WePlay! Dota 2 Tug of War: Mad Moon is underway and with competitors such as Team Secret, Nigma, and Gambit Esports, fans have been treated to some high quality Dota 2 action. Unfortunately, there have also been some downright terrible plays.
In addition to some fan favorites stumbling their way to an early exit, one of the event’s more compelling squads posted one of the worst misplays seen in a long while. During a series against Nigma, B8 carry player Alexandr “pio65” Zalivako badly whiffed a Chronosphere as Faceless Void. The gaffe perplexed fans and casters alike, and there’s just no way to look at this as anything other than a huge mistake.
During a team fight around the top barracks, B8 secured a kill on Nigma mid laner Aliwi “w33” Omar. Taking out that high-value target might have been enough to swing the momentum around in the fight and pio65 undoubtedly knew this.
He walked in range of Nigma to set up a Chronosphere, hesitated, casted the spell, cancelled it, then finally casted on top of w33’s corpse. Nobody else was in range of the spell and it didn’t serve to block in Nigma. As a result, Nigma able to back off and safely reset before coming back to win the series several minutes later.
The whiff stunned OG streamer Janne “Gorgc” Stefanovski, who was casting the game on his personal channel. While he wondered aloud whether pio65 may have thought w33 had an Aegis of the Immortal and was looking to secure a second kill on him, the Chronosphere was placed long enough after w33’s death that he would’ve noticed the lack of an audio or visual cue for the Aegis. It was also too early after w33’s death to give B8 a safe opportunity to kill him a second time, even if he did have the Aegis.
This ends up being an obvious and egregious mistake on the part of pio65 that sent B8 tumbling out of the upper bracket.
WePlay! Dota 2 Tug of War: Mad Moon represented a massive opportunity for B8. The Russian team enjoys fan favorite status due to Danil “Dendi” Ishutin’s presence, which undoubtedly played a factor in their surprise invitation to the event. Though they’re something of a novelty team at the moment, their roster is strong enough to potentially contend against top opponents:
Though a strong showing would’ve gone a long way towards establishing the team as a legitimate contender in the CIS region, B8 was instead eliminated early.
The team went 1-2 in the group stage, which was enough to stave off elimination but wasn’t enough to gain good positioning for the playoffs. The upper bracket loss to Nigma was followed by a lower bracket defeat at the hands of Gambit Esports. That eliminated B8 in fifth place and earned them $12,000.
Though some of B8’s earlier foibles can be chalked up to the team trying to gel in high-stakes environments, their showing at WePlay! Dota 2 Tug of War: Mad Moon suggests the team might need to make some changes in order to succeed. Whether those changes will start with pio65 will likely be seen after the ESL One Los Angeles Major.