StarLadder XII Day 2 - Cloud9 and Team Tinker stay in the race

Dota 2 Richard “Hibbert” Hibbert

StarLadder XII is turning into a terrible tournament for European teams with two already eliminated and the remaining two Cloud 9 and Alliance are forced to compete against each other for the privilege of reaching the next round. On the second stage Team MY are looking to bounce straight back with a win over American qualifiers Team Tinker.

Schedule for April 25th:
Team Secret vs. Alliance: 0-2
ViCi Gaming vs. Cloud 9: 2-0
Invictus Gaming vs. Team MY: 2-0
Cloud 9 vs. Alliance: 2-0
Team MY vs. Team Tinker: 1-2
ViCi Gaming vs. Invictus Gaming: 21:00 CEST
LB Semi-Final: 21:00 CEST
View our Survival Guide for Day Two

With the upper bracket final featuring two Chinese teams it echoes the opposite of the Asia Championships. The Western teams came over and dominated the Chinese opposition. Now at the StarLadder XII LAN finals, a tournament previously dominated by European and CIS teams has fallen to the power of ViCi Gaming and Invictus Gaming. Now it's time to focus on the lower bracket with the remaining regions of America, Europe and South East Asia fighting for the chance to fill a second slot on the grand final. 


Main Stage: Cloud 9 vs. Alliance 2-0

GosuBet: Cloud 9 73% Alliance 27%

The battle of the last European hopes of a home victory are quickly fading with Alliance and Cloud 9 forced to attempt to eliminate each other to extend their tournament life. Alliance will be have the confidence with them after taking down Team Secret in two straight victories, but will they be able to take down Cloud 9? The EternaLEnVy led roster had no answers for ViCi Gaming's tactics despite appearing to lead in the second game, but they could have a better chance against Alliance. GosuBet has Cloud 9 as massive favourites to eliminate Alliance, but this should be much closer than the percentages suggest.

Game One Cloud 9 wins

While Alliance secured your standard Troll Warlord, Cloud 9 went for an unconventional lineup with the pushing power of Chen, a core Omniknight and aggression from Sniper and Bristleback. It took until the 10th minute for two kills to get registered and Alliance had almost lost all their tier two towers by 22. Alliance couldn't handle the pushing power and had no real potential to gank with a Vengeful Spirit and Zeus support combination. While Cloud 9 ransacked their towers, Pajkatt's Troll Warlord attempted to split push to little success. By 26 minutes Cloud 9 had entered the enemy base and started taking buildings, a move which forced the fourth kill of the game but the game dragged on. A big team fight happened in the 32nd minute defending the bottom barracks but Alliance lost two. With an Aegis secured in the aftermath, Akke's Vengeful Spirit's swap was a success and Cloud 9 lost four heroes and their Aegis with zero gain. This was Alliance's chance to push and secure a tower while stealing farm from the enemy jungle. A four man wipe for Cloud 9 forced several buybacks and Cloud 9 were even rotating with smokes in an attempt to destroy their structures but Alliance held firm. With every defend their towers got lower and their chances of staying in the game were facing the same fate. With Cloud 9's failed sieges, Alliance were able to push out the lanes and start fighting their opponent further up the field and following a successful fight the Swedish were able to break into Cloud 9's base. But a bad team fight outside Roshan at 56 minutes in meant Alliance lost heroes at a vital time and Cloud 9 secured mega creeps with an Aegis and Misery's Serpent Wards. After a delay a second push and team fight brought a conclusion to Alliance's dogged defense in the 63rd minute.

Game Two Cloud9 Wins

Alliance deployed an aggressive trilane with a Mirana-Bane combo, hoping to shut down EternalEnvy's Troll Warlord during the laning stage. While their plan did seem to work for the first minutes of the game, the well-timed rotations by BigDaddy's Chen and the massive pressure by bOne7's Broodmother quickly gave Cloud9 the upper hand. The Swedes attempted to stage a comeback using Niqua's Blink Dagger, and managed to buy themselves some time by killing FATA- around the 10th minute mark. However, C9 were able to cut their losses with a sneaky Roshan kill.
With each passing minute, bOne7's influence started becoming more and more obvious. The Romanian offlaner decided to go for the shotgun build, and his presence made it really difficult for Alliance to take advantage of their jungle. Their inability to farm safely really hurt Loda's fragile Drow Ranger, as he just lacked the damage to make the difference in teamfights. Realizing their massive advantage, Cloud9 started forcing more and more teamfights with their pushing, and a 3-0 teamfight victory by minute 26 was enough for them to breach the Radiant base. With a lane advantage at hand, Cloud9 knew they had the momentum to seal the deal and finish the game. Their third Roshan kill by minute 31st was the beginning of the end for the Swedes, who called the GG just three minutes later after yet another crushing teamfight inside their own base.


