Upcoming Match-ups

Dota 2 EPIC League Playoffs Matchup Picks & Preview

Matthew Hempstead

by Matthew Hempstead in eSports

Dec 7, 2020 · 3:13 PM PST

League of Legends
Spectators watch the final of League of Legends tournament between Team G2 Esports and Team FunPlus Phoenix, in Paris, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
  • The Dota 2 EPIC League begins their week long playoffs on December 8th, 2020
  • Virtus.pro enters as the first seed as they went 7-2 in the group stage round robin
  • Team Secret secured the final spot in the upper bracket after winning a four-way tiebreaker

The Dota 2 Epic League Division 1 Playoffs take place from December 8th to December 13th. This tournament features an upper bracket and a lower bracket. If a team loses in the upper bracket, they get knocked into the lower bracket. Once a team loses a match in the lower bracket, they’re eliminated from the tournament.

The four upper bracket teams qualified from the round robin group stage. Team Secret locked up the final spot after winning a four-way tiebreaker that saw them win three consecutive best-of-ones. The four teams starting in the lower bracket qualified via the play-in stage.

Dota 2 Epic League Division 1 Playoff Odds

Lower Bracket Round 1 Odds
Team Liquid -112
Team Nigma -112
Lower Bracket Round 1 Odds
OG -208
Yellow Submarine +162
Upper Bracket Round 1 Odds
Virtus.pro -103
Team Secret -128
Upper Bracket Round 1 Odds
Vikin.gg -105
Natus Vincere -127

Odds taken Dec. 7th at bet365

Team Liquid vs Team Nigma

In the group stage of the Dota 2 Epic League, there were four teams that each finished with a 5-4 record. Let that be an indicator as to how closely matched the teams competing in these playoffs are. That small degree of separation is backed up by the odds, where most of the matchups are basically toss-ups. The first round of the lower bracket  features a match between Team Liquid and Team Nigma that is as close as it gets.

Both teams sit at -112, but I’m siding with Team Liquid rather comfortably in this one. In their group stage match, Team Liquid won the best-of-three 2-1. Of course, during the four-way tiebreaker, Nigma got the better of Team Liquid in the best-of-one.

Although those results leave the two teams in a rather even spot, Team Liquid won ESL One Germany just over a month ago. In that tournament Liquid beat Team Nigma 2-1. More importantly, Team Liquid dropped the opening game of that series and came back to win it all. I value best-of-three results much more heavily than best-of-one. Team Liquid has beaten Team Nigma in consecutive bo3’s so Team Liquid feels like a much safer bet here.

Pick: Team Liquid (-112)

Vikin.gg vs. Natus Vincere

On the other side of the bracket, Vikin.gg and Natus Vincere face off as the second and third seeds out of the group stage. Both teams finished 6-3 and had identical game scores of 14-10. Based on the group stage, these two teams are incredibly evenly matched. The bad news for Vikin.gg is that NAVI has had their number over the past couple of months.

NAVI finished second at ESL One Germany, and their most one-sided match was their victory over Vikin.gg in the upper bracket round 2. Not only did NAVI win 2-0, but they also won the second game in a very quick and dominant 28 minutes.

Bringing it back to Dota 2 Epic League, NAVI won their match in the group stage 2-1. Vikin.gg made it close on paper but at a closer look, NAVI was still well in control of this series. In Vikin.gg’s one win, it took them over an hour to close out the game. Meanwhile, NAVI got their two wins in 34 and 22 minutes respectively.

Although the two teams were right next to each other in the standings, NAVI has Vikin.gg’s number over the past couple of matches. Even with NAVI being slight favorites, I’d still pick them and expect to see them continue their dominance over Vikin.gg.

Pick: Natus Vincere (-127)

Author Image