It’s time for the ESL One Germany 2020 playoffs
Here we go. It’s time for the ESL One Germany 2020 playoffs. 8 teams advanced from the group stage to the double elimination bracket playoffs with best of 3 matches all the way to the finals (best of 5). OG and Team Secret are the first teams to face their opponents. Let’s analyze their matches and make predictions.
OG @ 1.42
What an amazing start of the playoffs. The 2x TI winners will face Natus Vincere, the most legendary Dota 2 organization. OG ended their group stage run in 4th place. With 3 wins and 1 loss they showed that they are really a big contender for the title. When playing well they can surely threaten Team Secret. OG have wins vs 2 young CIS squads, Winstrike and Yellow Submarine. Both matches ended up with a clean 2-0 win for OG. They’ve got their 3rd win vs Vikin.gg, recent BTS Pro Series champions. Another 2-0 result. However, OG dropped a series to Alliance with a close 1-2 result. But that match could go either way for sure.
This new Natus Vincere squad (ex FlyToMoon) ended up in 6th place in the group rankings. With 3 wins and 2 losses they needed to play 1 extra match on the final group stage day to be able to qualify for the playoffs. They’ve beat all CIS teams they faced. 2-0 vs Cyber Legacy and Winstrike and 2-1 win vs Yellow Submarine. However, in the process they’ve managed to get crushed by mudgolems with 0-2, and by Liquid with a close 1-2 score. Basically they didn’t manage to win against either of the two teams that was their direct opponent for the playoffs.
I expect that OG can go really far in this competition. I can say that I expect a top 3 placement from them. They didn’t deserve anything lower than that at the moment. Their last clash vs Natus Vincere was 1 month ago in the OGA Dota Pit, where NaVi took the whole series with a 2-1 victory. Interestingly enough, I don’t think they have too big a chance here. 3 maps are possible here, but I would go for the straight winner in this case. OG have better players and with NoTail on the help, they should proceed to the next round.
Team Secret -1.5 @ 1.45
I am not sure if I’m more excited for the first or second series today in ESL One Germany. Team Secret are the undisputed rulers of the European Dota 2. The best team in Europe for a mile. 7 championships in a row in Europe made them immortal in 2020. They don’t have a proper competition in Europe as there is no team that can come close to them. Their latest tournament victories are speaking for them. Seven grand finals, seven 3-0 victories. Team Secret ended up on the 1st place in the group stage rankings and they are the only team that didn’t lose a single map. Three matches, three straight 2-0 victories. They did beat Tempo Esports, Yellow Submarine and Team Liquid.
On the other side there is Team Nigma. A team that is playing with a position 5 stand-in, as their coach rmN- is still playing instead of their injured captain Kuroky. Team Nigma ended up in 7th place in the group. They barely scraped through. 5 matches in total with 3 wins and 2 losses. They’ve opened this competition with a surprising 0-2 loss vs Yellow Submarine. After that they beat the worst team in the competition, Tempo Esports. Mudgolems proved too strong for Nigma at the moment as they’ve crushed them easily with 2-0. That was a breaking point for them, as they needed 2 wins from their last 2 matches potentially. A 2-0 win vs weak Winstrike brought them another chance and deciding match vs 5men. In a very close series after losing 0-1, Team Nigma managed to overcome their opponents in the next 2 maps and they won with 2-1 in the end. Very close match which showed a lot of Nigma’s weaknesses.
Secret and Nigma played each other in the Beyond Epic EU/CIS grand finals, and that was their last match. It was almost 3 months ago and Team Secret were dominant there with a 3-0 win. Worst possible option for Nigma happened - to play Team Secret in the round 1 of playoffs. Sadly, I don’t think that they have too many chances here. With a stand-in and their bad play in the group stages, this should be Team Secret’s victory. 2-0 for Team Secret is very likely here as they are just on another level, especially compared to Nigma.