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Only three teams remain standing after the penultimate day of the ESL One Dota 2 Stockholm Major on Saturday (21 May): North America's TSM FTX as well as Western Europe's Tundra Esports and OG.
OG kicked off the ninth day of the Major by eliminating South America's Thunder Awaken in a 2-0 sweep, which placed them in the lower bracket semifinals against fellow Western European team Gaimin Gladiators.
TSM FTX then outlasted Tundra Esports 2-1 in the upper bracket finals to secure the first spot in the grand finals and knock their opponents down to the lower bracket finals.
Riding the momentum from their previous victory, OG scored another 2-0 sweep to eliminate Gaimin Gladiators and secure their spot in the lower bracket finals against Tundra Esports.
OG 2-0 Thunder Awaken
The day began with the lower bracket quarterfinal match between OG and Thunder Awaken, with the former on fire en route to a 2-0 series victory.
Game one saw OG sneak some of their signature heroes through the draft, with midlaner Bozhidar "bzm" Bogdanov on Void Spirit, offlaner Ammar "ATF" Al-Assaf on Razor, and stand-in Sébastien "Ceb" Debs on Windranger.
With the OG players in their comfort zone, they blitzed through their opponents in the early game, building a 8,000 gold lead by the 20-minute mark.
Thunder Awaken were eventually forced to call GG just seven minutes later with OG finishing with a 26-9 kill lead.
Game two was a similar story, with OG dominating early on and even scoring a teamwipe just seven minutes in. Despite Thunder Awaken's best efforts to spark a comeback behind Christian "Pakazs" Savina's Terrorblade, OG simply ran them over to secure the 2-0 series sweep after 32 minutes of action.
Artiem "Yuragi" Golubiev on Faceless Void and ATF on Viper both notched a series-high 11 kills apiece to pace OG's 34-14 kill lead at the end of game two.
TSM FTX 2-1 Tundra Esports
The second match of the day saw TSM FTX take on Tundra Esports in a heated upper bracket final showdown, with the North American squad emerging victorious after three games to become the first grand finalists of the Stockholm Major.
Tundra had a strong start to the series, as they paired an unorthodox mid Rubick pick for Leon "Nine" Kirilin with Oliver "skiter" Lepko's Medusa to dominate the midgame clashes.
With skiter's Medusa spearheading an unstoppable Tundra deathball, TSM FTX conceded game one after 45 minutes.
The North Americans were quick to force a deciding game three after they emerged victorious in a bloodbath of a game two that had a total of 74 kills in just 44 minutes of action.
TSM offlaner Jonáš "SabeRLight-" Volek's Night Stalker paced his team's 51-23 kill lead with a series-high 18 kills against five deaths while Enzio "Timado" Gianoli on a carry Templar Assassin pitched in with 11 kills of his own against three deaths.
Game three saw TSM pick Templar Assassin for Timado once again at the head of a teamfight-heavy lineup that included a mid Pangolier for Jonathan "Bryle" De Guia, an offlane Enigma for SabeRLight, Doom for David "MoonMeander" Tan, and Enchantress for Kim "DuBu" Doo-young.
Tundra utterly shut down SabeRLight to start the decider, as Neta "33" Shapira's Viper and Martin "Saksa" Sazdov's Monkey King killed the TSM offlaner six times in just the first nine minutes of the game.
But despite his horrendous start, SabeRLight still managed to land a teamfight-winning Black Hole after another to give TSM the lead.
With SabeRLight and Bryle providing crowd control while MoonMeander shut down key targets with Doom during teamfights, Timado had free rein to dish out damage from long range and melt through Tundra.
After 31 minutes of action, TSM forced the GG call from Tundra to secure the 2-1 series victory and a spot in the Stockholm Major grand finals.
OG 2-0 Gaimin Gladiators
A surging OG squad then capped the day off by sweeping Gaimin Gladiators 2-0 behind standout performances from ATF and Ceb to earn their place in the final day of the Stockholm Major.
The draft for game one saw OG first pick Timbersaw for ATF after Gladiators let the hero sneak through the first ban phase. Ceb was also given his now-signature support Windranger pick in the series opener.
ATF quickly reminded everyone why teams always make sure to quickly ban his Timbersaw, as he led OG to a comfortable 32-minute victory with a clean 12-kill, 10-assist outing.
Ceb also showcased his mastery of Windranger by landing one huge Shackleshot after another to set up huge pickoffs on the Gladiators.
Game two saw ATF get another one of his signature heroes in Razor while Ceb was once again on Windranger. Tommy "Taiga" Le on Clockwerk partnered with ATF to dominate the early game, setting up multiple pickoffs with Hookshot and Power Cogs.
OG eventually forced the Gladiators to call GG after a 35-minute beatdown where the latter finished with a 36-16 kill lead.
ATF notched a series-high 21 kills against just one death to help his team secure a Top 3 spot in the Stockholm Major. Ceb also extended his win streak in games at the Major on Windranger to nine.
As we head into the final day of the Stockholm Major, Thunder Awaken and Gaimin Gladiators bow out of the competition.
Thunder Awaken finish in 5th-6th place with US$25,000 and 385 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) points while Gaimin Gladiators exit in fourth place with US$50,000 and 460 DPC points in consolation.
The final day of the Stockholm Major on Sunday (22 May) will begin with the best-of-three lower bracket finals between Tundra Esports and OG.
The loser of that match will finish the Major in third place with US$75,000 and 530 DPC points while the winner will advance to the best-of-five grand finals against TSM FTX.
The champions of the Stockholm Major will take home the grand prize of US$200,000 and 680 DPC points while the runners-up will earn US$100,000 and 610 DPC points for their efforts.
Here is the bracket after the penultimate day of the Stockholm Major:
For everything you need to know about the Stockholm Major, check here.