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The third day of the Kyiv Animajor Playoffs brought with it exciting highs for the winning teams, and extreme lows for teams that were eliminated. In a single day, fans lost an underdog in Team Spirit, but also got  an amazing Team Nigma vs PSG.LGD series that might very well be the Grand Finals of the Kyiv Animajor. Upcomer is here to bring you a recap of the Kyiv Animajor Playoffs day three.

A Grand Finals in the second round

Kyiv Animajor Playoffs: LGD VS Nigma
Team Nigma vs PSG.LGD was one of the most hyped up matches out of today’s schedule. Provided By: WePlay esports

Team Nigma vs PSG.LGD is regarded as the most likely Grand Finals matchup at the Kyiv Animajor. Fans got the opportunity to see both juggernauts play the first upper bracket match of the day.

The first game between the two teams featured a hero that has not been seen much throughout the major, Undying. The uncommon hero pick allowed PSG.LGD to secure a lane for Wang “Ame” Chun Yu’s Terrorblade. More importantly, Undying served as a counter to Igor “iLTW” Filatov’s Spectre pick. The combination of Undying and Tidehunter made it extremely difficult for Team Nigma to ever take a fight to PSG LGD. Stalling out Team Nigma’s typical aggression allowed PSG.LGD to take the game at a brisk 34 minutes.

In the second game, Nigma were able to get Maroun “GH” Merhej’s signature Io. In combination with iLTW’s Gyrocopter, it was a duo that PSG.LGD could not withstand. While PSG.LGD tried to attack Team Nigma’s backline with Cheng “NothingToSay” Jin Xiang’s Storm Spirit, he was not able to burst the backline supports fast enough to make a difference.

The third and final game played to the strengths of both teams. Team Nigma was able to hit their timings and tried to catch PSG.LGD out with their aggression. However, a disastrous fight in the radiant triangle spelled doom for Team Nigma. Their immobile team composition was punished by a beautifully placed egg from Zhang “Y’” Yiping’s Phoenix. From that point forward, Ame’s Phantom Lancer was able to take the reins and close the series out with a PSG.LGD victory.

The Underdog Falls

Team Spirit were knocked out of the lower bracket by Vici Gaming on Friday. The third seed from China simply outclassed Team Spirit. In the first game, Vici Gaming Drafted a superior teamfight lineup of Winter Wyvern, Faceless Void and Snapfire  and simply out executed Team Spirit. In the second game, Zeng “Ori” Jiaoyang’s Kunkka caused chaos within the Team Spirit lineup, allowing Yang “Poyoyo” Shaohan’s Juggernaut to bring Vici Gaming to the win.

While Team Spirit will not move on at the Kyiv Animajor, they are a young team that will continue to grow. They have put up a good showing, earning themselves a top 8 finish at a Major and going farther than most of the playoff seeds. Their future is bright and hopefully fans can see more of them as they fight through the regional qualifiers.

A single Kyiv Animajor playoff seed remains in Upper Bracket

T1 and Quincy Crew remained as the only two playoff seeds left in the entire upper bracket. At the end of the day, one of them would drop to the lower bracket and face elimination. On this day, it was Quincy Crew.

The first game was proof that Quincy Crew’s in your face style of Dota was able to work at an international level. Their drafts were able to constantly force T1 to make mistakes. Arif “MSS” Anwar’s Enchantress in particular was able to stifle Nuengnara “23savage” Teeramahanon’s Spectre enough early on to help secure the win. From the first game, the blueprint was set – Quincy Crew was going to run at T1 with an early game lineup, and it would be a test of how T1 could survive the onslaught.

The second and third games followed the blueprint exactly. In the second game, Quincy Crew were able to gain early leads through Rodrigo “Lelis” Santos’ Dark Seer and Quinn “Quinn” Callahan’s Ember Spirit. However, every time Quincy Crew would get a pick off on one side of the map, T1 were always able to respond on the other. The game dragged on to a point where Kenny “Xepher” Deo’s Phoenix and Matthew “Whitemon” Filemon’s Warlock were able to single handedly win teamfights for T1.

Much like the second game, Quincy had a strong foothold with Lelis’ Broodmother and Quinn’s Windranger. Quincy were doing a great job of splitting the map and taking as many objectives as possible. However, a disastrous fight near T1’s Tier 2 tower stopped all momentum on Quincy Crew’s side, and 23savage’s Phantom Assassin was able to take over the late game and clinch the series for T1.

The results set up a T1 vs PSG.LGD matchup in the upper bracket, which will truly test the Southeast Asian squad against the tournament favorites.