posted by Meliora.Infinitum,
The results are in for the HyperX D2L Western Challenge after an entertaining, albeit a fast Bo5 series. ua Na’Vi and us EG duked it out in a fantastic fashion, trading blows in a slugfest of a series that ultimately saw one team rise above the other and take home the grand prize of over 29,000 USD.

us EG exerted their dominance cruising through the Upper Bracket without dropping a single game, whereas ua Na’Vi had to work their way through the grueling Lower Bracket for their spot in the finals. After yesterdays’ showdown and two clear victories against both ru Team Empire and eu Fnatic, Na'Vi was coming off strong and wasn’t going to let EG off easy. However, the Americans had different things in mind.

A quick first blood started off the game as XBOCT was caught unaware by Sand King (with brown boots) in the Radiant jungle, and died before he could escape. While that gave us EG a minor lead, the first few minutes of the laning stage were going into ua Na’Vi's favor. Five minutes in, Na’Vi dove head first into enemy territory, losing three heroes for practically just a Sand King and throwing away their lead in both gold and experience. Another favorable trade put EG further ahead just few minutes later, as Universe’s Ravage caught four heroes on the bottom lane, with two of them being obliterated in an instant. Na’Vi seemed to have trouble finding a solution for the huge team fight ultimates that EG kept on throwing at them on every cooldown, but they were able keep up with the gold and experience admirably despite the fights going EG’s way. With superior execution, EG was able to outmaneuver their opponent, and with a huge team fight victory between the tier one towers on the top lane at 20 minutes in, they sealed the deal as Na’Vi - seemingly overpowered - called an early GG and set their sights on game two.

The game two was an outright slugfest with neither of the teams backing down an inch. With ua Na’Vi securing a much better start this time around, leading 3 to 0 just five minutes in they had the tools to end it early, but let it slip right through their fingers with few misplays. This culminated with a 4-man wipe in the bottom lane, 13 minutes into the game. Ayesee proclaimed that “us EG had successfully flipped the script” and taken the lead, but only for an instant. Na’Vi regrouped just a few seconds later and with some brilliant coordination was able to destroy 4 of the enemy heroes, dropping only two themselves. Both teams traded kill for kill and blow for blow for the next 30 minutes or so, with gold graph swinging back and forth while neither of the teams could deal a coup-de-grace. The first real turning point of the rollercoaster of a game was seen at 43 minutes in as Na’Vi was able to win a crucial team fight at the Roshan pit killing 3 enemy heroes, all of which were without gold for a buyback. The advantage allowed the Ukrainians to punch into EG’s base and take down the first set of Barracks. However, just a couple of minutes later - feeling the pressure - EG took the initiative and pushed into their opponents' base, and with a double Primal Split as well as a brilliant Epicenter crushing the Na’Vi supports, they were able to even out Barracks with the set of their own. Na’Vi tried to mount a death push into the enemy base, but were ultimately unsuccessful taking a crucial defeat as XBOCT fell once again, this time without a buyback, after an amusing merry-go-round through the Radiant jungle. With Lycan down for the count EG was able to overcome the enemy defenses and force out a GG with 53 minutes in the clock. EG now had the advantage 2 to 0.

Templar Assassin grew too big for Na'Vi to handle.

The game three was an even match between the two teams that ultimately boiled down to one hero having too much farm for the opponent to handle. While ua Na’Vi was securing a lot more farm wise early on, being able to effectively shut down Arteezy’s Templar Assassin, they weren’t able to push their advantage to the fullest. Their opponents' Centaur Warrunner time and time again expertly used Stampede to save his teammates. EG’s TA was finally able to catch up on farm and slowly but surely started wreak havoc in the team fights. The game was almost dead even until the huge clash in the Radiant jungle 30 minutes into the game, where Na’Vi ended up losing five heroes for nothing. With the advantage gained from the fight and the Templar Assassing reaching a critical mass, us EG was able to put the pedal to the metal and ultimately wrangle themselves another victory.

us EG crushes ua Na’Vi 3 to 0, not dropping a single game in the entire playoff stage.

us EG took an undefeated best of three against the old guard, further proving their strong position to perform at the upcoming International 4, but for ua Na’Vi, their second-place finish goes to show that they are preparing for the big matches to come. It also shows that they still have some work to do if they want to continue their record as the kings of International competition.

Prize distribution:

1st Place - us Evil Geniuses - ~$29,600
2nd Place - ua Natus Vincere - ~$19,600
3rd Place - eu Fnatic - ~$10,200

This article was written by fi Teemu Ikonen, joinDOTA's Senior Writer. Meliora.Infinitum got absorbed into Dota during a LAN party between TI and TI2, and has been captivated ever since. Spends his spare time outdoors taking photos and writing a book. Believer of alternate universes, no legs strat and Half Life 3. Location: Espoo, FinlandFollow him on @MelioraInf.

This article was written by us Gorgon the Wonder Cow, joinDOTA's Senior writer.Gorgon is a shoutcaster and analyst for CEVO, joinDOTA, DotaTRASH, and anywhere a fast tongue with top insight is required. He also like pinball and bellybutton lint. Gorgon is not his birth name.Location: Ann Arbor, MIFollow him on @GoTCoWDotA.