RaidCall D2L: North-Americans looking strong

General Sovann “Skim” Kim

The first day of the RaidCall D2L playoffs has concluded and is already out of the tournament. Two North-American teams will meet in the Winner's Bracket final, while Empire has dropped to the Lower Bracket. is the first team to drop out of the D2L playoffs. This guarantees Empire at least third place and prize money of at least $2,000.

Empire vs Liquid


The first game was an impressive show of Empire's teamwork, with their offensive trilane completely destroying Liquid. The space created by the trilane gave Puck and Bone Fletcher enough space to farm properly and get their core items relatively early, resulting in complete domination during the middle game.
A special mention has to be made for the remarkable performances by Goblak's Earthshaker and Scandal's Bone Fletcher, whose communication and execution won most of the fights for Empire.

For the next game, Empire decided to use a big ultimate combo, that required perfect execution and hero positioning. Their decision to roam with Gyrocopter and Tidehunter did not work out, as the two heroes did not manage to grab any important kills, resulting in lack of farm and levels. The combination of Lifestealer and Chen proved to be too strong, completely countering Empire's strategy, leading Liquid to a relatively easy win in game two.

Liquid's third game draft was a surprise as they picked Ogre Magi, a hero that was recently used without success in Starladder Finals. The combination of Ogre Magi and Leshrac was really powerful, grabbing kills after kilsl for Liquid. The early game advantage was too big for Empire to handle, forcing a gg 17 minutes into the game.

Dignitas vs Fnatic


Dignitas abused the absence of Fnatic's captain, completely destroying Fnatic in game one. The support Naga Siren did not work out at all for the Europeans, who did not manage to pressure Dignitas at all. Sneyking's Templar Assassin took down the enemy heroes in ease, resulting in an easy win.

Fnatic played with their full roster in the second game, but did not manage to turn the tides. Unable to see through Dignitas strategy, they chose not to protect the bottom rune and the area around Roshan. Dignitas abused this lack of insight, snatching a Level-One Roshan kill, giving them a huge gold and experience advantage. Fnatic tried to get back in the game, but Aui's Tiny and Sneyking's Templar Assassin were too much to handle.

Empire vs Fnatic


Fnatic opted for strong pushing and high elusiveness line-up, that did not provide strong teamfight potential in exchange. Empire, on the other hand, forged a solid combination of initiation and AOE, with blowyourbrain's Lifestealer buying Orchid Malevolence and Blink Dagger for extra mobility during fights. Empire, winning most of the teamfights, applied huge pressure on Fnatic, who managed to survive only due to Tinker's March of the Machines and Furion's treants. Eventually, Empire managed to take out these heroes, entering the base without proper defense. It took them about 40 minutes to get the first game.

Empire made an unusual decision in Game 2, using Chaos Knight in a support role. Fnatic, on the other hand, used Wisp for the middle lane. These unorthodox choices did not work out for both sides, but Fnatic managed to emerge victorious from most of the early game clashes. Their heavy AOE-based line-up helped them for the rest of the game, giving them their first win of the day.

Fnatic only won one game in total, losing to Dignitas 2-0 and 2-1 to Empire. Game 2 against Dignitas was special in particular, as the North-Americans opted for an unusual level 1 Roshan, which gave them an early advantage.

Meanwhile, Team Liquid pulled it back after being down 0-1 to Empire and won, even forcing out an early gg call in game 3.

Today, at 19:00 CET, Team Liquid and Team Dignitas will face off in the Winner's Bracket fina. The loser will drop down to play against Team Empire, set for 22:00 CET. The winner of this consolation final will be in the Grand Final, scheduled for 01:00 CET on 11th April.

The matches will be streamed live on OneMoreGame.Tv and casted by Ayesee and Draskyl. Additionally Merlini will be joining Ayesee as a guest commentator for the first match, Empire vs. Team Liquid. Versuta will be providing a Russian cast of the games.

Raidcall D2L prizes
1st place$5,000
2nd place$3,000
3rd place$2,000

Check link for brackets, and VODs
Sovann “Skim” Kim
<p>21, German. I started at GGnet 2 years ago as an editor and came back this year as Dota 2 crew lead. I like turtles, Dota, casting and doing interviews. I'd like to think of myself as somewhat funny. I hate tomatoes.</p> <p>Follow <a href="">@SkimGaming</a></p>