Steven R. May 11, 2019
Two more Dota 2 teams were robbed of a fairy tale ending at the MDL Disneyland Paris Major.
OG and Ninjas in Pyjamas have been booted from the tournament. They share a fifth-place finish and leave with $60,000 and 900 Dota Pro Circuit points.
European rival Team Liquid got the better of OG in their series in the lower bracket. The first two games were incredibly tight, with OG and Liquid staying neck and neck in farm and experience before turning things into a late-game bloodbath. It was a competitive series until game three, which saw Liquid brutalize OG on the heels of a 23-kill game by Amer "Miracle-" Al-Barkawi to knot up the 2-1 win.
NiP’s elimination came at the hands of PSG.LGD. NiP started off strong with a massive game from Marcus "Ace" Hoelgaard, which saw him rack up 20 kills on Meepo for a win over the Chinese favorites. PSG.LGD returned fire in game two, tallying a 32-8 kill line and taking a lopsided win off big showings from Lu "Somnus" Yao and Wang "Ame" Chunyu.
The decider was a tight one through 25 minutes with PSG.LGD holding a kills lead while NiP raked in enough gold to make up for it. That was great news for NiP, as the team seemed ready to stall the game to bolster their strong cores. But PSG.LGD countered this by simply outplaying NiP to seal up the win in the mid-game and lock up the series.
The fifth-place finish may not be ideal for either team, but represents real progress for both.
NiP has looked good throughout the 2018-2019 DPC season, but hasn't looked especially fearsome. That gave their early exit from this major’s European qualifiers an ominous look. The team bounced back well in the OGA Dota PIT Minor to earn a spot in Disneyland and reasserted itself as a force here. More importantly, the team now has the necessary points to qualify for a spot in The International 2019.
This is a return to form for OG. After winning The International 2018, OG went into a tailspin that saw the team unable to qualify for majors and struggling at every event they were invited to. The return of carry player Anathan “ana” Pham marked a fresh start, with the MDL Disneyland Paris Major being their return to high level competition as a unit. Though they still have some tinkering to do, there is once again cause to look at OG as a top team.
Both squads have been penned into the European closed qualifier for the Epicenter Major, which begins on May 15.
As for Liquid and PSG.LGD, the two teams will face off for a spot in the lower bracket finals. The winner will face Evil Geniuses.