The WePlay Valentine Madness is an invitational online tournament with a $100,000 prize pool. Like the other events organized by the organization, this one is also focusing on EU and CIS regions.
The tournament has an exciting format. Twelve teams are placed in the Upper Bracket, whereas four other teams get a direct spot in the qualifiers. The exciting part is that the teams that lose in the first lower bracket round can play one additional game to save themselves. The organizers call this the “3 Game Guarantee System”.
Even though the name of the event is Valentine Madness, it actually finished today, not on Valentine’s Day. Most of the tier two EU and CIS teams are attending the event. There are some pretty exciting games going on, so let’s take a quick look at what happened.
On the first day of the tournament, we only saw three series. In the first one, The Final Tribe were unable to deal with Vega Squadron as the CIS team outplayed their opponent in both games. The second game was a little bit more challenging for Madara and Co., but in the end, they were victorious.
The second series was between The ReaL DeaL and Pavaga Gaming. As expected, this was a walk in the park for TRD as they ripped through their enemies in less than 30 minutes in both games. Sadly for them, their next opponent and the final game for the day was vs. Alliance. The TI 3 Champions were outclassing their enemies, and in the end, the inevitable happened.
After their win, Alliance was waiting for their next opponent, which turned out to be Na’Vi. As all know, this is one of the most hyped encounters in professional Dota.
On Day 2, Team Empire was able to snatch the victory of Winstrike Team with a quick 2-0. The next series was between The Pango and Old but Gold. This was the only match in the first rounds where we saw three games. They turned out to be a lot more interesting than I expected because there were many back-and-forth fights which made the game unpredictable. In the end, The Pango was able to take the series and moved further to meet their next opponent.
Of course, the most interesting game of the day was between Na’Vi and Vega Squadron. Those two teams have a lot of history together, especially in the last couple of years. As expected, Sonneiko and his team-mates were able to claim the victory.
The main attraction in the third day of the event was the game between Ninjas in Pyjamas and Team Empire. Game one was fairly even for the most part, but NiP was able to take it in. However, the second game of the series was an entirely different story. Empire was trying to quell the pace, but NiP was just constantly pushing in, and after only 17 minutes, GG was called. To make matters worse, Team Empire also lost their other match in the Losers’ Round 1 against TFT.
Apart from that, the other Bo1 matches also took place on this day.
On the day before Valentine’s day, we saw a total of four matches. The most interesting one out of all was between Ninjas in Pyjamas and Gambit Esports. NiP was able to take the victory and secured themselves a spot at the Winners’ Bracket Grand Final.
Team Empire and The Pango also dealt with their enemies and went head to head to determine which one of them will advance further in the event. These were by far two of the most interesting games in the entire tournament, full with epic fights, amazing comebacks, and non-stop action. In the end, The Pango were able to deliver their knock-out punch and sent Team Empire home.
As if everything was planned all along, the most anticipated game of the entire event took place on February 14. The “El Classico” of Dota 2 - Na’Vi vs. Alliance. This time, unlike TI 3, Na’Vi was the one that took the victory with a 2-1 score. As expected, all of the games in the series were extremely close as none of the teams was able to gain a clear advantage over the other.
After the loss, Alliance had to fight for their survival against Pavaga Gaming. As expected, the Swedish powerhouse had little to no trouble in dealing with their enemies.
On the penultimate day of the event, Ninjas in Pyjamas were able to get the first spot for the Grand Final. They won in the Winners’ Bracket Final against Na’Vi. Game one between them was delightful to watch because there was a lot of action from both sides. On the contrary, the second game was a one-sided show by NiP who just demolished their enemies.
Gambit Esports was able to deal with The Pango and Alliance, which gave them the opportunity to play against Na’Vi for the spot at the Grand Final.
The Final Day
In the first game between Na’Vi and Gambit, fng and his team picked Meepo, which turned out to be a poor choice. After winning the lanes as well as the early skirmishes, game one went in favor of the T1 champs.
With their backs against the wall, Gambit Esports went all in in the second game of the series and claimed the victory. The third game was a living hell for Na’Vi. After losing every lane, they were down 15k Net worth by the 20th-minute mark. Following their victory, Gambit met NiP in the Grand Final
The Big Match
The first two games were very fast paced and finished pretty quickly. In game one, Gambit completely snowballed out of control with their Visage. Seeing the strength of the fast push, NiP took a page out of Gambit’s book and picked a Lycan that demolished the enemy base in just 25 minutes.
When the dust settled, game three began. It was fairly even for the first ten minutes, but after that, it all went downhill for NiP. Ursa and Medusa were just too much to handle and having no hope, PPD and Co. called it in.
In the fourth game of the series, Gambit decided to try their Visage strat again. It seems like NiP has not learned their lesson as Gambit stomped them yet again. Not many people expected them to be the winners, but in the end, they succeeded and grabbed the $50,000 prize pool.