The final match-ups from Group A were wings versus Escape, OG against Evil Geniuses, NaVi playing TNC, and LGD facing Alliance. After the second round, LGD, EG, and OG tied for first with 3-1 records, TNC and Alliance each were 2-2 to sit in the middle of the pack, and Escape, wings, and NaVi in the basement with 3-1 records all around.
The first series, between wings and Escape, had a back and forth twenty minutes, with neither team taking an outright lead, until Faith_bian snatched the Aegis of the Immortal on Faceless Void, starting a downhill slide for Escape that they couldn’t climb out of, ending with shadow’s Morphling destroying the Radiant base and earning the concession at 37 minutes with a final score of 21-6. Escape seemed to be in a tailspin since going 1-1 at the start of the day, as they also lost the second game in this series in just 18 minutes with a 3-19 score after Era on Lycan failed to get a single kill on his way to what will, hopefully for Escape, be his lowest net worth at only 6,100. the wings gaming bounced back from their poor showing against TNC and take this series 2-0.
Second up was OG versus EG, where a tightly contested first game and rout of a second ended in a 1-1 draw. EG actually had the net worth advantage in their first game loss, but N0tail’s Medusa and Miracle-‘s Drow Ranger combined to be too much pushing for Suma1l’s Queen of Pain and Fear’s Lifestealer to handle. After forty minutes and a peak net worth, the advantage of just over 16,000, three disastrous team fights for OG threatened what should have been a secure win. They held on and gained mega creeps to force EG to concede at 45 minutes. However, EG’s late game almost-heroics led into an outright stomping of OG in the second game, where they lost only two tier one towers on their way two lanes of barracks and a 23 minute “GG” call from OG.
Third came NaVi and TNC, where Ditya Ra’s Ember Spirit led NaVi to a 32-minute win in the first game over Kuku’s Huskar. The one-sided match-up featured multiple TNC team wipes and not one death on Ember Spirit, and DeMoN’s Oracle managed to scrape together an assist on every one of TNC’s kills while being in the bottom fifth of net worth. The second game looked to be going the way of the first, with NaVi holding a 7,000 gold net worth advantage at 23 minutes. Mere moments later, a signature NaVi team fight featuring a die-back by General on Faceless Void handed control of the map and the match to TNC, who went for a singular push up mid on the back of Raven’s Drow Ranger, and NaVi were unable to save themselves from the concession at 35 minutes. There were definitely some doubts about TNC’s ability to perform coming into TI, but they’ve put those to rest with the previous round’s 2-0 over wings and this 1-1 draw with NaVi.
Last up for Group A was LGD and Alliance. The first match went the way of the Chinese team at 58 minutes, who won two team fights in the mid-game to secure their advantage but struggled to close out the game against Alliance, who are notorious for their come-from-behined back-door victories. This time, it was not to be, as Admiral Bulldog failed to net a single kill on his iconic Lone Druid and S4’s Ember Spirit couldn’t out-push LGD by himself. Game two went much better for the Swedes, who almost mirrored LGD’s previous game on a shorter scale, taking two skirmishes early and securing the advantage they needed to prevent xiao8 on Slardar and Maybe on Tidehunter from having a great enough impact before LGD conceded at 35 minutes. The 1-1 draw is a good sign for Alliance, who had struggled against OG earlier today.
This article was written by a past writer, Daniel Giroday.