Bad day for NA: just one team remains after epic battles

posted by Brasozial,
What a tough day for North American Dota 2 fans. Three NA teams started in the Major, and two of them are already going home after disappointing results in the Lower Bracket. Only EG remain in the tournament to keep the NA dream alive. J.Storm surprised in the first round of the Lower Bracket by beating Team Aster and pushing them in a crysis. However, the second round was tougher for them - one win isn't enough anymore since series was changed to best of three. The opponend now: Fnatic with the former Mineski duo Daryl Koh 'iceiceice' Pei Xiang and Anucha 'Jabz' Jirawong.

The best team from the Southeast Asian qualifier lost against tournament favourites pretty convincingly in the Upper Bracket. In search of redemption they now need to fight their way through the Lower Bracket — and the first step can be taken by beating J.Storm.

An epic battle between Fnatic and J.Storm

Tae Won 'March' Park and his teammates prepared well for the duel, extending Game One to the late-game. That gave David 'Moo' Hull enough time to get fed on Terrorblade to finish the game off, despite losing an important teamfight around the 50-minute mark — where they almost lost their entire gold and experience advantage.

They forced the Fnatic 'GG' from after 55 minutes and 28 seconds. However, both teams felt so comfortable going into the late game that the second game was a long one, too — this time in favour of Fnatic. The difference this time was the Filipino all-star Abed 'Abed' Yusop, who had a good game on Arc Warden with 11 kills and only two deaths.

However, the game-winning moment was delivered by DJ, who stunned four J.Storm players at the same time to give his team the chance to finish them off — with success! Fnatic won Game Two and tied the series 1-1.

In Game Three J.Storm thought they could handle another Arc Warden pick for Abed, but Fnatic's midlaner had an even better game that the last match — again picking up 11 kills for only two deaths on Arc Warden. Trying to stop Abed gave his teammates enough time to get the space they needed: Pyo 'MP' Noa on Tiny picked up kill after kill.

J.Storm couldn't find a way to stop Fnatic. The result was inevitable — Fnatic won Game Three and kicked J.Storm out of the tournament.

NA's Number One vs. NA's Number Two — the epic regional battle

The final Lower Bracket match of the day was a real North American feast — Evil Geniuses vs. Forward Gaming. The undisputed number one and two of the region, the brotherly clash in the midlane, Saahil 'Universe' Arora against his former team, and Resolut1on against his OG mates Fly and s4 — there were so many storylines to feed off.

Everybody expectated a breathtaking series where both teams would fight to the end, but Game One was pretty anti-climactic with Evil Geniuses stomping Forward. The most interesting thing was that Saahil 'Universe' Arora played in the midlane against Artour 'Arteezy' Babaev — a lane match-up we haven't seen often before. It felt like the brothers didn't want to fight against each other in the midlane.

However, in Game Two we finally got the midlane duel between Sumail 'SumaiL' Syed Hassan and Yawar 'YawaR' Hassan — and the older brother in the uniform of Forward Gaming won the battle on Lina against SumaiL's Invoker.

Roman 'Resolut1on' Fominok got the free farm he needed. EG had a hard time stopping him on Spectre — in fact, they didn't succeed because Reso didn't die even a single time. Forward ended the game after 37 minutes and tied the series. We got the spectacular series we were hoping for!

Game Three was even — both teams had their chances to take the advantage. EG had the lead in the early game, but Forward Gaming turned the match in their favour. However, this time EG found a way back into the game with Tiny and Arc Warden. EG took the series and as a result keeps the NA dream alive.

EG is the only NA team left in the tournament. They'll face Fnatic in the next round of the Lower Bracket. The game will also be special for Artour 'Arteezy' Babaev and Gustav 's4' Magnusson, as both players reach a new milestone.

Can Fnatic shut down NA's dream of a Major victory?

Photo credit: Valve

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