The playoffs are now underway, and things are heating up at MDL Chengdu.
We saw some amazing games yesterday in the final day of our group stage. Now the playoffs are upon us and the series they’ve delivered so far have been just as exciting. Let’s take a look at how the day played out.
Our opening series of the day saw SEA powerhouse TNC.Predator face off against Alliance in the days opening matches. Then Team Liquid and J.Storm took the stage to see who would advance to round two of the Upper Bracket.
Alliance vs TNC.Predator
Things were looking shaky for TNC right from the start in our first game of the day. Alliance had a strong draft. Limmp ran Death Prophet in mid, with Nikobaby on Night Stalker, A Leshrach pick for Handsken, Fata running Ogre Magi and 33 on Chen.
TNC didn't have a bad draft, but it was Alliance who played to their strengths during this first game. It was 21–6, with Alliance in the lead, at 29-minutes. By the time the game had reached 62-minutes, there 4 Agh’s on Alliance. They were so fat they even left the cheese behind in the Rosh pit.
But TNC’s defense was indomitable. Holding up, even against megas. They threw everything they had into turning this game around. Kpii even sold all his items at 66-minutes to buy a refresher shard and save the throne from what looked like a final push by Alliance.
This game dragged on for almost an hour and ten minutes. Still, in the end, Alliance proved the victors. Ending with a total of 36 kills on the board.
Unlike the gruelling battle we saw in game one, game two was much faster. We saw lots of early harass from both sides of the river. As Limmp and Armel duked it out in mid. But the early phase of the game was very even, with neither team grabbing a solid lead in the net worth and the kill-count never creeping higher than a one or two kill-lead.
Things looked promising for Alliance around the 25-minute mark. 33 took a kill on March, and then Nikobaby cleaned up Gabbi and Tims to bring the kills to 16–12. But things were looking different again at 28-minutes. As TNC used a long spawn timer on Roshan to set up a perfect Song of the Siren/Static Storm combo to take a game changing team fight.
By 36-minutes, TNC had finally overtaken the game. Claiming the win with a 7-kill lead and equalizing the series.
TNC took first blood before the one-minute mark, and by five-minutes in the kills were 1–2. It was looking like another close game between our two teams.
But TNC were undeniably the dominant force as the game progressed. They really took control of the net worth out of the laning phase. They continued to maintain that gold advantage, despite Alliance still keeping up in the kills. The final score was 18–25 at 27-minutes when Alliance bowed out and called GG. TNC.Predator were advancing to round two of the Upper Bracket.
Gabbi’s Phantom Assassin pick this game was on fire. He went 15/1/6 by games end. He took out the most kills in this series. A total of 30 across the three games.
Team Liquid vs J.Storm
Even in the opening of the laning phase, Team Liquid looked like the stronger team in this first game of the series. They were 3-kills up, 6–3, as the game pushed past the 10-minute mark. Liquid were still leading the kills at 20-minutes, and they had started to gain a comfortable net worth lead. That lead just kept growing, and by 30-minutes in, there was nothing J.Storm could do to shut down Micke’s Faceless Void.
This was an outstanding game for the Liquid carry. His KDA was 13/0/15 when J.Storm’s last line of defense finally crumbled. Liquid earned themselves a massive 21-kill lead over the 43-minute course of game one. The final score was 35–14.
J.Storm came into game two looking like a completely different team. This time, they snatched first blood before the game had passed the one-minute mark. By 7-minutes in they had a 3k gold advantage and when the lanes ended, they were looking scary.
A great smoke from J.Storm at 14-minutes rewarded them with pick-offs on Boxi’s Legion Commander and Insania’s AA in top lane. Then, another pickoff on the pair a minute later brought the kills to 10–12. Liquid were looking sloppy. At 17-minutes, J.Storm took the mid T2 tower, and Taiga’s Sand King with it. Followed by a kill on Micke. J.Storm were dominating.
