Day 3 of the StarLadder XI Finals saw a wealth of exciting picks and action as the Lower bracket played out. We were also treated to what was the most exciting series of the day, Team Empire vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas, where one team ran wild with dunks all over the map.
FIRE vs ASUS.Polar
First encounter of the day was FIRE against ASUS.Polar. The pressure was high from the start as it was an elimination match! In the game FIRE tried to go with a five-ranged lineup including a Drow Ranger, ASUS.Plr responded with three in-your-face team composition including Slardar, Centaur and Brewmaster. With such an aggressive team the CIS squad managed to completely run over the Americans due to always being able to jump on the Drow and kill her off in the team fights. They finished the game in 33 minutes with dominating 34-9 score.
In the second game it was the Russians who picked up the Drow Ranger and paired her up with a Visage. The game was much closer this time and ASUS.Plr didn’t dominate as much however, they still managed to win the second game again in 33 min even despite the fact that Tyler “TC” Cook on his Troll Warlord had the highest GMP on the map.
NaVi vs MVP Phoenix
Next up was Natus Vincere vs MVP Phoenix – another elimination match. In the first game Kim “QO” Seon-Yeop shined on his Slark from the mid lane and managed to out farm his opponents thanks to buying the only midas in that game. The other cores from MVP weren’t doing too shabby and the Koreans secured a 43 minute victory with 43 – 26 score.
The second game started with supreme performance from MVP‘s Bristleback + Io offlane that managed to secure multiple kills and created a lot of space for their other cores to farm uncontested. That resulted in NaVi‘s aggressive line-up not getting online in time and a fast 24 minute gg.
Losers Bracket semi-finals
Then, the winners from two previous matches faced off to decide who is going to face the loser of NiPvs Empire and who is finishing just outside the podium. Although MVP surprisingly dominated their previous opponents, this time the sides got turned. In the first game Ilya “Illidan” Pivcaev went absolutely out of control on his Morphling with 22 minute Treads, Aquila, Linkens and Shotgun. He finished the game with 12-0-8 score.
In the second game ASUS.Plr wanted to continue this dominance with Illidan this time putting him on the ever so aggressive Ursa. Although he finished the game with 18-3-13 score his performance was overshadowed by Alexander “DkPhobos” Kucheria who dealt twice as much hero damage asIllidan on his Zeus rocking the Aghanim-Refresher ulti. With a 50 to 26 score ASUS.Plr took the match 2-0.
Winners Bracket finals
This game saw Empire face off against NiP to claim the first place in tomorrow’s Grand Final. Game one kicked off with some pretty interesting picks, with Empire opting for a strong early-fighting lineup topped off with a surprise Omniknight pick. NiP also brought their fair share of unconventional heroes to the table, with a Riki popping up into the offlane. For most of the game, the large damage output from Axe and Phantom Assassin became too much for NiP, and the sustain from Omni furthered their fighting potential. Roman “Resolut1on” Fominok was simply too hot to handle on the PA and after a strong performance form him, NiP finally tapped out just before the 40-min mark.
Game 2 saw an even more exciting draft. The first Invoker of the tournament came out, as well as a QoP, Bristle and Ember tri-core joined by a support Undying. Early aggression was once again the name of the game with dives, kills and counter-ganks coming in every lane on the map. Maxim “yoky”Kim once again dominated early, with him picking up 4 big kills in a skirmish on the bot lane and getting an early blink from that. The mid game continued in just the same fashion, with yoky going absolutely insane, alongside the rest of his team. After lost fight after lost fight, NiP threw in the towel after 32 minutes and 21 kills on Axe.
Tomorrow is the final day of StarLadder, with facing the winner of the loser bracket final between ASUS.Plr and NiP in the Bo5 Grand Final!
13:00 – ASUS.Plr vs NiP
17:00 – Grand Final, bo5, 1:0 for WB