Alliance have held their own after taking the second upper bracket slot in Group B.
The Europeans have, therefore, put their first day’s loss to Vici Gaming behind them and moved on by beating Fnatic again on the second day. The loss by Fnatic has relegated the Southeast Asian all-stars to the lower bracket.
In Group B, where two series were played, Fnatic first played Team Spirit. In game one, the SEA squad picked up Gyrocopter and Kunkka as their two cores, while Spirit used Luna carry and an Enchantress offlane.
“Fell to the lower bracket, but ready for a comeback story to end all comeback stories. #MDLChengdu,” Fnatic wrote on his Twitter page.
The game the fans something to share in the ‘bloody tie’ that Team Spirit came out slightly on top. In the early game, Daryl “iceiceice” Koh’s Abbadon got punished on several occasion as they had to face several overextensions.
Belarusian professional Dota 2 player, Egor “Ergon” Kozlov was a menace to Fnatic with a good showing with Tiny, after constantly rotating and punishing their opponent.
Attention was diverted from Fnatic’s own new recruit; Nuengnara “23savage” Teeramahanon who was farming away on his Gyrocopter quietly due to their Fnatic’s aggressive posturing.
While iceiceice might still have died too many times, the Gyrocopter was able to climb up the networth charts against a more unconventional Luna.
Despite the spirited effort to counter the incredibly farmed Gyrocopter, they were unsuccessful, but Fnatic secured an Aegis for 23savage, and wiped the Europeans at the bottom barracks area and won the first game.
Fnatic repeated this in game two, utilising Gyrocopter again to snap up Mirana for Djardel “DJ” Mampusti. In the slightly tense affair, Spirit resorted into another unconventional pick in the Viper, followed by a carry Lifestealer.
Clean executions were the shortcomings of both teams as they were slightly tense during the laning stage. They later got into an aggressive team fight after team fight during the process, where they overstepped their boundaries several times.
There is punishment for breaking the rules; buybacks and counter-initiations. Fnatic’s more powerful late-game lineup eventually prevailed after a gruelling clash of 40-minute back and forth.
The victory earned Fnatic a shot at the upper bracket, against new-look Alliance, having lost 2-1 in their previous encounter on the first day.
Carry Night Stalker was picked by the SEA squad for 23savage with an Invoker for the clash while Alliance picked hyper-farming to carry Alchemist for “Nikobaby” Nikolov alongside Death Prophet for some early-game push.
This paid off for Fnatic as they had a good start. But they had crushed their lanes and rotated to help out in the early stages because they couldn’t prevent Nikobaby from free-farming the jungle. They ended up with four of their heroes in the top five of the net-worth chart.
Alliance could not sustain the team fight after fight with Alchemist being the only person farmed on their team. This put Fnatic in a commanding position and net worth lead, thinking the worst was over. Since Alchemist has been neutralised, they have the game in their hands, right?
Noting their current predicament of being without Alchemist, the Europeans remained calm and were more stable of the two teams. This helped them to capitalise instantly on every mistake that the SEA squad made.
Alliance later found themselves ahead once again with this game as Fnatic’s advantage eked away and won the game.
In game two, the South Asian squad was slightly different, as they went for the Drow Ranger and an Enigma. Alliance succeeded in taming Fnatic with the offlane Timber used in punishing their weak lanes and took Faceless Void and Lina for team fight.
This made them lose all four bounty runes in the beginning, and 23savage’s Drow got heavy punishment by dying to the Timbersaw in the bot lane after being unable to deal with the hero.
Without the use of extra damage to come out top of every team fight, Alliance won every single lane as the strategic mistakes and misplays from the Asian squad was too high. Alliance were just too much for them.
Written by: Oladipupo Mojeed