It was our second last day of the EPICENTER Major today. The remaining teams in the lower bracket battled it out for a chance to play in tomorrow’s finals. We saw some unexpected surprises on the main stage.
PSG.LGD vs TNC Predator
Our first games of the day were PSG.LGD versus TNC Predator. LGD and TNC were in the same group during the opening of the tournament, but they didn’t face each other until today.
LGD came into game one strong, but TNC weren’t prepared to let them dictate the pace. This game was neck and neck, with plenty of kills coming out on both sides of the map.
TNC was pushing the top high ground at 26-minutes. They took down Ame’s Lone Druid, taking the kills to 13-18. While LGD managed to hold the rax, the core kill was a big boost to TNC’s net worth. LGD tried to punish TNC’s retreat, and the kills were coming out thick and fast again. At 31-minutes, TNC finally took the top rax.
This was a fantastic game for Gabbi on Bristleback. Bristle was the last pick for TNC, and he had a huge impact on the game. As TNC were pushing mid after the 30-minute mark Gabbi was gaining 55hp per second. He was unkillable.
LGD held out for as long as they could, but at 40-minutes, TNC closed game one.
Game two started out much more cautiously by comparison. LGD had a slight lead in the net worth, and they were leading the kills for all of the early game. But they were only just beginning to take map objectives at 24-minutes. At 30-minutes, LGD took the Rosh and Ame took the aegis. It looked like the moment for their big push.
But their momentum fizzled, and TNC’s picked up. At 36-minutes, TNC were suddenly back in the game and pushing the high ground again. LGD were on the back foot again. Tims had some amazing clutch black holes on Enigma, which helped TNC mop up the kills. LGD did their best to push them back and take control of the pace, they even went for the last-ditch rapier. But there was no stopping this train.
TNC shut them down at 52-minutes. Taking out the series 2-0.
Virtus Pro vs Alliance
Next up was VP against Alliance. Alliance have had a strong performance through the lower bracket, securing themselves their TI invite. But would they be strong enough to take down Virtus.Pro?
Much like our first series, we saw a very fast opening game. Alliance took first blood at the clock ticked over to the first minute, but VP were quick to respond with kills of their own.
By 13-minutes, the kills were 9-8, but VP were pulling into the net worth lead. The CIS team started ramping up the aggression, they had an 8 kill-lead by the 20-minute mark. Alliance looked like they were helpless against the assault. VP pushed the bottom high ground and took the rax. 7-minutes later, they claimed megas and Alliance called GG.
This was a fast, 27-minute game that saw VP bring the stomp in the late game. No0ne also absolutely crushed Qojqva in the mid lane. He had a great game on Death Prophet, his KDA was 13/1/7. Pasha’s Omniknight was also provided his team with a big advantage. He managed to keep up with Micke’s Sven in the net worth, only 1k behind at the end of the game. He also had zero deaths, 5/0/15 was his KDA at the end of game one.
Game two looked like a completely different game from the opening. Alliance established themselves an early lead in both the kills and the net worth. Taiga was on fire on his Earth Spirit during the laning phase. At 10-minutes in he had 6 kills and he hadn’t died once. Alliance had 25 kills to VP’s 7 kills at 20-minutes. They looked like they were fully in control.
But it seemed like Alliance just didn’t know what to do with their massive lead to close out the game. By 31-minutes, their advantage was starting to fall off and VP were creating an advantage of their own. They were taking the bottom rax by 34-minutes. Kills were 23-28 now, that massive lead was very quickly disappearing for Alliance.
It took VP another 4-minutes to close the game. At 38-minutes, Alliance called GG on the series, and their chances at tomorrow’s finals.
Virtus Pro were going on to face TNC Predator.
TNC Predator vs Virtus Pro
Our last series of the day probably was not the match-up many people were expecting to see.
TNC’s performance at this tournament has shown how much they’ve grown as a team. But Virtus Pro have shown consistently throughout the year that they’ve got the makings of a TI winning team.
Game one was over quickly. TNC brought plenty of aggression to the early game, but Virtus Pro matched it every time. Kuku had died three times by the 4-minute mark, playing the role of TNC’s sacrificial lamb.
Both teams were keeping up with the pace that the other was putting out. But Virtus Pro had pulled into the lead by the 10-minute mark.
This is where the Weaver pick for Ramzes really began to shine. VP started to overtake the kill and the gold lead.
By 21-minutes, VP were pushing the high ground and taking TNC’s rax. At 23-minutes, they were fountain diving TNC inside their base without a care in the world.
This game was a 25-minute stomp for VP. It was a standout performance from Ramzes. He ended the game with a KDA of 14/0/14. Solo also had a fantastic time on his Spirit Breaker, he personally secured 3 of his teams kills, as well as assisting in 24 kills. All while only dying twice.
With everything riding on game two, TNC were bringing their A game. They took out first blood before 2-minutes, but VP responded quickly in kind. In some ways the opening phases of this game were very similar to game one.
But after the 10-minute mark, things started to look different. TNC were bringing a very fast pace and slowly securing themselves a lead. It was 7-7 at 14-minutes and TNC were pushing the T2 in top lane.
But just as in game one, Virtus Pro were prepared to retaliate. They were returning the favour and pushing TNC’s bottom T2 by 23-minutes.
This game was starting to look like it was going to be a close one, and a long one.
Tims again stood out on Engima. He helped TNC mop up plenty of kills. But Solo was also doing a lot of work for VP on his Silencer pick. The kills were trade for trade, but TNC were leading the net worth right until the closing moments. It wasn’t going to be enough though.
No0ne did some real work on his Storm Spirit this game, with a KDA of 10/4/14 by the end. He also provided plenty of information to help VP find the pick offs they needed to keep the game going until they could secure the win.
After 65 gruelling minutes, VP went for the GG push, knocking TNC out of the tournament.
Tune into all the action from the finals on the official EPICENTER Twitch tomorrow.
Image via Valve