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Dota 2

Singapore Major Group Stage: EU Keeps Losing, Thunder Predator Shines

Patrick Bonifacio

We have our Singapore Major playoff bracket, thanks to the conclusion of the Group Stage games on Tuesday. Much like the Wild Card stage a few days ago, the group stage has had plenty of exciting moments and inspiring storylines.

TP.MoOz at StarLadder

Thunder Predator have been the breakout story of the event so far, having placed first in a highly competitive Singapore Major group stage. (Photo courtesy StarLadder)

When it comes to the latter, it’s all about South American team Thunder Predator. Seeded into the group stage after losing to beastcoast in the SA regional league, Thunder Predator went into the tournament with an incredible fire in their eyes. In contrast, European regional league runner-up Alliance will want to forget their performance in Singapore. The rest of the field, meanwhile, hashad some extremely close battles. If the groups are anything to go by, the playoffs should prove to be just as thrilling.

Peruvian Power

For the longest time, South American Dota has been considered the weakest among the six main regions. While the potential is there, they’ve never really had the consistency nor the chops to go deep in tournaments. This time, however, Thunder Predator has a few things to say about the region’s reputation.

The all-Peruvian roster wasted no time getting into a groove. They posted a flawless record in the first day of proceedings, going 6-0 against the likes of Aster and Quincy Crew. Their pressure-heavy play style has worked wonders so far, and their reputation as the event’s dark horse is certainly warranted. The fact that they’re here without a coach is also quite shocking when you consider their performance so far. These boys have chips on their shoulders—and it looks like they’re on track to prove the doubters wrong.

Of course, this is only the first step in their journey towards that goal. The playoffs loom just over the horizon—where they will have to contend with juggernauts like Team Secret and Evil Geniuses. Whether or not they will crumble under the weight of their own success so far has yet to be seen—but at least they have momentum and confidence to work with going forward.

But either way, their unexpected achievements make one thing pretty clear: South America deserves more invites. To put things in perspective, Thunder Predator did indeed lock in a 12-2 map record after the Singapore Major Group Stage—but trounced by beastcoast in the regional league. As we know, beastcoast surrendered their invite right before the start of the event. But had they not been forced to do so by COVID-19, chances are they would have really helped their region’s cause at this tournament as well.

Alliance Wavers

Unfortunately for Alliance, their run at the event has been cut unceremoniously short. A poor showing of 4-10 in maps (making them winless in series score) has them dead last in the group stage and out of the tournament altogether.

Their campaign in Singapore never got going in any good way. Though they started off in the groups instead of the Wild Card stage, they immediately took a crushing 0-2 loss to Aster on Monday. They were able to salvage this somewhat by going 1-1 against Vici Gaming—which initially made us think they would still do relatively well.

Sadly, they would not fulfill this expectation. They proceeded to lose key matches as the tournament ran its course, particularly against Thunder Predator and PSG.LGD Gaming. By the time they got to their final match, Alliance needed a 2-0 result against Team Liquid just to be eligible for tiebreakers. Even this didn’t pan out for them, as they immediately lost the first map in the series.

Definitely not the result they were hoping for, especially given the amount of talent on their roster. But of course, EU as a whole has been struggling at this event, with Nigma not even making it to the groups and Liquid having to settle for a lower bracket berth. Liquid and Secret will have to bring their A-game in the playoffs if the region is to regain lost ground.

Tightly Packed Field

As mentioned, the rest of the teams in the round-robin have put on some of the most competitive games we’ve seen in a long, long time. Looking at the field and their respective scores proves this. Thunder Predator ran away with first place. But in descending order from there, you’ve got scores like 9-5, 8-6, 7-7, 6-8, and so on.

Of particular note in the field so far is Quincy Crew—who have been playing Wilson “Poloson” Koh Chin Wei as an absolute last minute stand-in. For them to post a 50 percent win rate in maps after having their chemistry almost completely undone is nothing short of amazing. A 2-0 victory over Aster in the final day of play capped off their respectable performance so far.

Props to Poloson as well for integrating himself into the squad instantly. His services have been key in making sure that the effects of the loss of Arif “MSS” Anwar at the event is minimized—which he has definitely done so far. If he keeps this up, we think Quincy Crew might just get far in the lower bracket.

The Main Event

As for the rest of the playoff bracket, there are a few matches to look out for. We recommend catching the series between Team Secret and Thunder Predator as much as you can. It will absolutely be the most exciting contest given the storylines involved. Secret have been on top of the Dota world since last year’s glut of online-only events, while Thunder Predator have broken out here as the true dark horse. Meanwhile, Evil Geniuses versus Fnatic will likely be a tightly contested matchup as well, with both teams having virtuosic talent in their rosters.

Whatever happens from here on, Hotspawn will be sure to have you covered with the latest after the Group Stage at the Singapore Major! Make sure to tune in via ONE Esports’ official Twitch channel.