It’s the first day of playoffs and we’ve already got grand finals caliber matches ready to go.
As the dust settles from the mayhem of the play-ins and group stage, the playoffs bracket for the remainder of Riyadh Masters emerges.
Even after a week of comebacks, clutches, and crushing victories from all 20 teams, Europe’s supremacy in Dota 2 cannot be denied. The usual suspects of Team Liquid and BetBoom Team placed top of their group while 9Pandas and five-time champions Gaimin Gladiators are not far behind.
The Chinese teams are looking better this tournament as Team Aster managed to secure themselves an upper-bracket spot while PSG.LGD missed their chance after losing a tiebreaker with 9Pandas. Meanwhile, Talon Esports and Evil Geniuses are the last hope for Southeast Asia and South America, respectively. Unfortunately for North America, they continue to have disappointing showings as both Shopify Rebellion and TSM didn’t even make it out of the group stage this time around.
All eyes are definitely on Gaimin Gladiators as people are waiting to see if they’ll be able to add another tier-one tournament to their collection this year. Looking to stop them right at the start is Team Liquid, who have failed to do so for the last two majors that these teams met. Who knows, though? It could be that the third time’s the charm for Team Liquid.
There’s also the dark horse of Quest Esports, who has had a breakout year so far. The Saudi-based team had been dominating Europe’s lower division leagues before getting a chance to challenge the big names this year. They had a respectable fourth-place finish in the Bali Major, could the power of a hometown crowd be enough to push them to first?
Banner image from Gamers8 Esports on Twitter.