photo by: StarLadder
Day two in the Playoffs of the Chongqing Major was an emotional one. Eight teams woke up this morning knowing that one single game is what can send them home even before getting to play in front of the live audience.
Chaos Esports Club (former paiN Gaming), Forward Gaming, TNC Predator, Thunder Predator, The Pango, J.Storm, Alliance and Team Aster were all looking forward to survive the first lower bracket round, which was a merciless best-of-one where “any little mistake can turn the game around,” as TNC’s captain Michael “ninjaboogie” Ross told to us at the end of all elimination games from today.
Chaos vs Alliance: 1-0
W33: “I was just playing my game”
Day two opened with Chaos taking on the legendary Alliance. The past few months have been really good for coach Jonathan “Loda” Berg and his young team. However, a best-of-one survival at a Major is a different kind of experience, and despite their good vibes entering the lobby, the emotions got the best of the Alliance. Chaos was brought upon them by Aliwi “w33” Omar who asked his captain to pick him Timbersaw. Seven minutes into the game w33 was pushing Alliances’ high ground via the top lane and at the end of the game, we asked him where did he find the confidence to go alone on the high ground at the 7 minute mark in an elimination match.
“I was just playing my game. It was fun,” w33 told us with a big smile on his face.
The Pango vs Thunder Predator: 0-1
LeoStyle: “Timber was an extremely good pick for us because it disabled the three cores of Pango”
Following Chaos’ dominant performance with Timbersaw, the Peruvians from Thunder Predator got a little bit inspired, and last picked the same hero.
“Timber was an extremely good pick for us because it disabled the three cores of Pango,” Leonardo “LeoStyle-” Sifuentes explained to us at the end of the match.
“I have been playing this hero for quite a long time so, I’d like to think that I have a good understanding of when it’s a good time for a Timbersaw pick and when it is not. But, yes, I think it was a bit of a mixture of having the Chaos game so fresh in our mind and my personal feeling that Timber will win us this game,” LeoStyle said and also added that he feels like they “had a good control of the game right from the start due to the good vision and the good early rotations”. The early game dominance empowered him to become confident that around the 25 minute mark “it was the time to take a Rosh and push for the GG,” LeoStyle explained.
Read also: Thunder Predator Send The Pango Packing
J.Storm vs Forward Gaming: 1-0
Moo: “We were all a little bit nervous so, we needed to man up and Fear helped us a lot with that”
Third elimination match of the day pitted two NA teams one against another. Based on the group stage run, Forward Gaming were somewhat favorites as they managed to take a game from Team Secret and one from PSG.LGD while J.Storm finished the group run without a single match victory. However, their direct confrontation from today was a continuous back and forth battle that lasted for over 70 minutes.
“I expected it to be a little bit easier, to be honest,” said David “Moo” Hull to us immediately after the game was over. Forward had the gold advantage for the first 30 minutes of the game and were also ahead in experience. So, when we asked Moo what was the problem for J.Storm, he bluntly admitted that he made “a wrong item choice, which slowed down our game.”
“We were all a little bit nervous so, we needed to man up and Fear helped us a lot with that,” he added.
The best of one marathon closed with TNC Predator fighting for tournament survival against Team Aster.
TNC Predator vs Team Aster: 1-0
Ninjaboogie: “There was a lot of hesitation because it’s a best-of-one and one little mistake can turn the game around.”
“ I just wanted to make sure I don’t get out-drafted while I also wanted to have a few of our comfort heroes,” said TNC’s captain and drafter, Ninjaboogie when we asked him how did TNC prepare for Aster. He reserved Rubik for himself, so we asked how did it feel about playing it in a game where each of the opponent heroes had a tempting spell to steal.
“It’s always a fun hero to play, but I feel like I didn’t use it to its maximum potential,” he said and tried to explain to us why.
“I felt like my hand was a bit stiff. I can’t really explain it, but I’m sure other pro players experience the same thing sometimes. You notice how your hand moves and it takes you out of the game. I don’t know if it’s the nerves and whatnot, but it happened to me today towards the end of the match and we kind of had a problem of ending the game. There was a lot of hesitation because it’s a best-of-one and one little mistake can turn the game around.”
Luckily, only the first round was a bo1 brawl. Moving forward, everyone will play best-of-three series. All of today’s winners will fight again tomorrow, January 23, when four more teams will have to put on hold their Major dream.