Dreamleague Season 11 Stockholm Major: Playoffs Day 1 Results
photo courtesy of Adela Sznajder and Dreamhack
Day one of the DreamLeague Season 11 Playoffs ended with EHOME and Natus Vincere heading home, while J.Storm and Infamous avoided elimination. In the upper bracket, it was the Chinese story as PSG.LGD dominated Mineski and Vici Gaming brought an end to Team Secret's win streak.
J.Storm vs. Natus Vincere
Despite panelist doubts about J.Storm’s draft, the North American squad delivered against Natus Vincere’s balanced lineup, which found favour with casters and analysts. Early on, J.Storm invested a lot of time in the top lane seeking to shut down Vladislav 'Crystallize' Krystanek’s farm on the Ursa. Initially, they were successful but a few mistakes early on cost them the little lead they gained as Crystallize recovered from the pressure with ease. In the midgame, J.Storm pushed the pace with their item timings masterfully; and, they quickly punished each small error the CIS squad made. Natus Vincere, however, pushed back and took a number of good fights, which made things a bit more difficult for J.Storm—especially with the looming threat of Idan 'MagicaL' Vardanyan’s Medusa. Ultimately, despite NaVi’s late game hopes, the constant pressure and advantage built up by J.Storm was their undoing, as each fight turned into an objective for the Taweon 'March' Park led squad. The game ended with a bang at 46 minutes via an insane four man Vaccuum-Wall combo from Sang-don 'Forev' Lee at NaVi’s final set of barracks.
Infamous vs. EHOME
In the second elimination match of the day, the South American squad dominated EHOME. Taking a page from J.Storm in the previous game, Infamous also ran a Nyx-Dark Seer combo that they put to devastating effect shutting down Jiang '天命' An’s Magnus, who only reached level 3 at the eight minute mark. With the intense pressure on the top lane from Joel 'MoOz' Mori and Mariano 'Papita' Caneda, the onus rested on EHOME’s cores to make up for their non-existent Magnus; however, the Chinese squad was a bit overzealous as a potential dive at around 10 minutes turned sour for them, as they lost three for nothing. As the game moved into its middle and final stages, Infamous held the reins firm and simply ran over the CN squad’s lineup.
Mineski vs. PSG.LGD
Game one was a short lived affair as PSG.LGD executed their plan like a well-oiled machine. Early on, Mineski’s lineup looked strong, with some great aggression and pressure in the bottom lane coming from Johan 'pieliedie' Astrom and Lai 'Ahjit' Jay Son. Hopes were also on Damien 'kpii' Chok’s Nightstalker to really ramp up in the first night, who was really unable to. As the game progressed, the weaknesses in Mineski’s lineups were exposed as PSG.LGD began to group up. The game ended in just 27 minutes, with Xu 'fy' Linsen putting on a show with his Pangolier.
Game two was a similar story as PSG.LGD executed a great draft once more. Despite this being their first showing with Guo 'Xm' Hongchen, the Chinese powerhouse dominated Mineski. Mineski had a better start to this game, especially once Ahjit’s free farm Morphling started to get involved with his E-blade shotgun shenanigans. However, the fy and Wang 'Ame-' Chunyu was too much to handle as Ame-, who went flawless in both games, simply deleted heroes left and right. Mineski showed some potential for a comeback as they took a number of good fights, but PSG.LGD continually capitalized heavily on their mistakes and further solidified their lead. PSG.LGD move on while Mineski fall to the lower bracket where they face off against J.Storm.
