The Gigabyte Dota 2 Masters tournament that started on April 30th, 2012, has finally entered the playoff phase. The tournament first started with 24 different teams from different South East Asian countries along with several from Chinese regions. The 24 teams were split into four groups of six at the start and each team played each other once in the group stage. The top two teams of each group qualified to the playoff stage. The third and fourth placed teams enter a separate bracket (or the losers bracket) where they will face each other similar to the playoff stage but with five rounds instead of the three. At the conclusion, the finalists from both brackets will face one another as the grand finale.
There were three teams that went undefeated in the preliminary stage: Team EHOME of China, Team Ice of Malaysia and Team Zenith of Singapore. The three teams already have big expectations for what lies ahead of them. If they are to face each other in the playoff rounds, there will definitely be a lot of hype in the match-up. Zenith is the crowd favorite and most expected to win, as they have been dominating teams in the preliminary stage even without the likes of their superstar player Jonathan "Loda" Berg. They have been beating numerous opponents left and right and have even been invited to The International recently.
They have proved themselves after defeating countless power house teams in recent history such as EHOME and DK from China. EHOME were undefeated in their past eleven pro Dota 2 matches until Zenith beat them in the ProDota 2 League. Some may speculate that it was the addition of Loda that helped Zenith a great amount and now that he's not available, anything can happen. Although Team Zenith is the heavy favorite to win the tournament, there are teams such as Tongfu and WE, also from China. They have upset strong opponents in the past and Zenith did struggle against WE in the preliminary stage. Another team worth a mention is LGD of China. They've also been invited to The International, being the fourth team from China to be part of the upcoming tournament. They made a name for themselves after defeating the Australian force, Team Absolute Legends. As we can see, the Chinese teams are a force to be reckoned with and will surely bring much hype to this tournament.
There are a total of 7 teams in this playoff event that have been invited to The International. This definitely means that we will be seeing some world class skill and performance in this tournament playoff round. Only time will tell for now on what will happen but be sure to keep a close eye on these teams as they will make it an eventful tournament as the playoffs start to heat up. The winner of this tournament will surely make a big name for themselves and possibly get an invitation of the couple slots that remain for The International. May the best team win and good luck to them all!