posted by Stache,
The joinDOTA MLG Season 2 Championships group stages finished up today with some massive upsets as the two favourites, and TI invitees, us Evil Geniuses and ru Virtus.Pro* were sent packing. Meanwhile the likes of gr London Conspiracy*, se Ninjas in Pyjamas* and se Alliance who failed to secure even a wildcard spot at TI advanced instead.
gr Haris 'SkyLark' Zafiriou looked super stoked during the post-match interview

The groupstage format is distinctly different to the ones traditionally used in Dota 2. The round-robin format was upgraded to two double elimination groups where the top two advance to bo3 semifinals. This means that two strikes and you're out, and for LC and EG who both already had one loss to their names ahead of the match, defeat would mean 3rd place and the end of the line.

London Conspiracy took what looked like Evil Geniuses game

Many people barely considered the second game a contest. London Conspiracy failed to even make it out of the TI qualifier groupstages while EG had been given a direct invite due to their dominance in recent tournaments. On top of that LC was playing with a stand-in.

Despite that the laning was an absolute mess for EG. us Clinton 'Fear' Loomis rotations to the bot lane didn't play off and LC even got turnaround kills. Going forward things didn't look much better for EG as gr Giorgos 'SsaSpartan' Giannakopoulos found an amazing Black Hole on pk Sumail 'SumaiL' Syed Hassan's Queen of Pain from the low ground!

In order to turn the direction that the match was going EG opted for a fast Roshan. With that the momentum started shifting. LC couldn't afford to focus the tanky Bristleback but ignoring him was equally deadly. EG found several good fights and some towers.

With things now looking really good for the American squad they may have gotten a tad overconfident as Sumail picked up a Dagon after finishing his Orchid. Around 30 minute mark he wasn't able to find the right openings. Instead he got jumped on and while he managed to get out on less than a splinter of health, his team wasn't so lucky.

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EG thought to pull the same trick again as when things last went bad and started to rosh. However, this time LC was well-farmed and prepared. Greeks started to push top. While taking Roshan EG started teleporting back to defend. However they got bursted down during that proces!

Without buy-backs available on EG LC, who had primarily been defending up until this point, took two lanes of barracks! Boys in blue found themselves in a position where they had very few options left and started pushing down middle, Aegis still in hand, to try and at least find one lane of barracks.

Meanwhile, Phantom Lancer was quickly pushing their last lane of barracks and took the tier two and tier three tower before EG could take a tier three tower of their own. With only one lane left they had to defend. When they chased the retreating Phantom Lancer he doppelganger dodged Sonic Wave and took out Sumail as well as Fear in a three vs one situation to secure the game.

According to some, however, LC winning in and of itself wasn't even the biggest shocker as Nahaz said: "The surprise is not that LC won but how they won"

Fnatic takes revenge for the unfortunate Drow support game

Meanwhile in Group B it was much the same story for Fnatic in their match againt VP. Fnatic put on an incredible performance yesterday, escaping defeat against Mousesports thanks to sheer work effort and determination. They were also the first match of the day which is either a blessing or a curse depending on how psyched and warmed up you are. VP were considered heavy favourites coming in of their convincing win yesterday. However, things didn't go their way from the start.

Fnatic had an unusual pick for my Chai 'Mushi' Yee Fung in the form of Death Prophet. While her laning wasn't going fantastic, she quickly caught up as VP's Bounty Hunter kept getting caught out through an abundance of excellent Sentry Wards.

ru Ilya 'Illidan Stormrage' Pivtsaev and ru Sergey 'God' Bragin were farming well enough themselves, but couldn't get enough items in time to defend the the highground push. The Russians tried to split push instead, but weren't all on the same page. While Illidan's Phantom Lancer stuck with the split push G's Leshrac teleported home to defend. It ended up being a costly mistake.

Phantom Lancer couldn't push fast enough yet to take out a Barracks himself. VP still lost their own lane and several heroes as a result of the attempted defence. From that point on Fnatic controlled the game and eventually took the victory.

The results mean that the two favourites for the competition EG and VP have both been eliminated in the double elimination groupstages, and that three of the teams that failed to qualify for TI5 have made it into the final four alongside Fnatic.

Now it is time for the playoffs!

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