Team Secret vs Vici Gaming
Game one of the day’s final series saw Team Secret and Vici Gaming go at it in a very competitive 50 minute game. Vici Gaming drafted a strong pickoff lineup that had great objective taking potential via a Batrider, Death Prophet, and Troll Warlord. On the other hand, Secret went for a strong teamfight draft centered on Yazied 'YapzOr' Jaradat’s Enigma. In the early stages, both teams were content to farm, with Secret’s YapzOr and Michal 'Nisha' Jankowski getting basically free lanes. Zhang 'Paparazi' Chengjun also had a good time on his Troll Warlord. While Secret were content to farm, Vici Gaming needed to be the ones to push the pace, especially with Zhou 'Yang' Haiyang’s Batrider and the Chinese squad found a number of pickoffs as they grouped together around the map. As the game transitioned into the middle stages, teamfights broke out with two trading blows—although Secret seemed to be the ones coming out of the scraps with an advantage. Two key fights saw the game almost turn around for Vici: first, with Vici losing four in a poorly executed dive at Secret’s bottom tier two, and an almost mirrored fight at the Chinese squads own top tier two that saw them take three from Secret. In the contest’s final stages, however, it took too much of theVici’s tools to kill Secret’s heroes who consistently managed to come out on top: definitely thanks to Ludwig 'Zai' Wahlberg’s great initiations and constant control from his Vengeful Spirit. Secret consistently built their advantage after each fight and closed out the game in just under 50 minutes.
In game two, Vici Gaming truly showed why they were also a top seed from the group stage, as they weathered from Secret’s greedy lineup. Early on, both teams went into farm mode once more, especially Secret, with their Lone Druid and Anti-Mage for Zai and Nisha respectively. Nisha’s lane went well for him, as he picked up two kills early on thanks to the help of captain Clement 'Puppey' Ivanov. While cores from both Secret and Vici farmed, both teams’ supports constantly roamed, vying for a favourable position to push a lane advantage. While the game seemed relatively even for the first 10, it seemed it would all come apart for Vici at 13, as a poorly executed fight led to two heroes down for the Chinese squad—all the while Nisha’s Anti-Mage continued to farm. However, Vici took quick advantage shortly after in between Secret’s key item timings and pushed the pace, which eventually turned into a key Roshan for them at 24 minutes; that aegis would be the lynchpin for the start of Vici’s offense and comeback. In the game’s final stages, Secret and Vici engaged in continual high ground trades, with Zai and Nisha split-pushing while Zheng 'Ori-' Jiaoyang and squad sieged. Masterful management of TP scrolls allowed Vici to trade Secret’s barracks for their own T3s, and with structure advantage, along with items, enabled their victory as they brought an end to Secret’s 20 game win streak.
In the final game of the day, it would be the Chinese powerhouse to emphatically end not only Secret’s win streak, but also a further upper bracket position. Early on, it was the Paparazi show as his Morphling went to town on Secret’s lineup—no doubt empowered by their previous win. Vici’s confidence would come to bite them back, however, as their aggression cost them a number of kills that extended the game further. With Paparazi dominating, Secret’s hopes rested on Nisha’s Phantom Lancer who proved to be an absolute pest for Vici Gaming. Vici were in control for most of the game, although there was the potential for Secret’s comeback given their heavy amount of magical burst and their excellent defense against Vici’s siege. The Chinese squad finally broke through around 42 minutes after an extended fight, which saw Nisha without buyback. Team Secret fall to the lower bracket where they face off against the South Americans: Infamous.
Action resumes tomorrow with another set of elimination matches. These ones are set to be very interesting as seeming favourites Team Liquid face elimination against Chaos EC. Meanwhile, Ninjas in Pyjamas face off against Forward Gaming.
DreamLeague Season 11 Stockholm Major format
- Group Stage - March 14th - March 15th, 2019
- Sixteen teams are divided into four groups of four teams each where they play in a GSL double-elimination format.
- The top two teams advance to the upper bracket of the playoffs.
- The bottom two teams advance to the lower bracket of the playoffs.
- All games are Bo3.
- Playoffs - March 16th - March 24th, 2019
- Sixteen teams play in a double-elimination format over eight days, with the final three days being in front of a live crowd.
- Eight teams begin in the upper bracket, eight in the lower bracket.
- All games except Grand Finals and Lower Bracket Round 1 are Bo3.
- Lower Bracket Round 1 are Bo1.
- Grand Finals is Bo5.