There were few surprises in another day filled with 2-0 sweeps. Both OG and EG look sharp as they head into their marquee matchup for game 3. Virtus.Pro rebounds after a tough loss against PSG.LGD, and Optic Gaming survives another round.
After a group stage that fell below expectations, OG.N0tail said that “Now it feels like things are clicking. Clicking good.” Team OG swept the Group B leaders in VGJ.Storm, displaying the kind of measured play expected from a team that has won four Major championships.
In game 1, OG was able to stabilize the game, despite losing a lane of barracks. Resolut1on, on Weaver, rumbled towards an excellent game with a 18/4/13 KDA, but it wasn’t enough to carry his team towards the finish line. VGJ.Storm’s sole late game counter to OG.ana’s Phantom Lancer was in the hands of MSS’s Earthshaker. And though he was able to help his team towards their midgame lead, just a few missteps in the late game gave OG the window they needed, off the back of ana’s farmed Phantom Lancer.
In game 2, Yawar had his courier sniped, forcing his Storm Spirit to vacate the lane to jungle for a large portion of the early game. OG.Topson’s Lina got whatever he wanted, but a series of feeds gave away most of the advantage. VGJ.Storm was able to leverage the high mobility of Storm and Nature’s Prophet for key pickoffs, but they made one fatal mistake, along with the rest of their team, when they were baited by Ceb’s Venomancer. Topson landed a 4-man Light Strike Array and sealed the game for OG.
This was perhaps the first game where an Ursa lanes well. He’s been usually relegated to the jungle after a tough matchup, but EG’s strong Ursa/Vengeful Spirit dual lane dominated Secret’s Mirana/Earth Spirit. The lane’s success gave EG.rtz an early Phase Boots on his Ursa, where then he could bully out both heroes 1v2.
It was the usual rhythm for EG, where they were able to win all three lanes, garnering a 4k gold lead at 8 minutes. They nabbed 8 bounty runes in a row—a boon for Suma1l’s already farmed Alchemist. Team Secret did find some ground with an early Ethereal Blade on Morphling, but it wasn’t enough against Secret’s trio of farmed cores. EG won game 1 with the largest networth differential of the tournament so far, at 43k.
Game 2 had some unconventional picks in Rubick and a last pick Tinker out of Team Secret. The Tinker pick did work out in the midgame, where Midone’s Aghanim’s Scepter and rocket spam did immense amounts of magic damage to EG. But a few BKBs later, and a Gyro with Drow-boosted damage and an Aghanim’s Scepter just decimated Team Secret in one volley of flak cannons. Suma1l set the tempo for the game with several key rotations on his Gyrocopter. He also picked up an early Blink Dagger, setting a trend on the main stage that will no doubt trickle down to pub builds.
After a game with whiffed Avalanches on Tiny, CCnC had his redemption game against Serenity, where he finished game 1 with a 16/0/10 KDA on his Storm Spirit. This was in part due to a fantastic early game by Optic.33’s Brewmaster, who farmed his way to an early Helm of the Dominator and Hood of Defiance. Along with Brewmaster’s health talent, it took Serenity to commit all 5 heroes, on top of Global Silence and Elder Titan’s Earth Splitter to barely take him down. By the mid game, Serenity wasn’t too far behind, but they overcommitted on a Roshan fight while Silencer was still down. Once CCnC had Eul’s and BKB, Serenity had no hope to stop him.
Despite picking 4 cores, Serenity had a decent start in game 2. EG’s last pick of Bloodseeker pushed Serenity to place Tiny in the position 4, shifting Storm into the offlane. It worked, but only for so long. Zai’s Nyx was a menace the entire game. He killed XinQ’s Storm twice in a row, using Spiked Carapace under the veil of Vendetta. Later, he pulls off an OpenAI-Eul’s on a zipping Storm Spirit, which Pajkatt’s Ursa follows up with the Abyssal Blade stun and instagib.
Virtus.Pro surprises with a last pick Invoker, for No[o]ne, in game 1. Invoker’s Quas/Wex build turned out to be quite strong against Mineski’s lineup. Wraith King, Dragon Knight, and Necrophos are all incredibly mana dependent. Iceiceice was forced to carry around two Mangos on his Wraith King.
The game revolved around five-on-five fights, and Mineski made one blunder where they didn’t bring in all their heroes. Mushi was showing in lane, feeling strong with a new Lotus Orb on his Necrophos. Once the fight broke out, Moon’s DK was still on the other side of the map. VP gained momentum and snagged all the Roshan kills for the game to secure the win.
Perhaps this isn’t the meta for iceiceice, who once excelled in the offlane on playmaking heroes. Game 2 was another game where he would play an offlane Wraith King, which had little impact throughout the game.
Moon’s Storm Spirit had a disastrous start. He died three times in a row. The first was just walking uphill into No[o]ne’s Searing Arrows. The second was an excusable death from a Fissure block. The third, perhaps in a desperate attempt to comeback into the game, was an inexcusable one, where he expended all his mana to try to take down an Enraged Ursa.
No[o]ne’s Clinkz got the midlane to himself, the mid tower, and eventually any hero he wanted to kill. He finished with a 14/0/8 KDA.