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Bucharest Major day two - A morning of high groups

Posted by Nick "NickW" Webb at 05 March 2018 15:00


Photo courtesy of PGL


It's the second day of the PGL Bucharest Major, and this morning the five-round swiss format brought us four more best of ones, as yesterday's victors squared-off with each other to see who could stay winners going into day three.

With the Swiss Style format, winners from today's matches go into the next round with a 2:0 advantage. Three wins secure a team a spot in the playoffs. Only eight teams total will make the cut. A loss in the 'high' rounds today places teams in the mid group with a 1:1 record to continue their battle for additional wins and stave off defeats and eventual elimination. 

TNC vs Optic Gaming

The "High group" got things started this morning, with TNC and Optic Gaming receiving the early morning call. TNC drafted a magic heavy line-up with a Witch Doctor/Puck combo into Optic's more physical choices.

vs
TNC Predator lineup

The Radiant

KuKU-QQ Witch Doctor Witch Doctor
Sam_H Puck Puck
TIMS Tusk Tusk
Raven. Lifestealer Lifestealer
Armel Shadow Fiend Shadow Fiend
Bans:
Io Keeper of the Light Naga Siren Dragon Knight Elder Titan Tidehunter
OpTic Gaming lineup

The Dire

Gyrocopter Gyrocopter Pajkatt
Bane Bane ppd
Tiny Tiny 33
Nyx Assassin Nyx Assassin Zai
Templar Assassin Templar Assassin CC&C
Bans:
Razor Omniknight Sand King Terrorblade Juggernaut Broodmother

A scrappy style from both sides meant the first thirty-five minutes went back and forth, with the Filipinos just nudging out a slight lead over the Americans. Marco Polo Luis "Raven" Fausto's lifestealer was not only dishing out serious damage but proving uncatchable, refusing to die and give up his juicy bounty. After one such unsuccessful map-wide chase, Pelle Olsson "Pajkatt" Lille had had enough with the rage machine and took the game into rapier mode on his gyro. It did it's job and Optic where enjoying some late-game success, but then a great initiation form TNC saw Shadow Fiend claim the gyro's rapier and the lion's share of his damage. A second rapier for the NA guys seemed like it could even things up but it too was swiftly claimed by TNC and shortly after that with the stolen twin blades, so was the game.

Evil Geniuses vs Team Liquid

A Northern American morning was rounded off when Evil Geniuses took on the world's best in Team Liquid. The draft was fairly even with both teams able to pick-up comfort heroes and well-used synergy.

vs
Team Liquid lineup

The Dire

Matumbaman Razor Razor
GH Elder Titan Elder Titan
KuroKy- Bane Bane
MinD_ContRoL Batrider Batrider
Miracle- Phantom Lancer Phantom Lancer
Bans:
Omniknight Bounty Hunter Beastmaster Drow Ranger Pugna Keeper of the Light
Evil Geniuses lineup

The Radiant

Rubick Rubick Cr1t-
Nature's Prophet Nature's Prophet MiSeRy-
Dragon Knight Dragon Knight Fear
Morphling Morphling Arteezy
Abaddon Abaddon SumaiL
Bans:
Terrorblade Chen Io Enchantress Witch Doctor Gyrocopter

The first ten minutes told a story that has been so familiar when these teams have met of late. Liquid dominated the lane phase and it was looking like an early stomp, with Maroun "GH" Merhej's Eldar Titan seeming too be in all three lanes at once, giving his side the advantage early and lettting his teammate Ivan Borislavov "MinD_ContRol" Ivanov get himself an early 7 - 0. EG seemed to get some semblance of order back after that and keep the networth close despite their lack of kills. A fully farmed Amer "Miracle-" Barqawi on his Phantom Lancer kept EG from pushing out of their base and an early racks looked like a short morning for "the boys". Dota, is a fickle and capricious beast, however, that cares little for plans and providence, and that's why we love it. Around the thirty-minute mark, things started to happen for EG. Rasmus "MiSeRy" Filipsen's first-pick five position Nature's Prophet which up until now hadn't been too impactful was all over the map, snipping couriers and ratting tier threes with his lucky meteor hammer. Giving his cores time to farm up some essential items.

The last fifteen minutes were amazing, with constant team fights erupting in both bases, jungles and the Roshan pit as both teams tried to secure the match. In the end, Artour "Arteezy" Babaev's morphling out-scaled the Liquid cores for damage and a risky push to try and secure mega-creeps for Liquid left Miracle and Lasse "Matumbaman" Urpalainen dead on the steps of EG's base with no buy backs, and the comeback-kings did it once more. Liquid gave them the GG nod as the Americans stormed their base and moved themselves to 2 - 0 in the tournament. The match was as high skilled as it gets, and if you didn't catch it, well worth an hour of your time.

