Some long-standing Dota players have to be eliminated from contention today, as s4 and Loda’s Alliance play MuShi- and Ohaiyo`’s Fnatic and KuroKy’s Liquid face off against ChuaN’s Newbee. These are the last two series in the 9th/12th Round of the Loser’s Bracket, so the eliminated teams will be gone with a little over $300,000USD and the winners will still dream of lifting the Aegis of Champions at the end of this week.
Alliance decided that their best bet for the first game would be a pushing machine built around s4 on Mirana and Loda on Drow Ranger, backing it up with Tidehunter for AdmiralBulldog, Elder Titan for EGM, and Dazzle for Akke. They would need to take map control and shut out Fnatic in the early game, then push down towers before MuShi- and MidOne on Sven and Storm Spirit could reach their power peaks. Fnatic slammed that timing window shut with outstanding rotations by 343’s Bounty Hunter and Dj’s Shadow Demon and Ohaiyo` making sure Alliance had to work to keep him off of Loda. As the game went on, Fnatic respected the early game power that Alliance wanted to use in team fights by dodging them, and because the pickoffs and skirmishes came on their terms, Alliance struggled to utilize their long cooldown ultimates effectively. Eventually, MuShi had outgrown [A]’s ability to kill him, and s4’s squad lost their last, desperate defense in an eight death-triple buyback attempt to prevent the Malaysian team from gaining mega creeps. As their Ancient was crumbling, the Swedes called “GG” and the game ended in the 63rd minute, 32-16.
In game two, Alliance went for comfort heroes in an attempt to outplay Fnatic’s more meta-based lineup. s4’s Puck, AdmiralBulldog’s Nature’s Prophet, Loda’s Lifestealer, EGM’s Rubick, and Akke’s Enchantress is a legendary lineup that called back to when they won TI3. Unfortunately for [A] fans everywhere, the Donger was nonexistent and s4 had trouble making the big plays that he has in the past. Loda couldn’t make up for their failures, and even though EGM putting in a good showing with Rubick they still couldn’t stand the Mirana-Timbersaw-Faceless Void tri-core lineup that Dj, MidOne, and MuShi- put to good use. The early game advantage that Alliance did manage to scrape together never seemed to put them in the position to close out the game, and Fnatic yet again outlasted them. After 39 minutes and the 26-27 score, Fnatic has pushed on through to face the winner of Newbee and Liquid, while Alliance has to take another disappointing TI result, the third in a row since winning TI3.
Team Liquid got off to an explosive start in game one, racking up a 12,000 net worth advantage after a half hour of play. At that point, kpii’s Naga Siren picked up Manta Style and Hao on Lifestealer snagged a Desolator, and left MATUMBAMAN’s Ember Spirit and FATA-‘s Mirana behind in the farm game. MATUMBA never got up to much else after his delayed Daedalus and FATA-, who did manage to continue collecting some major items, never seemed to do much with them. Mu on Batrider got several key pickoffs and controlled up key targets for Hao and kpii to surround and destroy, putting the Black King Bar-piercing Lasso to good use. MinD_ContRoL had a great first half with Sand King, but couldn’t keep up in levels or items, and ChuaN’s Nyx Assassin outperformed him in the fights. Liquid conceded after 54 minutes with Newbee knocking on tier four towers, final score 22-24.
Game two was an absolute walloping by Liquid: KuroKy, MinD_ContRoL, and MATUMBAMAN didn’t die once during the 17-minute match. ChuaN’s Chen (ha) got next to nothing out of the Radiant jungle, and Mu and Hao on Timbersaw and Juggernaut were absolute non-starters. KuroKy’s Undying was godlike, and his leadership meant the whole of Liquid played amazing Dota. The game (mercifully) ended after 17 minutes with the score 20-3; Newbee’s collapse was a huge blow to their momentum, but it also meant we would see the first game three of the Loser’s Bracket.
Unfortunately for the highly talented Chinese squad, it was not meant to be: Liquid stormed into a very early lead and kept up their momentum all game long. FATA- on Mirana and MinD_ContRol on Axe made all kinds of space for MATUMBAMAN to rack up 765 Gold Per Minute, compared to Hao’s team leading 474 on Morphling. Throughout the whole game, Mu’s Timbersaw and kpii’s Batrider tried to level the playing field and control a decisive fight for Hao to blast his way through, but it never seemed to line up correctly for them. It turned out to be a relatively disappointing elimination for ChuaN and his team, who conceded at 36 minutes and 26-11. Newbee leaves this TI in 9th/12th place, but Liquid get to soldier on and fight Fnatic tomorrow in the Loser’s Bracket 7th/8th Round.