The Manila Major Day 1 Groupstage Recap – Na’Vi’s comeback and a game of sweeps.
An action packed day 1 wrapped up Groups A and B for the Manila Major as multiple sweeps and old titans reclaim top seeds for the Main Event spots.
Group A – Newbee’s Dominance
Group A was a contest between Newbee and OG as both teams seamlessly ravaged through their opponents, compLexity Gaming and Team Empire respectively. While the first round was a breeze for the Chinese stars and the European powerhouse, both winning their matches 2-0, the real showdown began when Newbee and OG faced each other in the Winner’s match to determine the first seeded team for the main event. Although they were expected to be the better performing team, OG fell pretty easily to Newbee as the latter exercised discipline and dominance for a 2-0 sweep, with an average kill score of 33.5-12.
On the lower bracket Empire managed to pull off a sweep for themselves, defeating compLexity and sending them to the lower bracket while the former is off to face OG to determine their final seeding. As valiant as they were though, an Empire will fall on day 1 and OG will survive the seed struggle and will earn themselves a seed for the Main Event’s Upper Bracket.
Group B – Na’Vi’s Return
Group managed to lived up to its expectation of being the most action packed bracket of the Manila Major Group Stage, but not without some great surprises, particularly from Na’Vi. The first round between the power group Team Secret and Natus Vincere proved to be an easy one for the Ukrainians as the boys in yellow utterly destroyed Puppey‘s squad and be the first waiting team in the Winner’s match for Group B. Digital Chaos on the other hand underwent a close brawl with Wings Gaming but managed to push through with a 2-1 victory to face Na’Vi.
But perhaps the highlight game of the day belongs to Na’Vi versus Digital Chaos game number 2 of the Winner’s Match as the 90-minute skirmish featured highlight plays from both teams, such as w33‘s Invoker, Resolut1on‘s Faceless Void, Dendi‘s Tinker and even Sonneiko‘s Phoenix. The highstakes matchup felt like a new “El Clasico” if only it happened in the finals, with both teams not wanting to give up the throne. While DC managed to build up an early lead for Game 2, Na’Vi held on patiently distributing every bit of farm to Dendi, Ditya Ra and GeneraL and carefully picking their late game fights.
Digital Chaos will finally concede at the 90-minute mark after a sudden base race ensued with Na’Vi‘s multiple TPs inside DC‘s exposed ancient. The lower bracket for group B featured team Secret against a familiar opponent, Wings Gaming, with EternalEnvy and co looking to comeback from their slump after the series was tied on Game 2, Wings, however proved why they became the ESL One Manila 2016 Champions, giving Secret a run for their money in a very tight game 3 win. Wings then proceeded to face Digital Chaos for the final Upper Bracket seed but the latter proved to be a tough one for the former as DC breezed their way to a 2-0 win against Wings. While many were execting the faceoff between former teammates, w33 and MiSeRy against Puppey and Secret, and the fated encounter will have to wait.