Pinnacle Cup: The group stage warriors
Pinnacle Cup is set to bring you across the month of May explosive Dota 2 encounters between Europe and CIS teams.
You might have seen how most of them fair in their own region through the Dota Pro Circuit schedule, but now with the Pinnacle Cup arrival, some of the DPC upper and lower division contestants from both Europe and CIS will be pitted against each other and fight through the whole month of May for the lion’s share of $100,000.
Pinnacle Cup is making this coming Wednesday, May 5, its entrance into the Dota 2 world after successfully holding a 32 team line-up event for CS:GO just last month.
For the Dota 2 competition, the event will host a total of 12 teams, all joining the battle via direct invites. Ten squads have been seeded in the group stage where they will fight for six slots into the playoffs. Two other teams, which haven’t been revealed yet, received a free pass into the playoffs' upper bracket stage.
Pinnacle Cup group stage attendees
|Matches and results|
The group stage affair will run from May 5 to May 25 in a round-robin format, best-of-three series. With just six slots up for grabs for the playoffs stage, four teams are bound to leave Pinnacle Cup at the end of the group stage battle.
So, who are the ones looking in a strong shape and who might struggle to find their footing in the event?
The front runners
The two best teams at the end of the group play will be awarded a spot into the playoffs upper bracket, next to the yet to be revealed last two invites. Looking at the recent results, not only in the DPC leagues but also at recently concluded third-party tournaments, two competitors stand apart from the rest.
Both have played a couple of grand finals this year already and both claimed a few titles. Vikin.gg took the spoils at Positive Fire Games at the end of April. Prior to this, towards the end of March, they took down Team Spirit in the EPIC League Season 3 grand finals. However, just two weeks ago, they also lost to the same Team Spirit in the grand finals of Dota 2 Champions League 2021 (D2CL). More so, in the current DPC season, while Vikin.gg is dominating Europe’s lower division, staying undefeated after four weeks of matches, Team Spirit is the uncontested leader of CIS upper-division with four consecutive victories and no losses.
Given their recent competitive history, the Dota 2 fans should expect these two to absolutely crush the opposition at Pinnacle Cup and sail through the group stage.
Middle of the pack
Third to sixth-placed teams at the end of the group stage will head to the playoffs lower bracket and although there are a couple of teams entering the competition that have a big potential to deliver the unexpected and dethrone Vikin.gg and Team Spirit, their inconsistency is what places them a tad behind.
Brame and Hellbear Smashers definitely have what it takes to snatch one of those two upper bracket seeds. They are both currently competing in the DPC Europe Upper-division after they promoted from Season 1 lower division. However, over the past couple of months, it’s only Brame who ventured outside the DPC schedule and played in other third-party events. They mostly finished in the top six, the best result being the top three at D2CL last month.
Hellbear Smashers, on the other hand, secured at the beginning of March the Snow Sweet Snow Season 2 title by defeating Vikin.gg. Since then, they were set to compete in EPIC League Season 3, but after losing their debut series to Brame, they decided to withdraw from that tournament and fully focus on the DPC matches.
Pinnacle Cup will mark their first foray outside DPC and if they take this event seriously, the mix between the scene veteran Rasmus "Misery" Filipsen and his young recruits can yield a very good result. Not only at Pinnacle Cup, but it can also be their perfect training ground for Dota Pro Circuit where they are currently standing on a 0-4 series record.
Coming from the CIS region, HellRaisers, although now in the Dota Pro Circuit lower division, are one of the few teams with tier one caliber players on the roster. Roman "Resolut1on" Fomynok, Ilya "Lil" Ilyuk and Bakyt "Zayac" Emilzhanov bring an enormous amount of experience to HR, and just as they currently dominate their division in the DPC, they might very well take this opportunity to redeem themselves after the poor results at EPIC League Season 3, D2CL and Snow Sweet Snow #2.
From all the teams competing at Pinnacle Cup, Chicken Fighters are probably the most motivated to prove everyone wrong. The roster led by Adrian "Era" Kryeziu has been through numerous challenges raised by the organizations they signed with. They started the first season of DPC leagues under the Ninjas in Pyjamas banner but got dropped out by the organization after they were relegated to the lower division. They found a new sponsor for the second season, but just a couple of months after signing with High Coast Esports, financial issues stopped the collaboration. Now they are playing again without financial support and are most definitely eager to deliver the upsets.
From the 10 squads invited to Pinnacle Cup, four of them are currently playing in the Dota Pro Circuit CIS upper-division, but apart from Team Spirit who is one of the front runners, the other three struggle to avoid relegation.
PuckChamp and EXTREMUM are the bottom two teams currently in DPC while Team Unique sits in the fifth position with just three series played in the first half of the league. Except for PuckChamp, who finished third early March at Snow Sweet Snow #2, the others don’t have any notable results, which makes it harder to see them as true contenders in the upcoming Pinnacle Cup.
Level Up is a wild card in terms of expectations. Their roster features the Brazilian carry who chose to stay in Europe after departing from B8, Leonardo "RdO" Fernandes. They also have the CIS veteran Gleb "Funn1k" Lipatnikov in the offlane and Nikola "LeBron" Popović in the support five position to lead the team. Despite the rather recent roster change, Level Up has shown steady improvement and is currently second in the DPC Europe lower division.
Being gathered in a boot camp, where they can fully focus on their gameplay, seems to be working wonders and it might be exactly what they needed to deliver one of the biggest surprises.
Pinnacle Cup is set to begin on the 5th of May with a total of six teams from the 10 invited to the group stage going head to head as follows:
GosuGamers is the Official Media Partner of Pinnacle Cup, stay tuned for more news on the tournament.