The opening period of the first game was a tightly-contested affair, showing no indication of what was to come. It was 17-16 in favour of Gambit and the net worth lead was negligible as the game approached the 20-minute mark.
However, Keen would pick up just three kills afterwards as Nikita 'daxak' Kuzmin put in another outstanding performance, this time on Meepo. Despite a perfect KDA, Keen’s Zhai 'Ying' Jingkai couldn’t pull his side back into it and the CIS representatives sealed the win.
Daxak's Meepo stole the show! @gambitesports vs @Keen_GamingCN 1-0!— PGL (@pglesports) January 9, 2019
YouTube: https://t.co/oL0TOe7U8mhttps://t.co/kphGuy1NA4: https://t.co/FSFAcy6ajV#pgldota2 #BucharestMinor #esports pic.twitter.com/0FsoOJWKb3
If Keen were looking to get back into the match, Gambit were having none of it, and neither was daxak. His Anti-Mage put in a perfect-KDA performance alongside Andrey 'afoninje' Afonin’s strong Dragon Knight as the CIS side dominated the proceedings, building a lead almost from the start.
With nothing at all in the tank, it was just a matter of time before GG was called, just before the 29-minute mark, sealing a famous win for a side not fancied at all before the tournament began.
Gambit now move on to the Upper Bracket of the playoffs, while Keen Gaming face a decider — and with a rematch against Ninjas in Pyjamas predicted, they could well see themselves in the Lower Bracket come Friday.
One question raised is this: after such a strong opening day, could Gambit go on to win the entire event?
What do you think of Gambit’s victory?
Header image: PGL