Five teams are remaining in the losers’ bracket of Manila Masters 2017. The quarterfinals went as expected, save for one thing I did not expect: Team NP keeping it close against OG. More surprising was OG getting swept by Newbee. This series win, I suspect, has given Newbee the confidence to sprint straight to the grand finals. Here’s a look at the Manila Masters 2017 losers’ bracket as it currently stands. The next match is iG vs. NP.
Having beaten Team Faceless and Invictus Gaming, Evil Geniuses already have a spot in the losers’ finals. Running into a sprinting Newbee squad landed them there. EG may get a second shot at Newbee in the grand finals, but that will take some work given the teams still in the hunt. What’s better than winning a grudge match when there’s money on the line? We’ll see if EG gets that opportunity. However, the focus turns to losers’ round 2 for the moment. There are two series and both have great narratives to watch for.
Manila Masters 2017: iG vs. NP
iG has been thriving throughout 2017 domestically. Blips are scattered throughout Invictus Gaming’s international results, so I’m beginning to exercise precaution with my predictions until they regain consistency. Invictus Gaming excels in regional qualifiers. iG has taken 1st place in five out of seven Chinese qualifiers between January and May.
Team NP, on the other hand, has been consistent internationally in 2017. NP have not (yet) made the Top 4 of a premier event. Virtus.pro 2-0’d NP in January at ESL One Genting 2017. This earned a 5-6th place finish and $10,000. Fast forward three months to the Dota 2 Asia Championships 2017; NP meets VGJ and exits the tournament straightaway (taking home $9,179).
Invictus Gaming met Evil Geniuses before landing in the losers’ bracket. Though iG didn’t look their best, they still closed Game 2 out well enough to believe there’s something left in the tank. Team NP looks to be running out of gas, and has lots left to prove internationally. iG vs. NP will be a 2-0 sweep in favor of iG.
Disagree? If you have predictions of your own, let me know on Twitter.