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D2CL S8 resumes after hiatus and team withdrawals

Dota 2 Champions League (D2CL) Season 8 is finally back on track after some hiccups. For the uninitiated, the tournament host, Epic Esports Events put the tournament on a hiatus when the Ukraine-Russia conflict began in early March.

To make matters worse, several participating teams also withdrew from the D2CL S8 in response to the ongoing tragedy.

Severing ties with Russia-based organizations

It’s not just the D2CL S8 that is impacted, as organizations across the globe cut ties with Russian partners. Earlier this month, WePlay Esports terminated all partnerships with Russian and Belarusian companies, halting any Eastern European tournaments to come. As one more nail in the coffin, Valve put the EEU regional league of Dota Pro Circuit on a hold as well.

D2CL S8 participants withdrew

Alliance, B8, and Mind Games are among the select teams to withdraw from the D2CL S8 tournament. It’s certainly not pleasant news for the D2CL as it was in the midst of the group stage. Regardless, Epic Esports Events respects the decision of the teams to voice out their solidarity towards supporting Ukraine.

Anyhow, the D2CL S8 will continue on March 21-25 to complete the rest of the group stage. The team withdrawals led to three fewer teams being eliminated from the group stage. The group stage determines the top four teams to proceed to playoffs, and the withdrawn teams count as a technical loss.

Dota 2 Champions League Season 8 Matches

On a positive note, there is still majority participation in D2CL S8, such as AS Monaco Gambit, Team Empire, Gambit Esports, and HYDRA. Notably, Gambit Esports and HYDRA currently hold the top spot in their respective groups, but there are still multiple matches before we can decide which team is a formidable contender.

D2CL S8 Group stage match schedule

AS Monaco Gambit vs HYDRA

The Kyrgyzstan team, HYDRA has several high-profile players in important roles, such as hard carry, offlane, and hard support. One iconic player is Baqyt “Zayac” Emiljanov, whose Techies gameplay was despised by opponents so much that it’s often respect-banned. However, considering the massive rework on Techies in the Dota 2 Patch 7.31, perhaps Zayac has an alternative playstyle that he hopes to showcase in D2CL S8.

AS Monaco Gambit is another promising candidate in HYDRA’s group, which deserves some attention. Although this team hasn’t played any matches, the players in this team are sufficient to consider them a formidable opponent.

Gambit Esports vs Team Empire

Team Empire, is a team that looks mediocre in the long run due to their lack of results. Yet, the team has had its moments throughout the years, regardless of the roster. What’s new with Team Empire today is yet another new roster, but this isn’t particularly bad news.

The new roster has new players, young guns, who just might be the next Team Spirit success story if they perform well in D2CL S8. By good performance, we meant they had to defeat the toughest opponent in their group, Gambit Esports.

Nemiga Gaming vs HYDRA

Nemiga is among the rare teams that haven’t had a large-scale roster shuffle. Despite their underwhelming run throughout the years and DPC2021-22, Aliaksei “TheChosenOne” Karanevich remains the team captain and offlane player.

Nevertheless, Nemiga is still a staple in the less prominent tier of Dota 2 scene. They have no difficulties beating teams in the same bracket, such as B8, Winstrike Team, and Brame. Hence, a match vs HYDRA isn’t a lost cause for Nemiga’s case, so we can expect a relatively even outcome.

Playoffs Team Invites in D2CL S8

While the group stage teams battle it out for playoffs slots, D2CL S8 has yet to reveal the four playoffs seeds. These are teams that have reserved spots in the playoffs, likely in the upper bracket. However, considering the current situation, it might be difficult for D2CL S8 to find any European team to play in their event.

Nevertheless, the matches in D2CL S8 can make a decent betting slip if Dota 2 betting is your cup of tea. Esports bookmakers do offer coverage of the matches in D2CL S8, so be sure to check out the exclusive offers there.

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