posted by SmittyW.,
After the conclusion of the group phase, the ESL One Birmingham 2019 went straight into the playoffs with the first Upper Bracket matches. PSG.LGD bested Group A victor Vici Gaming, while Evil Geniuses staged a comeback against TNC Predator. Now, the two teams will face each other again in the Upper Bracket finals. In the group stage, Evil Geniuses boasted a commanding lead with 8-0 maps, even defeating tournament favourite Team Secret, when its impressive streak was eventually ended by the Chinese outfit of PSG.LDG. Although EG still secured the first place in Group B, the loss proved that they are not invincible and PSG is surely a force to be reckoned with.

PSG and EG both won their best-of-three matches in the Upper Bracket and will now meet again in the Upper Bracket Finals for an epic series to determine the first ESL One finalist.

Artour 'Arteezy' Babaev and his team-mates surely want to redeem themselves from their only defeat – which was by the way closer than the 0-2 might suggest – and advance to their first grand finals since Mars Media Dota 2 League: Macau 2019.

A tie won’t do the trick for TL

In the Lower Bracket, we have two exciting match-ups coming up today. While Team Liquid faces AS Monaco Gambit, Team Secret takes on OG. TL played a pretty mediocre group stage, tying every matchup. This is not to say that Amer 'Miracle-' Al-Barkawi and his squad did not perform well.

The first series against Vici Gaming, for example, was extremely exciting with many turns and impressive plays. If TL wants to advance, however, it needs to play its cards right against its opponent from Russia.

After a so-so season so far, OG seems to perform better lately. In the match against Team Secret, the reigning TI champion has to step up its game some more. Although Team Secret dropped some maps in the group stage, they did so against well-performing teams such as Evil Geniuses (0-2) and PSG (1-1). It is quite safe that Secret has now internalized the new meta and gained more insights in how to play the patch.

What are your predictions for the Upper Bracket Finals and Lower Bracket matches?

Photo Credit: Helena Kristiansson, ESL