posted by Sun_Tzu,
Orange NeoES vs. Invictus Gaming
For the first game of the day iG surprised everyone as they went quite a ways out of their comfort zone, picking up the recently nerfed Treant Protector, helping to keep their Gyrocopter carry alive while he farmed up enough to take over the game. While Orange did a good job farming early, the Living Armor kept on denying the Lone Druid and Jakiro lineup from pushing towers as well as prevented Chai Yee 'Mushi' Fung on Queen of Pain from finding kills, especially due to a questionable Black King Bar purchase. Ultimately iG got too far ahead for Orange to handle, ending the game around 37 minutes in.
While Orange had a good start to game two, winning mid and managing to hold down Chen 'Zhou' Yao's Anti-Mage during the laning stage, they also ended up feeding a few Spirit Bears, donating some free gold to iG and helping keep the game close, allowing iG to buy the time for Zhou to not only recover but out-farm everyone else on the map. In the end a fully slotted Anti-Mage was too much for Orange to contend with, as they exited a major Chinese tournament outside of the top 3 for the first time since missing out on participating at the previous G-League season, before their roster change took effect.
Invictus Gaming shows signs of recovery, taking out Orange 2-0.
TongFu vs. DK
TongFu got a tanky dual core strategy along with three teamfight controllers to back them up, while DK answered with a heavy teamfighting lineup. As promised by Chen 'Hao' Zhihao in an interview conducted by the Dota 2 Super League (translation available here), TongFu made great work of countering DK's efforts, being active on the map and gaining the early kill lead, which they never gave up, instead executing a convincing timing push running over DK 17-4 in 25 minutes for an easy game one.
For the second game DK got their hands on Spectre for Zhilei 'BurNing' Xu as they proceeded to build a strong lineup which could create good situations for him to haunt in and get early assist gold, with Nature's Prophet teleporting in as well and having Visage for the early killing potential. In addition DK ran a Magnus in order to get the Empower for the Spectre, speeding up not just his farm but also his ability to deal considerable damage in fights. With this combination, DK went even in early kills and by the time BurNing had his radiance, things went out of hand for TongFu, punishing their greedy lineup of several level dependent heroes and evening out the series in just under 40 minutes.
For the deciding game, TongFu took the Spectre instead, but unlike DK they did not back it up with the same ability to overpower fights at a moments notice, as for the second game in a row DK's Fan 'r0tk' Bai played a strong game on his Nature's Prophet, shutting down a Weaver in a one on one match-up while BurNing took his Lifestealer to the offensive trilane in order to disrupt the farm of Hao on the Spectre. As they took over the game they never gave back control, methodically boxing TongFu in, to the point that neither their Spectre nor Weaver ever really had an impact during the game. DK finally ended the series a bit before the 40 minutes mark, and it it taking the series.
DK take the series 2-1 over TongFu, giving us an exact mirror of the final stages of the TI2 playoffs.
Coming up next
While we've talked before about the Na`Vi vs. LGD.Cn previously, a few words should be said about the DK vs. iG game. While the brackets may mirror TI2, the teams themselves have changed quite a bit. While iG took a strong win over Orange today, not everything is still firing on all cylinders. Their Treant Protector play however showed good potential, and it may be a key to claiming one win over DK, meaning they only need to get one more win through old fashioned solid play. At the same time, DK looked far stronger today than they had up against LGD.Cn in their upper bracket semi-finals, showing that in particular r0tk can be asked to carry some of the burden of responsibility for the team.
For this match-up, perhaps it is best to look to the solo-mids, as we all know what a presence Luo 'Ferrari_430' Feichi can be when he is at his best. Meanwhile on the side of DK, Junhao 'Super' Xie is also a highly capable player who has been slightly muted in recent games. Whichever of these two players plays better is likely to swing the difference between the two fairly well matched teams. Unless iG crumbles and goes back to being the aimless team they've been for much of the past month. Time will tell.