posted by Sun_Tzu,
Kicking off the playoffs of The Premier League Season 4, eu Fnatic.EU went up against se The Alliance in a prelude to their G-1 Champions League winners bracket finals match-up, while us Team Liquid after hearing they had been invited to The International 2013 took on fellow International hopefuls ru Virtus.Pro.

TPL Playoffs will continue tomorrow with the first round of the losers bracket at 18:00 CEST followed by the winners bracket finals at 21:00 CEST.

se The Alliance vs. eu Fnatic.EU

While the early lanes looked good for Fnatic, with se Adrian 'Era' Kryeziu on Anti-Mage leading the way on farm, it was the mid game aggression coming out of the Alliance that set the pace of the game. With Fnatic finding their key heroes Lone Druid and Windrunner caught out time and again, they lost all momentum at the same time as se Gustav 's4' Magnusson on Templar Assassin kept on picking up steam, resulting in the Alliance seizing control of the map and ending the game early.

For game two Fnatic switched things up, running Era mid on Luna, while fi Kalle 'Trixi' Saarinen was given the safe lane, meaning that de Kai 'H4nn1' Hanbueckers got to play the sacrificial lamb as the offlane Clockwerk, and sacrificied he truly was, as the Alliance kept him entirely out of experience range early on. But with early kills going their way, Fnatic found the momentum they had lost in ther previous game, running the mid game, yet still unable to finish against the combination of a Gyrocopter, Magnus Revere Polarity and the split push of a Nature's Prophet. As the game dragged late, eventually s4 on Magnus found his initiations, which lead to the Swedes eavening out the game. Once the tide turned, Alliance supporting cast got ahead of Fnatic's, which resulted in their ability to consistently take fights, ultimately ending the series in their victory.

The Alliance take out Fnatic.EU 2-0, dropping them into the losers bracket.

us Team Liquid vs. ru Virtus.Pro

Liquid got off to a shaky start, giving up kills on their supports straight off the bat, which lead into strong rotations and picks by the Russians. Even with ca Tyler 'TC' Cook having a good early farm on Anti-Mage, the dominance of ru Ilya 'Airman' Pevcaev on Alchemist was undeniable, as he shot even ahead of his teammates on Nature's Prophet and Dragon Knight. Transitioning from a strong lead into total map control through extensive warding, Liquid never could find the safe space to farm, and with their Barracks crumbling, the North Americans called the 'GG'.

For the second game of the series, VP got themselves some highly unconventional picks for their supports, matching up Disruptor with Juggernaut, which worked out great, as Juggernaut's Blade Fury doing a lot of work in early ganks. With the Russians once again managing to make each of their ganks to connect while giving up little to nothing in return, the game again went fast out of hand for Liquid, who looked well and truly to be suffering from the International course, where in teams lose their first game after receiving their invite to the big tournament. Especially of note in this game was ru Oleg 'Crazy' Kolesnichenko on Puck, who was constantly finding big initiations with Dream Coil, as the Russians eliminate their opponents in the second of two very one-sided games.

Virtus.Pro send Team Liquid into the lower bracket with a 2-0 victory.