s really enjoyable to watch Alliance play nowadays, as Nikobaby is just a pure class player. Sumail vs Nikobaby, this will be a really good clash. Alliance ML bet is probably the safest one, odds are low on Alliance win, but I’ll rather pick a more dangerous road. My picks here would be OG taking at least 1 map as I would love to see 3 maps here. And hey, it’s OG, you never know what will happen. They will get demolished by Alliance really hard or they will show some signs of improvement from the last tournament.