posted by ProxyPL,
Today's four elimination games truly showed us the charm of Bo1 series, as they offered two suprising upsets when both Rave and HyperGloryTeam emerged victorious from their respective match ups against HellRaisers and Na'Vi. iG hastily took care of an underwhelming LGD and last but not least, we got to see an 812 GPM EternalEnvy Juggernaut.

With winners bracket semifinals concluded, it was time for the first elimination matches of the main event to be played. The losers of yesterday's series faced off against teams placed from 9th to 12th in the group stage. The format was best of one so it was literally do or die for all the contenders. The jump in prize money between 9th-12th and 7th-8th is over $70,000, a fact that added even more pressure.

ru HellRaisers vs ph Rave
In the first series, HellRaisers who dropped down from winners bracket took on Rave who made it to the playoffs through a tie breaker. However, the Russians got outclassed in their winners bracket match and everyone was wondering how the morale in the team was faring, as the loss led to a drafter swap. In the meantime Rave had nothing to lose and everything to gain, being considered the weakest team in the main event.

HR drafted a very strong team fight lineup with a lot of huge ultimates while Rave prioritized pickoffs and push. Despite a ton of rotations and teleports around the map by HR in the early game it was Rave who came out on top, managing to avoid HR's aggression. After getting a bunch of kills and a few towers under their belt, their Storm spirit was starting to gain momentum.

In the mid game Rave avoided team fights and got favorable exchanges having superior push. The first big team fight happened near the Rosh pit and thanks to great positioning of Beastmaster, Rave revealed HR's Smoke of Deceit preventing the Russians from getting the initiation they needed to perfectly land all of their big ultimates. With this success, Rave gained a significant lead and took place in the driver's seat.

HellRaisers - image courtesy of SLTV

Another important fight occured after HR tried to kill off the wealthy support Lion. This backfired heavily as Chen managed to keep him alive with Hand of God. Reinforcements for Rave arrived shortly and they won the team fight which allowed them to threaten the barracks and force a couple of buybacks. Not having buyback came to effect after a few minutes more when Rave manage to get a good initiation, win a team fight and secure Roshan as well as three sets of barracks! By that point it was all over for the Russian squad.

cn Invictus Gaming vs cn LGD Gaming
iG who dropped from the winners bracket faced off with LGD who placed 9th in the group stage. iG performed a bit better in the group stage, but LGD showed an incredible ability to hold their highground throughout this tournament. It was a match between two teams that are merely shadows of their former selves and it turned out to be a pretty one-sided story at that.

Even before the game started it was very clear that iG's draft and gameplan was a lot easier to execute. To survive, LGD had to perform very well in the early game, a feat they did not succeed with. SF was last hitting out of control and completely crushing Medusa in the midlane and farming stacks prepared by his supports. Ember Spirit didn't achieve anything with a few forced early rotations and ended up very underfarmed.

iG with Mekansm on SF started to move around the map taking tower after tower and winning every fight that LGD tried to take. Shortly after the 20 minute mark iG easily took top barracks, only losing two heroes in the process. For the coming 25 minutes LGD was as good as completely contained in their base while iG farmed the whole map. After a few unsuccessful attempts at destroying another set of barracks, the stalling LGD's courier got sniped carrying components of MKB worth 3,900. It was only a matter of time now and before long, iG managed to finally break the base and utilised their huge advantage to secure the win.

Ferrari_430 unleashes the Requiem of Souls

ua Natus Vincere vs cn HyperGloryTeam
The third match was Na'Vi, who dropped from the winners bracket against HGT who ended up at 11th place. The Ukrainian squad probably had the closest match yesterday and did a lot better than HGT in the group stage, so they were a clear favourite in this match. Nonetheless, it was a matter of one single game and everyone knew that anything could happen.

