posted by woodshrew,
The D2CL Season V ticket also comes with a Skywrath Mage set
Loser's Bracket Finals: Invictus Gaming vs. LGD Gaming
G1: LGD and 'director8' dismantle iG
LGD came out of the gate in incredible form, greeting iG with their signature brand of co-ordinated and decisive team play. iG's draft could not match the sheer teamfight potential of LGD's Brewmaster and Phoenix. iG's Morphling last pick was able to effectively trade by split-pushing aggresively, but LGD's ability to apply continuous pressure through smoke ganks, timed to Roshan spawns, was masterful.
Aegis after Aegis was secured for Liu 'Sylar' Jiajun's Phantom Assasin, building his farm advantage and kill streak after every skirmish. iG, recognizing the importance of the late game Aegis and Cheese, took a disastrous fight around the 45 minute mark outside Roshan. An incredible high-ground Phoenix Supernova by Yao 'Yao' Zhengzheng engulfed the iG squad in flames, and iG ultimately could not fight through the Phantom Assasin and Brewmaster's fury.
G2: iG prevail with clutch teamfights
Both teams broke relatively even in the early game. Smart laning choices from LGD mitigated the powerful aggressive trilane from iG, and at 15 minutes, LGD's solo lane Viper and mid Sniper were in the top three in net worth and experience. iG drafted around Luo 'Ferrari_430' Feichi's Naga Siren late game, giving LGD a precious window of oppurtunity to take control of the match.
LGD pushed their advantage, leaving a single outer tower for iG by 20 minutes. Taking their chances, they sieged iG's high ground with Serpent Wards, with Naga Siren only holding a Boots of Travel and Radiance. iG would certainly have lost one set of barracks had it not been for an invisibility rune stashed in Naga's bottle. Activating the rune, Ferrari_430 slipped into the ranks of LGD's heroes, and used the Song of the Siren putting them to sleep, allowing iG to focus down Phoenix, who had activated Supernova. The sleep setup a huge Ancient Apparition Ice Blast on three LGD heroes, winning iG the fight and buying more time for Naga to farm.
With Naga's farm rate accelerating out of control and LGD lacking a means to control the illusion army, it was simply a matter of time for iG to build their net worth advantage and end the game in a gruelling 55 minute marathon.
G3: Ferrari unleashed
Simply put, Luo 'Ferrari_430' Feichi's performance on Queen of Pain secured iG's spot in the Finals against Vici Gaming. A dazzling 20-1 record does not fully describe the impact of the midlaner's play. By crushing Maybe's SF in the middle lane, Ferrari forced LGD to recover through jungle stacks and passive laning. This allowed the dual lanes of iG to apply even more pressure, as they could easily predict LGD's supports retreating to stack the jungle.
The match was decided at the 12 minute mark when LGD sent four heroes to shut down iG's offlane Bristleback. iG, with vision blanketing the map, anticipated the smoke rotation and were prepared with Blink and Primal Split on Xu 'BurNing' Zhilei's Brewmaster. A beautiful Sonic Wave from Ferrari's QOP demolished Sylar's Necrophos and both of LGD's supports. Sylar bought back into the fight and Faith greeted his return with a devastating Chain Frost, sending LGD's carry back to the grave. iG cleaned up all five heroes, and with the Sylar die-back, building the advantage that carried over to the final stretches of the game.
Ferrari_430's Sonic Wave on 3
The rest of the game which stretched out to 45 minutes, essentially had LGD 5-man huddled in their base while iG comfortably farmed the entire map. Unwilling to budge, LGD gifted their opponent a 40k+ XP and gold advantage, and then prompty took the loss, giving Invictus Gaming the series 2-1.
Regional Finals: Vici Gaming vs. Invictus Gaming
With a one game advantage in the best-of-five, VG had to win only 2 games to secure their LAN spot.
G1: Vici outlast iG in a 60 minute classic
Throughout the Finals, VG kept their new carry Chen 'Hao' Zhihao on heroes he was comfortable with. In game 1 they built their draft around his signature Lifestealer, picking up a support Nature's Prophet on their star support Xu 'Fy' Linsen. They finished the draft with high burst damage in Lion and Queen of Pain, and additional global with Daryl 'iceiceice' Koh on Zeus. iG's draft was more conventional, putting Ferrari_430 on his signature Storm Spirit. Their Nyx Assasin pick was a rare sight; the often overlooked hero was likely chosen to counter the four intelligence heroes on VG.
The early game was tightly contested, with cores on both sides finding farm and openings for kills. However, it was soon apparent that fy's Nature's Prophet would be able to control the pace of the game, initiating with TP/Infest ganks, split-pushing in LGD territory, and scouting out the enemy movement with treant micro. By the mid game his farm was out of control, providing his team with a '4th' core and source of damage.
Invictus Gaming was able to keep their foothold with aggressive pickoffs by Luo 'Luo / Xi' Yinqi's Nyx Assasin and Storm Spirit. Vici opted to farm efficiently across the map while maintainig control of key objectives such as Roshan. Both teams possesed enough firepower to demolish a team fight, so it came down to the control and disables provided by the offlane and supports. If Luo was able to initiate with multiple-hero Impales, iG had the uppper hand; if Fenrir was able to stay alive on his Lion and lock down the iG cores, Vici would cruise. In the end, Zeng 'Faith' Hongda's performance on Treant Protector underwhelmed, as he was unable to find the Overgrowths to hold the Lifestealer down. Fenrir continued to rise to the occasion and last throughout drawn out fights, and along with fy, pushed Vici over the top in a 60 minute marathon.
G2: Hao-le! Vici finish off iG
To close out the series, Vici pulled out a last pick Spectre for Hao, flipping the script on iG. Invictus Gaming drafted a "Drow Ranger" strategy, taking 5 ranged heroes. As is commonly the issue for these lineups, without a melee front-liner, teamfighting becomes difficult if the enemy can close the distance and scatter the formations. Spectre, with global Haunt, excels in this regard, and it was clear that iG had to build a lead early to come away victorious.
With both teams emerging from the lanes neck and neck, iG took their chances with the first teamfight at 15 minutes. With a decent initiation by Luo's Phoenix, Ferrari_430 zipped onto Super's SF, trying to bring him down with the descent of the Supernova. Super, choosing to go tanky with his Mekansm, survived Ferrari's barrage and released a huge Requiem, turning the fight, four-wiping iG. Although Super would go down in the fight, it meant Hao's Spectre would reap the rewards, boosting his already respectable farm.
VG with the (cheesy) 4-man Guise strategy
Matching up against BurNing's Drow, Hao surpassed the legendary carry's farm and enclosed iG from all sides. Amusingly, Vici ended the game with a four-man Nature's Guise gank at the doorstep of iG's base, and after a violent exchange of kills and iG burning buybacks, Vici comfortably ended the game, securing their LAN spot with a dominant 3-0 victory. Congratulations for qualifying for the D2CL Season 5 LAN!
Click here to view the grid for the China playoffs
This article was written by Ying “woodshrew” Sun, joinDOTA's Writer.Ying has been into Dota since the days you could purchase Aegis. In between cliff jungling Furion in low priority queue and watching NEL, he's reading team Empire's twitter and watching Arteezy stream shirtless.Location: Ottawa, Canada Follow him on @woodshrewdota.