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After a slow start on the first day of the Kyiv Animajor Group Stage, TNC Predator came back in a big way in Saturday’s matches. After winning only one of their four games played yesterday, they have won all four of their games on Day 2. Their performance now puts them tied with Evil Geniuses, Team Nigma and Vici Gaming for a potential upper bracket berth in the playoff stage.

TNC Predator bounce back

While the team performed well, the MVP of the day goes to Kim “Gabbi” Villafuerte. He put up strong performances on Phantom Assassin and Magnus, even scoring a rampage against beastcoast. Neither hero has seen much play at the major.

Tiebreakers look very likely in the Kyiv Animajor Group Stage

As of right now, the top half of the Kyiv Animajor Group stage has four teams with the same record. While PSG.LGD are one win ahead of everyone else, Evil Geniuses, Team Nigma, TNC Predator and Vici Gaming are all tied with a record of five wins and three losses. This means there is a four way tie for the second upper bracket playoff spot. The spot will probably come down to best-of-one tiebreakers. While there are two days left of the Kyiv Animajor group stage, Sunday is now the most important. Teams that are tied with each other will solidify their places in the playoffs.

Nigma hit their stride

Analysts questioned if the large number of games Team Nigma played previously would affect them negatively throughout the group stage. After the second day of matches, that does not seem to be the case. While their record today was a net neutral, losing 2 games while also winning 2, their form has looked impeccable. The two losses they had against TNC Predator were not the case of Team Nigma playing worse, it was TNC Predator playing well.

Maroun “GH” Merhej in particular has played amazing Dota 2 since the Wild Card stage and been consistent ever since. In combination with Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi’s more active play style with heroes such as Invoker and Beastmaster, it seems that Team Nigma have found their identity in the context of the Kyiv Animajor metagame.