The leniency on the stand-in guidelines at the Dota 2 ESL One Birmingham Online continues to reveal itself. FlyToMoon utilized a top tier stand-in as the driver today to secure a playoff area with a win against Cyber Legacy.

Alik “V-Tune” Vorobey was not able to complete in the first video game of FTM’s last 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 distinction in between V-Tune’s level of play and a tier-one veteran like RAMZES, and it was clear from the very first interaction that it was going to make an effect. EG’s position three gamer just stepped in for the first game of the series, but in doing so he absolutely squashed CL and offered FTM a huge edge heading into game 2.

He played Slark, going 12/0/15 for 32,900 damage, which sufficed to swing the match. FTM very well could have won the video game without a high caliber gamer like RAMZES stepping in, since they were already playing well throughout the occasion. However adding him to the lineup provided them a leg up early.

As excellent as they are, CL didn’t have enough left to resist in game 2. V-Tune went back in and FTM quickly dispatched their local foe, removing them from the playoff picture.

The replacement of RAMZES is not against any rules. But the majority of the time competition organizers, particularly those like ESL that impose the guidelines heavily, would not permit a move like this to happen in one of the last series of the group stage. Particularly in this case, where FTM and CL were betting a spot in the playoffs and RAMZES rolled over the opposing group.

CL wound up as the second-to-last team removed 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 groups knocked out and the remaining eight filling out the upper and lower bracket of the centerpiece, which begins at 9am CT on June 2.