The last round for Group A today will set up what the teams need to do tomorrow to try and end the group stage in the top four, as the bottom four get automatically sent to the Best of One Loser’s Bracket round, where one loss sends you home, metaphorically speaking of course, as the teams will probably stay in Seattle and watch the rest of the tournament, as well as meet their fans and possibly play in the All Star Game. This round has Evil Geniuses versus TNC Pro Team, LGD-GAMING versus Natus Vincere, Alliance versus the wings gaming, and OG Dota2 versus Escape Gaming.
The first match up has the reigning TI champions up against the upstart newcomers who have outperformed everyone’s expectations. They didn’t this time, however, as EG took game one in 72 minutes, 64-51, and game two in 41 minutes, 43-16. Suma1l’s Mirana and Ember Spirit were too much for TNC to handle in either game, even with some signature Jimmy plays from DeMoN’s Keeper of the Light and Kuku’s mid-game powerhouse Timbersaw and Naga Siren. TNC managed to hold on in both games longer than they maybe should have, but EG closed out the series 2-0 with safe plays and by respecting the underdogs’ capabilities.
Second was LGD playing NaVi in another long series, going 52 minutes in the first game before Dendi’s Mirana and Ditya Ra on Ursa kicked down LGD’s Ancient after taking five of six barracks in a game where NaVi held the net worth advantage for the last forty minutes. Skirmishes and team fights went both directions before NaVi stormed the high ground and ended the game 31-29. The second went even later to the full 60 minutes, where Maybe’s Alchemist took too long farming Aghanim’s Scepter buffs, including one for himself, and Ditya Ra’s Drow Ranger could do no wrong in team fight after team fight, turning the vastly advantaged Alchemist into mincemeat more often than not. After 26-20 kills and a full hour of play, LGD called “GG”.
wings played Alliance in the third series, and [A] didn’t really have any traction in either game. The first ended at only 19 minutes, without a death on iceice’s Beastmaster or shadow’s Slark. Lod[A] and S4 combined for three kills and seven deaths. They only managed to take one tower, the tier one in top, before wings took two lanes of barracks and forced the “GG” with a 21-6 score. The second game lasted longer, but went even worse for the Swedes as Lod[A] on Wraith King had only one kill and five deaths. Admiral Bulldog attempted to step up and use his Bristleback to turn the tide, but even the 7-5-5 score wasn’t enough to stop Blink’s Alchemist, who went 17-1-8 on his way to over 1100 Gold Per Minute. Alliance conceded defeat at 27 minutes, final score 33-20. wings take the series 2-0.
Escape continued to struggle with their pairing against OG, who destroyed the underdogs in just 32 and 31 minutes, final scores 26-2 and 23-12. Era never even entered the realm of carrying his team, and syndereN and KhheZzu couldn’t stay alive on Ogre Magi and Beastmaster, respectively dying ten and five times each. Miracle- and N0tail actually never died, going 7-0-10 on Zeus and 9-0-10 on Morphling. After only one lane of barracks was down, Escape called “GG” just after Era managed to put together his Hood of Defiance. The second game went a little better, but Miracle- played out of his mind on Timbersaw to secure the early advantage and let N0tail come online with Morphling to kick down towers. This time, Era got two kills instead of zero, but Escape still looked like the weakest team of the group as they allowed OG to win 2-0.
After today’s two rounds for Group A, Evil Geniuses are sitting on top of the group with 8-2, followed closely by OG’s 7-3 and the wings gaming at 6-4. Fourth has a tie between TNC Pro Team and Alliance with 5-5 records each, followed by LGD-GAMING and Natus Vincere tied for sixth at 4-6. Escape Gaming rounds out the bottom with their 1-9.
This article was written by a past writer, Daniel Giroday.