After a one-day hiatus, the ESL One Dota 2 Stockholm Major resumed on Friday May 20 with playoff matches in front of a live audience at the Hovet Arena – the first time in over two years that a top Dota level 2 tournament gathered a crowd of fans.
It was only fitting that some of the Major’s best Dota to date was played in front of the returning crowd.
The day opened with South America’s Beastcoast beating Eastern Europe’s BetBoom team 2-1 to take on Gaimin Gladiators later in the day.
The Western European OG then knocked out last-placed South East Asian side Stockholm after outlasting Fnatic in a 2-1 thriller.
Finally, Beastcoast’s run in the Major was ended by Western Europe’s Gaimin Gladiators in a 2-0 sweep.
Beastcoast 2-1 Team BetBoom
Day eight of the Stockholm Major kicked off with a best-of-three elimination match between Beastcoast and BetBoom Team.
BetBoom came out swinging to start the series. Behind the signing of Nikita “Daxak” Kuzmin, the prophet of nature, the Eastern European side notched 11 straight wins before conceding their first death.
They also got their first round in the 5th minute and their first scrum barracks just 18 minutes into the game.
Despite BetBoom’s dominating start, Beastcoast still managed to hold on for 44 minutes before conceding the series opener.
The South Americans flipped the script in a 35-minute second game, as Héctor “K1” Rodríguez on Wraith King and Jean Pierre “C. smile” Gonzales on Storm Spirit led Beastcoast to force the series to a decider.
Game 3 was a tightly contested affair, with BetBoom again getting off to a strong start behind Daxak’s Ursa and Denis “Larl” Sigitov’s Leshrac.
However, Beastcoast regained control dominating the mid-game clashes thanks to K1 on Juggernaut and C. smile on Storm Spirit once again.
Despite BetBoom’s best efforts to mount a comeback, they were forced to call off GG after 49 minutes of action. With their victory, Beastcoast eliminated BetBoom and earned a meeting with the Gaimin Gladiators in the final game of the day.
OG 2-1 Fnatic
The second set of the day saw fan favorites OG kick Fnatic out of the Major after winning one of the tournament’s best games to date.
OG started the match with a bang, earning a convincing 44-minute victory thanks to the outstanding performances of Artiem “Yuragi” Golubiev on Juggernaut and Bozhidar “bzm” Bogdanov on a mid Pangolier.
Yuragi paced OG’s 34-16 kills lead with a record 15 kills to two deaths while bzm participated with 10 kills to two deaths.
Fnatic quickly bounced back and tied the series with a methodical 36-minute win in Game 2. OG had no answers for a rock-solid draft from the Southeast Asian side that was anchored by Marc Polo “Raven” Fausto’s tough Medusa carry, which finished with five clear wins and 11 assists.
Game 3 of this playoff between OG and Fnatic might end up being the best game of the entire Stockholm Major.
Fnatic kicked off the decider by bludgeoning OG to 14 unanswered wins in the 15th minute through center light Armel “Armel” Tabios and position 4 Hoodwink from Djardel “DJ” Mampusti.
After the first 20 minutes of the game, things looked bleak for OG as they were down 22-1 in eliminations and facing a gold deficit of nearly 8,000.
But even as they gave up killing left and right, OG held on in hopes that their fearsome lineup of team fights of Morphling for Yuragi, Pangolier for bzm, Tidehunter for Ammar “ATF” Al-Assaf , Enigma for Tommy “Taiga” Le, and Jakiro for Sebastien “Ceb” Debs would win in the late game.
OG found their window for a comeback in the 45th minute, when they managed to score three huge wins over Fnatic, including a crucial takedown from Raven’s Chaos Knight. With ATF and Taiga having Refresh Orbs, OG made good use of multiple Ravage and Black Hole throws to stun Raven and kill him despite being protected by the Immortal’s Aegis.
With his teammates providing a barrage of knockouts, Yuragi was free to wreak havoc on Fnatic’s heroes and lead the siege of the team’s Southeast Asia base.
And with level 5 neutral items adding to their already overwhelming firepower, OG finally broke through Fnatic’s stubborn defense against their former to complete the comeback after 64 minutes of thrilling action.
The Stockholm Major’s second longest match ended with Fnatic holding a 40-26 lead in their loss. As that old Dota adage goes, “Killing means nothing, the throne means everything.”
Yuragi topped the kill chart for Game 3, tying the series record for kills with 15 kills to eight kills.
Meanwhile, DJ put up a monstrous line of 14 kills and 15 assists against just three kills in an ultimately futile effort to hand Fnatic the series victory.
OG lives to fight another day in the Stockholm Major as the last South East Asian team withdraws from the tournament.
Gaimin Gladiators 2-0 Beastcoast
The day ended with Gaimin Gladiators ending Beastcoast’s bottom bracket run in a 2-0 sweep. Miroslav “BOOM” Bičan had back-to-back spectacular performances on Ember Spirit to keep his team’s major hopes alive.
BOOM notched a game-high 18 kills on one kill to beat the Gladiators’ 43-12 lead in a 30-minute opener. He then followed that up with a 10-death outing and two kills in a 32-minute second game to secure the series sweep.
With their victory over Beastcoast, the Gladiators extend their winning streak in games at the Stockholm Major where BOOM played Ember Spirit to a clear six.
With today’s results, Fnatic and Beastcoast leave the Stockholm Major in 7th and 8th place and with US$12,500 and 240 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) points in consolation each.
Meanwhile, Beastcoast retires in 5th and 6th place and will earn US$25,000 and 385 DPC points for their efforts.
Only five teams remain standing in Stockholm: Tundra Esports, TSM FTX, Gaimin Gladiators, OG and Thunder Awaken.
Day nine of the Major on Saturday May 21 will open with game two of the lower bracket quarter-finals between OG and Thunder Awaken.
This will be followed by the Upper Bracket Finals between Tundra and TSM, with the winner taking first place in the Grand Finals while the loser moves on to the Lower Bracket Finals.
The day will end with Gaimin Gladiators taking on the winner of the OG match against Thunder Awaken in the lower bracket semi-finals.
Here is the table after day four of the Stockholm Major qualifiers:
For everything you need to know about the Stockholm Major, check out here.