Upsets, breathtaking teamfights, and a huge misplay – a recap on the thrilling first few days of the Pinnacle Cup – Dota.
On May 5, a total of 10 teams from Europe and the CIS region entered the group-stage battle at the Pinnacle Cup - Dota. The group stage is held in a best-of-three series, round-robin format with the top six teams at the end of the stage securing playoff slots.
Day one of the tournament featured six of the 10 participants going head to head and it ended with clean 2-0 victories across the board. But despite all series being rather one-sided, the day brought one hilarious highlight.
Relocate to enemy fountain
After losing the first game to a Mid-lane Axe that went for the Manta Style build and an Off-lane Broodmother that pressured the enemy Carry, Team Unique aimed for a stronger laning stage presence in the second game and locked in the duo Io and Gyrocopter in the first phase of the draft.
Their choice gave EXTREMUM a lot of room in the drafting phase to respond and it resulted with Team Unique having to play once again against strong creep wave clear mechanics and a lot of teamfight tools. Nonetheless, the laning stage was much more balanced, with the first blood coming only seven minutes into the game after EXTREMUM rotated their Snapfire Top-lane. From there on, the game went out of control for Team Unique, as EXTREMUM were forcing them into a teamfight.
By the 15-minute mark, EXTREMUM were ahead by 7,000 gold and were playing as a unit in the Mid-lane. A Chronosphere from Dimitry "Nefrit" Tarasich, which was meant to stop Andrii "Ghostik" Kadyk from winning a Duel, led to Team Unique getting caught out with four heroes inside. Heroes Io and Gyro were the only two survivors of the fight, but as Gyro was left with a sliver of HP, Danil "Bignum" Shekhovtsov’s Io tried to save him by relocating to the Fountain. The Tether-Relocate happened, but unfortunately, "Bignum" chose the wrong base and killed his teammate in the enemy fountain.
Unlike day one of group-stage play, the matches played on the second day of the Pinnacle Cup - Dota all went to a decisive third game. The second day also brought two exciting matches – Brame vs. Level Up and Team Spirit vs. Hellbear Smashers.
Brame and Level Up, who are currently residing at the same boot camp facility, kept the fans entertained with their back-and-forth battle. However, it was Brame - who recently delivered the biggest upset in the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) Upper division by taking down Alliance (Europe’s best team) – who managed to take the win to start the tournament on the right foot.
Their series went to a decisive third game, where Level Up’s Gleb "Funn1k" Lipatnikov picked an Off-lane Omniknight. Unfortunately, his teamfight item build with Mekansm, Pipe, and Force Staff didn’t make a difference for Level Up, who are now 0-1 in the group standings.
As the undefeated team after four weeks of matches in the DPC, Team Spirit were the clear favourites to win their match against Hellbear Smashers, who were looking to put an end to their 0-5 losing streak from the Eastern Europe DPC Upper division - and they did just that!
Team Spirit started the series by stomping Hellbear Smashers in the first game with a Wraith King and Grimstroke combo and a perfectly executed Mid-lane Mirana from Alexander "TORONTOTOKYO" Khertek. Heading into the second game, they kept the same chain stun synergy between a Carry with a powerful stun of his own and the Grimstroke, but went with a Mid-lane Sandking and rotated Mirana in the Support lines. While in theory, their superior control should have gotten Hellbear Smashers into trouble, the game turned out to be a display of perfect coordination from Hellbear and their huge nuke damage nullified Team Spirit’s entire teamfight.
Hellbear Smashers took victory in game three as well, on the back of another perfect performance as Tiny from Daniel "Stormstormer" Schoetzau, who along with Luna, Lina, and the Warlock Fatal Bonds, made quick work of their CIS adversaries.
The second round-robin round of the Pinnacle Cup - Dota group stage will give all teams that have been defeated so far another chance to improve their results. Team Spirit will take on Level Up, Brame will be challenged by EXTREMUM, while Vikin.gg - who lost their first series to HellRaisers - will be pitted against Chicken Fighters.
Round two of the Pinnacle Cup - Dota group stage starts on May 7, 2021 at 12:00 CET/18:00 SGT, so don’t forget to head over to gosuplay.net and vote for the team who you think might win the tournament to increase your chance of winning one of the six prizes put in play.
Good luck and have fun!
Watch the Pinnacle Cup - Dota here.