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The Kyiv Animajor playoffs closed out its second day of competition on June 10. The most surprising results were the elimination of several playoff seeded teams out of the lower bracket. Only Quincy Crew and T1 survive as playoff seeds in the upper bracket. Day three of the tournament kicks off Friday, June 11 at 7am EST.

Southeast Asia continues to impress

TNC Predator at the Weplay Animajor
TNC Predator clutch out a fantastic series against playoff seed Team Aster Provided By WePlay Esports

After an impressive performance by T1 in Wednesday’s upper bracket, TNC seemed poised to continue the trend. The Filipino squad continues to show that the Southeast Asian region is not to be underestimated.

Despite having a monstrous lead in game 1, TNC Predator were not able to close out the game. An overextension by TNC into the Aster base allowed Aster to win a game that they had no business winning.

In the second game, things looked bad for TNC Predator. Aster had the lead with a tempo-based lineup featuring Broodmother and Razor, while having late game insurance in Du “Monet” Peng’s Morphling. Right when all hope seemed lost, TNC Predator were able to execute several pick offs on Morphling at crucial times in the game. At the same time, Kim “Gabbi” Villafuerte’s Templar Assassin kept Team Aster busy with his Aghanim’s Scepter purchase. The combination of split push and pick off eventually led to a disastrous fight outside of the TNC base. With no buybacks on Aster’s side, TNC were able to snatch the game from the jaws of defeat.

Game three showed TNC Predator’s poise as a team. Their draft was filled with teamfight execution that allowed their teamwork to shine. Perfect spell usage of Reverse Polarity, Winter’s Curse and Chaotic Offering in several teamfights allowed TNC to take the series against Aster.

Kyiv Animajor Playoff seeds underperform

Direct playoff seeds ended up filling the lower bracket. Teams like Alliance, Virtus Pro and Team Aster looked good going into the tournament, but fell to the lower bracket on the first day. At the end of day two, none of the playoff seeds made it through to the next round. Team Alliance lost to Team Spirit, Vici Gaming beat Virtus Pro, TNC Predator took out Aster and finally Evil Geniuses took out NoPing esports. As of right now, the only playoff seeds remaining in the tournament are T1 and Quincy Crew.

The recipe for success in this major seems to be repetition. Teams like Nigma and Vici Gaming have been playing tournament games since the first day of the Wild Card Stage – constantly getting practice. On the other hand, the playoff seeded teams have only scrimmages to go on. The disparity in tournament match experience has played a large role in determining the outcomes in the tournament.

Both North American representatives remain

Quincy Crew and Evil Geniuses are still in the running for a Major Championship. Despite fan sentiment being on the negative side after Wednesday’s Quincy Crew and NoPing esports series, Evil Geniuses showed why they belong in the playoffs today. Fighting for their tournament lives, Evil Geniuses were able to beat NoPing 2-0 and take a series victory. The path to both teams meeting would involve Evil Geniuses winning their next series against TNC Predator and Quincy Crew losing to T1 on day three. Either way, North American fans do not have to panic, as both teams have secured their direct invites to this year’s International.

Catch the upper bracket action June 11 at 7am EST on the WePlay esports Twitch Channel!