Fnatic and Liquid into the semifinals of ESL One Manila
photo credits @ESL One
Day one at the very first premiere Dota 2 LAN event held in Manila, Philippines ends with one of the SEA region's pride, Fnatic, claiming a semi-finals spot along with Team Liquid.
It is true that Liquid has not played too many online matches as of late, with the only two tournaments they chose to participate in being the qualifier group stage of WePlay - where they lost only one out of the 14 games played - and the BTS Europe Series Season 3, where they had an undefeated run through the bracket.
On the other hand, Fnatic has been the kings of online matches for the last two months, playing in the qualifier stages of all the upcoming tournaments and winning them all. After their return from Shanghai Major the team has been forced to play with Adam '343' Shah as their stand in for Chai Yee 'Mushi' Fung's Asthma got worse during his stay in Shanghai, China.
Mirroring Vici Gaming Reborn’s excellent performance from last week's Starladder, Fnatic has put up a perfect performance at their first offline tournament after the Shanghai Major, despite playing without their captain.
A clean 2-0 against EHOME earlier today pushed Fnatic into the group B winner match where they were, surprisingly, facing Team Empire. The Russians put up a strong fight durign the series, proving that their win versus Team Secret was not an accident.
The second game of the series was a continuous back and forth fight where both teams could have won at any point. A rushed and unnecessary Divine Rapier bought around the 50 minute mark by Roman 'Ramzes' Kushnarev for his Gyrocopter with the sole purpose of ending the game and push the series into a game three turned disastrous once Empire breached the high ground. Ramzes lost the Rapier in a very long and intense defensive teamfight, and with that, the Malaysian team was able to counter push and secure the much wanted spot in the semi-finals.
Both Fnatic and Team Liquid will enjoy a day off tomorrow while waiting for their playoffs opponents to be decided.
Tomorrow, April 23rd, four teams will be eliminated in front of a live audience on the big stage at the Mall of Asia Arena. The day will open with Group A's elimination match between Mineski and compLexity gaming, and then be followed by Group B's elimination match between Team Secret and EHOME.
The winners of each series will then proceed into the decider matchups where Wings Gaming and Team Empire are waiting for another shot at getting into the playoffs semi-finals.