Boston Major top 4

Esports Asia News
Despite being down to four teams, The Boston Major still has six prior Major-winning players and three former International champions — and there are good odds that one of them will rise above the rest before the day is out. Four such past champions are now in direct competition to become the first three-time Major winners in Dota history. If Evil Geniuses or Digital Chaos are the victors, that will mean a single player will have won more of Valve’s Dota tournaments than any other. If OG win once again, two players and the organization they founded will share in that honor. Clement “Puppey” Ivanov is currently the record-holder for the most success at Valve events. He won The International 1 and The Shanghai Major, and has a total of five Grand Finals performances on Valve’s annual circuit. He was the first player to win two Valve events, but he has since been tied by the entire original lineup of OG — a team founded by teammates he kicked, Tal “Fly” Aizik and Johan “N0Tail” Sundstein. Now, four of those former OG members have a chance to outstrip Puppey and win three of the four Majors Valve has held so far. Fly, N0Tail and their former teammates Andreas “Cr1t-” Nielsen and David “MoonMeander” Tan all remain in the Top 4 at Boston. Only Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi is absent, since Team Liquid were not able to come together around their new recruit in time for the event. Cr1t- left OG after The International 2016. It’s an open secret that the move was not mutually motivated, but it was at least mutually accepted. After OG lost two players, its founders decided to kick MoonMeander, another less-than-mutual parting of ways.
MoonMeander at The Manila Major with OG
That means that even while they are competing to make an indelible mark on Dota history, these players are now engaged in the ultimate rivalry. Barring one more upset from Ad Finem, they will be forced to eliminate each other one at a time until only one chapter of this estranged clan remains. This has never happened before, certainly not with comparable historic significance. (That’s not to discount Ad Finem. If the Greek team make it to the Grand Finals, they will have done so on their very first appearance at a Valve event, an impressive feat in its own right. But all three of the teams that may bar their way, beginning with DC, are of a caliber above what they have been able to beat this tournament. In fact, barring a narrow Summit 6 win over Virtus.pro, they’ve yet to beat an opponent of DC’s caliber in a single series.) On DC, MoonMeander is no longer a token offlaner overshadowed by pubstars and legends — his experience has proven vital to the young team. Moon told me after the Boston group stage that while he didn’t do much preparation work on OG, with DC he’s been forced to “grow up,” helping MiSeRy study games and opponents as a co-captain. “In OG I didn’t really have a responsibility, in DC I have more of a responsibility. It’s kinda thrown on me,” he said. “I’m getting old, so I guess I’m one of those old mans, you know. Not like Old Man Fear, but kinda getting there.” Cr1t- has likewise been forced to grow into a leadership position on his new team, filling the shoes of legendary captain and drafter Peter “ppd” Dager. Though Clinton “Fear” Loomis continues to provide guidance as coach, when it comes to in-game calls, Cr1t- must stand on his own. Fear’s game sense used to be a big factor in the team’s in-game decisions, and though others like Universe and zai have likely stepped in to help fill the void, it is ultimately down to Cr1t- to ensure the team’s execution doesn’t slip. Cr1t- and Fly have faced off across the drafting screen several times in recent weeks — EG eliminated OG at MarsTV Dota 2 League Autumn before OG came back to knock EG out of the upper bracket at The Summit and defeat them again in the Grand Finals at Elimination Mode — but this will be the first time they meet in a match where $250,000 separates the winner from the loser. It will be a tough match: since arriving in Boston, EG have had the lowest GPM and KDA of the remaining teams, but slightly greater hero diversity. They tend to rely more heavily on mechanical decisions, all-star support playmaking and superior lane execution to take quick advantages, and have used that to win games with a net worth deficit, as they did in Game 2 of their quarterfinal against Virtus.pro. Unlike the CIS powerhouse, however, OG know Cr1t- well, and it’s possible they will be more prepared to combat this style.
N0Tail, Fly and Cr1t before OG’s breakup
No matter what happens today, history will be made. Arguably the least memorable milestone would be a repeat win for OG, which speaks to the magnitude of the other possibilities. If Ad Finem win, Boston will be the first event ever won by a team with no prior notable LAN victories. OG would be the only organization to win three Valve titles, even if you count the pre-Major Dota 2 Asia Championship (which was won by Evil Geniuses). A win for EG would not only make Cr1t- the most successful player in the history of Valve events, it would finally secure Arteezy his first Valve title. A first-place finish for DC would cap off the Cinderella story that they began at TI and came so close to finishing at the Grand Finals there. It’s been a shame to see early exits from teams like Wings and VP, but Boston has nonetheless provided us with the perfect storm of narrative fulfillment. Get indoors: this is going to be fierce.

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