EPICENTER’s playoff stage kicked off today and it came with two absolutely epic matchups for the upper bracket’s first round; Team Secret versus Virtus.pro and Team Liquid versus PSG.LGD – the winners fighting later in the day for a spot in the semi-finals.
Kicking things off was a verifiable clash of the titans, a battle between first and second place in the Dota 2 Pro Circuit rankings. Secret and VP had met a number of times this season already but never this early in an event and the series was absolutely spectacular. Even though both teams are already locked in for The International 2019, they threw everything they had at one another to start the playoffs of with an epic three-game series.
While they had lost to Alliance in their opening series at EPICENTER, VP definitely craved a challenge from the likes of Secret and it showed. The first two games of the series went nearly an hour long each as each team picked up one win and took it so a massive decider. The game saw Secret pick up only a single kill in their destruction by VP – a Necrophos absolutely ripping through their lineup. The win gives VP a guaranteed top 6 finish at EPICENTER while Secret will drop into the lower bracket – where elimination will be one loss away.
The next series would be a replay of the EPICENTER 2018 grand finals as Team Liquid took on PSG.LGD. The first game was a walk in the park of Liquid as they took down their opponents without much trouble at all. It seemed as though game two would be going the same way but the Chinese squad found their footing at the perfect time to turn everything around – and from that it seemed as though we would be getting another decisive game three. However, being the TI-champions that they are, Liquid did not give up and in one swift motion of perfect coordination, Liquid turned the game and ended.
While PSG.LGD are not out of EPICENTER just yet, they now have to face a very scary lower bracket which already features Team Secret. For Liquid, they march forward in the upper bracket and will now face Virtus.pro later in the day.
EPICENTER continues today with the first upper bracket semi-final as well as TWO lower bracket best-of-one matchups. Unfortunately, we will not get to see OG play today as Johan ‘n0tail’ Sundstein is still ill and thus their match has been moved to tomorrow to give him time to recover.
photo by EPICENTER