Round one of DreamLeague Season 13 - Leipzig Major took off this Tuesday, January 21, featuring 16 top-tier Dota 2 teams who competed in upper and lower brackets in a bid to get themselves closer to the ultimate goal, which is claiming the Major title and $300,000 in prize winnings.
Considering the Leipzig Major features some of the best Dota 2 teams in the world, it goes without saying day one of the playoffs offered a plethora of exciting fixtures, yet was one match that stood out from the rest - NaVi versus Alliance.
The rivalry between Alliance and NaVi is as old as time and as we have learned throughout the years, each time these two sides meet on the battlefield, we are in for one thrilling match of Dota 2 and this Tuesday was no different. Some consider the clash between NaVi and Alliance as the "El Classico" of Dota 2 and it's safe to say the two sides did not disappoint and lived up to that name in their most recent bout.
Alliance and NaVi have met before several times, but it's been a while since they met face-to-face in a tournament of such calibre as the Leipzig Major. That said, NaVi finally made it to the Major and on top of that secured a spot in the upper bracket, where the stars aligned and they got matched with Alliance. Unfortunately for NaVi, they proved to be no match for their rivals as they had to admit defeat after three gruelling maps.
In the first game of the series, Alliance dominated NaVi from minute one and even that would be an understatement. The fact that Alliance suffered only three deaths throughout the match while securing 30 kills paints a clear picture of which team was the alpha dog. Game one ended in just under 30 minutes, with an incredible performance from the whole Alliance roster, yet two players stood out - Linus "Limmp" Blomdin and Nikolay "Nikobaby" Nikolov who ended the game with a 14/1/12 and 10/0/10 score respectively.
Game two started similarly as game one, meaning Alliance quickly took the reins into their own hands and were rushing towards the second and final win of the series. Unfortunately, things did not go entirely as planned. Idan "MagicaL" Vardanian had a tough time in the early game, where he was completely shut down by Alliance, but once mid-late game tolled around, he found his stride and helped NaVi produce a remarkable comeback to tie the series at 1-1. MagicaL ended game two with a 12/5/8 record, closely followed by Vladislav "Crystallize" Krystanek who ended the game with 10/4/11.
Unlike the first two games of the series which went from one extreme to the other, game three was much more balanced in terms of what the two sides showed. NaVi took an early lead, which they managed to hold onto for the first half an hour, but unfortunately lost it all. The main thorn in their side was Nikobaby’s Lifestealer who proved to be far too strong for CIS roster to stop.
With the help of Nikobaby, Alliance regained control of the match and stormed through NaVi to seal the series at 2-1, which sends them directly into the top six at Leipzig Major. Their next fixture will take place in round two of upper bracket playoffs, where Alliance will clash against Team Secret. NaVi on the other side have crashed down into the lower bracket, where they will meet with Team Liquid.
The DreamLeague Season 13 - Leipzig Major will continue tomorrow, on Wednesday, with four fixtures on the schedule, including two exciting bouts in the upper bracket and two in the lower bracket.
Leipzig Major Fixtures (Wednesday, January 23)
Fnatic vs TNC Predator (10:30 CET)
Natus Vincere vs Team Liquid (13:30 CET)
Evil Geniuses vs ViCi Gaming (16:30 CET)
Team Secret vs Alliance (19:30 CET)