Team Secret vs VGJ.Thunder

The third match of the morning from the "high group" Team Secret took on the constantly increasing acronym that is VGJ.Thunder. As you can see from the draft below both teams chose to pick very aggressive early affective heroes, that promised to be a bloodbath.

vs
Team Secret lineup

The Dire

YapzOr Nyx Assassin Nyx Assassin
Puppey Ancient Apparition Ancient Apparition
MidOne Invoker Invoker
Ace. Juggernaut Juggernaut
FATA- Bristleback Bristleback
Bans:
Razor Omniknight Death Prophet Storm Spirit Templar Assassin Phantom Assassin
VGJ.Thunder lineup

The Radiant

Elder Titan Elder Titan Fade.
Disruptor Disruptor ddc
Brewmaster Brewmaster Yang.cn
Lycan Lycan Sylar
Gyrocopter Gyrocopter Kamma
Bans:
Bane Chen Earthshaker Tiny Lifestealer Tidehunter

And that's what happened! For VGJ.Thunder at least. Nai Zheng "MidOne" Yeik got to take his fabled Invoker in the mid match but chose to go for a quas wex build instead of his usual quas exort. It did not turn out as effective as it had in other matches, and with a few failed gank attempts and VGJ.Storm's previous MVP Jia Jun "Sylar" Liu Lycan doing so well in the early game that he could free up his lane and jungle; Secret found themselves on the wrong end of an 8 - 1 after just ten minutes.

It got worse for the Europeans as the cores from VGJ.Storm continued to run at them and press their advantage until the Chinese  team decided they'd have a crack at high-ground after only twenty minutes. There were rays of hope for Secret as they defended well and the great Dane Marcus "Ace" Moelgaard managed to get some ratting base damage of his own done.  After that, there was more patience from VGJ.Thunder and they slowly but expertly closed the noose around Secret and chocked them of vision, farm, heroes and eventually buildings. They took the game just after the thirty-minute mark with a 35 - 5 thundering.

OG vs Newbee

Lastly from the high group, OG took on Newbee in an even-odds "Pick-em" match-up. It was a stable draft from both sides, with both teams looking solid going into the game.

vs
Newbee lineup

The Dire

Sccc Gyrocopter Gyrocopter
Faith Disruptor Disruptor
kpii Underlord Underlord
KAKA Nyx Assassin Nyx Assassin
Moogy Razor Razor
Bans:
Chen Tusk Death Prophet Lifestealer Morphling Terrorblade
OG Dota2 lineup

The Radiant

Earth Spirit Earth Spirit JerAx
Bane Bane Fly-Simba
Brewmaster Brewmaster s4
Outworld Devourer Outworld Devourer N0tail-BigDaddy
Juggernaut Juggernaut Resolut1on
Bans:
Omniknight Naga Siren Elder Titan Dragon Knight Tidehunter Shadow Fiend

The laning phase was a mixed bag for OG, who had to sacrifice Johan "NOtail-BigDaddy" Sundstein and his chosen Otherworld Devourer in the mid and the Brewmaster offlane in order to give Roman "Resolut1on" Fominok a good start in the safelane on the Juggernaut. It did work for them, after the ten-minute mark Reso' was by far at the top of the networth, but all three of Newbee's core were next with almost the same level of farm. With a few items under their belt the team from China grouped up and forced OG to try and take team fights they weren't ready for or play split-push with ill-fitting heroes for that role.

What followed was a slow application of pressure from Newbee. They forced OG to split up trying to find gold and experience on the map in order to get some items timing that would let them fight. Time and time again though it ended badly for the lonely europian farmers, as Hu "KAKA" Liangzhi's Nyx assassin was hunting down anyone who dared farm a creep camp or push out a wave. Resolut1on's Jug was still doing well and at least keeping up with Newbee's cores, but all it took was a find and impale from KAKA, and Jug was sent back to his shrine in pieces. His ensuing buy-back didn't manage to stop the high-ground push from Newbee and it all ended in tears for OG and they GG'd out after the first barracks fell.

With a morning off Dota like that, in the group stages, I have high hopes for this Major, and with the high levels of skill on show and the under-dog favorites pulling out wins, it going to be all to play for.

PGL Bucharest Major Group Stage Format:
 

  • 16 team swiss-tournament
  • Every match is Bo1
  • First round seeded

 

Second round

  • Division into 2 groups:
  • Winners of the first round ("high")
  • Losers of the first round ("low")
  • Each team is drawn an opponent they have not played yet from their group

Third round

  • Division into 3 groups:
  • Teams with a score of 2:0 ("high")
  • Teams with a score of 1:1 ("mid")
  • Teams with a score of 0:2 ("low")
  • Each team is drawn an opponent they have not played yet from their group
  • Winners of the high group advance to playoffs
  • Losers of the low group are eliminated

Fourth round

  • Division into 2 groups:
  • Teams with a score of 2:1 ("high")
  • Teams with a score of 1:2 ("low")
  • Each team is drawn an opponent they have not played yet from their group
  • Winners of the high group advance to playoffs
  • Losers of the low group are eliminated

Fifth round

  • Each team is drawn an opponent they have not played yet from their group
  • Winners advance to playoffs
  • Losers are eliminated
     

 

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