Two Underdogs Reach The Upper Bracket Semi Finals
It would be crazy to think that Tundra Esports could take down the TI10 champions in the first round of the playoffs, but against the dota odds, they managed to do it. And the same goes for Thunder Awaken, the Latin American underdogs who defeated BetBoom, one of the favorite teams of the tournament that qualified as Eastern Europe’s 1st seed.
This major has given us so many unexpected results, and as Kyle Freedman mentioned on twitter: “This is the first Valve Event in history when the Upper Bracket Semifinals does NOT include EG, Secret, OG, or Liquid. That means it’s also the first time in Major History without a Puppey, Kuroky, Notail, or RTZ in the Upper Bracket Semifinals”.
The first Dota 2 major of the 2022 season already delivered a lot of action and we’re not even halfway through. Another factor that makes this series much more important for both these teams is that whoever wins will be one series away from getting a spot in the grand finals, which means they’ll get to play in front of a huge crowd at the Hovet Arena in Stockholm on May 22.
Tundra Esports Took Down the TI10 Champions Against All The Expectations
The team captained by North American 27-year-old support player Wu “Sneyking” Jingjun is definitely the team to keep your eyes on, not only because they managed to upset their series in the first round of the playoffs against Team Spit, but because their way of playing Dota is so refreshing to see, and many dota betting experts agree with this.
Tundra Esports shapes the map to their favor, where we often see 33, Saksa, and Nine completely take over the field very early on in the game. They made Team Spirit look like a low-tier team during the first game of the series, after 33 on Lycan and Saksa on Snapfire just rolled over Yatoro during the first 10 minutes of the game, and all happened on the off-lane.
The European team is playing in a very aggressive way, and while sometimes it doesn’t work in their favor, it certainly did in their games versus Team Spirit. In the third game, Sneyking’s Bane and 33’s BM secured so many kills for the Tundra lineup that it was virtually impossible for Team Spirit to come back into the game, especially because Skiter also was huge on Chaos Knight before even the 20-minute mark arrived.
Now, not everything is perfect when it comes to Tundra’s execution and this was made obvious in game 2 where after a couple of failed teamfights, Tundra couldn’t slow down Team Spirit as they rolled over their base. Tundra Esports relies on getting early leads to execute their famous unexpected dives and aggressive plays, but if they don’t get an early lead, they play like their backs are against the ropes, even if in reality that’s not the case.
Thunder Awaken Might Be The Best Latin American Representative We Have Ever Seen
After the off-laner Oscar left the team in February, a lot of TA’s fans were concerned because not many good off-laners were available in the Latin American market, but Thunder Awaken already had a plan in mind. The 21-year-old off-laner Rafael “Sacred” Hinostroza Yonatan left Infamous in order to join what might now look like the Peruvian superteam, and he made the right choice.
Before coming into the Stockholm Major, Thunder Awaken only lost 1 out of their last 19 matches they played with Sacred, this shows just how dominating this Thunder Awaken roster is in the American scene, yes, the entire American scene, not just South American.
During the BTS Pro Series Season 10: Americas they only dropped 1 series against Hokori, but after that, they completely dismantled the competition as they rolled over the playoffs where they claimed revenge versus Hokori and took down 4 Zoomers in the grand finals.
Thunder Awaken is on its way to make history for Latin America as they are currently looking like a very strong contender for the ESL One Stockholm major title. If they reach the upper bracket finals, it will be the farthest we’ve ever seen this lineup go in a tournament of this caliber, so winning this series is of much importance for them.
Tundra Esports vs Thunder Awaken Game Information
- Date: Wednesday, May 18
- Time: 9:35am ET
- Live Stream: ESL_DOTA2 – Twitch
Take a Look at the Other 2 Picks for This Week’s DOTA 2 Matchups
- Evil Geniuses vs Beastcoast Preview, Live Stream, Odds, Picks & Predictions
- TSM vs Gaimin Gladiators Preview, Live Stream, Odds, Picks & Predictions
Tundra Esports vs Thunder Awaken Predictions
While both teams are trying to make history for their organization, Thunder Awaken is trying to make history for their entire region. What’s so interesting about the Thunder Awaken lineup is that everyone except for Matthew, haven’t appeared on the TI stage ever, yet they’re here playing under so much pressure and still manage to perform over the expectations.
Tundra Esports on the other hand, is quite the opposite, some of the players in their roster that have multiple TI appearances under their belt, and they also have Aui as their coach, who is the TI5 champion and has conquered multiple tier 1 tournaments. Veterancy is their main advantage against Thunder Awaken, but will it be enough to take down the lineup that is carrying all of Latin America’s hope?
I think it will all depend on the way that Thunder Awaken prepares for this matchup. The draft was a huge deal for them in their series against BetBoom because they relied on DarkMago having an advantageous matchup in the mid lane. If they manage to put Nine in an uncomfortable position, they might have a realistic chance to upset many esports picks. Looking at the big picture, I think it’s safe to say that Thunder Awaken will take one game in this series, but other than that, it’s hard to tell which team will come better prepared.