posted by Smyke,
Since December 27 eight teams were fighting for five slots in the group stage and by the start of the new year we can watch the successfull teams in the playoffs playing against three Western top teams including ppd's Ninjas in Pyjamas. The biggest surprise of the group stage is the CIS team Pavaga that stomped the other seven teams and just lost one single game throughout the whole first phase. Probably the most known player of this team is Aleksei 'j4' Lipai who played for HellRaisers* at The International 2017.

Three teams didn't make it into the playoffs, especially Unstoppable disappointed in the group stage by losing every game.

Stoyan 'SlashStrike' Kralchev and Co. are the current champions of the jDL Europe Season 14, but couldn't deliver at LOOT.BET Winter Masters.

Three top teams attack in 2019

By winning the group stage Pavaga has the advantage of playing against the fifth best team Team Empire Hope in the first round of the playoffs - they dodge the Western top teams who are starting in the playoffs.

Alliance, Ninjas in Pyjamas and Forward Gaming will start today in the playoffs. If Alliance and NiP will win their matchups as expected in round one, we can watch them facing each other later today.

By Sunday we'll know who is the champion of the LOOT.BET Winter Masters.

Can an underdog surprise the three top teams or who's going to win the tournament?

Photo credit: ESL - Adela Sznajder