Fnatic unbeaten in Nexon Invitational Super Match
As well as ending the stint of Fnatic and Liquid in Korea, the second day of the Nexon Invitational Super Match also decides who gets to rake in the prize money. Korea's own Underrated try to make their way to the maximum of $15,000 as rocky as possible, though.
Part of Nexon's attempt to promote Dota 2 in South Korea, other than their Sponsorship League, is of course their four-part series of intercontinental Super Matches, played from the last days of October and throughout November. With the tiered depending on the teams' success in their respective group, the possible earnings range from $5,000 for a single win up to $15,000 for a complete 4-0 sweep.
Group A started with the most important match the group, as the two Western teams, Liquid and Fnatic, butted heads early on to decide who got a head start in the group. It was a close match, featuring both Io and Tiny, a combination that would make a return for Fnatic on Day 2 twice, until the European team got the better end of a team fight and started to snowball from there on out.
The face-off between Liquid and UnderRated on the other hand was a lot more one-sided. A prime example for the lack of experience of Korean teams, the game also served as a preview for what was about to hit them in the following matches. While S4L's Queen of Pain put H4nn1 and his Puck in quite a bit of distress on bottom, the final match quickly turned into Fnatic's favor, who ended the day unbeaten.
Despite a two-day break, the pecking order remained right where it left off. Fnatic's high-pressure Dota put UnderRated under pressure early on while once the again the Io and Tiny combination worked wonders as H4nn1's Queen of Pain, Trixi's Nature's Prophet and Fly's Familiars just extended on the global threat coming out of that line-up. It was obvious from the start that UnderRated had trouble predicting the lanes coming out from Liquid in the second game of today, and although the confusion allowed for TC and fluffnstuff to pick up early kills on Clinkz, the eventual rotation from the Korean Supports helped limit the damage done. But once the carries picked up steam and the train was rolling for the predominantly American side, there was no stopping them.
For the fourth time in four matches for Fnatic, we saw Io picked. Surprisingly, however, Liquid saw no reason to ban out Tiny, even though the danger was evident from the earlier matches. Similar in picks to the opening match of Group A, it was a close one initially. As the global presence of Fnatic's line-up, however, found more and more pick-offs and Tiny turned into a nearly unstoppable pushing force, even Liquid's survivabilty-centered heroes could not hold their ground. This was certainly the most impressive display of the Io-Tiny squad we have seen from Fnatic in this tournament, as it secured them the victory with a number of clutch moves.
Fnatic goes home with the reward of $15,000 for their 4-0 streak, while Liquid has to make do $7,500 for their 2-2 record. UnderRated will take nothing, due to them finishing the group without a single win.
|Group A prize distribution|
Next week on Super Match:
The Nexon Invitational Super Match returns next Monday, November 4th, with Team Dignitas, Speed Gaming and the Koreans from Team MVP.
Photos: Hyungjin "core" Ahn for thisisgame.com