posted by Malystryx.GDS,
eu Team Secret and us Evil Geniuses both fell victims to the brutal bo1 format in the lower-bracket earlier today, making them two of the first four teams to leave the competition.
Arteezy's second term in Team Secret has been a difficult one so far

An early exit despite proven track record
The two teams both finished top 3 at both of the previous Majors. Evil Geniuses was 3rd at the Frankfurt Major and the Shanghai Major, whilst Team Secret finished 2nd in Frankfurt and 1st in Shanghai. However, the Manila Major for both teams has been a different beast entirely, especially as both teams have lost their fear factor following roster changes.

Neither team managed to place top two in the Manila Major groupstage and as a punishment joined the lower-bracket. The first round of the lower-bracket was a best-of-1, and as ee Clement 'Puppey' Ivanov said in the pre-match video, these kind of matches are anyone's game.

The Team Secret captain went on to explain in the video that he had not expected the new roster to face such a struggle to perform, but said that it was a puzzle he was going to put his time and energy into solving. Evil Geniuses were in a similar boat. The return of ca Kurtis 'Aui_2000' Ling to the team along with former coach and player us Sam 'Bulba' Sosale was met with skepticism, and the result here proves that much like Team Secret, there is still major work to be done to get the team back on track.

Evil Geniuses faced fellow direct invite Vici Gaming Reborn in the lower-bracket first round

Evil Geniuses lose in 8 minutes after leading for 33
For Evil Geniuses there was much to be happy about after taking the lead and being in the driving seat for the first 30 minutes of the game against cn Vici Gaming Reborn*. A double kill for us Clinton 'Fear' Loomis's Axe in the mid game got the crowd going and with Sumail's DP all over the towers, things were looking good.

Once the game went late though it was up to ca Kurtis 'Aui_2000' Ling to deliver who could not stand up to cn Yang 'NeverEnd' Pu's Lifestealer. In the space of 8 minutes Evil Geniuses lead dissapeared as did their hopes of reaching the next round. At 33 minutes after EG suffered a team wipe, the networth chart took a steady dive in favour of VG-R and it just kept on going. Evil Geniuses lost 4 towers and a barracks between the 33 minute mark and the end of the game eight minutes later.

Aui's choice of items on Juggernaut did not deliver the damage Evil Geniuses so desperately needed. The TI5 champion went for Diffusal Blade and Manta Style and decided not to go for Aghanim's Sceptre. With some nice Swaps and Force Staff combos to capture Sumail's Death Prophet, VG-R were able to eliminate Evil Geniuses biggest threat, leaving Aui's Juggernaut to content with an Eye of Skadi Dragon Knight and an Echo Sabre Basher Lifestealer.

A comparison between carries: Ramzes666 vs EternalEnvy

Team Secret eliminated by Regional Qualifier winner Empire
Team Secret and Empire's encounter was the final game of the day and it proved to be a quiet end to what was a jam packed day of Dota. Only 3 kills happened in the first 10 minutes and overall it was a rather uninspiring affair. In the 32 minute game Team Secret only took down one of Empire's tier 1 towers while the CIS team managed to down all of Secret's tier 1, tier 2 and tier 3 towers.

Team Secret's heroes were underfarmed and underlevelled, and allowing ru Yaroslav 'Miposhka' Naidenov's Riki to get a courier kill so early on in the game had not helped Arteezy at all in the mid lane. Both Arteezy an EternalEnvy were never given the space to try to solve the puzzle of how to share the farm between them, and Empire kept the tempo up which ultimately led to Secret's demise.

Surprisingly it was ru Vasily 'Afterlife' Shishkin's Sand King who did the most damage in the final game of the day, dishing out over 11,000 damage with some exquisite Epicenters. It was a curious draft by Empire that gave a little twist to the match, and the EU Regional Qualifier winners thoroughly deserved their victory.

Only 12 teams remain in the Manila Major
Following today's results only 12 teams are left. Secret, Evil Geniuses, my Mineski and cn Team Random* are now out of the competition. Tomorrow will see Alliance versus Navi on LAN, as well as the first round matches between Newbee and DC along with Fnatic versus LGD Gaming.

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