Apart from SEA, the other region which “elected” it’s representative is the CIS. During the Group Stage, Vega Squadron was the main attraction as they completely ripped through their enemies, finishing as winners without dropping a single game. Their luck was with them in the first game of the Playoffs against Na’Vi as well. However, Winstrike team proved to be a little bit too much for gpk and his team-mates and they dropped to the LB.
Little did they know, Na’Vi was more than eager to take revenge after the loss. The series between the two teams was definitely one of the most interesting out of all games in these qualifiers. In the end, the TI 1 champions were the ones which prevailed.
The Grand Final
The final game of the closed qualifiers was an epic battle between Winstrike team and Natus Vincere. In the previous encounter during the group stage, Sonneiko and Co. were the winners.
Game one went in favor of Na’Vi mainly due to their early advantage. Their entire draft was heavily focused on the mid-game, which is a very common tactic for the CIS teams. On the contrary, Winstrike’s Slark was just unable to find the needed space.
Nearly the same happened in game two as well. However, this time Na’Vi definitely emphasized more on the late game. Despite that, they were able to take an early advantage which proved to be very hard to overcome for Winstrike.
The third game was full of actions and dozen of back-and-forth plays. Winstrike were the leader for the first 30 minutes but Na’Vi had a very good high-ground defence, which was able to withstand the pressure. What’s more, just ten minutes later, the situation was entirely different. Natus Vincere was in the driving seat and they just ran down their opponents, securing the CIS' spot for TI 9.
It’s been a while since the Ukranian powerhouse played at this event. Having said that, it will be interesting to see if they will hold up against the other teams there.