After two days of upsets and runbacks, the bracket has been set for the main stage of the Dota 2 Boston Major at the Wang Theatre. Starting Wednesday, each team will have one life to live in the first major of the 2017 season, and with $3 million in prize earnings on the line, tensions will run high every match. Which team will emerge victorious, and which team will have a long road ahead to the Eaglesong trophy?
Virtus.pro vs. Invictus Gaming Vitality
Virtus.Pro came into the major with incredible momentum, hot off a win at The Summit 6, and a 2-0 result in group A gave the Russian squad a strong start in Boston. Invictus Gaming Vitality will be the bottom seed to face VP, a Chinese sister-squad that failed to close out sets against OG and EHOME. Though a 1-2 loss might hint at some potential, against VP, it's difficult to see IGV rallying against one of the strongest lineups in Massachusetts.
Evil Geniuses vs. Wings Gaming
This is the match we expected to see in the grand finals. Evil Geniuses, after losing the group C tiebreaker to Complexity, has been matched against Wings Gaming. The victors of The International 6, Wings sent EG to the lower bracket 2-0; since then though, Wings has faltered, even being eliminated from The Summit 6 by EG. Multiple factors will determine who moves on, from consistency and drafting to general mindset. This matchup of two titans of Dota, with both fighting to stay in the running for the title, will no doubt be a highlight of the first round of the major.
Complexity vs. Warriors Gaming Unity
Complexity, a team that surprised many with a double-upset against Evil Geniuses, will face a similar upset-maker from group A, Warriors Gaming Unity. WGU ended up third seed, but in the first series of the group, beat Wings Gaming 2-1. The carries will likely be deciding factors as they were essential in their teams' respective upsets: David "Moo" Hull of Complexity and Lai "Ahjit" Jay Son of WGU both had stellar performances in groups, and the two will now have to face off to see who can put their team over the edge to keep the run alive. Complexity looks stronger, having taken both series against EG whereas WGU fell to Wings the second time around, but Unity has been underestimated before, and could come in for another upset before the Boston Major concludes.
OG vs. MVP Phoenix
The 4-2 winner of group D, OG received MVP Phoenix as its first opponent in the main event. OG took its group against strong contenders from Ad Finem, but did give up two losses in the process, and could be vulnerable. MVP Phoenix might not be the team to capitalize though, as the SEA roster struggled in group B. MVP's group was more difficult to succeed in than OG's, but quality losses do not make a compelling case, especially with only one series taken to game three. Unless the MVP Phoenix LAN X factor kicks in, OG looks set to move on from this matchup.
Digital Chaos vs. Team Faceless
Digital Chaos, after taking group A in four games, drew Team Faceless as its opponent. The SEA team failed to take matches against LGD Gaming and Evil Geniuses, falling 0-2 to both. Each team is an admittedly tough opponent, but the matches were often not close, exceeding a full 5 percent net worth disadvantage in every game. Digital Chaos, meanwhile, received a spot of luck when Wings Gaming fell to WGU, as DC has consistently struggled against the team it once faced in the TI6 grand finals. This match is deceivingly close, and could see a potential upset against a top seed in the first round of the major.
EHOME vs. Team NP
EHOME took second seed in group D after getting the runback against Ad Finem, and will face off against Team NP. Though the North American crowd favorites lost the tiebreaker in group B to Newbee, NP eliminated EHOME from The Summit 6 not too long ago. EHOME also had to fight hard for its spot in group D, going to game 3 in every series it played. Team NP may be the lower seed, but looks like a strong favorite headed into the matchup.
Newbee vs. Ad Finem
Newbee's second seed berth from group B will pit the team against Ad Finem, the five-man squad from Greece competing in its first major. The lineup of Newbee looks strong as ever, with mid laner Song "Sccc" Chun looking advantageous in several matchups in the group stage. Ad Finem has its own power-mid in Dimitris "ThuG" Plivouris, and the contest between the two mids will be something to watch. Newbee comes in a favorite, having more experience against tough squads, but the Greek Dota squad took some impressive wins in group D as well. Don't count Ad Finem out just yet.
LGD Gaming vs. LGD Forever Young
The final first-round bracket matchup will see a team-kill, something that doesn't happen too often in Dota 2. LGD Gaming will play sister-squad LGD Forever Young, and only one will be able to advance in the tournament. Mirrored results between these two are telling; while LGD proper took group C 4-0, with wins against Team Faceless and Complexity, LGD FY failed to win a single game in group A. Momentum and results indicate LGD Gaming taking this series, but internal organization matchups are tricky. These two teams have experience playing each other, know their in's and out's better than other teams would and have better insight in their draft and playstyle. LGD looks favored, but this is a conceptually fascinating match, and one ripe for an upset.