Team Nigma and PSG.LGD favorites for the Singapore Major Wild Card

The much-awaited ONE Esports Singapore Major 2021 is finally kicking off the first Dota 2 LAN event. The first stop is the Wild Card group stage, where six teams compete for the top two seeds, guranteeing them a slot in the later stages of the event.

What makes it exciting is that this is the first time most teams are playing against foreign opponents in a long while, and LAN play is definitely going to change the strength curve for many. Perhaps we can finally stop pondering about which region is the strongest of them all.

Here’s our breakdown of the main favorites to move on to the next stage and the reasoning behind it.

Nigma Singapore Major Wild Card

Nigma, TI Champions and all around tough guys

From champions to TI finalists, it’s undeniable that the wild card is stacked with formidable competitors! Most notably, Nigma comes to mind when we are talking about absolute favorites. Led by captain Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi, Nigma still loves roleplaying as dark horses in tournaments.

It won’t be a surprise if we see Nigma at the grand finals however. What sets them apart is years’ worth of matches this roster has played together. They are also no strangers to big stage play and there is almost no chance they can be fazed by an opponent.

The most important aspect in the Wild Card stage is the Bo2 format. Nigma is a team that never just rolls over to an opponent. Even when outclassed they will pull out a win just to spite their opponent, and in this tournament format a draw is not that bad. In the end, they are the team most likely to advance out of Wild Cards once all matches are played.

The Chinese Overlords, PSG.LGD and Vici Gaming

Two teams, both absolute classics from the east. Of course, besides being International finalists themselves, PSG.LGD and Vici Gaming are nothing short of powerhouses in China. Chinese teams are known for their strict yet systematic executions, which contradict their more easy-going Western counterparts. We are confident one of these two teams is advancing forward we are just not sure which one can dominate a series better.

It wont be the head to head that determines their chances, but how they fare against international opponents. If it all came down to a head-2-head match, we give it to PSG every day of the week, but ViCi is more commanding in their wins then their Chinese counterpart. If it comes down to who wins more 2-0 series, it may be a tossup between the two.

On a different note, we do anticipate a strong showing from all the Chinese teams, especially after the great Chinese Roster Shuffle. It most certainly will be a gruesome clash for the top two spots. To think both these teams are “mere” Wild Card teams gave us chills about how monstrous Invictus Gaming and Team Aster are.

Are they really underdogs?

There will always be an underdog in Esports betting, and in the wild cards, it spells AS Monaco Gambit. While their CIS brethren have been performing phenomenally, Gambit just doesn’t look great either comparatively or on paper. Well, sure, there are several seasoned CIS players on board, such as Vladimir “No[o]ne” Minenko and Akbar “SoNNeikO” Butaev. But they just pale in comparison to what their European and Chinese rivals have to offer.

Hailing also from the European scene, Team Liquid is another exceptional underdog proven from time to time that they can deliver. Their most recent achievement was the ESL One Germany 2020, where they overthrew the favorites. They are definitely another reliable options in Dota 2 betting, especially when their odds will be miss-matched.

Lastly, T1 from the SE Asia group, is the ultimate dark horse here. Just days after narrowly qualifying, they replaced their carry player, Souliya “JaCkky” Khoomphetsavong, for the prodigy, Nuengnara “23savage” Teeramahanon. The decision was controversial among T1 followers, and Pizza parties aside, they hopefully have a solid performance to show for. In most scenarios, we should just consider T1 as a spoiler team that might ruin the chances of a favorite to move forward with a simple 1-1 series.

The Singapore Major Wild Card phase will be the first showcase of how each region stacks up against one another. While we expect teams with abundant big stage experience to go forward, there is always the chance underdogs throw everything out of whack from the get go.

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