Russia and Brazil advance to the grand finals of WESG 2017
Photo courtesy of WESG
After the first day of the playoffs between the 8 teams that advanced, Virtus.pro +1 representing Russia and paiN Gaming representing Brazil have advanced to the grand finals of WESG 2017.
Starting with two teams each representing the regions of Russia, Brazil and China and one each for Malaysia and Greece, all of which fought an uphill battle in the group stages of the tournament consisting of 30 teams across two phases, the playoffs for the tournament were revealed to be even more gruelling with a single-elimination bracket.
Series 1: Rock.Y vs Fire Dragoon
Team Rock.Y representing China followed their impressive run in the group stages with a stellar performance in their first series against Malaysian squad Fire Dragoon, showcasing a diverse hero pool by not repeating a single hero pick across the three games they played. After a convincing win in the first game against Fire Dragoon's Dark Williow pick, never losing their networth advantage throughout the game, they lost the second one despite winning the laning stage. Adjusting to the Malaysians' multiple Clockwerk, Tusk and Razor picks, as the games got shorter and shorter, they finished the third game even faster despite losing their lanes with a last pick Tinker.
Series 2: paiN Gaming vs Keen Gaming
After losing to one of the three Chinese representives Keen Gaming in the first match, one of the two Brazillian representetives paiN Gaming secured the series with two quick 27 minute games. Adjusting to the Chinese team's push heavy lineups, the team only repeated one hero, Tusk, in the entire series and brought out a Chen and Pugna pickup in the last match, rapidly pushing to victory before the enemy Keeper of the Light could farm his Aghanim's Scepter.
Series 3: SG e-sports vs Team Russia
Team Russia (aka Virtus.pro minus Ukrainian mid player Vladimir "No[o]ne" Minenko), one of the two squads representing the country, continued their casual dominance in the tournament with a clean 2:0 sweep over the second Brazillian representative SG e-sports, bringing in their signature Disruptor + Naga Siren combo in the second game.
Series 4: Team Hellas vs Ultima_Thule
After an undefeated group stage, the Greek squad Team Hellas (ex-Mousesports players) surged past the second Russian representative at the tournament, Ultima_Thule. With a swift and dominating game 1, the squad was pushed to a game 3 after a rather tense game 2 where neither of the teams gained a considerable networth advantage, before a massive teamfight towards the end with multiple diebacks on the Greek side. Game 3 was a roller coaster, as Team Hellas gave up a massive networth advantage in the mid-game that they managed to attain despite a weak laning stage. They managed to bring it back and shocked everyone, the Russian squad the most, with a Rapier pickup on the Gyrocopter than decimated everyone on the enemy team, twice.
Series 5: Rock.Y vs paiN Gaming
Remaining as the only team representing the host country China, after the elimination of EHOME and Keen Gaming, Rock.Y was completely decimated by the tournament favorite carry Gyrocopter in game 1, before they returned the favor in a convincing fashion in game 2, outplaying paiN Gaming's repeated Enigma pick from game 1. In game 3, the Brazillian squad would shake things up and kick China's last hope out of the tournament, who, despite recovering from a lost laning phase, was forced to GG out as a dieback on their Shadow Fiend sealed the deal on their fate. They will return in the 3rd place decider tomorrow.
Series 6: Russia vs Team Hellas
In perhaps the most anticipated series of the evening, the Russian squad cruised through the Greek squad with 2 straight victories featuring the same Sand King + Death Prophet opening picks. Despite missing their highly skilled midlaner, the 3-time Major winning squad, arguably the best team in the professional scene, closed out the second, even shorter game at 25 minutes, without losing their networth advantage at any point. Sadly, after a promising performance throughout the tournament despite a disband last year, the Greek squad will not be able to bring the gold to their country. They will, however, return in the 3rd place decider tomorrow.
The last two series start early for the European audience, with the grand finals scheduled at 5:30 CET followed by the third place decider at 8:30 CET tomorrow i.e. 18th March.