This was always likely to be a tight event, with the bookmakers reckoning that over half of the eight teams competing stood a good chance of winning. That is exactly how it panned out.
The competition began with four quarterfinal games, three of which were taken to their and deciding third game. It was only Evil Geniuses who weren’t pushed into a third game; they defeated Team Faceless 2-0.
Two of the other three quarterfinal games went as the bookmakers expected. Invictus Gaming defeated the Philippines qualifier Clutch Gamers 2-1. Event favorites OG also came through 2-1, defeating Team NP. However, the other quarterfinal proved to be something of a shock. 16/1 outsiders Newbee surprised many with an excellent 2-1 victory over Team Secret to earn themselves a place in the semis.
The losers dropped into the Losers Round One. Here, Team NP defeated Team Secret 2-1, and Team Faceless defeated Clutch Gamers 2-0 to move into the Losers Round Two and eliminate the two losing teams from the tournament.
They would take on the two losing semifinalist teams from the main draw. In the first semi, Newbee once again caused a huge upset, defeating OG to claim a spot in the Winners Final. Evil Geniuses prevailed in a tough contest with Invictus Gaming 2-1 to claim that other spot in the Winners Final.
That left OG and Invictus Gaming heading into the Losers Round Two and their woes continued their as Team NP defeated Invictus Gaming 2-0, and OG lost 2-1 to Team Faceless to send both of the fancied sides out of the tournament at a relatively early stage.
The Losers Round Three match was closely fought, but in the end Team NP made it through to the Losers Final with a 2-1 win over Team Faceless. Meanwhile, Newbee continued the surprises in the Winners Final, as they defeated Evil Geniuses 2-0 to earn their Grand Final spot.
Evil Geniuses showed real resolve in the Losers Final to defeat Team NP 2-1 and earn a shot at Newbee once again.
Although the bookmakers now had Newbee as the clear favourites, this time around things were different. In a relatively short opening game, Evil Geniuses took the first contest in the best-of-five series. However, Newbee struck back in the second match, which lasted almost twice as long as the opening encounter.
The third and crucial match lasted over an hour and swung between both teams. In the end, it was Evil Geniuses who hung on to claim the win and take a 2-1 lead. That seemed to boost their spirits, and Evil Geniuses took the fourth game in 50 minutes to earn the victory and top prize.
Two of the teams competing in the Manila Masters, Team NP and Newbee, will now head over to Taipei to compete in the Zotac Cup Masters. It’s a special event commemorating 10 years of the Zotac Cup, which we will bring you more details on below.
$50,000 up for grabs for the Zotac Cup Masters winner
Eight teams have either qualified or been invited to participate in the Zotac Cup Masters from May 30 to June 3.
There have been a few changes to the original lineup since the tournament was announced. Cloud 9, who were the original European qualifiers, have now disbanded. But former players of that team will play under the Danish Bears name at the tournament. Digital Chaos replaced original Americas qualifier Team Freedom, and the Chinese qualifier Invictus Gaming were replaced by IG Vitality.
The groups for the tournament have already been drawn and are outlined below:
- Group A – Newbee, IG Vitality, Digital Chaos, WarriorsGaming.Unity
- Group B – Team NP, Team Singularity, Danish Bears, Fnatic
Each team will play its group in a single-game format. The team that records two wins from those games will be the top seed in the group and will qualify directly into the semifinals. The teams that finish second and third in the group will qualify for the quarterfinals. There, they will face off against the teams finishing in those positions in the other group. The fifth game in each group (which will decide which team is eliminated) will be played over a best-of-three format.
The winner of the two quarterfinal games will then go on to face the seeded semifinal team, and the winner of those two matches will contest the final. There is a prize pool of $100,000 for the event, with half of that going to the winners and $20,000 on offer to the runners-up.
It also promises to be a big week for Dota 2, with Epicenter taking place. Remember to check on all the latest esports betting at Bet365.