posted by Smyke,
The first favourite made it into the Upper Bracket Finals: Alliance won against Elements Pro Gaming and Ninjas in Pyjamas. Forward Gaming will start today into the LOOT.BET Winter Masters.

The winter is not just coming, but is already here

Henrik 'AdmiralBulldog' Ahnberg and Co. are in Berlin in our joinDOTA studios to bring you all the excitement of the LOOT.BET Winter Masters. After a week of group stage matches the playoffs started in 2019 with a small firework:

Alliance played against Ninjas in Pyjamas in the semifinals of the playoffs, after they both had beaten their opponents in the first round.

The European clash

Alliance won against Nikola 'LeBronDota' Popovic and his teammates at Elements Pro Gaming with a convincinging 2-0 in less than an hour.

Ninjas in Pyjamas surrounding the drafting mastermind Peter 'ppd' Dager had a good start against Team Spirit and finished two games in less than 27 and 26 minutes.

Both teams belong to the top four of Europe right now next to Team Liquid and Team Secret and yesterday they had the chance to prove who is better right now:

However, the expected showdown ended up in being a demonstration of dominance by the Swedish organization surrounding captain Aydin 'INSaNIA' Sarkohi. The Scandivian squad didn't lose a single game - NiP had to call 'gg' in two games after less than 24 minutes.

It was a surprise Alliance picked Grimstroke in both games, but the real MVPs of the two games were the carries Michael 'm`ICKe' Vu and Max 'Qojqva' Broecker.

Forward Gaming coming for the title?

mICKe started in game one as the midlaner for Alliance on Morphling and finished the game without dying a single time. Instead of putting him in the midlane again Alliance switched things up for game two and qojqva played in the middle. Qojqva ended up having 12 kills and three assists - and on top of that he copied mICKe and didn't die in the whole game.

Alliance snowballed NiP from the beginning and didn't give them a chance to come back into the game. Alliance will wait in the Upper Bracket Finals to meet the best team from the second part of the tree.

The favourite for this part of the tree is the North American squad of Forward Gaming. Roman 'Resolut1on' Fominok and Co. will face Nemiga Gaming in the first round of the playoffs.

Can Forward Gaming make it to the Upper Bracket Finals?

Photo credit: ESL - Adela Sznajder