While day one was rife with upsets, Vici Gaming and Gambit Esports weren’t looking to let that trend continue as the Group B competition kicked off at the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor.
Vici opened up the second day against the former Playmakers Esports roster, which is now called Demolition Boys.
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DB put up a hard fight in game one, holding an advantage toward the middle of the match, but Vici looked composed and unified for the first time in several tournaments. As a result, they methodically pushed DB back and claimed their first win.
Vici continued their solid play as they took the second game a little easier to punch their ticket to the winner’s match.
Over the past month, Vici has had some serious roster issues despite playing and placing well at tournaments. Their seventh-place finish at The Chongqing Major in January made the organization think about a roster change.
The team captain Pan “Fade” Yi and the organization as a whole had a falling out before the qualifying rounds for the StarLadder Minor, but it appears they have moved past that. On the flip side, Gambit was the early favorite to take home first place and claim the final spot in the DreamLeague Season 11 Major that is up for grabs. Those odds looked pretty good after they survived a close series with BOOM ID.
Gambit had a sizable advantage that they managed to hold onto in order to take game one, but game two was back-and-forth. BOOM did not go down quietly in the next game, and despite Alfi “Khezcute” Nelphyana’s solid play, they were unable to stop Gambit from moving on.
That left the two favorites to battle it out in the winner’s match, leading to a three-game brawl that heavily favored Vici in the later games.
Gambit took game one, and Vici split the series with a game two win. It wouldn’t be until game three, though, that Vici really shined. Their offensive playmaking and how they broke down Gambit’s defense and took kills at extremely key points in the match would turn out to be the major difference.
With that win, Vici joins Flying Penguins in the playoffs and ensures themselves a top-four finish in the event.
Matches pick back up March 9 at 2am CT when Royal Never Give Up and OG battle for their tournament lives in the Group A loser’s match. The group stage will be finished when the winner of DB and BOOM faces Gambit for the final spot in the playoffs.