Stomps, comebacks, and methodical wins; we break down the best games from Day 3.
Three days into the Arlington Major, the groups have begun to assume their final shape. A flurry of results — some expected and some unexpected — have come in today. With the final day looming, we’ll take a look at what they were and how they affect Group B.
Of the eight matches played, five were draws and three were won and lost. The former includes the matchups Team Aster vs Beastcoast, Team Spirit vs Entity, Evil Geniuses vs Tundra Esports, Beastcoast vs Entity, and Team Spirit vs BOOM Esports. Of these, Beastcoast taking a game off of Aster and Entity, the group leaders, were the biggest surprises.
BOOM and EG both smashed Na’ Vi to put a damper on the CIS team’s earlier performances, while Aster smashed a thoroughly underwhelming Tundra. Before the fourth day gets under way, let’s take a brief look at the best matches from Day 3.
Natus Vincere vs BOOM Esports
At the end of the second day, Na’ Vi were flying high and BOOM were struggling. This matchup could well have been Na’ Vi’s ticket to the top half of the table, but their double stumble today means that they are now in a fight for their tournament lives, marginally ahead of Beastcoast by the skin of their teeth with a match against Spirit tomorrow their only way forward while the South Americans face last place Tundra.
The first game was pretty straightforward. BOOM’s picks included patch favorites Winter Wyvern and Chaos Knight, with Mars, Storm Spirit, and a rare Mirana in the mix. Navi, on the other hand, had a relatively weaker draft in terms of teamfights. A Batrider was their only real default means of initiation, with the other picks being Monkey King, Snapfire, Marci, and Razor.
The laning phase was relatively uneventful with very few kills. The teams were more focused on farming instead, and BOOM began developing a bit of a gold lead. As the game progressed, the South-East Asian team seemed to come out on top every time a fight took place.
Before long, they began dominating outright, and forced Na’ Vi to call GG at just 27 minutes.
Game 2 was a much more turbulent affair. Na’ Vi’s picks of Dazzle, Keeper of Light, Nature’s Prophet, Marci, and Doom didn’t provide much in the way of lockdown or initiation, but they nevertheless put up a strong performance. BOOM, on the other hand, set up a 4-melee draft consisting of Tiny, Ember Spirit, Tidehunter, and Monkey King with a Viper thrown in for good measure.
Despite the differences in the drafts, the game was one of the most tightly-contested of the tournament so far. Neither team could take a convincing lead, with multiple battles failing to change the neck-and-neck nature of the game. Even after Na’ Vi seemed to have eked out a bit of an advantage in the mid game, BOOM fought back strongly and came bouncing back. Shortly after, the exact opposite happened.
It wasn’t until well past 50 minutes that BOOM piled up a sizable lead, and not until a Rampage from Erin “Yopaj” Ferrer that the Ukrainian side finally bowed out with the double Gs.
Team Spirit vs BOOM Esports
Although Team Spirit are a far cry from their TI10 and post-TI10 form, they are still a frighteningly powerful team. BOOM Esports are no pushover, but few would bet on the latter if the two were playing. In this instance, however, the two appeared to be evenly matched.
Game one saw immense single-target focus potential from BOOM in the form of Beastmaster, Rubick, Windranger, and Rubick, with a Dawnbreaker carry. Spirit, on the other hand, went for a more conventional Faceless Void-Zeus combo complemented by Axe and Tiny for quick pickoffs and a Dazzle for heals and saves.
This was another crazy topsy-turvy game, with both teams vying for map control. BOOM kept a healthy kill lead and had a bit of an advantage for most of the game, but Spirit showed tremendous resilience and kept fighting back.
Shortly after Spirit came closest to overturning their disadvantage, however, a fight that could have been Spirit’s by virtue of a Double Damage rune went in the opposite direction/ Their Dazzle was dead at the time, and although he had buyback, he chose not to join his team. This proved costly as within just a couple of minutes of that, it was all over.
The second game of the series was, by comparison, pretty straightforward. BOOM picked Chen, Marci, Invoker, Viper, and Dawnbreaker. Spirit, on the other hand, relied on a Terrorblade carry with Enigma, Tiny, Pangolier, and a Dazzle alongside.
The laning phase went pretty normally for both teams, but not long after that, Spirit gained a decent gold lead. With a Terrorblade farming around, Spirit’s gold advantage grew. Although the kill counts were quite even, the money began to fail BOOM.
After many attempts at defending, BOOM finally ended up far too split for their liking. They were teamwiped and had to call GG at just past 42 minutes with Illya “Yatoro” Mulyarchuk getting a Rampage.
Evil Geniuses vs Tundra Esports
EG haven’t had the strongest of showings at this tournament, but they will take it over their performance in the previous major any day. In sharp contrast, it seems like it’s Tundra’s turn to have a terrible tournament, and the European team currently sits at the bottom of Group B as the only team in the group to not have won a single series.
EG came swinging in Game 1. Their draft was a teamfight dream, with plenty of provision for more than just that. They picked Bloodseeker, Puck, Dawnbreaker, Dazzle, and Snapfire. Tundra seemed to be lost as far as the draft was concerned. They picked a motley crew of Chen, Chaos Knight, Void Spirit, Brewmaster, and Shadow Shaman.
If you’re a Tundra fan or despise EG, you might as well skip this part because the Europeans pretty much got their heads handed to them. Calling it a “stomp” would be understating it, because when the match ended, the kill difference was a brutal 41 to 9.
Not much else needs to be said about this match, except that it ended quietly in the 32nd minute.
The two teams would go on to prove that they weren’t as mismatched as the first game may have suggested. EG’s draft involved Nature’s Prophet, Void Spirit, Death Prophet, Dazzle, and Marci. Across the Atlantic, the picks made were Ogre Magi, Razor, Hoodwink, Visage, and Dawnbreaker.
After a hard-fought laning phase, the two teams were pretty dead even. Fights were infrequent and the teams focused a lot on farming, but when they did happen, they were explosive. EG slowly but surely garnered a decent lead.
Just when the Geniuses were becoming hopeful, Tundra pounced on an opportunity in a fight near Roshan and took charge. This advantage allowed Tundra to build up an unassailable lead, and they punished EG and took the second game.