posted by woodshrew,
It was a hot and humid day over at the X-Games held in Austin, Texas USA. The air-conditioning buzzed deep into the night with the action heating up during the course of 8 exciting BO1 matches. Since only two teams from each group can advance to Playoffs, every single game had a major impact on each teams' hopes to claim their part of the $165 000 USD prize pool. Incredible team-fighting, a shaded Sheriff and a familiar Mountain Giant all made an apperance on Day 1!

The Sheriff in Town: Bulldog

"A horrendous position for America!" - Tobi during Alliance vs. Evil Geniuses
The most anticipated match of the day was the nightcap between se Alliance and us Evil Geniuses, who went into the game with matching (1-0) records. The winner would finish Friday with a (2-0) record and secure themselves a spot in the Playoffs which begin Saturday.

Alliance's draft paired two highly elusive heroes in Weaver and Queen of Pain with the tanky Bristleback. This triple core lineup was jungle-powered by none other than se Joakim 'Akke' Akterhall, who kept the three cylinder engine going with clutch send-backs and Hand of Gods. EG just couldn't grab a hold of the scrambling Weaver or the kiting QoP, and the heals from Akke kept Loda's Bristle too tanky to focus down.

Loda brushing off all of EG's damage, with a send-back for good measure

The analyst desk of Nahaz, Capitalist and Soe praised the item decisions by se Henrik 'AdmiralBulldog' Ahnberg, who built a surprisingly effective first-item Monkey King Bar! The raw damage output crippled Aui's Wisp throughout the game, and the True Strike pinned down the evasion from pk Sumail 'SumaiL' Syed Hassan's Windrunner. Bulldog was free to Shukuchi and kite around EG's no-stun supports in Dazzle and IO, and put Alliance over the top with his impressive skittering play. Most kills, least deaths, good enough for the MVP and sheriff's badge.

EG will now need to take on London Conspiracy who also finished (1-1) after the groupstages. The winner will secure their Playoff spot, and the Loser sent to the stands. The game will be played out tomorrow at 19:00 CEST!

Someone Ban This Guy's Tiny

ru Virtus.Pro* and se Ninjas in Pyjamas* both entered the series with (1-0) records. These two European squads were ready to continue their fighting in the Texas badlands. But as the dust and tumbleweed settled, we were all left scratching our heads.

As soon as the game ended, Nahaz asked the rest of the desk: where was the Wisp/Tiny ban? Take a glance at se Adrian 'Era' Kryeziu's volume of work on the Mountain Giant, and you'll ask yourself the same question. [b]Era has more than double the number of wins compared to anyone in the entire pro scene[/b], with a sickening 72.7% win-rate no less.

Maybe VP's captain felt like he had an answer with his Drow strat. by Artem 'fng' Barshack opted to ban out heroes such as Viper and Chen in the first phase of the draft, handing over the devastating combo to the Swedes in the second picking phase. NiP opened the match with a patient gameplan, waiting for their timing in the mid-game. They swung the momentum behind se Adrian 'Era' Kryeziu's Tiny and se Linus 'Limmp' Blomdin's Leshrac, and took the top spot in Group B with relative ease after weathering VP's laning advantage.

So tomorrow at 20:00 CEST, we'll have the matchup between Fnatic (that's formerly Team Malaysia in case you didn't hear) and VP with a Playoff spot on the line. Virtus Pro took the game between the two early in the day, but these Southeast Asian stars have a lot of fight in them.

The Flea-bitten Flops: Summer's Rift and Mousesports

The two bottom ranking teams from Day 1 have already secured their spectator seating for the rest of the weekend. To be fair, both teams entered the LAN Finals having just undergone significant roster changes. On the side of Summer's Rift, us Jimmy 'DeMoN' Ho and his squad recently welcomed us Mark 'Tralf' Seidl and se Niclas 'Niqua' Westergård, while ca Tyler 'TC' Cook lent his carrying prowress to mouz as a stand-in for the weekend.

Still, neither team was able to put together a single victory in their Day 1 matches. It seemed like Mouz was back to their bag of old tricks, with their first game featuring an 8-slotted de Dominik 'Black^' Reitmeier Naga Siren. But the ultra-late 80 minute marathon was tossed away after crucial misplays from the rest of Mouz, and the Naga couldn't hold the base alone.

With their Playoff lives on the line, Mouz battled fiercely against the Malaysian stars on Int Fnatic, but eventually fell after a thrilling late-game base defence which 7ckingmad called the "most insane fight I've seen in a long while". Although their Season 2 participation ended with a deflating (0-2) record, credit is due for the strong effort we saw from the team in the face of their team changes.

Another North American representative, Summer's Rift, went up against two tough European squads, Alliance and London Conspiracy. Heroics from us Jimmy 'DeMoN' Ho's Sand King in the match against Alliance could not contain the swarm from Loda's Phantom Lancer. And against London Conspiracy, Rift was overwhelmed by the raw teamfight potential from LC, and couldn't make up the ground against gr Omar 'Madara' Dabachach's supremely farmed Leshrac.

And so two North American squads go down with the sunset, wrapping up our first day of the joinDOTA MLG Season 2 LAN Finals. Saturday will begin with matches deciding the two final Playoff spots for both groups, so be sure to tune in on and enjoy all the coverage and broadcasting provided by joinDOTA!

EG vs London Conspiracy 19:00 CEST!
VP vs Fnatic 20:00 CEST!
Can EG bounce back? Which game was the biggest upset? Comment below!

  • woodshrew


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