It wasn't just anything but HGT that happened to pass in Na'Vi's way, with an impressive performance in this chaotic match up. Na'Vi looked fairly strong in the earlygame and dominated the lanes, especially their aggressive trilane where XBOCT's Juggernaut completely demolished ZSMJ's Ember Spirit in all aspects. Funn1k on his favored core Warlock did equally well against the sole Axe and even scored an early solokill, earning him a pre 20 minute mark Aghanim's Scepter along with his Hand of Midas.

Even though they had all the means to win the game, they could not utilise the strength of the Warlock ultimate with efficiency, mainly due to reckless use from Funn1k. Either he blew it on unsuccessful solokill attempts or dropped the golems too early in fights without gaining any real objectives. HGT showed great patience and managed to hold off Na'Vi's pushes until Ember Spirit and Templar Assassin could get back on track. The real heroes of HGT however, were their two supports prettyHAW and KAKA, who made excellent use of Lion early Blink Dagger and picked off overextending Na'Vi players with the Earth Spike into Death Ward combination.

The potent assassination squad of HGT

The nail in Na'Vi's coffin was the very same combination, which meant the end for Dendi's Shadow Fiend in a pushing effort at the Dire base. With the double Inferno on cooldown, Na'Vi could do nothing more than watch as Dendi went down to the heavy damage from Witch Doctors Aghanim's enforced ultimate and as he had no buyback, they lost two sets of barracks in the process. Sloppy play from Na'Vi and great discipline from HGT resulted in abrupt elimination for the Ukrainian squad.

world Cloud 9 vs cn EHOME
Lastly it was Cloud 9's turn to seek redemption as they took on EHOME who placed 10th in the group stage. An EHOME carrying the expectations of the legendary brand with players that are considered to be some the most talented in China and Malaysia in the roster. Sadly the newly formed squad still has a long way to go before they can rise to the brand's legacy.

On the other hand we had Cloud 9 who came from a crushing defeat against Big God and as a team known to be emotional, many might have expected that they'd still may be affected by that loss. However, C9 have proven both in the group stages and yesterday in the second match that they can come back strong with a clear head.

Today's game was no exception as Cloud 9 set the pace right from the start with their strong laning and EHOME had little to put up against the presence of C9's supports. It was however a game of turning tides and EHOME quickly reacted to the unsatisfactory game picture and rotated as many as four heroes mid to kill of FATA's Venomancer several times. With newly gained momentum they could get back in the game and start focusing on their initial idea of picking heroes off one after another with the help of Ice Blasts.

Axe immediately regrets his decision

EHOME did not secure any objectives out of these kills, which kept the gold and experience graphs very even. Cloud 9 started to gain a substantial lead after a failed smoke gank from EHOME, who made the fatal mistake of not placing a sentry to check for enemy observer wards. They walked straight in to the fangs of C9's entire squad, who emerged with a crushing four for nothing trade. At this point, the ever diligent EternalEnvy had farmed his Juggernaut to great heights and started going berserk around the map. Clutch uses of Manta Style allowed him to dodge projectiles and confuse his enemies. Carrying his teammates on his shoulders, he soon started wearing down the base of EHOME who made but futile efforts to stop him. He was the real MVP of the game with his 13/0 record, along with Misery who operated his Blink Dagger equipped Lion with perfection.


This article was written by pl Jędrzej Smaruj, joinDOTA's writer.Proxy has gotten into eSports in late days of SC:BW, then he got absolutely consumed by SC2:WoL. After TI2 he started following Dota 2. If he isn't doing any Dota related stuff at the moment he is probably playing poker, watching cycling or trying to figure out IT for his university.Location: Gdańsk, PolandFollow him on @ProxyPL.

This article was written by se John Wimarsson, joinDOTA's Senior Writer.Jooehn is a gaming enthusiast who fell head over heels for Dota 2 after watching TI3. If he's not playing his guitar, writing for jD or lying on his couch dreaming about space, he's probably in solo queue trying to reach the 5K MMR dream.Location: Lund, SwedenFollow him on @Jooehn.