VGJ.Thunder and Fnatic head to StarLadder ImbaTV Invitational S5 playoffs

Dota 2 Cristy “Pandoradota2” Ramadani

Photo courtesy of StarLadder

VGJ.Thunder and Fnatic survived the elimination series today to advance to the StarLadder ImbaTV Invitational S5 playoffs. 

The last day of the group stage at StarLadder ImbaTV Invitational S5 bid farewell to four teams — Team KinguinSG e-sports, FlyToMoon and Na'Vi.

The only top 8 DPC ranking team in the tournament — VGJ.Thunder was able to pull off a two-game sweep to the playoffs while it took Fnatic a full three games to clinch their place. 

FlyToMoon 2:1 Team Kinguin

Team Kinguin's only win was flanked by two outstanding performances by Bogdan "Iceberg" Vasilenko and two flawless games by Airat "Silent" Gaziev, first Void with a 17:0:12 record and then on Terrorblade with a 13:0:11 result. The first game was totally even between the two teams and could have gone either way for the first 27 minutes. One bad team fight resulted in a team wipe on Kinguin and subsequently, the Polish squad lost everything. They were never able to recover as the CIS team thrived on the momentum to the first victory. After a big hiccup in the second match, FlyToMoon quickly recovered for the third deciding game which belonged to them from the very start. Kinguin were never able to get their feet off the ground and lost the game and series, resulting in an early elimination. 

VGJ.Thunder 2:0 FlyToMoon

For the Group A decider series, a rematch of the first match of the tournament was at hand. FlyToMoon came out of the gates swinging and crushed VGJ.Thunder early in the first game of the series. VGJ.Thunder chipped away at the lead, closing the gap between the two teams. With some aggressive and risky plays, VGJ.Thunder overtook the CIS team to gain the first game advantage. The second game belonged to VGJ.Thunder from start to finish. FlyToMoon was barely able to contest the Chinese team's control and strength and in a much quicker game fell to a 2:0 sweep, right out of the tournament.

VGJ.Thunder have advanced to the playoffs and secured themselves more DPC points. 

Upper Bracket

Round 2 - Best of 3

Lower Bracket

Round 1 - Best of 3

Round 2 - Best of 3

Na'Vi 2:0 SG e-sports

Bullying the Crystal Maiden, Na'Vi had the advantage early on in the laning phase of Game 1. The early game was heavily one-sided with a 5:0 lead for them at the 5-minute mark. Performing in front of the home crowd with the chants of the audience to back them up, Na'Vi were on fire. Taking advantage of SG esports' weak lanes and greedy lineup, the hometown heroes dominated to be the pride of the fans and take the first game. Although Na'Vi looked pretty comfortable, SG esports was in a better position to start the second game than the previous one. The match started off passively as both teams were looking to farm early but Na'Vi started to pressure the lanes to gain the lead. It didn't take long at all for the Ukrainian team to completely destroy SG e-sports from there and dominate the game once again.

In a crushing sweep of 20-minute games, Na'Vi soared into the decider series and eliminated the South American team. 

Fnatic 2:1 Na'Vi

The rematch series between these two teams was highly anticipated for fans at the arena. The last series had lasted over three hours with the first match being a whopping 78 minutes. Na'Vi and their fans hoped to rewrite history and take the series this time. The first game of the series was back and forth with full swings and equally as entertaining. Despite having a sizeable lead and forcing Na'Vi into their base, Fnatic seemed to have trouble closing out the series and took 55 minutes to claim the first victory.

In the second game the Ukrainian heroes struck back hard with a strong start. They continued to set a fast tempo to shut down Fnatic and end the game quickly. In a shocking (for these two teams) 24 minutes, Na'Vi tied up the series and forced the deciding game. The last match was neck and neck for the early portion of the game. A huge fight at the Roshan pit around 25 minutes in made a big swing from Na'Vi's lead to Fnatic's favor. That pivotal moment was all that Fnatic needed to end of the game, take the series and eliminate the hometown heroes. 

Fnatic has secured additional DPC points and moved on to the playoffs where they will go head to head against OpTic Gaming tomorrow. 

Upper Bracket

Round 2 - Best of 3

Lower Bracket

Round 1 - Best of 3

Round 2 - Best of 3

The action resumes tomorrow with the playoffs and grand finals. First on the agenda will be Vega taking on VGJ.Thunder at 12:00 EEST/11:00 CEST in the semifinals. 

The broadcast will be held on the following channels:

 RU: starladder1
 EN: dotastarladder_en


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Cristy “Pandoradota2” Ramadani
Pandora is a behind the scenes Dota 2 professional Jack of All Trades. When not busy with Dota 2 work, she is out trying to save the world or baking cupcakes. Follow her on Twitter @pandoradota2


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