Galaxy Battles II Tournament Preview & Exclusive Tips
Galaxy Battles II is an upcoming Dota 2 tournament scheduled to take place between January 19 and January 21. The competition is organized by Fallout Gaming and Purpose Win, features a $500.000 prize pool and will be held in Ciudad de Victoria at the Philippine Arena, which has a seating capacity of around 52.000.
Galaxy Battles II brings together 8 teams from 6 different regions:
- Europe: OG.
- North America: Evil Geniuses.
- China: VGJ.Thunder.
- CIS: Team Spirit.
- South America: paiN Gaming, Infamous.
- Southeast Asia: TNC Pro Team, Wild Card Winner (Skyville or PG.Barracx).
The competition will be played in 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 4 upper bracket matches of the tournament will be the following:
TNC Pro Team vs Team Spirit
TNC are a slightly better team, so I would put the odds at 60/40 in their favor.
Infamous vs VGJ.Thunder
The Chinese (VGJ.Thunder) should win this one with relative ease. The skill difference between China and South America is simply too big at this point.
Evil Geniuses vs Wild Card Winner
No matter who wins the Wild Card, Evil Geniuses will absolutely dominate this match.
OG vs paiN Gaming
OG are a much better team than paiN Gaming and should be able to win this match, even though some level of opposition will certainly exist.
After struggling for the first few months of the new competitive season, OG finally had their breakout moment at MDL Macau, winning the competition and getting some much needed qualification points for the next TI.
At their next two Dota Pro Circuit LAN events (DOTA Summit 8 and Captains Draft 4.0) OG performed pretty well and finished 3rd-4th.
Given that most of their competitors at Galaxy Battles II are not stronger than them (at least on paper), OG should be able to get a top 3-4 finish again.
Keep in mind that OG will be playing this tournament with two stand-ins: Sébastien “7ckngMad” Debs (OG’s coach) will replace Johan “N0tail” Sundstein in the midlane while Maurice “KheZu” Gutmann will replace Gustav “s4” Magnusson in the offlane.
They are for sure the most interesting team to watch going into this LAN event, simply because of the massive staff and roster changes they recently went through. The team’s coach is now Kanishka “BuLba” Sosale and the roster is looking highly unusual compared to the classic EG. Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora left the team, Rasmus “MISERY” Filipsen joined as the new captain and position 5 support, Sumail “Sumail” Hassan moved from midlane to offlane, and Clinton “Fear” Loomis is now playing mid/carry, along with Artour “Arteezy” Babaev (they often swap roles, depending on the match and hero picks).
EG’s level of 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 right away. However, they looked very 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 OG and TNC Pro Team. If they manage to defeat even one of them, they should be able to make it to the Grand Finals.
They’re South American team with a newly formed roster and this is their second important tournament at international level. In principle, given their lack of experience and the value difference between their region and the rest of the world, they shouldn’t stand a chance against most of the other teams present at Galaxy Battles II.
The only team they would be favorites against is the Wild Card Winner. They also have a chance against Team Spirit and Infamous should they encounter them, but that’s about it.
One important factor that could improve paiN Gaming’s chances against some of the teams present at this event is their stand-in player, Aliwi “w33” Omar. He is a world class midlaner, former Major winner (with Team Secret, in 2015) and TI finalist (with Digital Chaos, in 2016).
They’re a strong CIS team with some very good and experienced players, but they keep failing to qualify for Dota Pro Circuit LAN events. They always finish 2nd or 3rd in the regional qualifiers, which is rather unfortunate.
Going into Galaxy Battles II, Team Spirit have the potential to cause some serious upsets. These guys are frequently playing against opponents like Natus Vincere, Team Empire and Virtus.pro in their region, and they always come close to qualifying for big events. They surely are a pretty strong contender.
They’re another South American team with a newly formed roster. Only one of their former players has stayed with the organization, namely Christian “Accel” Cruz. Hence, the squad has very limited experience playing together.
In theory they’re better than the Wild Card Winner, slightly better than paiN Gaming and pretty much on par with Team Spirit. Everyone else will probably crush them at this event.
TNC Pro Team
TNC went through a rough time at the beginning of the 2017-2018 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 showing signs of a comeback to their former strength, qualifying multiple Dota Pro Circuit LAN events and winning China Top 2017.
TNC Pro Team are one of the strongest teams (top 3 for sure) at Galaxy Battles II, so they’re expected to get a good placement.
They’re a Chinese squad with several big names, including Liu “Sylar” Jiajun, a player who’s been 3 times in the top 3 at The International (in 2012, 2014 and 2015).
VGJ.Thunder got to this tournament by defeating several Chinese giants (Ehome, Invictus Gaming and LGD Gaming) and winning their regional qualifier. They are for sure a team to watch out for going into this tournament.
Wild Card Winner (Skyville or PG.Barracx)
Both teams are completely unknown and lightyears away from the other participants in terms of strength. Surely, the Wild Card Winner will not be much of a challenge for anyone at Galaxy Battles II.