Fnatic Dota 2

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The group stage saw several favorites falter.

After three days of competition, the seeding for Dota 2’s the International 6 (TI6) playoffs has been finalized. With everything on the line, the question now is if several of the fan favorites will be able to survive the stacked lower bracket.

The outcome of the group stage was far from what was initially expected, as several dark horses made their way into the upper bracket while favorites fell far behind.

Group A saw the recent StarSeries champions Natus Vincere (Na`Vi) place amongst the bottom four teams in the group, meaning the Ukrainian fan favorites now have to fight for their tournament lives in the lower bracket.

Similarly, Group B saw Manila Major finalists Team Liquid narrowly avoid a last-place finish in the standings. But while Group A only saw one of the favorites fall short of a spot in the upper bracket, Group B saw several favorites such as Fnatic and Team Secret fall into the lower half of the group.

Group B was eventually topped by two big surprises: Chinese Wild Card winners EHOME and dark horse Digital Chaos. In the case of EHOME, this comes as a major surprise given the team’s less than stellar performances throughout 2016. But after a solid performance in the Wild Card event against Execration and Escape Gaming, EHOME appears to have turned their fortunes around as they enter the playoffs as the highest seed from Group B.

Likewise,  Digital Chaos’ run comes as a huge surprise. Despite the team’s individually-skilled roster, the European squad has had little to show for itself in terms of results. At TI6 none of the issues that plagued Digital Chaos in the past seem to be present, as the team’s victories against Newbee, Fnatic, Team Secret, and Team Liquid put them in second place in the group.

Finally, the top of Group B was rounded out by Newbee and the South Korean MVP Phoenix roster.

Aside from the group stage’s surprises, the upper bracket consists of several teams that were anticipated to make a deep run in the soon-to-be $20 million event. Reigning world champions OG advanced as the top team of Group A, followed by Evil Geniuses, Wings Gaming, and Alliance.

The playoffs begin tomorrow, and it’s safe to say that no matter the outcome we will see at least two fan favorites exit the International 6 in last place.

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