posted by Olucaron,
We’re more or less at the halfway point of the Group Stage, and North Americans are sitting pretty at the top of each group. Can anyone stop them as they aim to cement their Upper Bracket slots on another exciting day of action at The International 2018?

Group A looking a foregone conclusion

Evil Geniuses have dropped just one game in their five series so far. Invictus Gaming, currently seventh in the group, can lay claim to being the only ones to have taken them down so far, salvaging a draw on Day 1. Since then Artour 'Arteezy' Babaev and his teammates have recorded dominant wins over Mineski, OG and pre-tournament favourites PSG.LGD to take a commanding lead at the top of the pile.

Today they face off against bottom side and whipping boys Winstrike (2-6) in the first series, before an extended break sees them face second-place side Team Liquid (5-3) in what could be the match of the day. They should be raring to go after just one match yesterday, a tied series with Invictus. Can Liquid overcome the rust after a day’s rest and make inroads on top spot?

Elsewhere, the top half of the table didn’t change on Day 2. Fnatic (5-3) and PSG.LGD (5-5) held on to their top-four spots after identical 2-2 days, and will look to keep it that way. The match-up between the two should also prove to be one of the matches to watch, and a loss could prove damaging to their hopes of an Upper Bracket finish.

Meanwhile, the bottom of the table is a fight to the death to remain in the competition. Mineski (4-6) and iG (4-6) should be okay and still have aspirations of top-four finishes, while OG (3-5) versus VGJ.Thunder (3-5) could be decisive in sealing a better seed going into the Main Stage. For new boys Winstrike (2-6), however, it looks bleak – matches again EG, Fnatic and Liquid are likely to see them edge ever closer to elimination.

A Storm abounds in Group B

There’s a surprise or two at the top of Group B — led by Roman 'Resolut1on' Fominok, who has had a monster of a tournament so far with a 70-16-101 record in his eight games — Forward Gaming (7-1) take a slender lead over TNC Predator (6-4) into Day 3. Both teams have impressed in wins over the top teams, while also taking advantage of those top teams dropping games elsewhere. Undoubtedly the match of the day is the showdown between them, essentially a shootout for first place.

Elsewhere, (5-3) and Newbee (5-5) are hanging on to their coat-tails and will be looking to close the gap. They also face off against each other, which in turn could give the top two a chance to pull further ahead. VP also take on bottom side paiN Gaming* (3-5), while Newbee face a tough match against leaders VGJ.S.

With just one series today, Team Secret (4-6) could find themselves in danger of missing out on top-four in their match against OpTic Gaming (3-5). Both teams are scrapping for survival in a group that is closer than expected – three teams sit on 3-5 records at the bottom (Team Serenity joining OpTic and paiN), and with just two wins separating third and last, anyone could prove to be a mover and shaker on Day 3.

How do you see Day 3 turning out? Will we see major moves?

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  • Olucaron


    David W. Duffy
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