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CIS teams kings of winter; Gambit and Pavaga take titles in winter tournaments

Dota 2 Cristy “Pandoradota2” Ramadani

Two CIS teams - Gambit and Pavaga Gaming turned the tables and upset the ranks when they both claimed the championship titles of two online Winter themed events this past weekend. 

Everyone knows that the CIS region is cold, with harsh winters and conditions. It seems that the ability and will to survive in the season has taught their players well on how to remain resilient, strong and survive. 

Over the weekend both the Epulize Winter Masters and the WePlay! Winter Madness online tournaments came to an end. The Winter Masters boasted a $100,000 prize pool with 14 teams clamoring for the largest slice of the pie while the Winter Masters pitted 12 teams against each other for a hefty $50,000 prize pool. 

Although many of the same teams participated in both events, it was CIS upsets across the board in the end with two of the rising regional teams taking charge and asserting their dominance. 

In the Epulze Winter Masters, Pavaga Gaming was dropped in the first round to the lower brackets where they had to survive three rounds of the unforgiving best-of-one elimination series. They overpowered some of the favorites - Forward Gaming, Ninjas in Pyjamas and then Team Empire Faith before finding their place in the lower bracket finals where they overpowered Nemiga Gaming 2:1. 

If their lower bracket success was something to talk about, their performance in the grand finals was worthy of being written about. Against Alliance, the Swedish Kings who have been having a much improved and notable season so far, Pavaga had their work cut out for them. They dropped the first two games and things were looking bleak for the CIS team with Alliance's players on fire with some outstanding plays. Keeping their spirits alive, Pavaga were able to prolong their tournament lives by taking game 3 from Alliance and forcing at least one more game. That one game turned out to be a pivotal point in the tournament outcome as the CIS team then did the unexpected and reverse swept through Alliance to take the championship title in the end. 

Meanwhile, on the same day, the WePlay! Winter Madness was wrapping up as well. OG was making their way through with their new/trial player and all eyes and many fan's betting money was on them. They had swept through Vega and NoPangolier just a day earlier and had landed in the grand finals. Gambit, who also had a recent roster change, was looking sharp, having overpowered Forward Gaming 2:1 two days prior and then sweeping through NiP with relative ease earlier in the same day of the grand finals. 

With the grand finals set between two Bucharest Minor bound teams, the expectation was high. It didn't take long for Gamibt to show who was boss, the first game was a staggering 18 minutes long as they destroyed OG and possibly their spirits. They were relentless and crushed OG in the following matches as well for a clean and tidy 3:0 sweep in the end. 

With CIS teams taking the championship titles, many are left wondering if the region will finally see a lot more top-level competition coming for the next DPC qualifiers. 

QUICKPOLL

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Cristy “Pandoradota2” Ramadani
Pandora is a behind the scenes Dota 2 professional Jack of All Trades. When not busy with Dota 2 work, she is out trying to save the world or baking cupcakes. Follow her on Twitter @pandoradota2

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