The leniency on the stand-in rules at the Dota 2 ESL One Birmingham Online continues to show itself. FlyToMoon used a top tier stand-in as the catalyst today to secure a playoff spot with a win against Cyber Legacy.
Alik “V-Tune” Vorobey was unable to compete in the first game of FTM’s final series against CL, so the team brought in Evil Geniuses’ RAMZES666 as their substitute for the must-win series.
While FTM are by no means a weak team, there is a big difference between V-Tune’s level of play and a tier-one veteran like RAMZES, and it was clear from the first interaction that it was going to make an impact. EG’s position three player only stepped in for the first game of the series, but in doing so he absolutely crushed CL and gave FTM a big edge heading into game two.
He played Slark, going 12/0/15 for 32,900 damage, which was enough to swing the match. FTM very well could have won the game without a high caliber player like RAMZES stepping in, since they were already playing well throughout the event. But adding him to the roster gave them a leg up early.
As good as they are, CL didn’t have enough left to fight back in game two. V-Tune stepped back in and FTM quickly dispatched their regional foe, eliminating them from the playoff picture.
The substitution of RAMZES is not against any rules. But most of the time tournament organizers, especially those like ESL that enforce the rules heavily, would not allow a move like this to happen in one of the final series of the group stage. Especially in this case, where FTM and CL were playing for a spot in the playoffs and RAMZES rolled over the opposing team.
CL ended up as the second-to-last team eliminated in Group B, with Ninjas in Pyjamas also losing their spot to FTM due to a tiebreaker.
The playoffs are now set, with a total of eight teams knocked out and the remaining eight filling out the upper and lower bracket of the main event, which begins at 9am CT on June 2.