A quick Roshan at 20-minutes gave the aegis to Nine on his Templar Assassin. Now J.Storm were ready to push for the high ground. Liquid pulled out all the stops to stay in the game, but in the end, there was no stopping J.Storm. Liquid called GG at 30-minutes. The series was equalized.
Liquid put up a stronger front in game three. J.Storm finally drew first blood at three minutes, thanks to iNSaNiA diving too deep in the bottom lane. But all in all, things looked even for the games first 10-minutes.
It was a misplay by Liquid setting up for some pick-offs while Fear’s fatal bonds was on cool down. But Warlock wasn’t the only hero that Liquid needed to be afraid of. J.Storm scouted out Taiga as he moved into position, and chased down the team, taking three down on the side of Liquid. It was a mistake that would prove to be fatal, giving J.Storm the opening they needed.
From this point, it was a steamroll to victory. Ending the game with a 17-kill lead over Liquid.
Liquid now face the lower bracket. J.Storm on the other hand, now prepare themselves to meet TNC.Predator.
With our upper bracket behind us, it was time to look at our brutal Bo1’s in the first round of our lower bracket series.
EHOME vs Team Spirit
EHOME came in with a strong showing in the lanes, taking first blood. By the end of the laning phase they had secured themselves a 3k gold lead. But Team Spirit were keeping pace when it came to the kills. They even managed to pull ahead at around the 20-minute mark thanks to some nice work on the part of Ergon’s Tiny and Ghostik’s Timbersaw.
Still, as the game moved into the later stages, Spirit just couldn’t keep up with EHOME’s pace. By 27-minutes the net worth advantage was back in the Chinese team’s favour. Five minutes later it was all over. EHOME took the win, with the score 21–12 and Team Spirit became our first team to be eliminated at MDL Chengdu.
Team Aster vs Gambit Esports
Team Aster put on a truly dominant showing in this series against Gambit. They took out first blood, and secured their laning phase objectives fast, netting themselves a comfortable 3k lead by 10-minute mark.
The score was 13–6 at 18-minutes when dream’s Bristleback took a much needed kill for Gambit on Xxs. But the CIS team didn’t take another kill until after the 30-minute mark. Bringing the kills to 22–7.
Gambit were completely overrun by the Chinese team in this 37-minute game. Aster ended it with a 22-kill lead, 30–8. They would advance to the next round of the lower bracket. But Gambit were going home.
Fnatic vs Team Unknown
Fnatic experience showed in this match-up. But Unknown did not just lie down and let the SEA team stomp them. They kept up with farm and kills in the laning phase. The score was 5–2 at 8-minutes and Fnatic only had a slight gold advantage.
However, by 19-minutes in, they’d secured a 2k net worth lead and were 7-kills up on Team Unknown.
Team Unknown gave it their best shot, stretching this game to 48-minutes. But Fnatic had too much control for them to ever really break through.
The game ended 40–16. A disappointing end to a difficult Major for the South American team, as Fnatic eliminate them to advance to the next round.
Beastcoast vs Team Adroit
Team Adroit gave us a show in this game, pulling into the lead in the kills at the 13-minute mark. As well as taking the top T2 tower. They held this dominant position over Beastcoast well through the mid-game. Racking up a 10k lead in the net worth. The kills were 13–29 at 28-minutes, Adroit had already taken T3 towers and were pushing shrines.
But Beastcoast are often scariest in the late game. By the time the game passed 30-minutes, both he and Chris Luck’s Templar Assassin were six-slotted. Adroit’s lead meant nothing now, as Beastcoast melted through Adroit’s line up. At 38-minutes, K1 was backdooring towers and Beastcoast was running for the high ground. There was no stopping them. Beastcoast had snatched this game right out from under Adroit. At 48-minutes, they closed out the game 16-kills down.
Despite putting up a great fight, Adroit now say goodbye to Chengdu and Beastcoast advance to the next round.
There’s still more action to come from Chengdu. Catch it live tomorrow on Twitch.