After two days of Group Stage, we finally have the results of the teams that will start from the Upper Bracket, which is an important advantage to have. Those teams will have the highest chances of winning the tournament. Still, it doesn’t mean a Lower Bracket team can’t do it; let’s remember OG in the Frankfurt Major 2015. This is still very unlikely, so going for an Upper Bracket team is probably the safest bet.
Day 1 was the day for Group A and B. The results were just as we predicted. OG and Newbee were able to take the two Upper Bracket spots from Group A, although it was fairly easier for Newbee, as they didn’t lose a single game in this stage; this proves why they look like the favorite team to win the tournament. Group B was also fairly easy for Na’Vi. They were able to take their Upper Bracket spot without losing a single game too. The second spot was taken by Digital Chaos, which is becoming the most important team in NA after EG. Team Secret, even though it has an incredible combination of talents, is still showing a lackluster performance after finishing last in their group.
We didn’t predict the entire day 2 correctly, but we were pretty close. LGD made it to the Upper Bracket instead of Evil Geniuses. This is the first time in a long time the American team doesn’t qualify for an Upper Bracket in a Valve tournament, but it isn’t that much of a surprise after their unfortunate roster change. The rests of the teams of day 2 –Team Liquid Fnatic and MVP Phoenix– were expected to win since they have been showing a solid performance in the past months.
Now everything is ready for the Day 1 of the Manila Major. This is the best part of the tournament, so it’s certainly something we will want to watch from start to finish. There are a lot of interesting matches going on for the first round, but the best ones are the Lower Bracket elimination games. All teams playing in round 1 and 2 of the Lower Bracket will play a Bo1 game where loser goes home without second chances. This will make teams like Secret, Complexity, Alliance and Evil Geniuses give everything they have to survive to the Bo3 matches on day 3.
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The Manila Major – Main Event Day 1 Match Predictions and Betting Odds
Day 1 – Manila Major – Match Betting Odds
Predictions Upper Bracket
Day 1 – Match #1: Team Liquid vs. MVP Phoenix
(June 7th, 07:00 PM PDT (previous day) / 10:00 PM EDT (previous day) / 04:00 CEST)
It’s a shame that one of these two teams will have to go to the Lower Bracket from day 1. These are two of the favorites. They are both pretty strong, and it’s probable we will see one of these two in the finals.
Liquid has been winning against the top teams and they’ve been doing it like a team that has been around for a long time. These are good news for players like Fata, who’s considered one of the best mid players from Europe but didn’t have the luck to find a team that fit his playstyle until now. They all are excellent players, but their teamwork is their main weapon for winning games.
MVP Phoenix is a team that has incredible potential to be the best in the world. They still lack some stability. They play excellently most of the time, but sometimes they seem to lose their center and can suddenly start losing. This is something that has been happening to them since the Shanghai Major, where they finished 4th after looking invincible in the Group Stage and Upper Bracket.
Prediction: When two strong teams like these play against each other, everything could happen. It all comes down to the details and the decision they make during the match. Still, Liquid has been getting incredible results against the best teams for a couple of months now. Their victory 3-2 against Newbee in the EPICENTER finals is enough prove for us to give them the upper hand.
>> Result Prediction: (2-1) Team Liquid
Day 1 – Match #2: Natus Vincere (Na’Vi) vs. OG
Na’Vi started to look strong again when they qualified to the ESL One Frankfurt. Since then they’ve been showing a strong game, and they were able to show it in the Group Stage where they won all games. Still, they have a lot to prove. They weren’t in one of the strongest groups, so there are still a lot of doubts around them.
OG’s Miracle- isn’t the best they got. They’re all amazing players that go really well together. The ex-HoN players are now looking stronger than during the Frankfurt Major where they won after starting from the Lower Bracket. This gives them a lot of chances to finish in the top places.
Prediction: Taking into account that Na’Vi has lost the last two series they played against OG and that they’ve also lost to weaker teams like Empire, while OG has only lost to the best ones –Liquid and Newbee–, we believe OG has the upper hand.
>> Result Prediction: (2-1) OG
Day 1 – Match #3: Newbee vs. Digital Chaos
Newbee are China’s new weapon. They’ve been able to beat every team that approaches them –with the exception of Liquid in EPICENTER and Wings in the Summit 5–. This team has 3 TI winners playing for them. Not only that, but these are TI winners that are playing really well together. They play almost perfectly and their lack of bad decision making is their main weapon.
