Eliana Bollati
Eliana Bollati
Eliana is a freelance journalist from Australia with a passion for esports, especially Dota 2. A casual player of the game for the better part of a decade, Eliana started following the professional circuit avidly during TI5. She brings a casual player and hardcore fan perspective into her commentary on the professional scene.

Dota 2: Bukovel Minor – Day 3 Highlights

Royal Never Give Up behind their monitors as they draft against Geek Fam at the Bukovel Minor
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All the biggest highlights from the third day of action at the WePlay! Bukovel Minor.


The penultimate day of our Minor saw plenty of beautiful, back-and-forth Dota. If you missed out on any of yesterday’s lengthy games, we’ve rounded up the highlights for you right here!

Gambit Esports vs Geek Fam

We kicked things off for the first round of our upper bracket with a thrilling two-game series between Gambit Esports and Geek Fam.

Game one saw a fairly even start for both teams, but things started to pick up for Gambit once we hit the end of the laning phase. The CIS team had a 2k gold advantage and gpk’s Magnus pick was starting to look very scary.

Still, Geek Fam’s draft had plenty of saves coming in from Xepher’s Disruptor and KuKu’s Omniknight to hold against Gambit’s offense. By 24-minutes they had turned the game to their advantage.

Once they had the control, they didn’t waste any time pressing their advantage. They closed out game one at 27-minutes with a 10-kill lead over Gambit.

Our game two saw Gambit secure first blood early, but neither team really looked dominant in the lanes. This game saw a much slower pace than our first game, and as the clock passed 30-minutes it was starting to look like Gambit had found the lead they needed to push for objectives.

But Geek Fam had their own ideas about where this game was going.
A huge team fight around the Rosh pit at 45-minutes saw Geek Fam execute some beautiful moves. They kept Gambit at bay outside the pit, with Raven spamming the illusions on Naga Siren to great effect.

Another Rosh at 60-minutes, another aegis on Karl and mega creeps by 62-minutes. It was game over for Gambit.

Geek Fam took the series 0–2, sending Gambit down to the lower bracket.

Royal Never Give Up vs Team Nigma

Next in the upper bracket, China’s Royal Never Give Up were set to go head to head with Kuro and the boys in Team Nigma.

Royal Never Give Up were looking fearsome right from the get-go. They took first blood and dominated the kills through the laning phase. Nigma took their first kill of the game at 9-minutes.

Nigma just didn’t have any answers for the mobility in RNG’s draft and we saw some beautiful plays from RNG. Including a textbook relocate from Flywin’s Vengeful Spirit on w33 at 12-minutes.

Nigma really needed the perfect set up with Miracle’s Naga Siren and MinD_ContRoL’s Enigma to stop RNG’s push, but they never managed to pull it off.

39–8 was the closing score, a 31-kill lead for RNG as they took game one at 40-minutes.

Nigma played a much more aggressive game two, taking first blood at around 1-minute with a pick off on September. The kills were 6–6 at 8-minutes as Miracle’s Slark started to come online.

It was Nigma’s game from this point. They rolled into RNGU’s base by 22-minutes, taking game two to equalize the series 1–1.

But in Game three, Royal Never Give Up really stole the show. Nigma seemed to have the advantage at first. It looked like RNG’s draft was too squishy. By 20-minutes Miracle’s Templar Assassin pick was basically six-slotted and they were just munching through RNG at this point.

And that was part of the problem. Miracle’s TA just couldn’t scale any further. While RNGU had Monet on Lifestealer, Flywin on Legion Commander and Setsu on Invoker. Three heroes who all scale very well into the late game.

Super also did serious work for the team. Making some amazing relocate plays on wisp in this late stage of the game, really creating the conditions his team needed to survive through team fights and flip them their way.

At 51-minutes Nigma called GG. It was on to face Geek Fam for the Chinese team, Nigma were going to the lower bracket.

Geek Fam vs Royal Never Give Up

The last round of our upper bracket saw RNGU and Geek Fam duke it out for the guaranteed slot in the grand finals.

Game one was looking close during the early game. But Geek Fam seemed like they were pulling into the lead by the end of the lanes. After securing themselves a small lead in the gold and the kills.  But by 17-minutes, RNGU were starting to push back, going for the T1 tower in mid. This proved to be a turning point for the Chinese team, who ramped up the aggression from here on in.

The final score was 12–20 at 30-minutes as RNGU took the first victory of the series.

Game two again saw Geek Fam working to establish an early lead for themselves, they had a 2k advantage by the 8-minute mark, but the kills were close. 5–5 at 9-minutes.

Geek Fam were doing a phenomenal job initiating and taking team fights through the mid game, but RNGU were keeping up. At 30-minutes, both Geek Fam and RNG’s cores hadn’t fallen. They wanted to push into the late game. Raven’s KDA at this point was 5/0/10, while Monet was on 3/0/8.

This was a long, close game where we got to see some outstanding manoeuvres from both teams. The final score was 34–30 at 59-minutes when Geek Fam finally delivered the RNG the fatal blow. With both teams at one win a piece, it was time for a game three decider.

Unlike our first two games of this series, game three was a clean and simple stomp for Royal Never Give Up. They stormed through Geek Fam in a fury reminiscent of their earlier game against Nigma. 5–28 was the kill-count on the board at 32-minutes as RNGU claimed yet another series here at Bukovel, earning them their place in the grand finals.

Gambit Esports vs Nigma Esports

With the upper bracket done and dusted, it was time for our lower bracket series. Gambit vs Nigma.

Game one saw the CIS team running dream’ on Drow Ranger and a Storm Spirit for gpk. While Nigma had an Invoker pick for Miracle and w33 on Ursa. The lanes went in Nigma’s favour, the score was 1–6 at 9-minutes and the EU team were 4k ahead in the gold.

It took Gambit a little bit more time to find their feet, but once we hit the mid game things weren’t looking so simple for Nigma. At 20-minutes Gambit overtook the kills, at 25-minutes they took the net worth advantage. Nigma’s opening had been strong, but things weren’t looking so comfortable anymore. It was an impressive turn around from Gambit, who ended up taking game one at 37-minutes with the final score 29–16.

This was a stunning game for dream’ on Drow Ranger. While the hero didn’t look like a strong choice in the line-up at first, dream’ went 14/0/7 in this game and contributed hugely to bringing his team the win.

Our next two games saw Nigma really bring the heat straight from the get-go. They dominated the lanes in game two, with Miracle’s Phantom Lancer and w33’s Outworld Devourer simply melting through Gambit’s draft. They took game two at 40-minutes, giving us a third three-game series for the day.

Still the command Nigma showed in game two was nothing compared to the bloodbath they delivered in game three.

In our third and final game of the day, we saw Nigma wipe the floor with Gambit. They eviscerated the CIS team at almost every turn, and while Gambit put up an admirable fight, there really was no stopping the Nigma train.

Miracle mopped up a massive 24-kills, his KDA was 24/2/19 at the end of this 42-minute game.

After a thrilling three games, Nigma were our lower bracket champions. They’ll face off against Geek Fam in our lower bracket final. While Gambit exit the tournament in fourth place.

The last of the action in Bukovel starts in just a few hours’ time, be sure to catch it all live on Twitch.

Image via WePlay!

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