The ESL One Stockholm Major group stage day 4 was a bloodbath—especially in Group B—but it’s finally done and dusted.

As we head into the playoffs, two teams have been officially eliminated: Evil Geniuses and Mind Games. The rest of the field are seeded accordingly into the playoffs, with all four upper bracket matchups set for tomorrow.

Stockholm Major group stage day final standings

Group A

1stTundra Esports11 — 15 — 1 — 0
2ndOG7 — 53 — 1 — 2
3rdBetBoom Team7 — 52 — 3 — 1
4thT16 — 62 — 2 — 2
5thBOOM Esports5 — 70 — 5 — 1
6thbeastcoast4 — 80 — 4 — 2
7thEvil Geniuses2 — 100 — 2 — 4

Group B

1stGaimin Gladiators8 — 43 — 2 — 1
2ndThunder Awaken7 — 52 — 3 — 1
3rdTSM7 — 52 — 3 — 1
4thTeam Spirit7 — 53 — 1 — 2
5thTeam Liquid7 — 53 — 1 — 2
6thFnatic6 — 62 — 2 — 2
DisqualifiedMind Games0 — 120 — 0 — 6

The Major’s two most surprising teams are meeting up in the playoffs

Thunder Awaken Dota 2 roster
Credit: Epulze Gaming

South American squad Thunder Awaken has evolved into a dark horse for championship contention. The team has looked utterly fearless no matter which team they’ve gone against, and plays a unique brand of aggression characterized by their love of position three Snapfire and mid Tiny.

The team finished second in Group B after destroying three teams in the tiebreakers—Team Spirit, Team Liquid, and TSM FTX. Many would have at least considered Liquid and Spirit to easily qualify for the upper bracket, but Thunder Awaken shook up those plans on the very first day.

Meanwhile, BetBoom team accomplished much of the same in Group A, ending third below Western Europe powerhouses Tundra Esports and OG. Much of their opponents’ attention will be focused on hard carry Nikita “Daxak” Kuzmin’s and his unique hero pool of Visage, Nature’s Prophet, and Necrophos.

The two teams will head into what might be the most unpredictable series to play out tomorrow, and will surely be a treat from two unorthodox teams that have so much to prove.

Evil Geniuses still has a ways to go

Evil Geniuses' Cr1t-, Arteezy, and Abed at The International 10 (TI10)
Credit: Valve

Evil Geniuses’ return to North American dominance felt like a turning point for the roster, but the team is clearly still lacking something on the international stage.

While NA rivals TSM FTX has looked great, even with a stand-in, EG has looked utterly toothless outside of their own region.

Despite the constant memes about EG’s draft rigidity, it’s something they’ve been trying to work around this tournament. Through the group stages, they are actually the team with the most unique heroes picked. And if there was a time to first-phase Storm Spirit, it’s at a time when the hero is in one of its most broken states thanks to Null Talismans, even after the nerfs.

It’s clear something needs to change, though it’s on the team to figure out what’s the right move going forward. EG of the past just couldn’t quite get over the hump to championship glory, but still counted amongst the best teams in the world. They’ve returned to the foot of the mountain now—and there’s a long climb ahead.

Best game of Stockholm Major group stage day 4: Team Spirit vs TSM FTX tiebreaker

In a massive bout of tiebreakers between four different teams in Group B for upper bracket seats, Team Spirit against TSM FTX stood out as a thriller in an already tense situation.

TSM’s drafted a non-traditional Dragon Knight hard carry and built around Leshrac, which seemed like a ticking time bomb against Illya “Yatoro” Mulyarchuk’s Anti-Mage. As the game dragged on, both teams went toe-to-toe in several fights, and TSM’s creative itemization helped them stave off the Anti-Mage threat repeatedly.

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