iG and Nigma are the only teams to break a long trail of ties on day one at WePlay AniMajor
WePlay AniMajor is finally here and it delivers in both production value and quality of games played right from the get-go.
With four of the best teams in the world starting from the wild card stage, it was certain that the fans would be in for a treat at the final major tournament ahead of TI10. Team Secret, Team Nigma, Vici Gaming and the Major title defenders, Invictus Gaming, landed in the wild card stage after what can be regarded as an inconsistent run through the second season of Dota Pro Circuit regional leagues.
But, while iG and Secret are already qualified for TI10 and they can afford to pick their battles towards the end of the season, for the rest of the squads starting in the wild card leg, the AniMajor is their final chance to grab enough DPC points to avoid The International qualifiers.
With that in mind, the day opened with a surprising result of the clash between Team Secret and AS Monaco Gambit. The latter is unfortunately forced to attend the major with two stand-ins after the captain, Akbar "SoNNeikO" Butaev, and Vladimir "No[o]ne" Minenko decided to leave the team after they qualified for the event, citing that they lost confidence in the line-up.
Given the situation, not many gave ASM Gambit a chance at actually making it out of the wild card stage, but the boys are showing that they are not just going to give up. They started the event with an even score against Team Secret, taking them down in the second game of the bo2 series with a clean Morphling performance from Artem "Lorenof" Melnick, who is subbing in the mid lane position.
Unfortunately, the team didn’t carry on the momentum gained by taking a game from Secret and went on being one of the only two squads dropping a series with an 0-2 score. Interestingly enough, the defeat came at the hands of Team Nigma, who are the other team to have lost a series 0-2 and one of the just two squads who clinched a 2-0 victory on the major opening day.
Overall, day one was defined by a lot of draw scores. Out of the eight series played, six ended with 1-1 scores. And in all the madness that was brought in each and every series, one team stood apart.
Invictus Gaming, who are playing at the AniMajor with their coach, Su "super" Peng, instead of Chan "Oli" Chon Kien, displayed a great form and net superiority over Nigma, taking the series 2-0 while splitting the series with Execration.
Day one in the AniMajor wild card has already shown a few of the meta trends and it might set up a slight change in how the teams will approach the games moving further in the tournament.
Templar Assassin was the most disputed hero, making 16 draft appearances from 18 games played in total. She got to be picked just three times, but was banned 13 times. On the core roles, Broodmother was also highly contested by all regions, getting banned 11 times and picked 4 times while in the support position, it seems like Nyx Assassin is a strong meta flavor, making 15 draft appearances with 7 picks and 8 bans.
Day two will kick off June 3rd at 13:00 CEST and will feature eight more series, which will determine who will advance to the group stage and who will end the AniMajor run early. Only the top two teams will make the cut for the group stage and judging on the hefty amount of split series from day one, the battle is still wide open.
headline image courtesy of WePlay Esports