EPIC League Division 1 is about to enter its Playoffs Stage. Only 7 of the initial 10 teams are left in the race and they will be competing for a prize pool of $500,000. I say 7 instead of 8 because Just Error did not survive the Play-In Stage. I’ll explain why in a moment.
EPIC League Division 1 Group Stage Results
EPIC League Division 1 had a Group Stage full of surprises. But in the end, most of the favorites survived and even advanced to the Upper Bracket of the Playoffs. The complete results were the following:
- 1st: Virtus.pro: 7 W – 2 L
- 2nd: Vikin.gg: 6 W – 3 L
- 3rd: Natus Vincere: 6 W – 3 L
- 4th: Team Secret: 5 W – 4 L
- 5th: Team Nigma: 5 W – 4 L
- 6th: Team Liquid: 5 W – 4 L
- 7th: OG: 5 W – 4 L
- 8th: Just Error: 2 W – 7 L
- 9th: Alliance: 2 W – 7 L
- 10th: mudgolems: 2 W – 7 L
Team Secret had to win a big tiebreaker in order to qualify for the Upper Bracket. At the other end of the spectrum, Just Error had to win its tiebreaker against Alliance and mudgolems to qualify for the Play-In Stage. But unfortunately for them, they encountered Yellow Submarine in that competition and got eliminated.
Play-In Stage Results
The Play-In Stage took place between the 5th – 8th place teams of EPIC League Division 1 (Group Stage) and the 1st – 4th place teams of EPIC League Division 2 (Group Stage). The competition only had 4 matches. Each of the teams from the first division had to play one match against an opponent from the second division, and all of the division 1 teams won their match, with the exception of Just Error.
SumaiL’s squad somehow managed to lose with a score of 0 – 2 against a much weaker opponent. Team Nigma, Team Liquid, and OG won with an identical score against Gambi, Spider Pigz, and Live to Win respectively.
Playoffs Matches and Teams
The Playoffs Stage of EPIC League Division 1 is scheduled to take place between December 8th – 13th. A total of 8 teams are competing in it and the double-elimination format will almost certainly guarantee that the best team wins. The 4 initial matches will be the following:
Virtus.pro – Team Secret (Upper Bracket)
Virtus.pro already defeated Team Secret in the Group Stage of EPIC League Division 1. On top of that, they also won this stage with 7 wins and 2 losses. However, Puppey and his team are known to be extremely good at adapting to their opponent’s playstyle and have tremendous versatility in their drafts. Because of that, my intuition tells me that Secret has been studying Virtus.pro for the past several days and will almost certainly go into the match fully prepared to succeed.
Vikin.gg – Natus Vincere (Upper Bracket)
As good as they were during the Group Stage, Vikin.gg still lost against Na’Vi with a score of 1 – 2. Based on this fact, as well as the one that Na’Vi won some very important matches so far (against Secret and other top opponents), I think that RodjER and his crew will win this match. In any case, their odds are looking great right now.
Team Nigma – Team Liquid (Lower Bracket)
At the time of this writing, Team Nigma is fighting for survival against Team Liquid and the score is 1 – 1. It’s hard to say who will win the match, but Nigma is the favorite on paper. KuroKy’s team finished the Group Stage with 5 wins and 4 losses. Liquid had the same result, but in the tiebreaker they lost to Nigma. However, the Group Stage match ended with a 2 – 1 result in favor of Liquid.
The reason why this match is so important, besides the fact that it’s an elimination match, has to do with KuroKy’s past. He won his first Aegis of Champions in 2017, while playing for Team Liquid, and he continued to play for the organization until he created his own in 2019. There wasn’t any bad blood or anything, but it’s always an intense moment when you encounter your former team.
OG – Yellow Submarine (Lower Bracket)
Unless something goes terribly wrong, OG should easily win this match - it is practically taking place between a division 1 team and a division 2 team. The skill difference is so astronomical that YS cannot win unless OG is completely out of shape.
Yellow Submarine won its Play-In match against Just Error, a team that got crushed by OG at this event in two quick games (19 and 28 minutes). But let’s not forget that OG won the last two editions of The International, as well as its direct match against Team Secret at EPIC League Division 1. Because of this, I do not expect them to lose.