Manila Masters Day 2: We Have Our Final Three
The Grand Finals are tomorrow!
So after a day of exceptional Dota, we have our top three for the Manila Masters. In the Lower Bracket are Evil Geniuses and Team NP. Tomorrow, they face off to determine who will face the ultimate final boss of this tournament: the reinvigorated Newbee.
But the end results don't do the the day's matches justice, especially after we saw each lower bracket team fight utterly tooth and nail to stay in the competition. Read more about today's matches below:
Invictus Gaming vs Team NP: not even their true form yet
The second day of the Manila Masters Main Event featured a matchup between one of the most mechanically-skilled teams versus the best theory crafters. The hyped Manila crowed was graced by Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao’s in-game genius as Team NP swept Dota Asia Championship 2017 gold finishers, Invictus Gaming.
Even the panelists were not able to foresee Team NP’s victory in the first game as most of them favored the boys in Black and White based on their draft. But the anime squad entered the game to prove them wrong despite Ou “Op” Peng’s and Lin “Xxs” Jing securing their signature Storm Spirit and Magnus.
The EternaLEnVy Show, however, did not stop there as he, together with his team, formulated an effective counter against China’s Sven + Queen of Pain combo. Before the game hit its 20th minute mark, all of NP’s cores had secured Blade Mails, significantly negating the Chinese death ball’s damage. Despite iG’s effort, they just couldn’t pierce through EE’s Medusa, ultimately ending their hopes to add another championship notch on their belt.
Team Faceless vs OG: Live by Illusions, Die by Illusions
Team Faceless pulled off the greatest upset Manila has ever seen. OG, once again, succumbed to the hands of a Southeast Asian titan after a hard fought best-of-three eliminations. It was the best birthday gift Dominik “Black^” Reitmeier could have ever received—have his team redeemed from the LAN tournament curse.
In the process of redemption, the four-time Major title holders were instead the ones cursed by Black^’s mid lane prowess. Aside from his infamous Anti-Mage having a special appearance in game two, what sealed the deal for Team Faceless was his Naga Siren.
With OG notorious for their game-winning Illusion heroes, Faceless ended their tournament run by giving them a dose of their own medicine. The Singapore-based squad, meanwhile, advanced further up the lower bracket to face Team NP.
The HypeOff: the hype men let loose
Meanwhile, Eri Neeman brought another innovative segment to Dota 2 fans. Named The HypeOff, the contest saw caster duos Capitalist & Tobiwan and Godz & LD competing to deliver the best hypecast. The catch: they had to hypecast deliberately mundane clips, with perhaps the exception of a clip of Slacks fumbling a rushed stage climb (no Slacks were hurt in the making of this segment).
Though it seems things were getting heated at one point, the casters didn't take anything personally and kept the crowd entertained through and through. Capitalist was so proud of his win that he continued to wear his prize FaceOff sweater for the rest of the day.
Team NP vs Team Faceless: On Cheating Death
Both of these teams started their day on a high note, but by day’s end, one needed to bid goodbye.
Team Faceless rampaged through Team NP’s lineup in the first game. The combination of Daryl Koh "iceiceice" Pei Xiang’s omnipresent Nyx Assassin and Black^’s Invoker was able to kill NP’s heroes anywhere in the map with Sunstrike.
Team NP, then on the verge of elimination, decided that it was time to pull off their most successful hero so far: Bristleback. Even with iceiceice’s Timbersaw being summoned for the do-or-die match, EternaLEnVy’s unkillable Bristleback was left unanswered.
Team Faceless settled for a fourth place finish. Meanwhile, the final day for The Manila Masters will open with a North American showdown between Team NP and Evil Geniuses. The winner of which will face the resurgent Team Newbee for the Grand Finals.
Will this be Team NP’s first major win since forming? Or will it be Evil Geniuses’ overdue premier LAN title? Or will this new Newbee generation once again prove to be China’s best?
Gates at the SM MoA Arena open at 10am tomorrow. Are y’all ready?