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The Kyiv Animajor Playoffs began Wednesday with a slate of fantastic matches. South and North America had a matchup for the ages, T1 was able to best Aster in a shocking 2-0 victory and Team Nigma remain on top. Day two of the Kyiv Animajor Playoffs begin Thursday, June 10 at 7am EST.

The Battle of the Americas

North and South American teams have always been linked at events. Most of the teams play scrimmages against each other on a regular basis. Seeing both Quincy Crew and No Ping Esports duke it out in the first round of the playoffs was a treat for western Dota fans. The storylines even bleed into Thursday’s games; the loser must face another American powerhouse, Evil Geniuses, in the lower bracket.

Game one was a stomp from Quincy Crew. They won every lane and had no answer for Quinn “Quinn” Callahan’s Ember Spirit. In game two, NoPing were able to gain leads over Quincy Crew by securing the farm of William “hfn” Medeiros’ Gyrocopter. In combination with Gonzalo “BabyMago” Herrera’s Storm Spirit, they were able to punish Quincy Crew’s aggression and tie the series.

The third and final game of the series did not disappoint. While Quincy Crew had a solid lead the entire game, they dove too far into NoPing’s base  during the last four minutes of the match and were punished hard. NoPing then forced their way into Quincy Crew’s ancient and were close to winning the game. However, NoPing also pushed too far, and eventually Quincy Crew were able to take one of the most exciting games of the entire Major so far.

Team Nigma vs PSG.LGD is the match to look out for

Team Nigma have been the story to watch of the Animajor. They have played the most games out of any team –28– and are the only team remaining from the Wild Card Stage in the winners’ bracket. They took 2 clean games off of Virtus Pro, the undefeated champions of the CIS region. Even though the match was delayed due to Team Nigma’s Amer “Miracle” Al Barkawi’s health issues, no unfortunate circumstance can dissuade this team from victory. Double Cataclysm combos from Miracle’s invoker sealed Game 1 for Team Nigma. The second was a complete blowout as VP had no answer for Team Nigma and Igor “iLTW” Fitalov’s Spectre.

Meanwhile, PSG.LGD took out the European Dota Pro Circuit Champions, Team Alliance. Coming in as favorites to take the entire tournament, they have looked just as good as Team Nigma in their first series. Their teamfight focused style with a late game carry should make them an even opponent for Team Nigma. These two teams will face off in the upper bracket June 11, and will likely be the game to watch.

T1 shock Aster in Kyiv Animajor Playoffs with 2-0 win

The most shocking outcome of Wednesday’s matches was the domination that T1 showed over team Aster. Fans considered Southeast Asia one of the weaker regions coming into the Major, but the performance of TNC Predator and T1 said otherwise.

T1 was able to take two decisive games against the Chinese DPC champion, Team Aster. A fantastic Broodmother performance by Carlo “Kuku” Palad in the first game propelled them into an early lead. T1 were able to snowball this lead into difficult teamfight situations, perfectly kiting around Ye “Borax” Zhibiao’s Phoenix egg.

The second game followed the same trend. T1 was just more decisive in their decisions compared to Aster. The highlight of the second game was Karl “Karl” Baldovino’s Magnus constantly using Skewer to put Team Aster’s heroes out of position. A final two-man Reverse Polarity from Karl’s Magnus sealed Team Aster’s fate and sent them to the lower bracket of the Kyiv Animajor.

Catch the rest of the lower bracket action Thursday, June 10 at 7am EST on the WePlay esports Twitch Channel!