The fourth round of the Group Stage is also the first round for Group B, and has two game series between Team Secret and Vici_Gaming Reborn, Fnatic and EHOME, Team Liquid and Newbee, and MVP Phoenix and Digital Chaos. The relative strength between the two groups is at an all time high, and in the best traditions of international sporting events everywhere, it feels like almost anyone can win it.
The first series had Secret playing VG.R, and Secret handily swept both games to take it 2-0. In the first, Puppey’s signature Chen and Arteezy’s brilliant Huskar proved to be too much pushing power for fy’s squad of relative newcomers, who had to rely on Zyf to carry them on his Luna, but he was never quite able to pull them out of the hole that Secret had thrown them in. VG.R conceded at 35 minutes. The second match was even more lopsided, with Arteezy’s Huskar being joined by EternaLEnVy’s Ursa in a powerful early game combo that VG.R’s Storm Spirit-Faceless Void-Morphling tri-core had no answers for, with Morphling and Void barely putting their mid-game items together before calling “GG” at 24 minutes with a final score of 24-8 and a series at 2-0, both in favour of the celebrity-studded Team Secret.
Next up was Fnatic and EHOME. In the first match up, EHOME outpaced Fnatic’s net worth and item progression on every hero, and Mushi’s Lifestealer had a Gold Per Minute of only 338, which barely beat out Fenrir’s Bane at 332 and was worse than every other EHOME player. Unsurprisingly, EHOME closed this one out at 31 minutes with a net worth advantage of over 32,000. The final game looked to be going better for Fnatic, with a relatively even contest and even a slight advantage for them up until the twenty minute mark, when EHOME wiped out their team and lost no one in return. Fnatic fought back for another ten minutes, slowly turning the game around, but another disastrous team fight at thirty minutes led to a tail spin of seven more deaths by forty minutes and a concession of defeat at 43 minutes. EHOME’s 2-0 sweep is a strong start for them, and now the burden is on Mushi’s crew to prove they still belong here.
The third pair was Team Liquid and Newbee, and these two top contenders pushed to a 1-1 draw after 37 and 35 minutes. The longer first game had FATA- on Timbersaw finding much success in making the necessary mid-game space for MATUMBAMAN’s Morphling to power down towers and prevent kpii’s Naga Siren from accomplishing much, even with a twenty three minute Radiance. The final score read 19-7, which is an accurate representation of how the game went from minute zero. Newbee answered back in game two by putting Mu on his very comfortable Dragon Knight and ChuaN on his godly Lion. The game was more or less a draw until twenty three minutes in, when Hao’s Faceless Void came online to join Mu and kpii on Mirana to bully down towers. FATA-‘s Timbersaw had a lacklustre performance, with no kills actually going his way and only three assists. Liquid conceded at 35 minutes down 27-8 to leave the series 1-1.
The final match up of the round, between Digital Chaos and MVP Phoenix, featured the longest match of the day so far, clocking in at 70 minutes for the first game. It was also the biggest comeback so far, as Digital Chaos clawed back from a 13,000 net worth deficit almost solely on the back of Resolut1on’s Morphling, who took all three lanes of barracks in one backdoor push and forced MVP to defend against mega creeps for a short while before conceding defeat with a final score of 30-47. Game two went in similar fashion to the first, except that Resolut1on was on Razor and couldn’t pull out the miracle plays for his team this time. Instead, QO and Forev on Phantom Assassin and Lifestealer ran away with the game, and took down nine DC heroes between them in the final push through the bottom lane to force Digital Chaos to concede at 42 minutes with a final score of 37-22, ending the series with a game a piece.
This article was written by a past writer, Daniel Giroday.