After 40 group stage games across five teams, the first Dota 2 conference of the 2019 The Nationals is now heading into its playoff as the top three teams will be fighting for the title on Sunday at the Gariath Concepts in Eastwood City, Libis.
The three playoff-bound teams are the Cignal Ultra Warriors, who finished with the best record at 13-3, followed by PLDT-Smart Omega at 11-5, and the Suha-XCTN Punishers with an 8-8 card.
Cignal gets the top seeding and heads directly into the best-of-five grand finals at 3 p.m., while second seed PLDT-Smart plays No. 3 Suha-XCTN in the best-of-three playoff showdown starting at 10 a.m.
The total pot money for this conference is P700, 000, with the inaugural champion taking home P400, 000.
Eliminated in the playoff stage of The Nationals are two teams with the youngest players, the Happy Feet Emperors (5-11) and the Bren Epro (3-13).
The Warriors clinched the top seed when they secured a 2-0 win against Epro during their last group stage match-up last Tuesday. Their tempo is currently the best in the league, finishing games in an average of 31 minutes.
Their carry, Nando, also leads the league in last hits and GPM (gold per minute).
While they remain as the favorites, the Warriors’ potential finals opponent has shown that they pose a serious threat. Of Cignal Ultra’s three losses, one of those came against Omega and two against the Punishers.
Omega is one of the league’s most efficient teams and their coordination reflects in the stats sheet—as their cores Nasjo and Palos are currently first and second in KDA or kills-deaths-assists ratio. Their captain Ronn also leads the league in assists.
Meanwhile, the Punishers are living up true to their name as their carry Jamesy and Japoy are currently top two in kills per game.
The Nationals is the country’s premier esports league, with the contested Dota 2 right now just one of the three games on spotlight in the competition’s first year.
The playoffs can be watched this Sunday starting 9:30 a.m. through livestreaming at FB.com/PHNationals. It will also be in 5Plus via TV5 starting at 10 a.m., as well as in OneSports and EGG Network via CignalTV starting 3 p.m.