Digital Chaos has been playing a lot of qualifiers lately, which means that they’ve been playing against weaker tier 2 teams. They still lack the practice of going against the top teams in the world. This is going to be a difficult match for them, but they don’t lack players with this kind of preparation.
Predictions: Newbee has become the nightmare of western teams, similarly to what EHOME represented during the first International. This is where Digital Chaos will have to show us what they’re made of for the first time since their roster change.
>> Result Prediction: (2-0) Newbee
Day 1 – Match #4: LGD vs. Fnatic
LGD wasn’t looking so good until they won ESL One Frankfurt Chinese Qualifier, similarly to Na’Vi. This Chinese team is looking to give us a surprise in this tournament to show us that they’re now one of the strongest team. Or they will just lose early. There is a lot to see about this team before we can make a decision whether they have high chances or not of finishing in the top places.
Fnatic as quickly escalated into becoming a scary team. Their domination against MVP Phoenix and against other more experienced team is making them outstand from the rest. They still lack something to beat the most important teams when it matters, but this match does not look that hard for them.
Predictions: Fnatic has showed great individual skill and team cohesion, and they are looking really hard to beat. LGD still has good chances of taking this series, but Fnatic’s victory seems more likely.
>> Result Prediction: (2-1) Fnatic
Predictions Lower Bracket
Day 1 – Match #5: Wings Gaming vs. Complexity
Wings Gaming is an incredibly interesting team. These guys seem to have a secret power that, when they’re able to wake it up, makes them win against any team. A 3-0 against Liquid in the ESL One Manila Grand Final and 2-0 against Newbee in The Summit 5 was quite enough to earn them a direct invite to this event. Sadly, this power seems asleep right now. Still, it could come out at any moment. Even when this power is asleep they’re able to win against weaker teams, like Complexity.
Complexity is similar to Wings Gaming, so that’s why we find this a pretty interesting match. They are sometimes able to win against the best, but they do seem to lose a lot more than Wings. Also, Wings has to play against the top Chinese teams constantly, while Complexity has to deal with North America, which a much weaker region right now. However, Complexity is not showing their best performance lately.
Predictions: These Bo1 games aren’t exactly favorable for the best team. Let’s remember that cheese strategies win these games, and really a lot of it has to do with luck. Still Wings Gaming is a fairly superior team, even though they’re really young. We must go for the ESL One Manila 2016 winners here.
>> Result Prediction: Wings Gaming
Day 1 – Match #6: Aliance vs. Mineski
Alliance started off this Meta with a pretty strong hand. Bulldog’s heroes were buffed and they suddenly started winning tournaments. This earned them an ESL One Frankfurt invite and also made them one of the favorites in the Shanghai Major. However, they started to have a harder time when teams figured out the Meta game. They’re still in a better position than in pre-patch times, and they can still win a lot of games.
Predictions: Mineski is the weakest team of the tournament. They got in since Valve wanted to give a local team an invite, which is fair. Still, they lack the practice and experience to beat a team like Alliance
>> Result Prediction: Alliance
Day 1 – Match #7: Evil Geniuses vs. VG.Reborn
It’s been a long time since EG didn’t make it to the Upper Bracket. This is upsetting because they’re only lacking one of the players that won TI5 with them: Universe. However, their playing positions are different and it seems to be harder for them this way. Still, they might just need to adapt before unlocking their full potential.
Predictions: VG.Reborn isn’t a weak team, but they haven’t been able to show the same results as their Chinese counterparts, LGD and Newbee. They are probably one of the weakest teams in the tournament, and EG is still the strongest American team.
>> Result Prediction: Evil Geniuses
Day 1 – Match #8: Team Empire vs. Team Secret
Not a long time ago, these two teams had one of the best matches in the past months, which ended with the victory of Team Empire after playing an impressive Rubick. Secret’s draft for that game was heavily handicapped against that hero, but they still were really close to winning the game.
For this match, Secret will have to show superior drafting, and it seems like everything will come down to that. The two Bo1 rounds are tests they must pass if they want people to start believing more in this new roster. They have a TI-winning composition, but haven’t been quite able to deliver.
Predictions: If Team Secret loses this game, they will need to work a lot if they want to finish top 7-8th in the International 2016. These two days are going to be a tough test for them. Still, their individual combination of talents should be able to win them at least the first two rounds.
> Result Prediction: Team Secret
*.) Odds may have changed by now – no guarantee! The predictions are the opinion of the author.
About The Author:
Predictions by Will ‘WilDS’ De Sousa, E-sports Journalist and Dota player since 2010. Contact Will‘ WilDS’ De Sousa on Twitter!