Second Stage: Team MY vs. Team Tinker 1-2

GosuBet: Team MY 77% Team Tinker 23%

It was Team Tinker's second elimination match of the tournament this time against slightly stiffer competition following their 2-0 victory over London Conspiracy yesterday afternoon. The GosuBets have them as steep underdogs, and following their unorganized and honestly unlucky performances against Cloud 9, can they actually mount a comeback in the lower bracket especially against such an aggressive Malaysian roster like Team MY? The Malaysians were caught out against Invictus Gaming, but Chinese teams have the experience of taking down South East Asian teams. Can Tinker draft their way to success against an unconventional MY hero selection? Time will tell. 

Game One Team MY wins

It might seem like forever since Team Tinker last played in the tournament but the Morphling, Clockwerk and Queen of Pain were ready for a constant battle against Team MY's Tiny and Io combination with Puck and Viper. The kills didn't seem to stop with gank attempts all over the map. Tiny towered over the net worth charts but Black^'s Morphling and qojqva's Queen of Pain weren't far behind. But MY started pulling ahead on kills and towers with Team Tinker failing to destroy a tower in the opening 20 minutes. Team MY were comfortably ahead by 25 minutes leaving the American team cautious to leave their base. A kill on Morphling allowed MY to secure the Aegis and push kyxY into a godlike streak. A siege on the enemy base by a 20k networth Tiny meant Tinker's mid barracks dissolved, but MY lost four and now qojqva secured a godlike streak. A second siege on the bottom barracks was secured with ease, forcing the 'GG' call to put Team MY one game up in their elimination match.

Game Two Team Tinker wins

Team Tinker decided to switch the roles and place qojqva in the first position, deploying the old but trustworthy Naga Siren for the German. MY responded with one of their signature aggressive strategies, with Viper and Bristleback as the two cores. The Malaysians turned up the heat pretty fast and managed to find several early kills against Tinker's supports, but they completely failed to limit qojqva's farming potential. Their inability to take down the Naga resulted in a 14-minute Radiance, which ended up controlling the rest of the game. The SEA squad knew that they had a small time window when they could finish the game before they crumble against their enemy's split-push, but decent plays by Black's Queen of Pain and BuLba's Nyx Assassin helped the Radiant repel all the incoming assaults. From that point, it was just a matter of time until qojqva's Naga Siren overwhelms the Malaysians, something that happened around the 40th minute mark with the destruction of the first lane of barracks. While MuShi and the boys did make a valorous attempt to prolong the game and find an opening, they were eventually forced to call the GG. 

Game Three Team Tinker wins

Team MY put their trust on Bristleback once again, as Ohaiyo used him along with Kyxy's Razor and KecikImba's common Lina selection. From the opening moments of the game, it was obvious that the Malaysians clearly underestimated the power of Tinker's long-range carries Windrunner and Sniper, as the continuous attempts against the two heroes resulted in several disastrous trades. Qojqva and Black^ not only managed to survive the aggression, but they found an unusually large amount of kills, helping them purchase luxury items such as Eye of Skadi and Daedalus with impressive timing. The game quickly took the nature of a stomp, as Team Tinker abused their momentum to confine MY inside the Radiant base. However, MY did not give up on the game so easily, and they seemed determined to defend their base no matter what. Thus began a siege that lasted over 20 minutes, with Team Tinker slowly but surely sieging their way to victory. MuShi's boys fought hard, but in truth there was little they could do against the pushing power provided by the well-farmed Sniper and Windrunner duo. The first set of barracks fell by minute 38, and the GG was called nine minutes later with MY losing everything but their throne.


Upper Bracket

Lower Bracket

Round 3 - Best of 3

Round 4 - Best of 3


Best of 5


Headline image by ViaGame

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