Ad Finem secure a top four finish at their first Valve event
photo credits: PGL
The last Chinese hope at a Boston Major Grand Final was shattered by Ad Finem, who might as well be called the Chinese slayers.
One of the most experienced and definitely the most respected captain and drafter from the Chinese scene, Zhang 'xiao8' Ning, and his team LGD Forever Young, have been eliminated from the Boston Major by Ad Finem, the Greek squad showing an impressive form at their first ever Valve event.
The series started with a dominant performance from Ad Finem who came more than prepared for xiao8’s tricky drafts. Banning Yao 'Yao' Zhengzheng most played hero, Slardar and picking Batrider for themselves, Ad Finem forced the Chinese to go with xiao8’s famous Enigma. However, the counter from the Greeks came in the form of a support Clockwerk whose only mission was to disrupt Enigma’s farm and level progression as much as possible. The objective was easily achieved, and LFY was not able to find the fast level six that would create problems for Ad Finem’s Morphling. Once they finally had the Black Hole online, LFY grouped as five bottom lane close to the ten minute mark to stop the Morphling farm, but the first team fight of the game ended up disastrously for them. They could never get the control back from Ad Finem’s firm grip.
Omar 'Madara' Dabachach played an out of his mind Morphling, who at the 20 minute mark already had the Ethereal Blade ready and was continuously fighting with his team or split pushing while waiting LFY to adventure outside their base. In the end he proved to be litterally unkillable, and the Chinese team waved the white flag.
Despite taking such a convincing victory in the opening game of the series, Ad Finem found themselves quite out-drafted and outplayed by LFY in game two. A last pick Terrorblade along with a Disruptor were the weapons that dismantled Ad Finem’s game plan.
It was LFY’s turn to focus on shutting down the most important hero of the Greek squad, namely the mid lane Alchemist while the Terrorblade had no problem in winning his lane. With the Alchemist was struggling to survive against the continuous ganks and pressure put by LFY’s mid Timbersaw, xiao8 on Bountyhunter, and Yao on Batrider were invading the Radiant jungle, clearing all the neutral stacks that could have saved the day for Dmitris 'ThuG' Plivouris.
Cornered in their own base before before the 20 minute mark, Ad Finem couldn’t successfully defend the high ground more than once as their only wombo-combo Chaotic Offering into Vacuum Wall was also countered with perfectly landed Static Storm - Kinetic Field from Leong 'DDC' Fat-meng's Disruptor. So the series was pushed in a decisive game three.
Interestingly enough, with their backs against the wall, both teams allowed their adversaries to play their signature heroes and comfort strategies. But despite being the more experienced ones and even with an Ursa lineup on the Dire side of the map, LFY couldn’t execute their strategy at all as Ad Finem went with their notorious super aggressive early game. Constantly lurking around the Roshan pit with Mirana and making sure at the same time that Xie 'Super' Junhao’ Alchemist got exactly the same treatment as ThuG got in the previous game, Ad finem kept LFY under control for the entire early to mid stage.
Without a Radiance and unable to get a single Roshan kill by the 15 minute mark, LFY started to play extremely defensive, slowing down Ad Finem’s aggression and killing the momentum for the Greeks. Unable to find the kills they were looking for, Ad Finem went for a quick Roshan kill at the 24 minute mark and tried to push the high ground, an attempt that ended terrible for them and gave LFY the first real hope at a possible comeback.
However, Ad Finem didn’t back up with their first defeat and went on hunting once again, this time around with a key BkB on OD to counter the Global Silence. Almost feeling the victory in their hands, the Greeks coordinated incredibly well, ThuG on his Outworld devourer being by far the most important factor in each and every team fight. His countless Astral Imprisonment saves along with flashy plays coming from Giorgos 'SsaSpartan' Giannakopoulos and Verros 'Maybe Next Time' Apostolos enabled Ad Finem to take the victory at the end of amazingly well-fought 45 minutes.
For those who weren’t able to catch the Boston Major day three action we strongly recommend to check the Ad Finem series against LGD Forever Young along with WG Unity’s first match against OG, as these two underdog teams have provided the most spectacular performances on the Wang Theater stage.
Unfortunately for the Asian fans, there are no Chinese or SEA teams left standing in the battle for the Eaglesong trophy. The last day of the Boston Major has two semifinals and the Grand Finals left to be played. OG will face EG at 10:00 EST/16:00 CET while Digital Chaos will face Ad Finem at 13:00 EST/19:00 CET for a shot at the Grand Finals which are scheduled to commence at 17:00 EST/23:00 CET.