The semi-finals were however played in full, even as in each stand-ins had to be found for one team or another, as Fnatic.EU took on The Alliance and Team Dignitas went looking for revenge against Team Liquid.
Fnatic.EU vs. Alliance
While the early game was plagued by connection problems coming out of Henrik 'AdmiralBulldog' Ahnberg, Fnatic ended up establishing their mid game dominance despite having to replay an important fight at the 11 minute mark a few times over. As their advantage mounted, excellent offensive warding from Alliance allowed Gustav 's4' Magnusson on Batrider to find key initiations, swining the advantage the way of the Swedes before fight even started, allowing them to take several fights in the mid game. However, all it took was a few fights where Fnatic was able to force a fight on their terms for the massively farmed Adrian 'Era' Kryeziu on Alchemist to just demolish any and all opposition, eventually claiming the first game of the series.
Bulldog bowed out of the rest of the series, allowing previously unknown player Konrad 'Ikzu' Jonasson to take his place, picking up Magnus and going mid, as Alliance sent s4 on Juggernaut to head up the offensive trilane. While they were able to suppress the farm of Era on Tiny, a 3-0 fight going the way of Fnatic including the first blood forced Alliance to rethink, backing off and leaving just s4 behind, who now had the levels to stand alone on the lane. As Jonathan 'Loda' Berg on Phantom Lancer had all the space in the world to farm, he helped his team take over the mid game and put Fnatic on the back foot, especially as in the midst of a big fight at middle lane, Joakim 'Akke' Akterhall on Keeper of the Light got off a crucial Blinding Light on Fnatics team, with the miss chance turning what could have been a win the Alliance being able to destroy the first Barracks of the game. Further big Reverse Polarities by stand-in Ikzu and the game just got out of hand for Fnatic, as once more Tiny fails to provide the answer to the cancer.
In the break before the third game, Statman Bruno slighted Joakim 'Akke' Akterhall calling him "not a star player", but as Alliance got their hands on his signature hero, he set out to prove once more just why so many regard him as probably the best Chen player in the world right now. It seemed at times as if he was everywhere at once, scoring killing blows with Harpies in mid, controlling Weaver at bottom lane and disrupting teamfights at top, along with excellently timed Hand of God's and sending home his compatriots with only a sliver of life left, Akke ran the game for his team as they capitalized on every mistake Fnatic made, taking over the game and running Fnatic into their base. As they then sieged up, they were able to slowly claim Barracks after Barracks with measured pushes, never really allowing Fnatic the openings to get back into the game, sealing the series for the Swedish juggernaut.
The Alliance proceed to the finals of DreamHack Invitational after eliminating Fnatic.EU 2-1.
Team Liquid vs. Team Dignitas
After doding Dignitas offensive trilane, things were looking good for Liquid, as they got the early kill lead and seemed good on early farm, but with good reactions, Dignitas were able to turn around the kills and set up Saahil 'Universe' Arora's Lifestealer as the mid game powerhouse, allowing them to claim control of much of the map and the game. While Liquid put on a brave face, resisting Dignitas attempts to break their base through the use of multiple buybacks, eventually the tanky duo of Lifestealer and Lone Druid became too much for Liquid to hold back, resuling in Dignitas claiming the first map.
The connection gods were not on the side of the teams today, as Dignitas ended up having to replace both Kurtis 'Aui_2000' Ling and Ioannis 'Fogged' Loucas with Arif 'MojoStormStout' Anwar of Fnatic.NA and 'Kzz', who apparently is NOT the same person as Harrison 'Kizzles' Chang, who was one of the original PotM Bottom players.
Liquid went for a aggressive trilane in game two, but did not get as much out of it as they might have hoped. When the first real fight of the game broke out at bottom lane, Dignitas were first able to teamwipe Liquid, as Steven 'Korok' Ashworth on Storm Spirit respawned and engaged back in, being able to claim a full Rampage to keep his team in it, with kills going 5-5. However in the mid game, the ultimate combinations and especially the Cogs and Wall of Replica allowed Dignitas to win fight after fight, until Brain 'FLUFF' Lee stepped up on Rubick, starting to find the openings to steal key spells and helping Liquid turn around fights, turtling it out until the later portions, where their lineup allowed them to start winning fights, evening the game out. But all it took was a lost fight around 50 minutes in, where Liquid did not have buybaks available, allowing Dignitas to take the mid Barracks, and as they suicided in to try and prevent the top falling as well, they ended up losing more and more heroes, ending with Dignitas taking game two.
Team Dignitas claim their revenge over Team Liquid with a 2-0 victory, advancing to the finals.
Grand Finals postponed
Due to the extensive delays, the best-of-five grand finals between Team Dignitas and The Alliance will be pushed forward, to be played out on Thursday, the 18th of April, with the time to be determined.
Results and Grid
1st - $2,500 + DreamHack Summer Invitation
2nd - $1,500
3rd-4th - Fnatic.EU & Team Liquid - $1,000