Nigma will enter the Playoffs of WePlay AniMajor as one of the 8 Upper Bracket contestants. KuroKy and his crew succeeded in defeating beastcoast in their last match of the Group Stage and finished two points ahead of Vici Gaming. Unfortunately for Europe, Liquid got eliminated.
WePlay AniMajor Group Stage Results
The Group Stage of WePlay AniMajor had a total of 8 participants. Six of them qualified for the Playoffs while the other 2 were eliminated. The complete results are the following:
- 1st place: PSG.LGD
- 2nd place: Team Nigma
- 3rd place: Vici Gaming
- 4th place: Evil Geniuses
- 5th place: TNC Predator
- 6th place: Team Spirit
- 7th place: Team Liquid
- 8th place: beastcoast
Unfortunately for Liquid, after they managed to draw against Evil Geniuses they got eliminated by Team Spirit in the tiebreaker. The irony here is that Liquid had defeated Spirit in the Group Stage, just a day before.
Implications for Western Europe
Assuming that Nigma will score enough points to secure a top 12 result and get a direct invitation to The International 10, Western Europe will be left with 4 important teams battling for just one spot. These teams are OG, Liquid, Brame, and Tundra. Any one of them could win. But I would put OG and Liquid above the other two.
The worst-case scenario now is for Nigma to get a poor result in the Playoffs and extend the number of top contestants to 5. This would be a disaster for Europe and it would almost guarantee that the two-times TI champions, OG, will miss the tournament this year.
On the first competitive day of WePlay AniMajor Playoffs, we will get to see 4 matches.
Virtus.pro – Nigma
This is going to be a very tough match for both teams. Arguably, Virtus.pro has a slight advantage. And not only because of all the great results they obtained in 2021, but also because they don’t have to worry about anything. Their TI 10 spot is already guaranteed while Nigma will have to play knowing that if they fail, they risk missing the tournament.
I expect to see a 2 – 1 result here. The two teams encountered each other before in November 2020. Virtus.pro won that match with a score of 2 – 0.
Regionally, the CIS team finished the Eastern European race with 7 consecutive wins. Nigma was only 3rd in Western Europe. It might not be entirely relevant, but these kinds of statistics add up.
Alliance – PSG.LGD
Alliance may have won the Western European contests, but I don’t think they can beat PSG.LGD. The Chinese squad looked amazing in the Group Stage of WePlay AniMajor and finished with a record of 4 wins – 3 draws. Not only was this a test of strength. It was also a great chance to practice before the Playoffs.
Given that Alliance has had 0 practice so far at this tournament and that they won the regional qualifier by using a rule that no one else knew about, I think their strength is questionable. PSG.LGD is arguably much better than them and will almost surely win the match.
Team Aster – T1
Team Aster is the strongest competitor in China but T1, thanks to Kuku and 23savage, could cause an upset. Of course, it’s a bit difficult to be optimistic about T1’s chances, but you should never underestimate 23savage. That kid is absolutely savage in pubs and his talent is beyond words. I haven’t seen such a good pub player since the days when Miracle- was stunning everyone with his skills.
Quincy Crew – NoPing e-sports
This is by far the most one-sided match of the first round of the Playoffs of WePlay AniMajor. Quincy Crew is the strongest team in North America while NoPing e-sports is South America’s champion. However, Quincy Crew has been a great team for a few years, while NoPing is just a dark horse that somehow managed to crack the competitive code of their region.