Group A and group B are done and dusted in Paris.
From group A, Keen Gaming and Beastcoast will have to power through the lower bracket rounds. The Chinese team sits now on two losses against Team Liquid. On day one they were sent in the losers series by the TI7 Champions and they actually won that by defeating Beastcoast this morning. Their match-up against the recently NA shuffled team went down in less than an hour, with Keen deploying two different strategies to secure the 2-0 victory.
Beastcoast is the first team to be condemned to a best-of-one first series in the Major playoffs, and although Keen were looking good versus EE and co, when it came to securing a top two finish in the group, they got outplayed by Team Liquid once again.
“I think there are two types of teams at this Major,” captain Kuro “KuroKy” Takhasomi said in his winner’s interview at the end of the series. “Some who know how to win with Drow and some who are comfortable beating Drow,” was his take on why so many competitors are pushing so many Drow Ranger strategies in the first two days of the tournament. Today Liquid have shown that they are one of those who know how to win with Drow Ranger. In their first game against Keen, they drafted a Drow aura lineup with Medusa in the hands of Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi. They lost the laning stage and were behind in both kill score and gold for the first 25 minutes of the game. However, Liquid’s plan was to keep Keen busy while Miracle- was constantly farming. By the 20 minutes mark he had already farmed both Manta Style and Eye of the Skadi and just before the 30 minutes mark he had also purchased a full Butterfly and MkB to make Keen’s Phantom Assassin completely irrelevant in the late game. Once Miracle- joined the push efforts, Keen didn’t stand a chance in defense.
Unfortunately for them, game two was more brutal. Master Kuro prepared two powerful combos to force the issue fast. Tusk and Chen were his support choices, with Phantom Assassin and Viper meant to compliment the debuffs from the supports. Things went accordingly with the plan and Liquid joins Evil Geniuses in the upper bracket quarterfinals.
Group B yielded another European team joining the top 12 at the Major, as Ninjas in Pyjamas executed 2-0 both Team Empire and Chaos Esports Club. NiP didn’t mess around today and brought to the table a good mix of comfort picks for all their players. Game one versus Empire concluded with a 17/0/3 K/D/A Marcus “Ace” Hoelgaard on Morphling, while game two, although much more contested, where Empire nearly pulled a full come back, featured Ace’s dominant Arc Warden.
Heading into the decider series of group B, NiP didn’t get phased by Chaos’ last pick Sniper in game one or by the Terrorblade last pick in game two. It will be another Major where Chaos will have to start from the best-of-one first lower bracket round, while NiP are the third out of four European teams playing at MDL Disneyland® Paris Major to secure an upper bracket seed for the playoffs.
Day 2 in the group stages continues with the losers’ and decider series for Group C and Group D so, stay tuned!
headline picture courtesy of Mars Media