Photo Credit: Esports Inquirer
Dota 2 is the eSport with the largest prize pool of any game, topping even its closest competitors, CS:GO and League of Legends. Its three majors all have a $3 million prize pool each while the International at the end has a prize pool of over $10 million. Last weekend, sixteen teams battled it out at the 2016 Manila Major in Manila, Philippines for a shot at the $1.1 million first place prize from the $3 million total.
Twelve of the sixteen teams at the tournament received direct invites, with the last four having to go through their regional qualifiers. Some of the invited teams included OG, Evil Geniuses, Team Liquid, Team Secret, Vici Gaming Reborn, Natus Vincere, LGD and more. From the qualifiers, Digital Chaos, Newbee, Team Empire, and Mineski joined the rest of the invited teams. It was actually a surprise that Newbee were not invited in the first place as they were easily one of the top teams in the world.
Group Stages and Upper Bracket
In the groups, Newbee, Natus Vincere, Team Liquid, and LGD Gaming all made it out of their groups unscathed to grab the favorable seeds in the upper bracket. OG, Digital Chaos, Fnatic, and MVP Phoenix took second place in their groups, all of them dropping a game to the aforementioned teams. In the first upper bracket round, three of the top seeds were upset as Team Liquid fell to MVP Phoenix, OG triumphed over Natus Vincere, and Fnatic eased past LGD to advance to the semifinals of the upper bracket. The semifinals proceeded in a more expected manner as the favorites swept the underdogs under the rug. OG took down MVP Phoenix 2-0 and Newbee took down Fnatic in a similar fashion.
Upper Bracket Finals
OG and Newbee were undisputedly two of the best teams in the world with Team Liquid rounding out the top 3, except that Liquid had fallen earlier in a surprise upset to MVP Phoenix. The first game in the upper bracket finals went the way of the Chinese team as they quickly closed out a 28 minute victory. However, OG was able to find their footing as they took both the second and third games to complete the reverse sweep and advance to the grand finals, sending their opponents to the lower bracket finals to await their opponents.
The two teams that made the biggest runs in the Lower Bracket were LGD and Team Liquid. LGD had to go through Team Empire after being sent to the lower bracket in the first round of the upper bracket. They had to fight through two close series against VG.Reborn and MVP Phoenix before meeting Team Liquid in the lower bracket semifinals. Liquid were in a same position as they were sent to the lower bracket following the upset to MVP Phoenix. Their run to the lower bracket semifinals was much easier as they swept aside complexity, Na’Vi, and Fnatic. The semifinals was another quick victory for Liquid as they ended LGD’s run. The lower bracket finals was between Liquid and Newbee who was sent to the lower bracket by OG earlier. Liquid was not to be stopped however, as they continued their winning streak in the lower bracket by taking down Newbee 2-1.
Liquid proceeded to meet OG in the grand finals who had a dominant showing throughout the tournament despite their loss in the group stages to Newbee. The first game went the way of Liquid as they grabbed a 38 minute victory over OG. The next three games were the complete opposite though, as OG blasted through their opposition in three straight games to take home $1.1 million and be crowned the victors of the Manila Major.
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