Team Nigma's first slip-up all week turned out to be a costly one.
Entering the day unbeaten at the ESL One Birmingham Online's Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States tournament, Nigma lost to Team Secret 2-0 on Sunday, the final day of group play. The result put Nigma and Secret into a first-place tie atop Group A at 6-1, and because of the head-to-head tiebreaker, Secret got the top seed in the group.
Nigma still advance to the upper bracket of the playoffs, but will face Group B winner VP.Prodigy in the opening round. V.P. Prodigy (6-1) began the day in first place and a game ahead of Alliance, and clinched the top spot when they beat Ninjas in Pyjamas 2-1. Alliance also won, beating OG 2-1 to clinch second place and book a spot in the upper bracket against Secret.
The loss to V.P. Prodigy cost NiP a spot in the playoffs, as NiP, FlyToMoon, HellRaisers and Cyber Legacy all finished Group B tied at 4-3. Through a series of tiebreakers, HellRaisers and FTM meet to open lower-bracket play Tuesday, FTM plays Group A third-place finisher Vikin.gg and HellRaisers take on Team Liquid.
ESL One Birmingham, a $300,000 Dota 2 major, had been scheduled for this week in Birmingham, England, before plans were changed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The tournament was separated into four online regional competitions: Europe/Commonwealth of Independent States, North America/South America, China and Southeast Asia.
The $40,000, six-team Southeast Asia event concluded Sunday with Fnatic winning the championship. The other three divisions -- Europe/CIS (16 teams, $200,000), the Americas (six teams, $40,000) and China (eight teams, $55,000) -- will conclude June 7.
The Europe/CIS event features two eight-team groups for round-robin play in best-of-three matches. The top two teams in each group advanced to the upper bracket of the double-elimination playoffs, and the third- and fourth-place teams earned spots in the lower bracket. The bottom four teams in each group saw their tournament end Sunday.
All playoff matches will be best-of-three until the best-of-five final.
On Sunday, Secret beat Nigma in 23 and 36 minutes for a relatively easy sweep. Vikin.gg beat Family Team 2-1, losing in 27 minutes before winning in 28 and 32 minutes. Team Liquid booked Group A's final playoff spot with a 2-1 win over Natus Vincere, sandwiching 34- and 35-minute wins around a 61-minute win by Natus.
V.P. Prodigy lost the first map to NiP in 31 minutes, but won the next two maps in 47 and 34 minutes. Alliance needed only 78 total minutes to sweep OG. HellRaisers swept Winstrike Team in 46 minutes and FTM swept Cyber Legacy in 69 minutes to get into the tie that ultimately got them into the playoffs. In Sunday's lone other match, Team Unique swept Gambit Esports in 81 minutes.
Tuesday's lower-bracket opening-round matches
--Vikin.gg vs. FlyToMoon
--HellRaisers vs. Team Liquid
Wednesday's upper-bracket opening-round matches
--Team Secret vs. Alliance
--VP.Prodigy vs. Team Nigma
Final ESL One Birmingham 2020 -- Online: Europe and CIS group standings (map W-L in parentheses)
1. Team Secret, 6-1 (12-2)
2. Team Nigma, 6-1 (12-6)
3. Vikin.gg, 4-3 (10-7)
4. Team Liquid, 4-3 (9-7)
5. Natus Vincere, 3-4 (7-10)
6. Team Unique, 3-4 (6-9)
7. Family Team (formerly Aggressive Mode), 2-5 (7-10)
8. Gambit Esports, 0-7 (2-14)
1. VP.Prodigy, 6-1 (12-5)
2. Alliance, 5-2 (12-5)
3. HellRaisers, 4-3 (8-8)
4. FlyToMoon, 4-3 (10-8)
5. Cyber Legacy, 4-3 (10-10)
6. Ninjas in Pyjamas, 4-3 (11-7)
7. OG, 1-6 (5-13)
8. Winstrike Team, 0-7 (2-14)
--Field Level Media