ESL One Genting Day 2: Wings and Virtus.pro dominate

Vladimir "No[o]ne" Minenko of Virtus.pro's Dota 2 team is a powerful mid lane player. Provided by PGL Esports

The second day of Dota 2's $250,000 premiere tournament ESL One Genting in Malaysia has concluded, and the single-elimination playoff brackets are now set. CIS' (Commonwealth of Independent States) Virtus.pro and China's Wings Gaming secured their playoff positions with convincing wins Saturday, both teams taking their series 2-0, after China's Newbee and North America's Digital Chaos qualified Friday.

The first series of Saturday was between NA's Team NP and SEA's (Southeast Asia) Fnatic's recently overhauled roster. In Game 1, NP got off to an early lead and never let up. All three of NP's cores were playing exceptionally well, and finished the game without a death between them. Fnatic looked like they were still haunted by ghosts of Day 1, getting routed early and losing two of their lanes.

The second game was closer, but ultimately NP was able to take the quick 2-0 series win. Accordingly, Fnatic was the first team eliminated from ESL One Genting and finished in last place. If Fnatic has any hopes of making it to Kiev this April, they have some massive improvements to make.

The next series was Execration going up against fellow SEA team WarriorsGaming.Unity, two teams adored by the Malaysian crowd. The opening game was quite close for a while, with Execration only maintaining a small lead for most of the game. WG.Unity actually managed to turn the game around briefly, but Execration soon slammed the door shut on Game 1. WG.Unity took an early lead in Game 2, with Lai "Ahjit" Jay Son's Morphling getting completely out of control. This allowed WG.Unity to end Game 2 in just over 26 minutes.

In Game 3 Execration picked Meepo for Khim "Gabbi" Villafuerte to close out the series. Although Gabbi didn't have a flashy game, both Ahjit and Djardel Jicko B. "DJ" Mampusti were playing exceptionally well. Between the two of them, they accounted for over half of Execration's 40 kills. With the loss, WG.Unity was eliminated and joined Fnatic in last place.

The third series was the Group A decider match between Virtus.pro and Team NP. Although NP was coming off a convincing win over Fnatic, any momentum they had gained wasn't nearly enough to stop the freight train that was Virtus.pro. The first game of the series was the closer of the two, with Virtus.pro's lead only within 10,000 gold until the end of the game. NP actually managed to wrestle back a net worth lead at one point, but their advantage was short lived as they still lost in convincing fashion.

Game 2 was much more one-sided, as Virtus.pro took a lead around 13 minutes into the game and never let up. Vladimir "No[o]ne" Minenko's Invoker was notably impressive -- even after the nerfs the hero received in patch 7.00 -- ending with a 14/1/17 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) in Game 2.

The final series of the day saw Wings Gaming and Execration facing off for the final playoff spot in the Group B decider match. Execration played commendably well for the first 15 minutes of Game 1 as they managed to get a lead early on. Unfortunately for the Filipino squad, this lead was short-lived. Execration tried the Quas Wex Invoker counter to Ember Spirit, but it fell extremely flat in the mid-game, which eventually led to a loss.

In Game 2 Execration reached into their bag of tricks and gave Gabbi the hero Rubick in the middle lane. The Rubick middle gambit proved to be a liability, putting Execration's damage solely in the hands of Ahjit's Luna. Wings easily finished up the sweep with a Game 2 and sent Execration home packing.

Jan. 8, the last day of the tournament, will feature Digital Chaos and Virtus.pro facing off in semifinal 1 while Newbee and Wings go head-to-head in semifinal 2. The winners of these matches will meet in the grand final, where the champion will take home $125,000 and the first premier Dota 2 title of 2017.