STEAK GAMING* had already started their campaign in the $200,000 WePlay Season 3, winning their match against Wombat Gaming* but losing to Team Liquid and London Conspiracy*. In our joinDOTA poll STEAK Gaming were the second favourites to qualify for the next stage behind Team Liquid, but according to WePlay's announcement on the subject: "Steak Gaming has withdrawn from our tournament due to the friction between players".
However, it may not be so clear cut based off of Ioannis 'Fogged' Loucas's response on Twitter. Another possible cause for the withdrawal is the loss of Elias 'Sealkid' Merta, who tweeted last week that he would take a break from gaming.
I will take a break from gaming, to see what the future holds.— Elias Merta (@Sealkid1) January 29, 2016
Regardless of the motives, Steak Gaming has been replaced by Pajero Esports*. What is more, the organisers have decided to let the replacement inherit the score of their predecessor, meaning PRIES start off in 4th place ahead of Mamas Boys*.
Elsewhere two teams unfortunately disbanded, Walrus Punch* and No Logic Gaming*, the former of which will be replaced by HellRaisers who also inherit WP's 0-2 score thus far. NLG's results on the other hand will be nullified.
Plenty of action to come with double-round robin
The groupstage is well underway and Team Liquid completed all their first set of games with a perfect score: 7 wins out of 7. Liquid were the firm favourites to win the group, winning 86.2% of votes in our joinDOTA poll last month.
The groupstages are double-round robin, which means there is still another whole round of competition before the LAN final participant is decided. Other teams to start well are London Conspiracy* as well as their former roster who are playing under the name Ad Finem.