The first big event of the year and the new DPC season is here. The Dota 2 Singapore Major is starting this Saturday.
The first stage is a wild card stage where the 2 best teams will advance. All matches are played in a best of 2 series. To make our bets easier, I’m advising to bet on +0.5 or -0.5 handicaps, and not maps individually. Here are my picks for Day 1.
Team Nigma +0.5 @ 1.45
Liquid and Nigma are the opening match for the first Major of the year. Nigma is playing without their position 3 player Mind_Control. MinD_ContRoL is unable to attend the Major, so rmN- will stand-in for him. This makes things a little bit easier for Team Liquid as I do think they are one of the top 5 squads in Europe right now. Nigma had some decent games with their coach before, when Kuroky was not able to play in some tournaments. However, this time rmN- will play position 3 which is much more demanding, so it will be interesting to see how they will open this best of 2 series. If this was best of 3, I would side with Liquid for sure. However, first matches in such tournaments are always too obvious and teams are going into them very carefully. I expect that Liquid and Nigma will split points in this one.
Team Liquid +0.5 @ 1.44
PSG.LGD is one of the best squads from China, that’s for sure. However, in recent years Chinese teams were struggling vs European teams. EU teams have been dominant in the last years, that’s for sure. We haven’t seen inter-regional matches for quite some time, and now it will be interesting to see just that. As I’ve said, Liquid are a top team from EU and they need to play vs a top 3 team from China. This will be an interesting clash, however I do think Liquid can pull a map here. In best of 3, I would pick PSG.LGD, I feel that the Chinese will have a strong Major run this time.
PSG.LGD -0.5 @ 2.50
Nigma will struggle to pull a map from a scary team like PSG.LGD. This will be hard for Nigma to pull off. I think Liquid can be an equal opponent to PSG.LGD, but Nigma, a team that struggled a lot in the recent year and season, will have to do everything they can to beat the Chinese team. Odds on PSG.LGD -0.5 handicap are just amazing. Worth trying for as value in this bet is amazing. Obviously Miracle can make wonders with his heroes, but only if PSG.LGD will allow this, and the Chinese are far too experienced to allow only one player to beat them.
AS Monaco Gambit +0.5 @ 1.47
This should be an interesting one. Gambit has been doing really well recently. Able to qualify for the Wild Card in this Major by finishing 3rd in the CIS qualifiers means something for this new squad. Their lineup is looking scary with NoOne, AfterLife and Sonneiko as captain. I do give them a high chance here vs Nigma, as Nigma is playing with a stand-in. I think Gambit can take a map almost certainly, and if they feel good vs Nigma they can even surprise them and take the whole series. However, it’s really hard to talk about that in the best of 2 matches. Splitting the points is the most open scenario here.