On day 1 of the ESL One Birmingham 2020 - Online: Europe & CIS playoffs, everything went as expected. Two favourites won their first matches in the lower bracket. Today we have two upper bracket matches and this time it will be much more interesting. Let’s analyse the upcoming upper bracket round 1 matches.
Team Secret -1.5 @ 1.44
This is a hard one. In the last month these two teams played each other 3 times. Team Secret won all 3 times with a 6-1 map score in total. Team Secret have had an impressive run in their group A, and with 6 wins and 1 loss, they have taken 1st place for the playoffs. Interestingly enough, they have won all their matches 2-0, except vs their match vs Team Unique which they lost 0-2. Since that loss, they have had another impressive run with 4 2-0 wins in a row. One of them was vs Nigma, a team who really surprised us in the group stage with their amazing performance.
Alliance is the 2nd placed team from the group B. They have finished their group stage run with 5 wins and 2 losses, one vs Cyber League and another one vs NiP. Let’s just say Alliance is in pretty good form as they have straight 5 wins from their last 5 matches with a 10-1 map win-loss ratio. Impressive. Is it enough to beat Team Secret? No, it isn’t. I’m almost certainly sure that Team Secret will win this match. However, Alliance showed in their recent performances that they can take matches from the best teams. Here, I’m more aiming for Team Secret winning 2-0, then Alliance taking a map off Team Secret. I think Puppey won’t let it happen, and he will aim again for another 2-0.
Team Nigma @ 2.05
Another epic match. VP.Prodigy and Nigma had similar performances in their groups. Both teams ended their group stage with 6 wins and 1 loss. Nigma lost to Team Secret, while VP.Prodigy unexpectedly lost to Alliance with a clean 0-2. Until this tournament, Team Nigma looked lost and they hadn’t adjusted to the patch properly. Nothing worked for them, as they were eliminated early in every tournament they’ve played.
VP.Prodigy has been taking the EU/CIS scene by storm lately with their amazing plays and wins. However this is the real test for them now. Both teams have 4 wins and 1 loss from their last 5 matches. When I’m comparing their tournament performance it was fairly even. These two teams have never faced each other until now. Nigma finally showed that they can play good Dota and Miracle- showed why he is one of the best position 1 players in Europe. I love surprises and I can see a surprise here too.
Even though VP.Prodigy is a big favourite here due to their recent performances in EU tournaments, I do believe Team Nigma can surprise here VP.Prodigy too and take this match. They will be a different kind of team in the playoffs. Now it gets serious. VP.Prodigy has a slight advantage here but I’m going for Team Nigma. I believed in the group stage they’ve shown everything they need to surprise a strong team like VP.Prodigy. Let’s see. Odds on Nigma are amazing.