Galaxy Battles II: Emerging Worlds is an important Dota 2 competition scheduled to take place between January 19-21. The tournament is organized by Purpose Win and Fallout Gaming, features a $500,000 prize pool and will be held in Ciudad de Victoria at the Philippine Arena (seating capacity: 52,000).
Galaxy Battles II brings together 8 teams from 6 different regions:
- China: VGJ.Thunder
- CIS: Team Spirit
- Europe: OG
- North America: Evil Geniuses
- Southeast Asia: TNC Pro Team, PG.Barracx
- South America: paiN Gaming, Infamous.
The competition has a double elimination bracket format. Initially, all of the teams will start in the upper bracket. Lower bracket matches are Bo1s. Upper bracket matches are Bo3s. The Grand Finals will be a Bo5 match between the lower and upper bracket winners.
The first four upper bracket matches of the tournament are the following:
PG.Barracx vs Evil Geniuses
Evil Geniuses will absolutely dominate this match. Anything other than a 2-0 result in their favor would be a huge surprise.
Team Spirit vs TNC Pro Team
TNC is a slightly better team, so I would put the odds at 55/45 in their favor.
OG vs paiN Gaming
OG is much stronger than paiN Gaming and should be able to win this match, even though it will likely be more disputed than most people imagine.
VGJ.Thunder vs Infamous
VGJ.Thunder should win this encounter with relative ease. The skill difference between the Chinese and South American region is huge right now.
Analysis of the Teams
They are for sure a very interesting team to watch going into this LAN event, simply because of the massive transformation they recently went through. The team’s new coach is Kanishka “BuLba” Sosale and the roster is looking highly unusual compared to the old EG. Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora left the team and was signed by Fnatic, Rasmus “MISERY” Filipsen joined as the new captain, Sumail “Sumail” Hassan moved from midlane to offlane, and Clinton “Fear” Loomis is now playing carry/mid, along with Artour “Arteezy” Babaev (they frequently swap roles, depending on the opponent and draft).
EG’s strength is still a bit uncertain at the moment, not only because of the changes mentioned above, but also because of their inconsistent results throughout the season.
With this new roster, EG lost their first match of the Playoffs at Captains Draft 4.0 (score 1-2 against Team Secret) and were eliminated from the competition very quickly. However, they looked strong and displayed great teamwork throughout that tournament, both during the Group Stage as well as in the Playoffs match versus Team Secret.
Going into Galaxy Battles II, Evil Geniuses should definitely get a top 3 finish. Their two main rivals at this tournament are TNC Pro Team and OG.
They are the Wild Card winner but they’re completely unknown and light years away from the other participants in terms of strength. So I don’t expect them to be much of a challenge for anyone at Galaxy Battles II.
They’re a good CIS team with some very experienced players, but they keep failing to qualify for LAN events. They always finish 2nd or 3rd in the regional qualifiers, which is rather unlucky.
Going into Galaxy Battles II: Emerging Worlds, Team Spirit have the potential to cause some serious upsets. In the CIS region, they often have to play against opponents like Team Empire, Natus Vincere and Virtus.pro, and they always come close to qualifying for big tournaments. So they surely are pretty strong.
TNC Pro Team
TNC went through a lot of difficulties at the start of this new competitive season, failing to qualify for Dota Pro Circuit tournaments and being constantly bested by their regional opponents from Mineski, HappyFeet and Fnatic.
More recently however, TNC started to show signs of coming back to their former strength, qualifying multiple Dota Pro Circuit LAN events and winning China Top 2017.
TNC Pro Team are expected to get a top 4 finish at Galaxy Battles II: Emerging Worlds.
After months of struggle in the new competitive season, OG finally had their breakout moment at MDL Macau, winning the tournament and getting some well-deserved qualification points for the next TI.
At their next Dota Pro Circuit LAN events (DOTA Summit 8 and Captains Draft 4.0) OG had a decent performance and finished 3rd-4th.
Given the level of competition at Galaxy Battles II: Emerging Worlds, OG are tournament favorites together with Evil Geniuses.
An important thing to take note of is that OG will be playing this tournament with two stand-ins: Maurice “KheZu” Gutmann will replace Gustav “s4” Magnusson in the offlane while Sébastien “7ckngMad” Debs (OG’s coach) will replace Johan “N0tail” Sundstein in the midlane.
They’re a South American team with a newly formed roster and Galaxy Battles II: Emerging Worlds is the second important LAN event they’re participating in at the international level. They’re without a doubt one of the underdogs at this event, simply because of their lack of experience and the strength gap between the South American region and the rest of the world.
The only team they would be favorites against is PG.Barracx. They also have a reasonable chance of winning against Team Spirit and Infamous should they encounter them, but that’s about it.
Just like OG, paiN Gaming will be playing this tournament with a stand-in. This could improve their chances against some of the teams, given that the stand-in player is none other than Aliwi “w33” Omar, a world class midlaner, former Major winner (with Team Secret) and TI 6 finalist (with Digital Chaos).
This is the second South American team present at this tournament and they too have a newly formed roster. Only one of their former players has stayed with the organization, namely Christian “Accel” Cruz. So the squad’s playing experience is very limited.
On paper, they’re better than PG.Barracx and paiN Gaming, and pretty much on par with Team Spirit. Every other opponent will probably walk over them at this event.
They’re a Chinese team with some big names in it, including Liu “Sylar” Jiajun, a player who’s been 3 times on the podium at The International (in 2012, 2014 and 2015).
VGJ.Thunder got to this tournament by defeating several Chinese giants and winning their regional qualifier. They are for sure one of the stronger teams present at this event and should be able to get a top 4 finish.
Here are a few betting tips and tactics that you can use when betting on matches during the Galaxy Battles II: Emerging Worlds tournament:
- Keep in mind that for 2 of the participants (Team Spirit and PG.Barracx), this is their first important tournament of the 2017-2018 competitive season. So their strength relative to the other rosters is yet to be revealed. In principle, PG.Barracx will turn out to be a very weak team while Team Spirit will prove itself to be relatively strong, capable of getting a top 4 finish. But to avoid taking big risks, watch at least one of their games before deciding whether to bet on or against them.
- Try not to bet on a game until you’ve seen the drafting phase. During this stage, a team will often outdraft the other and gain an important advantage. If you can’t figure out which team has the better hero composition, listen to what the analysts are saying and look for signals that one team clearly has a better draft than the other. The ideal scenario you’re looking for is one in which the better team also has the better draft. In such a case, you should bet on the result of the particular game you are watching.
- If you want to bet on the result of a match in which one team is much stronger than the other, you can get improved betting odds by betting on a game event that is consistent with the result of the match. For example, betting that team 1 (if it’s significantly stronger than team 2) will be the one to destroy the first set of barracks is a game event consistent with a victory in its favor. But the odds of this event will be significantly higher than the ones associated with a victory for team 1.
- Look for drafting strategies that revolve around securing the first Roshan and putting early game pressure on the enemy team’s structures. In these scenarios, the team that goes for the early push draft will often be the one to kill the first Roshan. Especially if it’s also the stronger team.
- If you happen to place a bet on a top team who is playing against a much weaker opponent and the match starts to go heavily in their opponents’ favor, you can often cancel out the bet by betting enough money on the opposing team during the match, while it still has good enough odds to allow you to do this. Make sure however that when you place this second bet, the stronger team doesn’t have a line-up that could easily come back from the brink of defeat and win the game.