The China Dota2 Professional League Season 1 playoff bracket is set and here is the first upper bracket match. Read our thoughts about it.
Vici Gaming @ 1.54
ViCi Gaming and Invictus Gaming will lock horns in round one of the China Dota2 Pro League Season 1 playoffs this Thursday. It will be their second meeting of the tournament after ViCi comfortably won their first clash during the first week of the season. ViCi finished the round robin stage as the first seed with an impressive 7-2 record, which tied them with PSG.LGD at the top of the standings. The only two teams that managed to defeat ViCi throughout the entire season were Keen Gaming and iG Vitality in big upsets. Zhang “Eurus” Chengjun and company won all of their remaining seven fixtures with a perfect 2-0 score, which goes to show how dominant ViCi are in their region.
The Chinese outfit hold second spot in the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) 2019/20 standings with 5,100 DPC points, which they earned with a silver medal at MDL Chengdu and bronze at the Leipzig Major. In Leipzig, ViCi bested the likes of Chaos EC, beastcoast, Invictus Gaming, and Evil Geniuses but fell flat in the upper bracket finals against Team Secret (0-2) and lost their rematch with Evil Geniuses (1-2) in the lower bracket finals. Those were their last competitive fixtures, meaning that ViCi will not have played a single match in a month by the time they face off against Invictus.
Unlike ViCi, who cruised through the Pro League round robin stage with ease, Invictus Gaming secured promotion into the upper bracket by the skin of their teeth with a 5-4 record. They lost to Aster, EHOME, PSG.LGD and ViCi but managed to deliver against Keen Gaming, Newbee, Royal Never Give Up, Typhoon E-Sports Club and iG Vitality. Invictus attended the DreamLeague Season 13 Leipzig Major last month and got off to a strong start, besting both Reality Rift and Alliance in Group C. Zhou “Emo” Yi and his squad hit a wall in the playoffs, however, as they lost to ViCi (1-2) and crashed down to the lower bracket. There, Invictus edged past Aster (2-1) and defeated beastcoast (2-0), but they were unable to get past Evil Geniuses in round four and so finished the Dota 2 Major tournament in fifth-sixth place.
At the ESL One Los Angeles 2020 China Closed Qualifier earlier this month, Invictus proved to be a class above every team they faced and dropped only one round as they clinched a spot at the LA Major. Invictus produced a stalemate against Keen Gaming and bested Look For Smile, EHOME, and the embattled Avengers, who are tangled up in a match-fixing scandal due to some iffy displays at the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 3 China Qualifier. In the playoffs, Invictus defeated Aster 2-0 to qualify for third Dota 2 Major of the year alongside Royal Never Give Up.
It should be obvious that ViCi are a much stronger team than Invictus. Priced at 1.54, the favourites should claim a comfortable win. Given the massive quality difference, there is a serious possibility Eurus and company might even walk away with a clean sweep. Neither team has made any roster changes since September 2019. From that point on, ViCi and Invictus have met three times, and all three fixtures ended in favour of ViCi, two of which were clean sweeps. ViCi won’t be attending the ESL Los Angeles Major, as they have already secured a spot at The International 10. As such, there is no reason for them to hold back and save their energy here. This will be their last big tournament before a long break from top-tier competition and with ¥1,500,000 (≃ USD $213,332) on the line, it’s hard to expect anything less than a strong performance from them.